Heather, who describes herself as a Social Media Specialist, chimed in on the LICD Toon discussion yesterday to give us TELETOON’s side of the “Did LICD get ripped off?” debate. I thought I’d post it in full for the sake of fairness:
Hi, my name is Heather and I’m the Social Media Specialist here at TELETOON. I just wanted to jump in here and clarify a few things for everyone here. Great, funny animation is our passion at TELETOON, and mine personally, so naturally I was alarmed when this allegation popped up on our radar. I’ve taken steps to look into the history of The Dating Guy and Least I Could Do and I wanted to share that with you here.
First, TELETOON, doesn’t actually make cartoons, we broadcast them. Usually that means we buy the rights to broadcast them from production companies. Sometimes companies pitch cartoons to us before they’ve been produced, and then we give the creators some feedback and funding. That’s how The Dating Guy came to be.
Way back in 2006, TELETOON began to discuss the development of The Dating Guy with marblemedia, which is based on the life and dating experiences of marblemedia partner Mark Bishop.
A year later, in 2007, Ryan Sohmer pitched TELETOON with a proposed production of Least I Could Do. Sohmer then connected with another production company to develop the idea further. Because The Dating Guy had a related, though not identical premise, TELETOON ensured at this time that Ryan Sohmer and the other producer were informed that The Dating Guy had already been greenlit for production. The conversations between TELETOON and the company representing Least I Could Do were short lived and development was never completed.
The two projects came to TELETOON through different production companies and are based on different inspirations entirely. The end result is that The Dating Guy, which came to us for development consideration first, is a funny cartoon about dating in the city that bears no meaningful resemblance to Least I Could Do.
Heather from TELETOON
Now, I have no idea if marblemedia.com swiped Sohmer’s concept and deSouza’s art style directly from the LICD webcomic. On one hand, the whole prevy guy with fawning friends scenario is such a common one that it wouldn’t be out of the question if Mark Bishop developed it independently.
On the other hand, Tim Buckley said pretty much the same thing about Ctrl+Alt+Del.
In either case, thank you for chiming in with your side of the story, Heather!
UPDATE: Ryan Sohmer has posted a rebuttal in the comments section. I would include a copy of his text in this post, but I imagine that this is going to get pretty long before the day is done.