i was asked by the clowns at weiden & kennedy (the big ad agency) if i knew of any "hip" cartoonists to work on a big 'secret' project (they wouldn't divulge the client). i told them about clowes (among others). later i found out that it was COCA COLA and that they conned him into using his art for only like a grand (what a rip for a COKE label!). i felt bad.
so, later on, i did this poster and did a parody of "ok" soda that they used his image on (it was envisioned by the corporate geniuses as a soda designed for computer geeks - high fructose and high caffeine with a cloying sweet flavor and 'hipster cred'. they even used the "ok" icon from computer screens as logo). i, of course, did 'cancel' soda and (without asking) used dan's more real character from his comics (forget his name now). then i crushed the plastic bottle and spilled some piss and tossed in a used condom and a ciggy butt (looks just like the floor of the empty bottle after a show). this was a chicago show, so i figgered he'd see it, but i sent him five copies just to make sure. then i put "with apologies to dan clowes" in the credit line. i think he got the joke ok.
since then he's gotten even by making jokes in my direction - for instance there was an article in print magazine a few years back and he put a teeny little photo credit to me next to his photo. i have no recollection of ever taking his picture.
anyway, i'm still looking for a way to get back at him...
i agree, conceptually similar and even directly copycatted creative work has been done time and time again without problem (for instance look at my 'career' - from BOTH sides of that concept). i'm not saying this poster concept, however weak and direct it might be, is a BAD concept. that's not my point. what i'm saying is that if you are going to poke sticks at corportae monsters, be careful which corporate monster you poke at. this is such a direct lift (do the shadows on the banana match?) of such a famous 'trademarked' image that to even attempt to do this without edotorializing a least a LITTLE is like giving donald rumsveld a swift kick in the nuts ("it's for art and politics!"). it's all going to depend on how pissed he gets and whether or not his lawyers on staff (constantly trying to drum up billable hours to justify their keep) feel they have the time and decide to make a pint to curry favor with their client. it has nothing to do with good/bad, right/wrong, just/unjust. it has to do with RISK. this one is a BIG risk.
i, for one, have worked very hard to avoid leaving my fate in the hands of sleeping cranky monsters.
some folks who might be interested in this poster:
1) the warhol foundation
3) lou reed
all these folks are well-known for their altruism and support of the arts in all of it's interesting permutations, especially copyright infringement. (note: this is sarcasm)
look, friends. there is a very simple rule of thumb when it comes to keeping yourself out of copyright infrngement trouble: if there is the slightest doubt that you are crossing the line, don't do it. simple
this crosses the line for several litiginous and nasty organizations and individuals who love squishing little folks under their heels.
brian - if i had gone any further, the coprorate dudes payng me would have backed out. as if was i was paid about $600 to do this, an "extreme" amount of money for me at that time. i was "extreme"ly happy they paid me at all. and frankly, as it was, they didn't get it anyway.