Author and publisher Dave Eggers, a long-time favorite of mine, has raised eyebrows and suspicions for what many believe is a blatant rip-off of Philly based artist Ketch Wehr. His new book titled Is It Right To Draw Their Fur is a collection of drawings and writing by Eggers.
Two years ago, Ketch Wehr put together a wonderful art show of images using handmade font, everyday phrases and animals. (I love love LOVE this kind of work!) It’s recently come up that Eggers’ new book of drawings comes too close for comfort in comparison to Ketch’s work.
ARTIST: KETCH WEHR
FROM DAVE EGGERS BOOK: “IS IT RIGHT TO DRAW THEIR FUR”
Allow me to state as plainly as I can: I am not claiming Dave Eggers did directly rip-off Ketch. Eggers has long supported independent artists and businesses (often times making sure that only independent bookstores sell titles, or at least long before chains, in hopes to bring those stores more money). I have a hard time believing a clearly creative and talented guy would do something like this. I don’t want it to be true. It feels too… icky.
But one can’t deny the very close resemblance. And this raises an interesting point about being an artist in an internet age. When your work can be passed around the world instantly and usually, you have no way of knowing or tracking who has seen it or when, it can be a little scary and vulnerable.
Should artists stop sharing their work with us? NO, PLEASE, NEVER DO THAT! But learn a lesson: Copyright laws exist for a reason, so protect yourself and your creativity.
I hope that some sort of goodness can come from this situation that must feel like a kick in the stomach, and Ketch’s art gets more deserving attention. Please go to the facebook page below to show your support: