Sadly, the commentary on Nebraska’s most widely-distributed cartoonist, The Omaha World-Herald’s Jeff Koterba, will be sans-cartoons in a matter of minutes. I received this unfortunate e-mail minutes ago.

You’re (sic) obsession with me would be almost comical, if not for your continued violation of copyright laws. While many bloggers maintain that the use of any copyrighted material falls into a gray area, there is no doubt that legally, you must ask permission prior to posting my work on your website.

At first I was simply flattered that you kept taking me to task. Now, however, it’s getting a little creepy.
I’m going to have to ask you to immediately remove my work from your site. Furthermore, any future use of my work will require my permission.

It’s too bad that it’s come to this. If I’m not mistaken, you once contacted me while you were at UNL, asking for advice. If it wasn’t you, I apologize. I am frequently approached by student cartoonists for feedback, regarding their work. I always do my best to be as helpful as I can. It is always my intention to encourage anyone who is starting out (You and I both know how difficult it can be to break into the field). It’s always helpful to have a mentor, a friend, anyone who cartoons full time, to take the time to look over work.

While I respect your right to attack me, I have to say that the next time I hear of a full-time cartooning job opening up somewhere, you wouldn’t exactly be the first person I’d call.

Jeff Koterba

The bad news is, the cartoons are coming down. The good news is, he’s not going to help me get a better job, which will leave me with more time to blog.

UPDATE!!! After a few e-mails back and forth, Koterba has implied that the visually-aided commentary may not be dead after all – I’ll just need to ask first.

…Also, regarding reprints and usage on blogs, I’m fairly liberal (no pun intended). I almost always grant permission. Again, if in the future you want to take me to task, on brushstrokes or politics, I’m not too thin-skinned to grant permission. Believe me, the stuff you’ve written about me doesn’t come close to some of the stuff that’s been said about me (including Ted Rall’s cartoon)…

So looks like he’s not that big of a villain after all. BUMMER!

6 Responses to Koter-buh-bye

  1. Was this about that god-awful “Mike Flood as the golden sower” cartoon? If you want to keep up the pressure (or “obsession,” as the case may be), I’d recommend doing an “Obermeyer’s View” of Koterba’s work. Mockery is the sincest form of flattery….and the dude deserves to be flattered a great deal. Besides, let’s see the guy get around the Fair Use doctrine.

    Of course, I wouldn’t want this project to get in the way of your own cartooning. Maybe you could just include a cute little squirrel-guy in the corner of all your work as some sort of homage.

    What’s up with that anyway? Is Koterba a big “Caddyshack” fan or what?

  2. neal says:

    I assume it’s just about the repeated commentary on his work. Search for Koterba on this site and you’ll find at least a half-dozen hits, the most recent of which was probably the one about his Memorial Day cartoon. I think it qualifies under fair use, but I’m still going to wait before restoring the images themselves until I get a solid legal opinion on my side. The World Herald is pretty fierce about this kind of thing; they’ve made message boards take down user-posted quotes from stories. So for now it’s just links and descriptions where there once were pictures (writing the descriptions is kind of fun, to be honest).

    But for anyone who posts my cartoons who may be concerned, I’m not going to follow a similar tactic, even if you post the cartoons to rip on them. Please go right ahead and continue to do what the cartoons were meant for you to do.

  3. “I have to say that the next time I hear of a full-time cartooning job opening up somewhere, you wouldn’t exactly be the first person I’d call.”

    Oh noes! Does he even have your number? What a self-important ass. I would pay money to see you two sit down and have lunch together. A meeting of the minds, so to speak. I don’t know anything about the guy, but I imagine him to be a fat, uncrazzimatic, boring asshole.

  4. Eliot says:

    Don’t know how I missed this the first time around. I also believe in fair use. If you weren’t providing editorial commentary, it would be different though.

  5. Jak says:

    Whatever happened to all publicity is good publicity too. The more exposure the better. But he does sound a bit full of himself in his comments.

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