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More Art Theft?

The creator of the manga-style webcomic Shonen Punk is accusing a small-press webmanga repackager of re-publishing his work without acquiring permission, or providing compensation.

From the creator's LiveJournal:

Back in 2005 purrsia press Contacted me about publishing Shonen Punk! I thought The place looked a little seedy , but took a chance and sent them a CD with the first chapter of shonenpunk! They requested a hardcopy instead. I never sent one out due to lame personal problems. I never eard from them after that. [...] Now zoom on over to 2007. Here I am bored googling shonen punk! when what do i find? Purrsia press has just published Shonenpunk as of feb. 2007.

The creator says that no permission was ever given to Purrsia to print this material, and is asking for advice on how to handle the matter.

I do not know if the above is true or not, but it sounds very disturbing, and not entirely unlikely. I don't know anything about Purrsia Press, or, for that matter, much of anything about Shonen Punk (though it looks pretty good, and I may have to start reading it now). But, as always, I am inclined to believe the cartoonist. That's what webcomics fans like me, you know, do. Unfortunately, Shonen Punk is not as well-known to old-time webcomics insiders as Purple Pussy, and Purrsia Press does not appear to be quite so successful in its business dealings as you-know-who, so there's less likely to be an enormous outcry over the netertubes.

Hopefully, this will turn out to have been a misunderstanding (the creator did submit the work to the publisher -- and never heard back from them).

Most webcartoonists are not equipped to deal with this kind of thing -- or even to know that it has happened to them. I'm starting to wonder if there shouldn't be a sort of early warning system devoted to finding and publicizing claims of this sort. Maybe just a blog or a messageboard or something. I dunno. I wouldn't want to run it. It would be a big fat target for abuse (and for libel suits). So. Yeah. Probably not. Ah well.

Link

this might help!

I’m an artist who has done work for purrsia before.

First… they only print a hand full of copies (I forget the exact number) and they only pay artist with free copies. Diving the number of copies printed in half. They print minni comics… basically 8 by 11 pages folded in half.

http://www.geocities.com/purrsiapress/submissions.html

This isn’t a big operation we are talking about. But they have been around and do what they can to sell the copies they have. This can be helpful for anyone trying to break in. but no one here is really making any money! When I first announced my webcomic was picked up by them… a few guys out there warned me to be careful. so I stood on top of them… if I didn’t constantly check out there site, I wouldn’t have known when issues my work was in came out. and then I had to nag them about why didn’t they let me know and when am I getting my copies.

Basically their just a little disorganized… they may not be the friendliest guys in the world but trust me I’ve dealt with worse!

It’s not like the guy at the company said “hey heres a comic I drew” and ripped the original artist off. They gave him credit and probably would have sent him his free copies when they got around to it. I wouldn’t have made a big case about this. But purrsia press does need to make changes if they want to grow!

By the way my comic has now been picked up by another small company (equally shady) for a continuing series. And that was thanks to purrsia. So printing with these guys wasn't all bad. Like I said they might be small but we all need to start somewhere.

HTTP://battlecry.comicgen .com -That’s right comicgen!

Later…

this might help

gecko200's picture

  yeah, I totally agree with you jer, might be a little...different but I've dealt with shadier companies and people.

I've heard a similar story

WillieHewes's picture

I've heard a similar story about Purrsia Press before, involving two people in the UK manga collective Sweatdrop (if I remember correctly). As they had both moved far beyond the stuff they once sent to Purrsia they both shrugged and let it go. Purrsia press seems to be of the opinion that anything sent in to them is theirs forever.

The weird thing is that they seem like such a small player; I can't imagine they're making any significant money by it. *shrug* If Shonenpunk man wants to take it further I wish him all the luck, but I doubt there's anything to be had from there. Maybe he can forge a 'cease and desist' letter from an imaginary lawyer and scare them.

Comics by a girl who likes sad things (but sometimes they are funny) - www.williehewes.co.uk

Comics by a girl who likes sad things (but sometimes they are funny) - www.williehewes.co.uk

That's...not exactly a good idea

Black_Kitty's picture

[quote=WillieHewes]Maybe he can forge a 'cease and desist' letter from an imaginary lawyer and scare them.[/quote]

I don't think that's a good idea. I'm not 100% sure but I think it's illegal to pretend to be a lawyer. At the very least if they make some calls and report you, you'll get a letter from an actual lawyer about what you're doing.

http://www.acrylicmoon.com

Carl Lazlo, Esq. doesn't

Carl Lazlo, Esq. doesn't worry about it.

