Friday, November 30, 2007

Cartoonist at Utah weekly resigns after plagiarism

Until recently, The Park Record in Park City, Utah, enjoyed a luxury few other weekly newspapers have — a prize-winning cartoonist. This week, however, editors of the 7,300-circulation paper said they had no choice but to ask for the resignation of that cartoonist, John Kilbourn, after a reader noticed similarities between a recent cartoon and one from Mad magazine, the newspaper reports. Kilbourn's drawing bore a strong resemblance to a cartoon titled "Bananaz" drawn by Mort Drucker for Mad about 45 years ago.

"Kilbourn, who has been drawing cartoons for The Record since April, 1997 said he believed he had made enough changes in the original to warrant re-running it with a different caption," according to The Record's staff report. "However, after receiving a fax of the original drawing from KPCW reporter Rick Brough on Tuesday, Record publisher Andy Bernhard and editor Nan Chalat-Noaker say they had no other choice than to ask for Kilbourn's resignation." The paper noted Kilbourn had won many awards from the Utah Press Association for his cartoons. (Read more)

When Brough saw Kilbourn's Nov. 14 cartoon — "a parody of the Ben Cartwright family in the TV western 'Bonanza' sharing a bathtub and poking fun at Park City officials for ignoring traffic problems on Bonanza Drive" — it reminded him of Mad magazine," writes Paul Beebe of The Salt Lake Tribune (which like The Record is owned by MediaNews Group). Brough searched his collection of issues of Mad and discovered Kilbourn's cartoon looked just like the Drucker cartoon from around 1962.

"It was pretty close to the original. What I should have done is put in an apology to Mort Drucker," Kilbourn told Beebe. "To be honest with you, it was really late at night. I kind of do these as a side job and didn't think of putting it in there." Kilbourn also draws for City Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Salt Lake City. (Read more)

1 comment:

Joseph said...

That really stinks that he'd do something like that. I feel bad for the guy, but he should have known that someone somewhere would catch on to him.