C’mon guys. You can’t deny it. Davy Jones is totally hot for Captain Jack Sparrow. Why do you think he let him go all those times? It’s because he wants him to come back to him. A classic tale of unanswered love.

Think about it. What does Sparrow spend more of second movie looking for? Davy Jones’s treasure. And what’s in Davy Jones’s treasure chest? His still-beating heart! Davy Jones is one of the most unintentional emo movie villains of the last 5 years? Don’t believe me? You should totally check out his MySpace page. It’s full of bad poetry and blog posts about how “the world doesn’t understand him.” His lists Evanescence as his favorite band.


Do you guys like today’s comic? I had a lot of fun working on it. Although, I must admit, getting the costuming details right on Sparrow and Jones was difficult. Can’t forget that nodule hanging off Jones’s face! I think I might have gone a little overboard with the eyeliner on Sparrow, but I like the way the barnacles turned out on Jones. It was a treat to figure it out.

Like most of the free world, I’m planning on seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End this weekend. We have a babysitter lined up. We’re going.

I don’t think Cami is entirely over the moon about it. When we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, we showed up a little late and had to sit in the front row. You guys know how long that movie is. That’s a long time to be staring up Orlando Bloom’s nostrils. By the end of it, we had such cricks in our necks, we were miserable. To add insult to injury, Cami was pregnant with Henry at the time. So whenever one of Davy Jones’s slimy crew members slithered into a shot, she wanted to blow chunks like she just ate at Long John Silver’s.

Switching gears for a second, something I didn’t get to talk about in Monday’s blog due to my Diggers review was Shrek the Third’s $122 million dollar weekend. Interestingly enough, it ranks third as the film with the best opening weekend behind Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Call me cynical, but is anyone else afraid that we’re entering into a future where ever few years there will be a new Spider-Man, Shrek or Pirates movie? Consider that between these three movies alone, nearly HALF A BILLION dollars was made in a three day time period. Ignore the complete theatrical run. Ignore the DVD sales. HALF A BILLION for three movies in three days. Insane. I don’t think Hollywood can turn their back on that kind of money. These characters will have longer lives than Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees combined!

The Triple Feature talkcast

Something else I neglected to mention because of my review on Monday was the recent installment of The Triple Feature talkcast. I know it’s too late to participate in this week’s show, but you can always download a copy from TalkShoe. This week we talked about Shrek the Third, At World’s End, Diggers and another small movie called Waitress. Joe was back from his vacation tanned, rested and ready to go. We were back up to full strength and it felt good. I really like doing these shows with Joe and Gordon. I look forward to it every week.

Hey, if you’re interested in getting a reminder sent to you VIA e-mail when new show times are posted, send me an e-mail and I can add your contact information through our listing at TalkShoe. For some reason, you can’t input it yourself, but I can manage contacts in my account settings. I just thought I would put the offer out there if anyone was interested. I get a lot of e-mails from people saying, “Darn, I missed the show!” This would be just an extra reminder.

If you’re not interested, just by a monthly calendar and write down “The Triple Feature – 9:00 PM CST” every Monday for the rest of the year!

Site news

Speaking of the variety of e-mails I get from you guys, I received quite a few in my mailbox this week regarding a certain t-shirt design…

For those of you who are fans of the t-shirt manufacturing / artist community Threadless, you may have noticed a new shirt design that was announced by the company that shares a certain thematic similarity to some shirts I’ve been selling on the site for a while.

The shirt is called “Spoilt” and it was designed by Oliver Moss. Here’s the design:

As you can see, the shirt spoils the various plot twists of a number of different movies in a manner similar to a couple of shirts I’ve been selling from Theater Hopper for the last few years:

It was interesting to read some of the e-mails that people sent. A lot of you were outraged and labeled Moss a theif. I appreciate your support, as backwards as that sounds. It was actually very comforting to know that I had a lot of people out there watching my back. But here’s the scoop and I’m putting it out there to hopefully put things to rest.

Oliver Moss is not a thief and it’s unfair to label him as such.

