Aside from the issue where Batman chucks a car battery at a thug in a junkyard, another one of my childhood favorites was a story from a couple years earlier where a psychopath was going around Gotham City dressed as Batman, using his techniques and methodology to further his own sinister, murderous ends.
Well, not to get all melodramatic here or anything, but tonight, I know exactly how Batman felt about that.
See, thanks to the ever-vigilant Adam Ford of Monkey Punch Dinosaur! fame, it’s come to my attention that there’s a guy down in Argentina who has made it a habit to take ISB entries that I’ve written, translate them into Spanish, and then post him over at his own site without any form of credit whatsoever in a pretty amazing example of wholesale content thievery.
And I’m not talking about just lifting an image, or discussing the same issue or something. This is the Internet, after all, and that’s bound to happen a little bit. But this is different: He’s outright stealing ‘em, to the point where he even took my “Diagram of Computo” (originally posted August 4, 2006)…
…and photoshopped one of his own:
I mean, seriously. He even copied Brainiac’s signature. What the hell?
And from the looks of things, adding a couple of arms to a drawing is about the most original thing he’s managed to come up with. Clicking through the archives reveals that an overwhelming majority of the posts he’s done have been lifted entirely from the ISB, right down to the alt text for the images, which, for me, is the equivalent of the Grinch taking the very last can of Hoo Hash.
You can check out the archives for yourself, but rest assured: Even the one-panel gag posts I’ve done aren’t safe, and perhaps the most telling is this entry, where he–in a moment characterizing him as a truly epic douchebag–apologizes for not having the time to update as much as he wanted, and then offers a set of “best of” links, three of which are mine, one of which comes–I’m reasonably sure–from Dial B For Blog, and one of which “borrows” liberally from a piece I wrote for Prism.
And then he posts a picture stolen from the ISB. Which I recognize from the way the lettering’s been cleared up. Because, you know. I did that.
Which brings up another point: It’s not just me–although to be honest, my content provides the source for the majority of “his” stuff. He’s ripped off Dial B, MightyGodKing, Kevin Church, Jake Bell, Random Panels, and many more, I’m sure. Feel free to look through yourselves: It’s like a Comics Blogger Trivia Game, except that a normal game wouldn’t make you pissed off that somebody stole a piece you wrote eulogizing Arnold Drake.
Interestingly enough, as near as I can tell, he hasn’t once stolen from Dave Campbell, thus proving that even the scum of the Earth has standards.
Needless to say, I’m infuriated. Whether it shows or not, I put a lot of work into what I write here, and to be honest, I wouldn’t even mind if he was taking my stuff and translating it into Spanish if he’d bothered to credit any of it. This goes far beyond the standard annoyance and into something both shameless and disgraceful.
And here’s the kicker: The South American Bootleg version of the ISB just won an award, and that… Huh. I was gonna write a joke here, but it looks like I’m too darn mad.
So why tell you guys? Well, in theory, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you like me enough that you don’t wish me specific harm, and while I certainly wouldn’t advise you to follow my example of letting “Franco” know what a tool he’s being in his comments sections (although I’d certainly consider such thievery “objectionable”), I’d like to remind you of one thing:
Peter Parker once let a thief get away, folks. And I think we all know how that turned out.
You know, it’s pretty comforting to know that I can identify a problem, go to work, and then come home later to find that you guys have focused yourselves like a laser and scoured said problem from the face of the Internet. I mean really: After this, I’m seriously considering going into cult leadership.
Yes, as you’ve probably noticed if you tried to follow any of the links in the above post (or if you’ve read the comments section below), my Argentinian doppelganger has shut down his blog after a veritable tidal wave of ISB readers crashed into him, and I’d just like to offer a heartfelt thanks to everyone who left a comment here or sent an email. I thought about explaining just why I was so mad one more time, but from the looks of things, you guys already know pretty much how I feel.
Anyway, like I said: Thanks to everybody (including Mondo Comics for bending spacetime itself to retroactively award me their Blog of the Day), and if there’s anybody out there showing up from South America to enjoy the ISB, you’re more than welcome and I’m glad to have you, but I’m sorry to say that my grasp of Spanish starts and ends with “¡Dios Mio! ¡Un esqueleto!”
When you get right down to it, though, doesn’t the sight of a man punching out a polar bear transcend language?