Congratulations Facebook Fan Page Canadian Pride, you are the latest recipient of my Social Media Jackass Award. Canadian Pride follows in the footsteps of other online notables Harpersgotago, and “teflon Jim” Stewart. Both of those jackasses were caught repurposing others’ cartoon work as their own, a practice, which unfortunately happens to a great many artists who put their art online. Canadian Pride went a step further by attempting to make money, without authorization, using my cartoon work for a design they were marketing on Facebook for purchase on a custom t-shirt company called Tee Chip Pro. A casual glance through Canadian Pride’s Reviews (boasting a 1.5 out of 5 star rating) with comments mocking the products they shill, to accusations of racism, to charges of other instances of design theft. The thought crossed my mind that Canadian Pride might have some connection to the alt-right Proud Boys group given its themes of protest against the left. However, there’s no way of telling who’s behind Canadian Pride, as the page is shrouded in anonymity, without lurking into the movement and details of Facebook likers of the page – Feel free to do your own investigation. Anyway, it is rather ironic that a group calling itself Canadian Pride uses an American company to sell its stolen work.
Nowadays, thankfully, enforcement is being levied against the pirates of intellectual property in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a U.S. copyright law that’s been around since 1996, but whose teeth seem to be getting sharper as time marches on and its might successfully fends off challengers. Social Media companies and reputable user submitted online marketplace companies are now marching in lockstep to avoid DMCA violations. Compared a laissez-faire snails pace approach from a few years ago, Internet companies act with little hesitation from beefed up legal departments, to claims of trademark and copyright infringement.
In my experience of filing two reports of misuse regarding this incident to Facebook and TeeChip.com, the powerful social media giant took less than an hour to remove the content, and the shirt company took longer than half a day.
Canadian Pride is now using the online store Moteefe with a new Elect a clown design, which is probably someone else’s design being used without permission. Could it be yours? The best advice is to keep one’s eyes peeled – this mysterious group hops around from one online marketplace to another, ripping of artist’s work, and repurposing stuff for their own financial gain. Sadly, they are not alone.
Where to Purchase
You Might Be From Hamilton If… is available for purchase at The Spec Store (44 Frid Street, Hamilton), The Hamilton Store (165 James Street North, Hamilton), Bryan Prince Bookseller (1060 King Street West, Hamilton), Chapters/Coles/Indigo (*be sure to check for availability at local stores), Costco (1330 South Service Road, Stoney Creek), at Amazon.ca or order direct through the publisher, MacIntyre-Purcell.
My first book…
My first ever published book, You Might Be From Hamilton If… is the culmination of a project that has been in the making over the past year. It’s the only city to be represented in series of “You Might Be From” books that have covered most of Canada’s provinces. It began with some consultation with generous family, friends and colleagues, a long written list of topics and gags, and some nipping and tucking to cover a range of 120 pages of subject matter. A book of this sort can easily fall into a banal showcase of corny jokes and self-indulgence, which I tried to avoid. There are some obvious stereotypes which demanded inclusion, but an effort was made to lob some curve ball references which might not have been the first or even tenth thing a so called typical Hamiltonian might have come up with. If they elicit recollective nods and chuckles from readers then mission accomplished. Readers should prepare for some alternative takes on some old Hamilton standards.
Publisher MacIntyre Purcell has printed an outstanding book with sharp colours and crisp clean lines. I’m especially delighted with the results of an assortment of graphite illustrations included in the book. It’s a style which is somewhat different from the inked lined drawings which has normally appeared in my editorial cartoons for 20 years. You Might Be From Hamilton If… promises to be an entertaining book to anyone, whether now a Hamiltonian, once a Hamiltonian, or soon to be a Hamiltonian. One need not even be a Hamiltonian to enjoy this book.
#YouMightBeFromHamiltonIf… Tour Highlights
Watch my Interview from Friday August 25, 8:30am CHCH TV Morning Live with Annette Hamm.
Read a review of the book by the Emma Reilly from the Tuesday August 29th edition of the Hamilton Spectator.
Listen to my August 29, 2017 interview with CHML’s Scott Radley, host of the Scott Radley Show, also the great sports columnist at the Hamilton Spectator, and the fellow who wrote the foreword to the book. Sound clip with me begins around the 26 minute mark.
Thanks to all who came out to the launch of the book on August 30th, 2017, generously hosted by the marketing folks at the Hamilton Spectator. Those who missed out can still get a taste of who I am, what I do, and who loves me the most through this short YouTube film which was screened during the event. Drop by the Hamilton Spectator during business hours and pick up your own copy of the book, among other titles written by several other notable writers in the Hamilton area.
Thanks to all who came by the Saturday September 2, 12-4pm book signing, at the Indigo bookstore at the Power Centre in Burlington, (1250 Brant St.)
What a thoroughly enjoyable time it was signing books a chatting with many during the Saturday Supercrawl (September 9) event at The Hamilton Store. Much gratitude goes to Donna Reid who runs the friendliest shop in the world. It was an honour to share the courtyard space with the very talented, and hilarious, Cindy Sciafe and Rob Croxford. Big thanks also to the people (neighbours, those whom I haven’t seen in years, elementary school mates, work colleagues, babysitters, FB friends, Twitter followers, longtime Spec subscriber fans, local celebrities, former politicians, etc.) who streamed by to chat on a glorious blue sky September day.
