‘Harvard Crimson’ Investigating Possible Cartoon Plagiarism

By: E&P Staff

The Harvard Crimson is investigating whether editorial cartoons drawn for the newspaper substantially copied cartoons done by syndicated creators, according to a Monday Crimson story.

Kathleen E. Breeden’s Oct. 25 cartoon was similar to an Oct. 12 cartoon by Walt Handelsman of Newsday in Melville, N.Y., and Tribune Media Services. Both showed George W. Bush standing next to a Democratic donkey.

In Handelsman’s cartoon, the donkey is wearing a T-shirt with a “Not” arrow pointing towards the president. The caption reads: “The Democrats find a winning election strategy.”

In Breeden’s cartoon, the donkey is holding a sign with a “Not” arrow pointing towards Bush. The caption reads: “For better or worse, it might finally be a winning strategy.”

Handelsman told the Crimson: “Student cartoonists as well as professionals should always be careful that they’re not doing a cartoon that already has been done.” When E&P reached Handelsman today by phone, he declined to comment further.

The Crimson reported that the paper is also investigating other Breeden cartoons similar to ones done by Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service, by “The Wolvertoon” creator Monte Wolverton, and by Daryl Cagle of MSNBC.com and the Cagle Cartoons syndicate. All the cartoons had been posted on Cagle’s editorial-cartoon Web site before Breeden did her drawings.

Breeden declined to comment for the Crimson story.

None of the cartoonists, according to the story, plan to take legal action against Breeden.

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