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