Tag Archives: plagiarism


Jim Gaffigan as Howard Cantour

Jim Gaffigan as Howard Cantour

Portia Doubleday as Dakota Zearing

Portia Doubleday as Dakota Zearing

You know, I’m really surprised that Shia LeBeouf’s exercise in plagiarism has not been shut down and still exists as a legitimate film with its own official IMDb. So it goes, right? Well, for now. We’ll see how that turns out for Mr. LaBuff. Really, I enjoyed the Shia’s performance in 2012’s “The Company You Keep,” co-starring Robert Redford. It had a nice Hallmark Hall of Fame quality to it. Something Lindsay Lohan might have done before everything got fuzzy and weird.

Considering Shia’s new upcoming project as a sex addict, who knows, maybe things will start to get even fuzzier and weirder for him. But we don’t really want that for him. In fact, once this blows over, after wounds have healed, after some soul-searching, all could turn out quite well, no? And, if so, I’d be proud to shake Mr. LaBoof’s hand. For now, the craziness continues as you can read in this piece in The Independent from this Monday here.

So, basically, you’ve got a short film that lifts its story directly from a short work in comics by Daniel Clowes, entitled, “Justin M. Damiano.”

Hey, knock your socks off and view Shia’s little masterpiece at the YouTube right down here, just waiting for you. It might get deleted, so check it out, if you want:

Truth be told, sure, sure, sure, it’s an okay little piece but you gotta ask the original, yes “original” creator, permission, Shia, just gotta. Live and learn.

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Filed under Comics, Daniel Clowes, Movie Reviews, movies, Shia LaBeouf

Justin M. Damiano, You Are One Of Us; We’d Embrace You, If You’d Let Us


“Justin M. Damiano” is a short work in comics by Daniel Clowes that appeared in an anthology edited by Zadie Smith, “The Book of Other People,” in 2008. As a satire on our current state of being, it should be required reading for anyone who regularly comments on the internet. Shia LaBeof is accused of, and apparently admits to, lifting this story and turning it into a short film, “Howard Cantour.com.” Maybe LaBeof appreciated the story or maybe he just thought it was cool. His arguments, if they at least came from him and weren’t more of his prank plagiarism, might be interesting. What is most interesting is how this little story of Justin M. Damiano has come to light to a wider audience.

Clowes has proven to have an uncanny feel for contemporary alienation and the skill to say something…er, original. Here is where Shia LaBeof would take great issue with the “discredited” concept of originality. He would cry out someone else’s words about Duchamp’s recontextualizing and that would be that. Okay, so Clowes has not literally created something “original” but, then again, he has. LaBeof can skywrite his apologies but he’ll still be dealing with Clowes’s attorneys. That’s not to say that, in theory, LaBeof couldn’t end up a pretty decent provocateur. But, no, if you view his movie lifted from the Clowes story, word for word, you see a pathetic amateur move to steal someone else’s work. In other words, it’s an asshole move. That means Shia LaBeof is an asshole, not a bad boy artist.

But, whatever. Clowes (just like Chris Ware, Charles Burns, and Adrian Tomine) has tapped into something sad and has plucked some gems of excellent satire in his day. In his story about a movie review blogger, Clowes gives us another character for him to hang his social commentary on. Justin M. Damiano makes it clear that we see the problem but we’re so much a part of it that we’re okay with letting out of big sigh, just before we plunge right back into the void: the world of gazing, self-importance, and blather. That is the world that Damiano is immersed in and so are the rest of us. We can pull ourselves away from it but it’s still there. It’s bigger than all of us. And, worse still, it’s not going away. That would take a whole new shift, a fundamental change in behavior, and we’re just not ready for that. He can’t help his compulsion to write movie reviews on his blog because that is who he is. He claims to be a champion of cinema but that’s just an excuse to hide from life. With a better balanced life, he might write better balanced reviews, perhaps less often, perhaps not at all.

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Filed under Comics, Daniel Clowes, Essays