More Blair Rip-offs

Art Binninger contributes to our never ending parade of Preston Blair rip-offs. Says Art:

“The set-up: last night I went over to a converted Von’s supermarket that’s now a Mexican-themed plaza with a restaurant, food marts and other booths that will be ready for their grand opening. I wandered through the aisles of the standard issue Coke’s, Pepsi’s and candy until I spotted this interesting packge. I’ll have to stop back when they’re fully up and running to see what other Preston Blair images turn up. Or turnips?”

Next, Kyle Carrozza sent this whoopee cushion spotted at a Dollar Tree in Riverside. Says Kyle: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rip from this part of the book before!”


  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Do people think that Preston Blair’s books are like clip art source books or what?

  • Paul N

    I sent in the Animalitos rip over a year ago – glad to see it’s finally getting the notoriety it deserves :0)

  • Fred Sparrman

    Yeah, Daniel above hits on something I suspect: That a single clip art company pillaged Blair’s books, and that was the source of all that was to follow. It seems extremely unlikely, for instance, that a Mexican animal cracker company had a staff artist who referenced Preston Blair’s animation books when designing the packaging.

    So the thing to do is to trace all this back to the initial violation, prosecute the thieves, and be done with it!

  • http://www.grotto11.com/blog Brian Tiemann

    OMG. The packaging actually says “OMG”.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    [“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rip from this part of the book before!”]

    Nor from that part of the anatomy. The operative word being “rip”…

  • e

    Or the company could have gotten the rips from some artists in a unknown town of Mexico who entheauastic as they may be about the industry has no means of contantacting it much less breaking in to…so they make a living doing this kind of work….

  • Chuck R.

    “It seems extremely unlikely…that a Mexican animal cracker company had a staff artist who referenced Preston Blair’s animation books”

    Why is that hard to believe? Those PB books are everywhere and I imagine any animation nut in Mexico can order them from Amazon. Americans can just as easily plagiarize Rivera, Kahlo and Covarrubias.

    Does Preston Blair have family members that can talk about his attitude toward the rip-offs. We know that his original version of the book borrowed copyright material from the big studios, and had to be re-drawn. Was the ordeal an embarrassment that made him shy about defending his own work?

    As far as prosecuting and being “done with it”. I’m afraid that ship has sailed. It’s been freely “sourced” for so many years and if Blair has never attempted to protect it legally, I’d say it’s as good as “public domain” —sadly. This artwork is so well known within the industry, I wish someone could get the real lowdown on it.

  • http://vincemusacchia.blogspot.com Vince Musacchia

    Is it really so shocking that this art is being lifted from a How-To book? I’d raise an eyebrow if these illustrations were used on a General Mills product package, but most, if not all of these examples are on low end items. Most of these budding cartoonists are probably paid very little for their work, or have never drawn cartoons before so it’s only natural that they swipe the images.

    At least they’re swiping from one of the best.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    What’s next, they’re going to use “WTF” and “LOLZ” to sell joy buzzers? :-)

  • Fred Sparrman

    Sure, this packaging artist MIGHT have referenced Blair’s books, but my overarching point is that there is simply too much of this Blair swiping for each case to be an individual example of someone referencing the books.

    I suspect there’s one main culprit, and of course it’s true, they couldn’t actually be prosecuted at this point. But it would be interesting if someone (Not ME, of course!) would research it. Heck, maybe Blair actually SOLD the drawings outright, and they ended up through a somewhat legal process as clip art?

  • Chuck R.

    “Is it really so shocking that this art is being lifted from a How-To book?”
    That’s a really, really good point, Vince.

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    “That’s a really, really good point, Vince.”
    It’s indeed a great and somewhat obvious point. It’s not at all surprising that when called upon to draw a cartoon character, low-rent artists will copy one from a book of cartoon characters you’re supposed to copy in order to learn how to draw cartoon characters. :)

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    “Why is that hard to believe? Those PB books are everywhere and I imagine any animation nut in Mexico can order them from Amazon. Americans can just as easily plagiarize Rivera, Kahlo and Covarrubias.”

    For the record, the Preston Blair books were fairly easy to obtain in Mexico during the 1980s & early 90s in art appliances stores (stores like ‘Lúmen’ and ‘Arte & Material’, you went there looking for brushes and markers, and you went out carryin a few How-to books too). That’s where I bought my copies.

    And yes, I confess I even comitted a few ripoffs myself, when drawing the posters for my High-School prom. So sue me ;)

  • Lisa

    Seconding (thirding) that Vince made a good point. I distinctly remember all my Walter Foster How-To books saying something like, “you may copy the art within for educational purposes”. They’re not clipart but calling a painting based on a Blair drawing a rip-off was overreacting, I felt.

  • http://regninnib.googlepages.com/artbinninger%27sbonusfeatures Art Binninger

    I agree with Chuck R that “As far as prosecuting and being “done with it”. I’m afraid that ship has sailed.” My reason for submitting this photo was that it shows how far Blair’s appealing images have penetrated our culture and other countries’ as well. Who knows? Blair’s bulldog may be someone’s team mascot at the Olympics right now.

  • Chuck R.

    It’s funny you mention the Bulldog, Art.

    My daughter starts preschool this month and the school’s mascot is 1. a bulldog, and 2. a Preston Blair swipe. I’m not going to ruffle any feathers over this during her first year, but I swear I’m going to redesign the damn thing by the time she hits eighth grade.

    Problem is, that bulldog is a really tough one to top.