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These Drawings Don’t Just Appear Out of Thin Air

Last week, we had a Comic Book Characters/Video Game Characters themed edition of The Line it is Drawn. Bill Walko drew an excellent take-off on the Grand Theft Auto franchise with Grand Theft Auto: Gotham City.

You can check it out here.

The drawing has become popular on the internet, appearing on many different video game fan sites and stuff like that. Which is great. Except roughly half of them (probably more than half) do not even credit Bill Walko for drawing the piece. As bad as that is, it is a lot higher percentage than the ones who credit The Line it is Drawn as the source of the drawing, which appears to be roughly zero percent. I haven’t seen a single incoming link from a website featuring the drawing, despite it appearing on many different websites. If commenter TJCoolguy hadn’t mentioned it earlier today, I would not even have known it was a popular piece.

I see this frequently with the Line it is Drawn pieces. Another one I remember in particular was Caanan Grall’s excellent Mystique/Smurf piece from last year. I’d be on the Comic Book Resources’ message board and someone would post the drawing that they saw on some site talking about how great it was. No mention of either Caanan or the Line it is Drawn, though, of course.

As the title of this piece suggests, these drawings don’t just come out of the ether. People create them and if you’re going to post them on your site, please give the proper credit. Say the artist, note the source and preferably provide a link.

22 Comments

Internet culture has a lousy track record of respecting creators. We can do better, people.

I’m sorry, but welcome to the internet. People just want to share things they think are cool. On reddit, though, in the gaming section, the members are sticklers for giving credit where credit’s due, which is good.You would hope that people would understand that attributing something to the creator is meaningful and proper.

Thankfully, no one is acting like they drew that piece.

Bravo, Brian!

This is why I’ve started putting the address of my DeviantArt page on every piece I do for TLIID. It’s great to see a piece you did go viral & get spread around, but it feels crappy when you don’t get acknowledged for it. I’ve seen it happen with some of my pieces on Tumblr before I was on Tumblr.

Maybe we should work up some sort of TLIID watermark to put on our pieces from here on out?

I’m sorry, but welcome to the internet. People just want to share things they think are cool.

That doesn’t make it right, Vichus. People need to stop taking this stuff for granted. None of the LIID artists are getting paid for what we contribute to the site, so recognition is what helps make it worth our while. TLIID is fun and I’m happy to do it, but c’mon, people. Give credit where it’s due!

Thanks for speaking up on this, Brian. Yeah, the internet is still a wild place where people want to share cool things quickly. Can’t talk much about the ones who do have a more malicious/selfish intent to not share credit so they get the “prestige” of being the first to share something. However, if you are really motivated by sharing cool stuff, it’s just as cool to share the source information, too, so that people can see if there’s more things here at CBR that would also be of interest. That, and it’s a better measure of respect for someone’s work to acknowledge them by name rather than just taking the unique product of their mind and hands and leaving them anonymous. That’s a lazy kind of selfishness.

Yep. This one hurt a bit. My “Wonder Woman Disney Princess” piece went pretty viral, yet pretty much everyone gave me credit as the artist. But the “Grand Theft Auto: Gotham City” piece… I’ve seen all over with NO credit, including the Reddit post!!

Another Facebook page posted it, getting 38,590 likes and 3,652 shares — and no credit of link-back to me or “The Line Is Drawn”. That’s building site traffic off my work and Brian’s weekly efforts, and that’s kinda wrong.

The bottom line is, many of these guys should know better. They know the value of content, credits and link-backs.

The slant of many of these posts were around the excitement at the prospect of the game. I get that. Just credit the artist, people. As Brian said, these things don’t come out of thin air!

That’s why I made Facebook Friends with all the Line Artists and make damn sure to credit them for every link I post their work

This is something we see happen on CBR quite often, which is why we have to put a watermark on exclusive images. Every content site goes through this, and that’s really the only solution. We don’t love it, either.

Maybe it’s time to put a small watermark on TLIID images — maybe a little badge?

Dang, I finally get a mention in an article, and it has to be one about people being jerks.

Anyway, I will continue to do what I said in my original comment (and what I hope everyone else from here will join me in) and tell the people putting it up where it came from and who drew it.

It’s easy to hate on people sharing without attribution, but the vast majority of people doing it have not personally come to tLiiD and grabbed the artwork. They ran across it on some other page and wanted to share it with some friends. As far as they know, there never was any attribution to pass along.

So sign your artwork. Been the way to get credited for as long as there have been artists.

It’s easy to hate on people sharing without attribution, but the vast majority of people doing it have not personally come to tLiiD and grabbed the artwork. They ran across it on some other page and wanted to share it with some friends. As far as they know, there never was any attribution to pass along.

Again, doing the wrong thing without malicious intent doesn’t suddenly make it right.

So sign your artwork. Been the way to get credited for as long as there have been artists.

This part I agree with.

This is a good issue to rant about, but in order to really make an impact you need to give people the tools to credit images (in this respect I’m talking about when people see an uncredited picture somewhere and want to repost it elsewhere).

So, good tools in this case would be emphasising the usefulness of google’s reverse image searches (and other reserve search engines) etc. Also, this add-on (available for both Firefox and Chrome) makes reverse searching as easy as right-clicking on the picture: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/image-search-options/

As someone that occasionally reblogs the great pictures from here, I make sure to always 1. credit the artist, 2. credit the site/column and 3. give a link back to the original article. Considering one email from CSBG’s lawyer could make me take it down, it seems driving traffic back here is the right thing to do.

When things go viral those credits tend to drop even if the first wave would do it…sooner or later someone drops the ball.

Me, I have shared couple of pics from TLIID on my FB wall but always also included the link here, and also given links when some friend has posted a piece (at least that Mystique/Smurf pic did indeed go viral), also as a service to the poster in case he/she wasn’t aware of the greatness that is TLIID.

Some watermark might still be a good idea though.

Watermarks would help, of course, but the problem is, as Jonah obviously knows well, is that watermarks are annoying. But yeah, perhaps we will have to go that route in the future.

Xum worked up a TLIID logo for our group page on Deviant Art (Seen here: http://the-line-it-is-drawn.deviantart.com/). Maybe we could just work up a variation of that that we could all stick on the corner of our pieces?

Maybe a 6 point font on the side with the CSBG website and a tLiiD logo watermark. At minimum, the artist should put their own website on it.

I can rig up a thin “blue line” border similar to the top of the DC Comics and Marvel comic page art boards. That way we can put in the URL and artist name as well. That may be a little less annoying since it won’t obscure the art.

We can discuss this offline, of course.

I think it’s almost more depressing that Walko’s Break-in at Tiffany’s DIDN’T go viral. That one needs a re-release when the world is ready for its greatness.

I think it’s almost more depressing that Walko’s Break-in at Tiffany’s DIDN’T go viral. That one needs a re-release when the world is ready for its greatness.

I’ve got a print of that one hanging up at my day job. :)

Ugh. That’s part of what’s got me stalled on starting What Were They Thinking?! again. Some guy on one of those LOL sites kept making images from them, using either my punchlines or ones from the comments.

Go for the watermark, says I.

“I think it’s almost more depressing that Walko’s Break-in at Tiffany’s DIDN’T go viral.”

Thanks, glad you liked it! That one had some viral juice, too. I saw it making rounds on Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest. And people pretty much credited me. But it wasn’t AS viral as GRAND THEFT AUTO.

I think with GRAND THEFT AUTO: GOTHAM CITY, a huge segment posted it more about the excitement of the game concept. I noticed some people thought this was in development or something, which I guess is a compliment. LOL.

I DO sign ALL my work, so hopefully if the art intrigued people they’d do a google search on “walko art” and find some quick results. I’m loathe to adding a credit line to evert piece of art; We’ll see….

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