News:Comic artist accuses David & Goliath owner of plagiarism

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April 27, 2007

Comic artist Dave "Shmorky" Kelly has accused artist Todd Goldman - owner of popular merchandising company David & Goliath - of plagiarism.[1] Kelly says Goldman's piece "Dear God Make Everyone Die" (featured in the Gold Digger exhibit at Jack Gallery) was traced from a panel of Kelly's comic, Purple Pussy.

In response, Goldman stated:

News:Comic artist accuses David & Goliath owner of plagiarism
I made a judgment error and did not research the background of this particular submission. My intention was not to copy Mr. Kelly.[2]
News:Comic artist accuses David & Goliath owner of plagiarism

Goldman also stated his intention to issue a formal apology, which Kelly has received, and to donate the proceeds of the sale of the piece to Kelly or a charity of his choice.

Since Kelly's initial accusation, other web cartoonists have joined in criticizing Goldman, including R. K. Milholland of Something Positive,[3] Scott Kurtz of PvP,[4] J. Grant and Mel Hynes of Two Lumps,[5] Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade,[6] and Erin Lindsey of Venus Envy[7]. Roman Dirge noted similarities between his character Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl, and those drawn by Goldman[8]. Other writers joined in, accusing Goldman of plagiarizing a number of sources. [9][10][11] Penny Arcade, PvP, Starslip Crisis, and several others all published strips explicitly referencing plagiarism or Dave Kelly's image, while Fetus-X artist Eric Millikin suggested the possibility of fair use of the image by Goldman.[12]

Goldman claimed that some of the other accusations are incorrect and reference his own art, stating that in 2006 he sent over 50 cease-and-desist letters to other artists for plagiarizing his work.[2]

This is the second lawsuit of its type surrounding Todd Goldman's company, David & Goliath, Inc. The clothing company was involved in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Just Born.[13] The case was filed on October 30, 2006, and deals with Section 43 of the Lanham Act.


  1. Holy cow, Todd (Goliath) Goldman ripped me off! - Dave "Shmorky" Kelly, Something Awful forums (April 6, 2007)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fur flies over squirrel - Las Vegas Sun (12 April, 2007)
  3. Todd Goldman is a hack, throw rocks at him. - R. K. Milholland, Something Positive (April 7, 2007)
  4. Webcomics Controversy - Scott Kurtz, PvP (April 9, 2007)
  5. Two Lumps - J. Grant and Mel Hynes (11 April, 2007)
  6. Lake Franzibald Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade (April 11, 2007)
  7. Venus Envy - Erin Lindsey (10 April, 2007)
  8. Kind of a Big Dealio - Roman Dirge (9 April, 2007)
  9. Lying In The Gutters - Rich Johnston (9 April, 2007)
  10. Swipe File: Thievery in the Comic Art Community - The Xenos (April 9, 2007)
  11. Todd Goldman: Art Thief? - Mike Tyndall
  12. Context is everything - Eric Millikin (11 April, 2007)
  13. JUST BORN, INC. v. DAVID & GOLIATH, INC., filed October 30, 2006