I knew about Oliver’s design back when the shirt was still going through the voting phase. I’ll admit that it freaked me out because I actually thought Oliver did a really good job with it and (being somewhat familiar with what the Threadless audience looks for in a design from prior business relationships with them) I knew it was going to be a hit. Someone pointed out at the time the similarities between Oliver’s concept and my own and Oliver defended himself by stating that the similarities were never intentional and that the concept stemmed from a forum post he made over at Yay Hooray almost two years ago. Oliver and I even exchanged e-mails over it and he again expressed no ill intent. I believe him. Moss has more than a few designs that have been sold through Threadless and other clothing vendors. He’s not stupid. I don’t think he would intentionally expose himself to these kind of indictments.

I know the web comic community just fought a round with the plagiarism boogeyman after the whole Todd Goldman incident, but my attitude regarding the similarities between my shirts and Moss’s shirt is this: It was a coincidence. It happens. In fact, it happens a lot in web comics where people covering similar genres come to the same conclusions on jokes. Usually it’s not intentional. Just great minds thinking alike.

Obviously Moss’s design is visually different, so he has no worries there. And, in regard to the number of similar movies “spoiled” in our designs, the fact of the matter is there just aren’t that many well-known movies with twists in their plots to expose. So, again, another happy accident.

If anything, I think Oliver and Threadless probably have more to fear from LucasFilm for Moss’s rendering of Darth Vader’s helmet. If R. Stevens was sent a cease and desist letter for the pixelated R2-D2 he tried to put on a shirt and sell, I can’t imagine how long Threadless is going to skare by before the Lawyers from the Dahgobah system catch wind of this…

PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I’ve been on a weird emotional roller coaster regarding these events. When I found out that Threadless had moved forward producing the shirt, my heart sank. I figured that this was the end for Spoiler I and Spoiler II because if I tried to continue selling them, I feared people would look at them and say “You stole this from Threadless!’

Sure, I have the date stamps of when my design was created and the PayPal receipts for the first batch of sales to prove that I got there first. But I didn’t imagine that having much sway in the court of public opinion. Moss’s design is flashier. Mine is plain. Threadless is a HUGE online entity that most savvy web surfers are at least peripherally aware of. Theater Hopper is a mid-sized web comic that’s be silently chugging along for a few years. I felt the distinct feeling of obsolescence. Was this the universe sending me a sign? Should I stop producing the Spoiler shirts? Should I do something different? Should I get out of web comics altogether? It really sent me for a loop.

Then, things got worse. Voters made the post about Moss’s design the second most popular story on Dugg. Then BoingBoing picked it up. I was almost… angry. It didn’t help that Threadless’s prize for winning designs is $2,000 which would have come in REALLY handy for me right now after being slammed hard for taxes I owe. I felt my hands were tied. There really wasn’t anything I could say to defend myself without coming off like a hater and – really – it’s not like I was the first guy in the world to think of spoiling movies and putting it on a t-shirt.

But then things started to turn. The story showed up on You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice (soon to be deleted). Although it was overly harsh and their editors didn’t do any fact checking (the reason for the deletion), people were aware of what I had been doing and there was some validation in that. Then the BoingBoing article was revised to include a link to Theater Hopper in reference to my original designs.

And then the flood came.

Traffic from BoingBoing was overwhelming the server. I couldn’t access the site through most of the day. This is always a good problem to have and it was very exciting. Several people were coming to the site that might not have otherwise. On top of that, some of them were even buying the Spoiler I and II shirts! Amazing!

And then I realized something profound. “So what?”

This shirt thing is so much bigger than me and so far beyond my control. I’m happy with the recognition that I have. I cherish all of the e-mails of support that were sent to me and thankful to those who stood up for me on the Threadless and Dugg comments board even when they didn’t have to. I’m thankful for the free market that let’s people decide what shirt they would rather have and some people decided to take advantage of it and back the little guy. Ultimately, I’m impressed that there are opportunities for BOTH Moss and myself to carve out a niche for ourselves artistically and that there are people out there who will support it.

For those of you who are new to Theater Hopper – welcome. For those of you who continue to support the site – sincere thanks.

This has been another interesting chapter in the history of this site. I never could have predicted it.

↓ Transcript
So here we are At World's End, Captain Jack Sparrow! And I see you've brought my treasure back to me!

My heart!


You write some pretty messed up fan fiction, you know that?