Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Emily the Litigious

I was just thinking the other day of how rare it is for anyone to be able to say, "In my workplace the screams of human beings in abject misery is quite normal."  Granted, those human beings are usually quite small, but it’s still bizarre, right?

Dark thoughts for a light day.  On to the news.

Boy.  It’s not enough that Emily the Strange ripped off a Nate the Great book.  Heck, I thought the original creators were being awfully nice about the whole thing.  They didn’t sue or anything.  No good deed goes unpunished, though, since in a bizarre twist of fate the people who stole from Marc Simont and Marjorie Sharmat are now suing THEM.  Oh, this is rich:

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.”

Absolutely.  Why I can’t even BEGIN to count all the Goth Girls out there in children’s literary fiction prior to 1990.  Oh wait.  Yes I can.  Two.  There are two.  If you count Rossamund as Goth.  Which, considering that the book came out in 1978, I don’t.

First off, reading the article and looking at the before and after, there’s no way in the world Emily the Strange wasn’t inspired (and I’m being kind) by Rossamund.  The. Words. Are. The. Same.  The cats are the same.  But all that aside, you’ve gotta be a pretty low snake in the grass to sue Marc Simont.  Seriously.  So let that be a lesson to you, authors and illustrators.  Be careful when you make something original.  Otherwise someone might come along, infringe on your copyright, and then sue you so that you won’t be able to sue them back when they make a movie out of your character.  Thanks to Tom Angleberger for the link.

It’s nice when I don’t have to promote my own children’s space myself.  A cute little blog called Stickers and Donuts recently took a turn about the room.  Not only is it a great piece but they managed to find information about how the woman who did my mural, Susy Pilgrim Waters, posted the full thing on her website like so:

Awesome.  Thanks to John for the link.

Elizabeth Bluemle has created a mighty fine and useful encapsulation of many of the children’s book related events that will be happening with Book Expo this weekend.  I would add my upcoming Kidlit Drink Night   to her list, but otherwise it’s fairly complete.  And hey, if you’re feeling depressed because you’re not going to be in New York to attend, take heart.  I’m working that entire weekend and physically cannot attend either.  And worst of all, I’m in the same town!

Solved! The mystery of why you will find the heads of babies impaled on spikes on trucks in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs has, at long last, been answered.  And it’s far less gruesome than you might have thought.

A comely Brit has determined that teachers make for particularly good children’s authors.  In this top ten list  you may, if you are a Yank like myself, find yourself familiar with more names than not.  And I’m amused that the author of the piece was barraged with emails for not initially including Philip Pullman.  Thanks to Achockablog for the link.

Daily Image:

What?  You want an explanation?  Really?  Aw, fine.  Richard Michelson wrote the original children’s picture book Too Young for Yiddish.  Of course, being a gallery owner who has displayed Leonard Nimoy’s photography, the temptation to make it a little more pointy eared proved irresistible.  Mr. Nimoy has also read this book aloud on its accompanying CD.  You can compare this cover to the original here, if you like.  Good stuff.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. PJ Bracegirdle says:

    Hmm, I wonder how Cosmic Debris will react to my new character Wendy the Weird, a clearly blond goth girl who wears slacks and has white cats but otherwise recycles their pithy sloganeering word for word…

  2. A blatant ripoff of my book was done by a so called art friend and fellow author illustrator who had me teaching in her class for a lowball “friend” fee while she was ripping me off. Now I meet her students who think the b@#$% is genuine and my publisher would not stand up for me, although they agreed with me. I out her privately. So if you are reading this be aware that many people know who you are and will be watching out for your lack of creativity.

  3. Thanks for posting about the Emily/Rosamond mess.

    I’m ready to contribute to the Sharmat/Simont legal defense fund if they need us to start one…

    Meanwhile, one of the ads at the bottom of this page is for the Emily the Strange novel from TeenHarper. WHAT????

  4. Fuse #8 says:

    Oh, sweet irony.

  5. From the

    “Designers including Jean-Paul Gaultier, Valentino and Marc Jacobs have paid tribute to her, but she doesn’t care! Emily wants you to be yourself, think for yourself, and DO IT YOURSELF. There’s nothing more boring to her than copying everyone else. Emily is the link to the Stranger in us all.”

    You can’t make this stuff up! May Cosmic Debris reap the %$#@!storm they have sewn.

  6. Anon., again says:

    Sown. Whatever.