I know you are all sick of LaBeouf-gate, but while we in the comics trenches have been laughing at Labeouf’s twitter and skywriting antics over the last few weeks—and such entertainment figures as Patton Oswalt have been merciless on Twitter—we’ve been curious to see if he would become a comedy punchline. While we haven’t stayed up on our last night comedian monologs, the award show embargo was broken at the Golden Globes last night, when Jim Carrey came out and said “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard,” and added, after a beat, “I believe it was Shia LaBeouf who said that. So young, so wise,” to quite a bit of laughter.

Carrey himself hasn’t shied away from doing and saying crazy stuff recently. (Remember his Kick-Ass 2 junket boycott?) so his throwing shade on Shia isn’t really a sign that Tinsel Town has ordered an official shunning of the young Transformers star. But I think Jimmy Kimmel needs to be monitored closely by the LaBeouf camp.


  1. Let’s talk about Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler and how they need to write a comic together.

    I don’t care what it is. Just make it happen, powers that be.


    Carrey maybe (or was) a funny guy but this is NO laughing matter:
    LaBeouf has taken material from Clowes — HE ADMITS IT and he now dares Clowes to do anything about .. and in fact Clowes may not be able to do anything about it – we should all watch closely to see just what Clowes is actually able to do – and even if Clowes (a famous guy w top layers) is able to do something — will YOU actually be able to do something about it if LaBeouf “adapts” your work next, then admits it and then claims this is his right ???
    As I see it: This is NOT LaBeouf-gate, this is Google/Facebook/SiliconValley&structure-of-the-web-Gate, as they have built something that monetizes all links to the work (Aka: where they sell most of their advertising) but de-monetized the content itself, which means, far as I can see or understand: copyright is (or is quickly becoming) un-inforceable or otherwise worthless.

    So are you fair game If you publish on the web or allow others to publish your work on the web? I think this is likely the case ..or going there fast.

  3. “Let’s talk about Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler and how they need to write a comic together.

    I don’t care what it is. Just make it happen, powers that be.”

    God, yes. They killed last night. “Just like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio!”

  4. “Clowes may not be able to do anything about it”

    I’m pretty sure I read a news item saying that a lawsuit was being pursued. Am I wrong about that?

    “…isn’t really a sign that Tinsel Town has ordered an official shunning of the young Transformers star”

    Hasn’t Shia been in like seven Spielberg-related movies? There’s absolutely no chance that Hollywood will ever shun him in any sweeping manner.

  5. this is probably more publicity than clowes could have ever paid for. that doesnt make it right and it doesnt mean he shouldnt continue to persue all his legal options, but i also think hes going to come out of this whole fiasco just fine. its not like lebeouf made any money off that short film either.

  6. “its not like lebeouf made any money off that short film either.”

    But it pretty much kills the possibility of anyone else wanting to adapt it, because it’s already been done. Instead of getting some option money and a possible movie of ““Justin M. Damiano” someday to provide income and boost his graphic novel sales, he gets a short film made without his permission that wasn’t intended to make money.

    It’s one thing if a fan with no budget throws together a fake preview for Youtube. It’s another thing when a famous actor lines up some fairly well known actors and takes it to Cannes.

  7. Perhaps most importantly, the express wishes of an artist and how they want their work handled and by whom is at stake. While I sincerely hope Clowes is handsomely compensated from La-Douche’s Transformers money pile, hyperbole aside, I think @horatio weisfeld brings up some important issues related to creator rights in a new world order of content distribution.

  8. Well, if Shia LaBeouf had any doubts about whether his peers were laughing at him behind his back, this ends the speculation. He’s burned other bridges professionally, like when he dissed Crystal Skull as being a not very good movie. When Spielberg was asked to comment on this, he refused to discuss it.

  9. I don’t see how Clowes “may not be able to do anything about it” — LaBeouf has pretty much acknowledged he stole the work knowingly. Whether it made money or not is irrelevant; and even if LaBeouf insists that he is trying to make some point about how copyright is irrelevant in the digital age, the bottom line is that he still broke current laws by infringing on and stealing someone else’s IP.

    I find it appalling that someone in the film industry–which has been trying to fight IP piracy and educate people about the importance of respecting copyright–seems totally dismissive of fundamental artists’ rights. Esp. someone who considers himself an artist, and has been friends and championed by people like Steven Spielberg (I mean, I can’t imagine that Spielberg would ever give a pass for this kind of behavior.)

    What makes it worse is that LaBeouf seems intent on almost mocking the whole situation and Clowes. It would be one thing if he was fighting some Goliath, but it’s quite a spectacle to see LaBeouf, who as a successful movie star is part of the entertainment establishment, make light of an alternative comics/film person with much less name recognition. It is essentially bullying.

    If LaBeouf’s “apologies” are to be taken seriously, his attorneys should simply be sitting down with Clowes’ attorneys and make a commitment to make amends, which includes appropriately renumerating (and crediting) Clowes as the source material for the short film.

    As an aside, my small press table was the one behind him at the San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago when he temporarily took over a booth. I have to admit, I never understood his appeal, even at the beginning. Glad to know my dislike of him wasn’t misplaced.

  10. Marina Hyde entertainingly mocked The Great Pretender in a column in the Guardian last weekend. She also resurrected a 2008 GQ interview in which he showed early signs of his amazingly original artistic vision,
    Shia LaBeouf: the most messed-up former Disney star de nos jours

    this is probably more publicity than clowes could have ever paid for.

    There’s a school of thought that to survive in this world we’re all required to combine the roles of huckster and mark, and of pimp and ho. Elements of Team Comics might seem to offer a good deal of confirmation of this line of argument, but it isn’t really true. It’s not obligatory to willingly whore yourself out, and if you’re dragged off the street and screwed by some rich ‘artiste’, you don’t have to comfort yourself with how you can monetize the experience.

    This ceased some time ago to be simply about plagiarizing stories. Clowes himself is being deliberately co-opted into this ‘performance’ as a straight-man for LaBeouf’s mockery.

  11. i guessing the chances of Clowes ever making much money on the adaptation of that short story is quite slim. im also guessing the amount of publicity Clowes is getting that leads to nice paying gigs or sales of adaptation rights from this is quite large.

    i could be wrong but financially and career wise i think Clowes comes out of this in better shape than he went in.

    as for Clowes’ legal and artistic rights that were trampled by LaBeouf, yes, that sucks, and it is not cool and it is a dangerous precedent if allowed to go unchallanged. however, everyone and everything has a price. LaBeouf should meet that price, preferably voluntarily but under order of court if necessary.

  12. “..sales of adaptation rights from this is quite large..”
    @Jaroslav Hasek:
    Am I understanding what you’re suggesting: someone taking your work, without your permission, and then announcing that they don’t have to pay for it (aka: telling everyone they think it is WORTHLESS) is going to lead to persons, like, say, lawyers – you know– the guys who really put together the offers in contracts, thinking they should pay more for your work in the future – ?

Comments are closed.