Comics Artist Uses DMCA To Silence Critics Of His Contortionist Ladies

Comics Artist Uses DMCA To Silence Critics Of His Contortionist Ladies

Comics artist Randy Queen draws women whose spines and bodies can twist into some really unusual poses. This has drawn the attention of the Escher Girls Tumblr, which we've featured before — and he's responded by sending DMCA takedowns to get their posts (not just the art) removed.

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Pending approvalOriginal post by a_blackpanther on Observation Deck

Comic Artist Uses DMCA to Bully Escher Girls

Randy Queen is a comic book artist with... a not great understanding of female anatomy. This landed several of his works on Escher Girls, the tumblr blog that highlights and critiques (and sometimes offers redraws) of ridiculous and needlessly sexualized depictions of female characters (hence the name, and which io9 has featured before).

So, instead of taking heed of said criticism (and it's sad that no one has screenshots of the taken down posts because they would have been on point) he files some tenuous DMCA takedown notices to Tumblr. Which complies, no questions asked. Now, I'm no legal expert, but I'm pretty sure criticism falls under fair use. Techdirt has a good write up of why that is. And tumblr has not only taken down reposts of Randy Queen's comic art, but also redraws - works that (to my mind) belong to whoever did the redrawing.

Not content with misusing the law once, this guy has since also threatened Escher Girls with defamation for posting about his DMCA takedown notices (because saying that something that happened happened is now "defamation"), and claiming a very bogus "right to protect the perception of my IP." Which doesn't exist. Ever.

(And in spite of his whining about art from 15 years ago, I either can't find anything more recent from him or his style and understanding of said human anatomy has not changed significantly.)

As Popehat always says, "vagueness in legal threats is a hallmark of meritless thuggery."

So this post is just me doing my bit to acquaint Randy Queen with the Streisand Effect.

UPDATE: Earlier today Escher Girls has posted a more clear timeline of events and updates. Since then Randy Queen has also apologised on his Facebook (c/p here in full because some people said they can't view it):

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to clear up a few things that happened this past week. I have been having a very hard time in my personal life with the loss of my mother and my marriage having fallen apart and found myself in a very vulnerable and fragile state of mind. There were posts on the web criticizing my artwork that were brought to my attention and added to my stress. I reacted without thinking it through, but have now stopped, realizing my response was the wrong one to take. I am doing my best, each day, to get myself back on my feet and getting my life in a better place and realize now that I have just try to move on and get back to my art, the thing I find the most joy in these days. I want to thank those professionals, friends and family who have been giving me their support, understanding and love.

Thanks for listening.

~ R

Update #2: Randy Queen has retracted his DMCA notices and apologised to Escher Girls owner Ami.

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