Dammit, Bil Keane Would Have Sued Me Ages Ago


Joe Mathlete, who explains the jokes from the cartoon Marmaduke in the cleverly titled blog Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke, asks: Where's the goddamn copyright cops when you need them?

Method #14,871 of communicating the concept that Marmaduke is a large dog.

My biggest wish was that I would get a cease and desist from the company that publishes Marmaduke—even if I wasn't infringing on any copyright (and I really had no idea whether or not that was the case), I had no intention of fighting anything like that. To misquote legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, "I don't care and it doesn't matter." This wasn't my passion, this wasn't my job, this wasn't even on my radar enough to be considered a proper hobby. I never cared about comic strips, or thought about Marmaduke any more than the next guy until earlier that year; besides, I was already running out of things to say. I thought I'd come up with a pretty original idea and I was proud of that much, but a cease and desist order from United Features Syndicate would look AMAZING framed on my wall….

Side note—do you know why I never published a Marmaduke Explained book? If you do, congratulations, you're not slow. You would be surprised how many people do not understand that I do not own the rights to do such a thing. However, I think United Features Syndicate dropped the ball by not realizing there was money to be made with such a thing. Really, I just wish their lawyers would contact me at all. The silence is killing me. Maybe that's been their sick plan all along.

The rest of the post is also worth reading, both as a memoir of a reluctant micro-celebrity and as a snapshot of a moment in Internet history. In related news, io9's reviewer says the new Marmaduke movie is "the biggest 'F*** You' to modernity I've ever seen."