“Dear Loser: Letter from the Comic to a Young Plagiarist”, an Object Lesson in design-theft caution.

Click to read Sara's amazing letter to a plagiarist!

And then…this happened, beginning a couple of weeks ago. Long store essentially short – a fantastic comedian Sara Benincasa (who is pretty much the coolest person on the planet to me now) contacted me about quite a sticky wicket. And hats off to her not only for her talent, but her quick moves and general coolness under what had to have felt like complete, well…crap.

The chain of events:

1.  Sara Benincasa, an up & coming comedian hired “designer” to make a promo flyer and poster for her one-woman show Agorafabulous. As it turns out, that “design” was (unknowingly to Sara) a ripoff of a poster that I was hired to do for the band Spoon. My poster is the first you see below:

My design done under commission for the band Spoon in 2007.

2. The ripoff poster (mind-blowingly) was nominated for a design award with the ECNY Awards. The ripped off design by a real Wang is below:

My design stolen and re-sold to Sara Benincasa as "original".

3. My design was recognized by a savvy someone who alerted Sara.

4. Sara then emailed me immediately & before I even knew fully what was going on. I was out running errands before the SNOMG 2010 round 2 hit here and started seeing Tweets about me, but not to me, so I was trying to follow the leads when I got her email about the situation. Amazing.

5. Sara had already started taking down all images from her sites ASAP, and also had the design DQ’d from the award competition, and we’ve been talking ever since.

6. We’re definitely going to work together soon on a couple of projects. So, really? It’s all good.

Does the story stop there? It should, but it doesn’t:

7. THEN awesomely (!) a couple of days ago the “designer” (thief) emailed Sara asking why “his design” was no longer in the running for an ECNY award.

8. Oooohhhhhhhhhhh good times. This girl is fierce! Please CLICK HERE or the below giant link to read Sara’s open letter on her blog to The Wang who stole art & tried to profit:

UPDATE 1: Well, as it turns out, the same Wang also tried to initially sell another stolen design, this one from our very good friend and extremely talented Dan Stiles. Unbelievable. Dan’s beautiful Zero 7 poster is first, with The Wang’s ripoff following.

Dan Stiles poster for Zero 7. (Visit to see more of Dan's work.)

The Wang's stolen "design". Unbelievable.

UPDATE 2: The theft was finally acknowledged, and the Wang apologized, which is really appreciated. Apology accepted. Please do not steal my work or the work of others again and we’re cool. This goes out there to every designer and artist who needs to hear it.

So you see kids, you WILL get busted for thieving designs. And to boot? Something truly good and just might just happen to those you’ve wronged. Thanks to a Wang, a designer and a fun client have found each other. Sara Benincasa rules the skool.

I love a happy ending.