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How about, "Call legal!"?

Meh. The New Yorker Cartoon contest almost never comes up with anything good. The backwards process of creating captions that explain the picture produces cartoons that have no reason to exist outside of the contest. The only good one I've seen was the dog talking to the shrink saying, "I can smell my own fear."

Posted by Jude Fawley | May 22, 2008 6:54 AM

*University of Wisconsin

Posted by mark | May 22, 2008 6:58 AM

In the age of Bush Morality I see nothing wrong with this at all...not a thing wrong. And if you do then you are appeasing terrorists!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 22, 2008 7:00 AM

Whoops -- thanks, Mark.

Posted by Dan Savage | May 22, 2008 7:05 AM

But what was the punch-line?

How can we shriek plagiarism! before we even read the punch-line?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 22, 2008 7:23 AM

I think the important question here is, "Does anyone really give a flying fuck?" That is what I wanna know...

Posted by Mike in MO | May 22, 2008 7:24 AM

It's an obvious homage, not a rip off. The cartoonist on the right was obviously looking right at the classic monster comic when he drew his New Yorker cartoon.

Jack Kirby's covers have been referenced or outright recreated ever since he revolutionized comic books starting in the 40s. Covers, poses, entire panels get regularly recreated as loving tributes.

In the world of comics, this is like drawing the Mona Lisa or David into your work. A total nonissue and I guess a slow news day.

On the bright side, there's an incredible new Jack Kirby coffee table art book out...

Posted by Homage | May 22, 2008 7:39 AM

The guy who wrote that Kirby book, Mark Evanier, actually linked to this image a while ago and thought it was a hoot. With that in mind, it's pretty much a non-issue in my mind.

Posted by Chris B | May 22, 2008 7:48 AM

I doubt in this day and age that the New Yorker would publish a cartoon like this with the intent of ripping someone off, and think they could get away with it. Like the editors think they are the only ones who ever heard of Kirby.

It's a homage.

Posted by hal | May 22, 2008 7:51 AM

If you have a passing familiarity with comics from this era, the Kirby-style monster is immediately recognizable even if the specific cover isn't. This is clearly an homage; maybe the punchline could be the guy in the window phoning Larry Lessig.

Posted by Pete | May 22, 2008 8:19 AM

Jack Kirby died back in 1994 at the age of 76?!?! Now I do feel old...
Thankfully at age 80 Steve Ditko is alive and kicking.
Stan Lee is 85. Stan Lee started as a teenager in 1939, became editor in 1941 and the rest is history...

Posted by Bill W | May 22, 2008 8:20 AM

If the character is immediately recognizable, or if the New Yorker mention's the source material, or the artist cites the source material: it is an homage.

If it is not immediately recognizable and they did not mention where they got it from- then it is plagiarism.

From what I can tell, Dan, this actually IS an homage. Not a single thing was changed except the man in the window, and since it has already been established that this marshmallow fiend is easily recognizable to comic-fans, I'm fairly certain the artist knew exactly what he was doing.

And this is coming from a professional illustrator who is extremely paranoid about plagiarism.

Posted by MarsAttack | May 22, 2008 8:24 AM

12 has it perfectly.

Posted by Graphic designer | May 22, 2008 8:31 AM

I'm just glad someone finally captured an image of the monster that's been living on the side of my building the last four nights.

Ooops -- gotta go -- time for another booty bump, and gotta find the teeth that fell out last night. And fold clothes...fold, fold, and fold.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | May 22, 2008 8:34 AM

Speaking of design plagiarism, here's a great blog on the subject:

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | May 22, 2008 8:55 AM

Most art produced today, is one big hommage/rip-off. It's not reportage.

Move on.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 22, 2008 9:33 AM

Besides which, that article is from the NY Post, which is barely more credible than the Enquirer.

Posted by rb | May 22, 2008 9:58 AM

it looks like a rip off to me.

oh and jack "captain america" kirby was the greatest american artist of all time.

Posted by SeMe | May 22, 2008 11:02 AM

Roy Lichtenstein never got busted for plagiarism:

Posted by elswinger | May 22, 2008 11:33 AM

Meh- that's homage. There's a more troubling story with David Mack:
, but that's probably of less general interest.

Posted by zachd | May 22, 2008 11:48 AM

Not about this image, but if you haven't seen this:

Posted by Gabe | May 22, 2008 12:15 PM

Jack Kirby, bleh. Superheroes, bleh. The genius of comic art was Alex Kotzky's work on "Apartment 3-G" in the 1960s.

Posted by Fnarf | May 22, 2008 12:30 PM

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