Shia LaBeouf's movie plagiarizes Daniel Clowes

Jacquelene Cohen, director of publicity & promotions for Fantagraphics Books, emailed me the following:
Shia LaBeouf's new short film, HowardCantour.com, is a complete rip off of Daniel Clowes's comic "Justin M. Damiano." Every-word from the 4 page comic created by Clowes in 2006 is used in the script for LaBeouf's directional debut. Clowes never authorized the use of his comic for HowardCantour.com. He had no knowledge that he had been plagiarized until today when the film was posted on Vimeo.

Comic Book Alliance has more:

The film, which was posted online earlier today but has since been removed, shares several similarities with Clowes’ short story, with lines that are lifted directly from the comic. Yet in an interview with the website Short of the Week, LaBeouf, who has been accused of plagiarism in the past, claims to have come up with the concept for the film organically, having been inspired by negative reviews he received for his lackluster comics work, as well as the films he has reportedly appeared in.

Notable Replies

  1. Whenever I see that name I always think of Sabrina Le Beauf. And then I think, "What? What'd she do wrong?" Nothing.

  2. How does shit like this happen? I just watched the film trailer, and there it is--"Most critics will give any movie three and a half stars if it flatters their self-image. I take it much more seriously." Straight out of the comic, panel six.

    How does shit like this happen? LaBeouf is not some desperate film-school student. He knows how the industry works, he's well-known and successful enough that he doesn't need tricks to get his name out, and he seems to be reasonably intelligent (or at least not, say, Kanye West stupid). What sort of fundamental disconnect from reality leads a guy like that to say "there is no way that any one person on Earth will ever both read this comic and see my movie"?

    Is it possible this is some kind of accident? Like, he meant it to be a credited adaption, and just...forgot?

  3. An ex of mine works in the hotel industry and has had him as a guest a couple of times. He is a dick. Straight up. The ex wasn't one to really talk badly about people, either.

    --
    I'm trying to edit a very small typo and it's yelling at me that they body is too similar to what I've recently posted and yeah, it totally is, because I'm trying to edit what I just posted. stuck_out_tongue

  4. Glitch says:

    LaBeouf has been in the hands of Hollywood since he was a young teen, and consequently he doesn't live in the same world as other people. I imagine he legitimately thought - not that he could get away with it - but that he wasn't even doing anything wrong, that no one "important" would notice or care, and that it's perfectly natural to succeed by making use of someone else's ideas "better" than they do.

    When people become celebrities and actually buy into the insanity and vapidness of the culture of fame and wealth, they lose connection with reality. They're constantly surrounded by bullshit, their prospects and fortunes inherently tied up in the whims of idiots and nutjobs who are only taken seriously because they pull the right strings and put money in the right pockets. To "succeed" in that world you have to play their game, and the more you do so, the less you remember what it is to be a normal person, to not live in some freakish nightmare of falsity and preening - you start to become crazy yourself.

    So yeah, the thought process was probably something along the lines of "Hey, this would make a great short film, I think I'll make it" and it never occured to him that anyone would care. After all, he's a film star, and this Clowe guy is just some comic book hack, right? Who's going to care? The comic book nerds and dweebs?

  5. So it's affluenza, then?

    Fuck that.

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