Pop-Tarts Copies Kawaii Not

Thank the internet for vigilant readers.

I am the creator of a small webcomic called Kawaii Not(www.kawaiinot.com), and didn’t think I’d have to worry about something like this. But a little while ago I started getting e-mails asking if I was the illustrator of part of this Pop-Tarts website: http://www.poptarts.com/moms/#/section

Now at first I thought the style looks similar, but of course I am hardly the only artist specializing in putting faces on inanimate objects. But then I saw this particular image:

Image from Pop-Tarts site

Image from Pop-Tarts site

… and I realized it was basically copied (with a few minor alterations) right from this strip of mine:

Kawaii Not strip

Kawaii Not strip

The color of the dish is even the same. Damn.

Posted by meghanmurphy  |  13 Comments  |  in Design, Fine Art, Web


  1. Janie 10/11/2011 8:21 am

    This Kawaii style is actually really common and in Japan you will probably find hundreds of different versions of this, Kawaii not is not doing anything new at all so I don’t think there is really a case to answer. All of this style and idea is taken from commonplace Japanese Kawaii design

  2. gotchan 08/18/2009 12:04 am

    If you load the two images as layers in an image editing program, and scale them to the same size, the outlines for the bowl and ice cream match exactly. No deformation necessary. That is not an accident. Either one used the other as a source, or they both used the same source. An exact line-for-line match isn’t something which just happens because two artists are working in the same style or using the same software.

    However, the final works are substantially different. Unless one of the characters is trademarked, which grants protection against similar appearance, this isn’t a rip. It’s just someone being lazy. Assuming whoever did the Pop-Tart image was second to the trough, why not just draw from scratch given how much they did do from scratch?

  3. amy 08/13/2009 11:58 pm

    oh come on. hundreds, no, wait- thousands of “artists” are doing this stuff that takes 5 minutes in Illustrator and it all looks the same. Pop-Tarts probably downloaded some free clip art off the web, that’s what both versions look like.

  4. Pingback: The Gigcast » Blog Archive » Webcomic Wire - 8/4/09

  5. Reibear 08/04/2009 9:52 am

    No one pointed out that the ice cream’s mouth became the imposter ice cream’s eyes?

  6. pseudovegetarianism 07/31/2009 1:00 am

    hot topic at one point had a lot of pins that looked like they were yanked from kawaii not. i THINK i sent an email to meghan about it eons ago. boohiss.

  7. Ashley 07/31/2009 12:37 am

    You are so right. Sue for royalties. How dare anyone else ever come up with the concept of putting a face on a scoop of ice cream?

  8. Spanky 07/30/2009 7:15 pm

    I want the third panel to be made into a shirt. Badly.

  9. mdrew 07/28/2009 4:18 am

    They managed to copy it pretty exactly, yet it somehow lost its essential cuteness.

  10. Stacy 07/28/2009 12:54 am

    They line up when you overlay them. I’ve tried posting the link twice to the photo, but the site eats the comments.

  11. Maaike 07/27/2009 3:18 pm

    The shape of the ice and the bowl is the same. The designer probably did see your illustration, but it has been changed in so many ways that it doesn’t really resemble yours anymore.
    It might have been different if you were working in a very unique style, but this cute simplified Japanese style is very common.

  12. Crystal 07/27/2009 12:40 pm

    This is lame. So every sundaes out there are rip offs of your drawings? I’m sorry but it barely even look alike to me.

  13. Abe 07/27/2009 7:27 am

    Holy! Shit! Man!

    This is the kind of thing that really burns my ass. A big shot corporate client with deeper than deep pockets pays some two bit asshole to rip you off. Pop Tarts probably had no idea this was being done in their name. Shit, man! Contact them immediately! Good luck!

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