The Tale of Three Funnies

Back in 2008 there was a news article about the cartoon character “Popeye the Sailorman”, stating that the authors copyright was to run out in January 2008, it was 70 years since E.C. Segar(1919-1938) created his character, 1938 + 70 = 2008. I thought to myself, interesting, what can I do with this iconic figure that is aligned to our current ideas about society?

(copyright under fair use)

 

I decided to to look around and see what is the growing trend in norms in places like California, bang it hit me, “Drugs”, they were legalizing cannabis, mmm, being an Artist freed from some corporate copyright restrictions I had a poetic license to transform poor old Popeye to my hearts content.

In walks “Dopeguy the Dealer”, I decided to use one of the very popular images as a base, the one Bud Sagendorf drew to promote Popeye, when he speaks, “I yam what I yam!”, I changed that to “I bong when I can!”, it fit. After much creative work I posted it to Redbubble, it was no great success, but I thought that I was being tongue and cheek enough so the community could see how I transformed him into to a modern equivalent.

My upload

 

Time passes, April 2018, I get an email from Redbubble saying that the Copyright stake holder Hearst Holdings Inc. says I am in breach of copyright, mmm, it seems the USA has extended it copyright laws to 95 years, that means 2033. The rest of the world can use it but not in the USA, so rather than argue with the simple facts about what constitutes differences in character, I just redrew the character so nothing can be said about similarities that lawyers would pick and claim ownership. Redbubble have been excellent in these matters and I highly recommend buying their products, there range and quality are great.

My current picture

 

If you like my version, grab a Tshirt here
https://www.redbubble.com/people/artoj/works/31469647-dopeguy-the-dealer?asc=u

This and many other experiences has made me realize that any character I create, will be given freely to the public after my passing, any benefits are there for anybody to exploit. I would rather leave this planet a little, happier or better than I arrived, regards Arto.

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One Response to “The Tale of Three Funnies”

  1. Cono Says:

    Dear brother, we were all so happy upon your arrival … a prelude to a goodbye after death. The stupid men who poison the world with their silly claims, come from the same size and will return where they came from … no one can prevent the Crabgrass from continuing to rise, just as a Rose will continue to bloom even in the midst of the scrub. We are made of the same matter of dreams: impalpable and fallen every time the sun rises on the horizon. I love your spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

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