Robot 6

Will plagiarism affect Shia LaBeouf’s planned BOOM! project? [Updated]

labeouf-campaign bookThe connection between actor Shia LaBeouf and the comics world predates Monday’s revelation that he appropriated — without credit, permission or the legal rights to do so — much of Daniel Clowes’ Justin M. Damiano for his short film HowardCantour.com. In 2012, he self-published a few comic books, which received mostly perplexed reviews.

It also appears that, at least at one point, LaBeouf planned to bring a release from his Campaign Book imprint to BOOM! Studios.

On Dec. 4, 2012, LaBeouf announced on his @thecampaignbook Twitter account that a book titled Hotah had picked up a “publishing partner,” BOOM! Studios. Accompanying the tweet was a piece of art (above) with the BOOM! Town logo — it’s the imprint that released Shannon Wheeler’s Eisner-winning collection I Thought You Would Be Funnier — with a version of the same image, logo intact, used as LaBeouf’s Twitter background.

The Campaign Book is characterized as “an independent art book publisher based out of downtown Los Angeles”; Hotah was described in October 2012 on the blog page of art collective Aorta VI as a “full-length tale” published by The Campaign Book, targeted for release in 2013.

Hotah also appears on the Campaign Book website, but with no mention of BOOM! Studios’ involvement. There isn’t any sign online of an official announcement of the partnership from BOOM! Studios; no press release links the two projects beyond the tweet and Twitter background image.

A BOOM! Studios representative declined comment when asked by CBR News whether the project is still active.

UPDATED (8:45 a.m.): BuzzFeed and writer Josh Farkas have found that, for his comics Let’s Fucking Party and Stale N Mate, LaBeaouf “borrows heavily” from writers Charles Bukowski and Benoît Duteurtre, even lifting entire passages from the latter’s novel The Little Girl and the Cigarette.

LaBeouf continued his apology this morning on Twitter, writing, “I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart,” the same words used in 2009 by golfer Tiger Woods. He followed that with, “I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why,” which The Film Stage points out is a slightly modified passage from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s 1995 memoir. And then LaBeouf, who now now appears to be trolling his critics, concluded the round of tweets with, “It starts with this … I’m sorry @danielclowes,” which replicates Kanye West’s public apology to Taylor Swift.

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16 Comments

Some people just should stay in front of the camera.

The funny thing is that the lines from Bukowski, etc. in the comics would likely be seen as sly references or homages, if not for his more blatant instances of plagiarism with Clowes and in his apology to Alec Baldwin.

The other stuff… like finding that his apology “It starts with this…” is a rip-off of Kanye West, is actually turning into a theater of the absurd at this point, as I’m sure that’s been used by hundreds of people in apologies. But at this point, no sentence this guy writes will ever be given the benefit of the doubt again.

At what point do we say that this is a Joaquin Phoenix level of performance art?

Matthew, I think it’s safe to say that he passed that point with the McNamara line.

If you google “famous apologies” the TIME top 10 list is the first result. All three (Kanye, Tiger, and McNamara) are all on the list. Expect the next tweet to be “Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky….”

There’s no way those last three apologies weren’t done knowingly and intentionally.

I LOL’d so hard at this. Shia is digging his own grave. I’m starting to think that he isn’t taking any of this seriously and he believes he will get off lightly in legal terms, in popularity terms, and in career terms. Can’t wait to see how far this douche will fall.

The sad thing is that he thinks he’s being a provocative artiste. The reality is that he’s a rich movie star who’s stealing from a creator much poorer than him, in a medium with a long history of creator exploitation. His approach may be novel, but in the wide view, he’s engaging in the medium’s most embarrassing cliché.

Cass,

I agree one hundred percent. The sad part is that Shia has been quoted as saying “I’ve made enough money to live 25 lifetimes…” If that’s the case, then why steal from Clowes, who clearly hasn’t. Why not start your own production company with your rich Hollywood friends, and approach Clowes with an offer to the rights?

He seems obsessed with coming off as some creative amateur indy type, which he assuredly is not.

To answer the question posed in the headline: it sure as shinola should. BOOM!, or any publisher, would be incredibly foolish to put out any project with this turd’s name on it. They’d just be asking for lawsuits.

This is a deeply insecure young man who wants to be seen as an intellectual instead of the Transformers guy.

If he tries to pass this off as performance art, that should be it for his career. If it was performance art, he probably wouldn’t have had to get caught first.

yeah, he’s in the “LOL Social experiment” phase. At this point any press he gets is feeding the troll.

I really hope BOOM drops his ass.

Johnny Sarcastic

December 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

The real problem is that nothing will happen. Nothing of consequence, anyway. He might get sued and lose, but he’ll lose a fraction of money. He might lose some credibility, but probably not enough to stop getting work … and, even if he does, he’s already made so much money he probably wouldn’t care, anyway. Even if he does fall from grace, the only thing Hollywood loves more than a remake is a comeback.

Rich people have different rules, no matter how much we would all like to believe otherwise.

As a co-creator of said project “Hotah” I’d like to say that Shia LaBeouf has been a very great person to us. He went out of his way and believed in our art and zines when no one else would. He helped us to workshop the idea and didn’t even want to put his name on the book.

We are just as confused as everyone else is about current events, but we still believe in our project and stand by Shia as a partner in the publishing “Hotah.”

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