Thursday, April 19, 2007


Margo Crawford, official friend of the Mailbox, sent an interesting e-mail about T-shirt entrepreneur Todd Goldman, the guy who made those controversial T-shirts about boys being stupid. Some think Goldman is a hack artist, plagiarist and copyright infringer. The story is interesting, but it got the Mailbox thinking about another form of copyright infringement.

Apparently, some forms of copyright infringement seem acceptable, but they are really not. Those logos are intellectual property theft, advertising a religion that says, "Thou shalt not steal." Hell, even that trash-talkin' bunny was stolen by Christians.

Remember Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson? God bless that comic strip will ever be as good. There was a legendary strip that was nothing but Calvin and Hobbes dancing. Art from that strip started appearing on T-shirts advertising spring break trips and parties. Then this abomination surfaced. Apparently, Calvin has no problem peeing on everything from car logos to entire countries. The next iteration of that theme was to turn Calvin from a pisser to a believer. Apparently, choosing between those two is quite difficult for NASCAR fans.

Watterson's struggle to keep his comic strip off of merchandise was legendary, and eventually forced him to stop drawing the strip. He said that he hasn't seen a dime from Calvin appearing on anything, including a sticker. That means Calvin peeing is on the same level as Calvin praying.

The Mailbox is more forgiving of the corporate-logo spin-offs, because the Christian twists are satirical in nature. Besides, these companies have paid big bucks to place their logos everywhere, burning their vector-based graphics into our brain cells. But what's wrong with originality? God gave us creativity; why not use it? The Mailbox found that some Christian stuff can be funny and original.

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Thank you for reminding us about Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes. I'd forgotten that thieving plagarism is what inevitably cost us the brilliant genius that was that comic strip.

(forgive me my slightly jaded opinion :)
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