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Bob Larkin Omigod Gallery

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob Larkin: Unlicensed Art Uses

I guess it happens to just about every artist: discovering that someone has appropriated his or her art, without permission, for whatever means. Sometimes it’s done to rip off the artist (who’s gonna know, right?); most of the time, however, it’s done as a sort of tribute, such as a blogger wanting to showcase a particular piece of art that they enjoy. And Bob is no exception, as these three examples show.

“The Retrospace Horror Movie Mix” reproduces Bob’s cover art for Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula #3 magazine (1980), and appears at the Web site Retrospace, which explores 1960s and ‘70s pop culture. The art is used for the “cover” of a free, downloadable “mix tape” of Halloween music—in this case, selections from horror movie soundtracks. (Actually, it’s a good collection.)
You can find it here.

“I’m the Wolfman” is another Retrospace free music download, this time reproducing Bob’s cover art for Marvel’s Haunt of Horror #1 magazine (1974) as a faux paper sleeve for the 45rpm single by the group Round Robin. (FYI: The models who posed for this painting are Bob—as the Wolfman—and his wife, Fran.)
You can find it (with other “45s”) here.

As the site’s owner, Gilligan, states in Retrospace’s disclaimer, he means no disrespect to the artists whose work he reproduces, and makes no claim to ownership—he does this purely for entertainment purposes.

Unfortunately, there are others who aren’t quite so respectful…

What you see here is an unlicensed Doc Savage action figure that’s shown up at conventions and in online stores, selling for between eighty and one hundred dollars per figure. It illegally uses one of Bob’s paintings as the packaging art—which means he’s never seen a dime from this theft.

What’s always amazing is how, in an age when just about everything winds up on the Internet, someone could steal from an artist and not expect photos of their actions to be posted somewhere. Sheer brazenness—or utter stupidity? You make the call!

Steve Roman

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