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Plagiarism allegations hit Bill Day in closing days of fundraising campaign
Eleven days before the close of an Indiegogo campaign to raise $35,000 to support the continuation of editorial cartoonist Bill Day’s career, comes an allegation that Bill used an image from the website DeviantArt in one of his cartoons without citation. The cartoon, on the topic of gun control, features an assault rifle with a capital dome on the end. The alleged sourced image is a 3D C6k Assault Rifle rendered for video game development by Zack FowlerYou). Bill’s cartoon was sent out through his syndicate, Cagle Cartoons, but the drawing has since been replaced on Cagle’s site with a hand drawn version of the cartoon.
When I contacted Daryl Cagle, who launched the Indiegogo campaign and syndicates Bill Day’s work for comment, Daryl says that when he was alerted to allegations of plagiarism he asked Bill about it and was told he “thought it was a photograph of a generic assault weapon that he altered for transformative, editorial purposes and [Bill] wasn’t aware of the artist who created the image.” Daryl asked him to redraw the cartoon, which Bill did “without objection.”
I have reached out to Bill for comment and will post his response when one is received.
Below are the art and cartoons in question:
The alleged 3D rendered image
Note: I have flipped the image so that it appears as it does in the cartoon below.
Bill’s cartoon with the same gun
Note: It appears small alterations were made to the image. The end of the stock has been removed to shorten up the gun. And it looks like a couple more small edits were made as well.
As for the Indiegogo campaign the campaign has raised $33,011 as of this writing. The intent of the campaign is to raise money to allow Bill to keep his home and provide an income for one year so he can continue drawing his editorial cartoons.
Full disclosure: Until today, I have been running an ad for the Indiegogo campaign on the site as a general token of support. I have removed that ad as of today.