Upcoming projects from Studio LaBeouf: NINEBALL, FLOYD FLLEWELLYN, BAVID DORING, MILSON, LIKE A VELOUR MITTEN CAST IN BRONZE, GOATS WORLD
— James Urbaniak (@JamesUrbaniak) December 17, 2013
LaBeouf-Gate—in which an A-list young actor continues to dig himself deeper and deeper after cluelessly ripping off a Daniel Clowes comic as the basis for a short films because SQUIRREL!—has been developing on several fronts.
The Wrap spoke to some people close to LaBeouf which suggested that Daniel Clowes is weighing his legal options, even as Camp LaBeouf is possibly trying to work up a settlement offer.
LaBeouf’s overture may include a monetary settlement of some kind, though how much wasn’t immediately clear, as the film wasn’t meant to be a profitable enterprise. But a deal would almost surely include proper credit in the film’s credits, which previously made no mention of Clowes’ source material.
Fantagraphics associated publisher Eric Reynolds has been the public face of baffled outrage, telling Comics Alliance:
It was just a truly baffling move on LaBeouf’s part. I’ve seen people write that the only explanation to this is that LaBeouf must have believed he owned the rights to “Justin M. Damiano,” but not only did he not own the rights, he never even inquired about them, as far as I know. Besides, if he honestly believed that he legally owned the rights, whether he actually did or not, he would have properly credited the source material. He didn’t, and that fact is disturbing.
But the fact that he also apparently didn’t think he’d get busted submitting this to film festivals and making it available online in an effort to grease his own reputation is disturbing on an entirely different level, because it makes me wonder how he might have rationalized it himself. He’s gone on the record as a fan of Clowes, but this film is an alarmingly thoughtless way of showing it.
But there’s more and more developing. When LaBeouf broke in to the comics scene in 2012 as an indie cartoonist set up in Artist Alley at C2E2, most observers couldn’t help but be charmed by his seeming enthusiasm and sincerity, even as his weird, self-printed comics were labeled more “outsider art.” In other words, he got a pass. Now, however, a little googling has revealed that most of those comics are also plagiarized from folks like Bukowski and a little known French language comic.
LaBeouf is the creator of several niche comic books, which share themes, stories, and even direct language with writers that he never credited. In his book Let’s Fucking Party, LaBeouf borrows heavily from Bukowski. Where LaBeouf writes, “Poets bore me, they are shits. Snails. Snippets of dust in a cheap wind,” he is taking the quote directly from Bukowski’s poem “More Argument,” which can be read here.
As first noticed by comic writer Josh Farkas, who relayed his findings to BuzzFeed, LaBeouf also cobbled together lines from Bukowski’s poem “assault” for his self-published Let’s Fucking Party from April 2012. LaBeouf, who has spoken of his admiration for the late Bukowski, wrote:
You can see the comparisons at Buzzfeed, above and here.
And there’s still more. Albert Ching reminds us of a comic that was to be published at Boom!, now seemingly in limbo.
With LaBeouf’s propensity for plagiarism now as firmly entrenched as Seth Rogen’s liking a little puff now and then, he’s launching a charm campaign on Twitter. Following the discovery that LaBeouf’s original apology was lifted from Yahoo!, the actor has been on a ironic apology tour this morning, with regrets inspired by Tiger Woods, Robert McNamara and Kanya Woods — surely the holy trinity of contrition.
All is not bad new for LaBeouf: his role in the new Lars Von Trier film, Nymphomania has been getting notice for its explicit sex and nudity, including a genuine LaBeouf boner. And he’e currently filming Fury, a rousing WWII actioner co-starring Brad Pitt, because nothing stops controversy like fighting Nazis.
Finally, on a personal note, I’ve learned how to spell LaBeouf.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.