Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Emily

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Emily

Emily the Strange V. The Origins of her character
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Cosmic Debris Etc. has sued two children's book authors, claiming its "Emily the Strange" character does not infringe on Marjorie Sharmat's and Marc Simont's "Nate the Great" copyrights. Cosmic Debris acknowledges that both characters are "Goth Girls," but says such characters abound in popular fiction. Cosmic Debris cities Morticia and Wednesday from "The Addams Family," Lydia from "Beetlejuice" and Vampira of "The Vampira Show."

Emily the Strange is used to promote skateboards, T-shirts, comic books and other merchandise. Cosmic Debris claims it created the character in 1991. Though Sharmat and Simont claim Emily was inspired by their "Rosamond" character, Cosmic Debris denies it. "Emily" has dark bangs and pale skin and wears a black dress, but "Rosamond" is "rosy cheeked and smiling," and wears dresses of varying color. The only similarity seems to be that the two are often accompanied by cats, the complaint states.

Cosmic Debris asks that the defendants be restrained from recovering damages regarding Emily, and that they be prohibited from claiming that Emily infringes on their work. The plaintiff is represented by Mark Lee with Manatt, Phelps and Phillips

This is all because in 2010 they want to make a film about the character. Cause, you know, there hasn't been a gothic girl icon in film for some time, right? Besides, there has been odd looking characters in the past like her, right? What about Wednesday from the Addams Family? What does this character from a 70's book have in common with

Emily the strange? I mean, it's not like this Hot Topic cash cow character has anything remotely close in relation with..

Oh... wait. wow. That's pretty damn similar. In fact, I think she just changed one word around and took out a cat. I suppose four cats is a bit stranger than three, right? It's funny that this one time skateboard art piece spawned such a craze.

While I love me the gothic look plenty, I think the thing that always bothered me about Emily the strange was that on the exterior, she was an icon for the "think-for-yourself, do-it-yourself movement.” Which it really doesn't. What a lot of these gothic folks fail to realize is that HOT TOPIC isn't any more unique or a way to make you different than shopping at the Gap.

If you like the style or you like the look of the stuff there, that's fine. But please don't tell me that it's any means to distinguish yourself from the other million people who wear the same thing. Much like this lawsuit, don't try to act like your item is original. Nothing new under the sun and in this case, Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont's creation looks like it was knocked off for a skater sticker and then some shirt company took the ball and ran with it.

But hey, whatever it t takes to make sure that you're the only one who makes a buck off this when the movie is done, right?

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