Understood

[quote]I get defensive.[/quote]

I know, I remember. I even took swipes at you over a year ago. I couldn't resist. Sharks and the smell of blood, created a good publicity generating feeding frenzy. yum. Anytime you need a whipping boy, just let me know. Video game violence, declining state of comics, I won't take it personal.

[quote]If your point is that great artists can be on Geocities, I agree.[/quote]

Yep, that's what I meant.

"About a year ago?" If it's

Joey Manley's picture

"About a year ago?" If it's the time I'm thinking about, I think I was the one picking the fight -- with the whole world. And I still don't know why. That one? That one was my bad.

Ha, that's the one. I never

Ha, that's the one. I never got a chance to thank you for that meltdown.. so now that we're talking about it. Thanks.

Can I just say...

Black_Kitty's picture

I'm not an expert on comic publishing but I know that any self respecting company would not host their site on Geocities. The artist was right that the place looks a bit off. I would have been concerned too.

 

http://www.acrylicmoon.com

I have a friend who knows a

Jamie Robertson's picture

I have a friend who knows a couple of the guys at Purrsia Press, and I have met them once or twice myself. I don't want to say too much publicly or speculate, but yeah, a bit off describes them well.

Clan of the Cats

The point is moot

Black_Kitty wrote:
... any self respecting company would not host their site on Geocities.
As opposed to the status of... webcomicsnation? [everyone but joe can see that], or myspace, or... I don't really see what respect is gained by being on these services.

Oh. So you're one of those

Joey Manley's picture

Oh. So you're one of those people who are going to say snide things about me and my website just because I'm here, not because my website has got anything to do with the subject at hand. I'm here, which reminded you that my website existed, so you decided to pull out the snark. Sorry. I forgot I was on comixpedia for a minute. I'll not make that mistake for a while, thanks. Forgive me for participating in the community. I'll stay clear. Goodbye.

You took that the wrong way.

I'm not knocking your accomplishments. My point was; I don't belive being on geocities means you're not a legit comic artist. If that were the case, no-one would use myspace or AOL at all... for anything.

Does anyone think they need to be part of a collective, like Drunk Duck, in order to make comics and be cool? Of course not. That's all I'm sayin.

Since when did company=artist? :S

Black_Kitty's picture

[quote=Compugasm]

My point was; I don't belive being on geocities means you're not a legit comic artist. If that were the case, no-one would use myspace or AOL at all... for anything.

Does anyone think they need to be part of a collective, like Drunk Duck, in order to make comics and be cool? Of course not. That's all I'm sayin.

[/quote]

And I never said that either. How does company = comic artist? :S

Here's the way I see it: anybody who wishes to launch into some kind of business should invest in getting their own webspace. This isn't me being snide or snobby. This is just simply an image issue. If you're not willing to invest money on yourself and your company/publishing group/money making endeavor, then you're going to have to try extra hard to convince me that you're willing to invest money on me.

I never said that artists can't use Geocities. Where did you get that from?

http://www.acrylicmoon.com

[Edit: And when I say company = comic artists, I'm talking about the words themselves. The word "company" isn't interchangeable with "comic artists." I just want to get that clear so I wouldn't have people telling me that comic artists can form companies too. :P]

*whew*

Joey Manley's picture

*whew*

Okay. Sorry.

Over the years, there have been lots of people who have picked fights with me here on Comixpedia in order to ... I don't know. You know how it goes, if you've ever been in any web community anywhere. I get defensive. I've promised myself not to oblige anybody who is trying to pick a fight with me. I usually (IMHO -- ha!) win the fights but lose in more serious ways behind the scenes, when that happens. It's better to be happy and friendly all the time, you know?

If your point is that great artists can be on Geocities, I agree. I found the work of one of my all-time favorites, Derek Kirk Kim, back when he was still on GeoCities. (Um. I then urged him to get off GeoCities, and gave him free hosting on one of my servers, which I still do).

Great artists can also be found on WCN and MySpace.

Especially WCN. ;)

The benefits/unbenefits of being on a free webcomics hosting service (or a free non-webcomics hosting service) is a good topic, but probably deserves a whole new thread -- I feel like the actual subject of this thread is pretty important.

Joey

Target on your head

Don't worry, no-one would ever target you for anything. :)

Actually, the server cluster

Joey Manley's picture

Actually, the server cluster where WCN is hosted has been weathering an occasionally-successful and unusually prolonged DDOS attack for the last few days. That's what brought down the last server I tried to manage myself (thankfully, there are real and qualified server administrators on the case this time). I know that these things are usually random, but it does tend to make one paranoid ...