Make Louvre (Not War)

A comic by an artist who can't draw, so he steals...

The Beginnings of the Concept

To this day, whenever I pick up a newspaper, the first section I turn to is the comics. My favorite comics during the past 2 decades have been Doonesbury, Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, and This Modern World. I've often thought to myself, "I wish I could do that." I 've always had complete faith in myself that I could write a comic. When I was just 17, Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22 and Something Happened, told me I wrote "well" and I had "a sense of humor." Not to mention he even said, "You're also much better...than I am." (I love ellipses.)

The problem with my dream was my drawing ability stopped somewhere around stick figures. I briefly flirted with the idea of finding a partner, but I knew putting two creative minds in the same room could cause WWIII to erupt, so I sensibly avoided that path to doom. I put the dream on hold, and focused on my writing.

A few years ago, a friend and colleague, who knew about my writing abilities, as well as my ability to code HTML, convinced me to join the staff of this marvelous ezine. I'm not exactly sure when we started finding art to illustrate the poetry section. I have truly enjoyed searching for art that not only fits the poem, but which is also in the public domain. Recently, though, I recalled that dream of mine I'd put on hold. What if, instead of finding one partner, I found thousands of partners. I feel pretty confident I can win any creative argument I enter with a dead person. For example, Joseph Heller a few moments ago told me not to quote him out of context. He lost.

The title of the comic is fairly self-explanatory. The Louvre is the famous French art museum. I suspect the comics will have a tendency to reflect what I read in the news section of the paper. (The second section I turn to.) I've already created approximately 20 of these comics. My friend and colleague I mentioned above asked me if I'd be willing to put them in our ezine as well. Which I am more than happy to oblige.

John Newmark - Sept 28, 2003.

Make Louvre (Not War) Archives

Note on Copyrights:

As mentioned, I only use photography/artwork that fall into one of three categories: 1) It is in the public domain 2) I created it. (mostly photography) 3) photographs of well-known sculptures.

Except for the rare use of public domain clip art, I assume a work is in the public domain only if it was created prior to 1923 in the US, or if created outside the US and the artist has been dead for over 70 years.

How to Determine copyright status (in the US).

"Thus, if a work was published in 1922 or earlier, it is now in the public domain. Works that were published between 1923 and 1963 have a 95-year term, provided the copyright was formally renewed in the 28th year. Works published between 1964 and 1977 have a flat 95-year term. Works by individual authors created (not merely published) after 1977 have a term of the author's life + 70 years. Works by corporate authors ("works made for hire") created after 1977 have a term of 95 years."

Outside the US the Berne Convention protected the artwork of artists in most European countries at least 50 years after the author's death. Individual countries were allowed to extend the period in their own countries. The Berne Convention dates back to the late 19th century. I assume 70 years to err on the side of safety.

Photography is just as protected as artwork. However, while most artwork used here really derives from photographs of the artwork, every photograph of a painting is going to be identical. I feel using photographs of famous sculptures such as Venus de Milo and Michelangelo's David is similar as long as the background doesn't play a role in the photograph. However, if any photographer wants me to remove their photograph from a comic, or credit them, all they need to do is ask.