The EscherGirls Debacle




(UPDATE) According to a post at The Mary Sue, Mr. Queen has apparently retracted the lawsuit threats and apologized. Good on him.

So, for those of you who don’t frequent Tumblr, there’s this blog on the site known as EscherGirls. It’s mission statement is basically to critique (and occasionally mock) poorly drawn female anatomy in comics and other media.

Apparently, an artist named Randy Queen feels that critique of his artwork is a personal attack on him and decided to throw the adult version of a tantrum.

He sent a bunch of DMCA takedown notices to Tumblr, which resulted in Tumblr removing both the posts critiquing his artwork as well as any reblogs of those posts, showing a pretty deep ignorance of how fair use works.* Then, when the mod of EscherGirls had the audacity to write a post to let similar blogs know about the situation, he e-mailed he threatening to sue her for defamation. This post about the situation from the blog Popehat (which is run by an actual lawyer) explains why that is bullshit way better than I can, so I will just go with my own opinion here.

Ever hear of the Streisand effect? Basically, the harder you struggle to get rid of embarrassing shit, the more that shit is going to end up getting spread around.

This is pretty much what’s happening here. Basically the more notices this guy sends, the more people become aware of what’s happening, and he ends up looking more and more like an asshole.

So, basically my advice to Mr. Queen is to grow a thicker skin. Not everyone is going to like what you put out, and learning to accept criticism is part of being an artist.


*Fair Use basically means that you can use copyrighted material without asking for permission first if it is for the purposes of parody, education, or criticism. 

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