Thanks to all who came by the Saturday September 16, 10-3pm signing at Indigo Ancaster, (737 Golf Links Road). There was a wonderful “This is Your Life” moment when two teachers, Ms. Reid & Ms. McMenemy, from my long ago high school days came by for a great chat.
Well beyond the Hamilton city limits at the Burlington Chapters, 3315 Fairview Street, the entire supply of books on hand for signing were bought up, September 23, 1-4pm. A nice little birthday present making my special day even more special. Thanks all for coming out, including Twitter followers Kate, and Rafał Nowak. Big thanks to my old pal Jen Jones, referenced in the book’s introduction, for making an appearance.
It was nice to share the signing event with Sylvia McNicoll, author of The Artsy Mistake Mystery at the Burlington Indigo’s 20th birthday bash in Burlington on Saturday night, September 30, 8-10pm.
Thank you to those who came out for signed books at Bryan Prince bookseller on Saturday, October 28, 1-3pm.
Good times was had as always at the wonderful downtown shop, The Hamilton Store, hosted by the even more wonderful Donna Reid celebrating the 4th birthday of the James Street North landmark on Saturday November 4, 1-4:00. Joining me at the signing table was the charming Mark Osbaldeson, author of the fascinating and meticulously sourced Unbuilt Hamilton.
Friday November 17, 9:55-11:10am, found me presenting a show all about editorial cartooning to a library packed with students at Westdale High School in Hamilton. I was honoured to share the morning sessions with the great graphic novel cartoonist David Collier.
Saturday December 16, 1-4pm, was billed as the last signing before Christmas and many came out to The Hamilton Store (165 James Street North, Hamilton) to grab themselves their own copy. Many thanks to Donna Reid, Queen of James Street North, for giving me 4 signings at her wonderful store through 3 seasons.
Oh, yes, there’s YMBFHI… swag:
Friday July 7 2017
In the early Summer 1997, I was a GO bus commuter living in Toronto and starting out my new job in the city where I was born.
Hamilton and its daily newspaper was drawing me back, and it all began with a big giant bonfire and a black smoke plume that drifted off in the skies for as far as the eye could see. The festive atmosphere inspired the above cartoon and the resulting angry reader feedback quickly thrust me into the new gig that would bring much much more hate mail. Knowing the lasting effects of the Plastimet fire, and increasing numbers of firefighters dying prematurely in the following years, I don’t think I would’ve been as frivolous in my depiction. Yet it illustrates a popular sentiment at the time, and something that a photo or story can’t do on its own. It also presents how attitudes and opinions change over time, and in the time I’ve been a cartoonist, there has been plenty of that as I look back at my own work and wince and scratch my head.
I had been getting my illustrations printed in the Spec for a couple of years, but it was a brash young editor by the name of Kirk LaPointe who put out the call for a staff editorial cartoonist – a position the Spectator had abandoned when the great cartoonist Blaine had taken to retirement 5 years before. I don’t know what competition I was up against, but I recall doubting I was ever going to be the one who’d get chosen, and was probably the reason I showed up at the interview with Mr. LaPointe wearing shorts.
To the point of being hired at the Spectator my only experience working for another company had been in retail, mostly to grocery stores, wrapping up meat for customers, and destined to become a life long butcher. I joke that the pursuit of becoming a butcher happened in a metaphorical sense by becoming a satirist, carving up public figures on a daily basis.
Yet, even 20 years ago, the thought of a newspaper hiring an editorial cartoonist seemed pretty crazy. There were many many of them around in 1997, compared to now, and almost all had decades of tenure at their respective newspapers when I and a few others of my age came on the scene. Over the past 2 decades many of the greats, like Sue Dewar, Roy Peterson, Norm Muffit, Bob Krieger, Cam Cardow, Anthony Jenkins, Dale Cummings, Mike Graston, and Thomas (TAB) Boldt, to name a few colleagues just in Canada, have either retired, moved on to other jobs, or died.
A lot of changes have happened in 20 years. A lot. When I was escorted to my work area in 1997, I was given a table to sit at in a back corner of the editorial page cave. I could use Blaine’s old drafting table, but at the time he had been saying over the previous 5 years since retirement that he was going to drop by sometime to take it home (I think it hung around for another 5 years.) It probably took another month after being hired before I got a phone, and probably 2 more years until I got my first computer to use in the office. In the time between, and you can see the change in my style as evidence, technology in the form of Photoshop, has completely changed the look of my drawings. The Internet and social media has changed the way I deliver my editorial cartoons. This website mackaycartoons.net, has been archiving my cartoons since the year 2000.
And, oh yeah, in 20 years I moved back to Hamilton, got married, bought a house, became a father to 3 girls, built lasting friendships, got syndicated, became a President (Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists), hosted a convention (of the ACEC), got Wikipediaed, a “shop” owner, and published a book. Who knows what the next 20 years hold but I owe much of my present day success to the one and only The Hamilton Spectator.
On July 7th 1997 I became editorial cartoonist at the Hamilton Spectator. In that time, more than 4500 cartoons have been created in the past 20 years. Above is a slide show of 20 cartoons one for each year.