Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tribal Rip-off

In 2008, I got a call from Joseph Perez, at that time the art director of Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin USA. He was working on a new book, Tribes by Seth Godin, for which he needed a cover illustration. He remembered my The New York Times illustration from August 2006 for the article Into Africa, and suggested that I try to do something similar for this book. When the book got published it became an instant bestseller, and the book cover got reprinted in many countries and in many languages.

Now, 10 years later, to my total surprise I discovered that Penguin Press released a new book, not only with a similar title Political Tribes, but also with almost an identical cover illustration. I know many people did a similar kind of illustration, but it's more then coincidence. Is this fair? To piggyback ride on success of Seth Godin's Tribes book, in title and book design? I don't know what kind of deal they have with Seth Godin, but in case of the image, seems to me if they wanted to imitate my illustration it would be fair and logical to call me.

I imitate myself better then anybody else.

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