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Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Dave!Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery.

But when it's a poor imitation, it's just insulting.

I created Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey "DaveToons" back in 2002 for my Hard Rock Cafe fan site "DaveCafe" (click here for the whole story). Since that time, they've appeared on my blog regularly, and have been printed on everything from shirts and hats to playing cards and bumper stickers. Here at my home in the Wenatchee Valley, they've been all around for years because I'm often giving T-Shirts away to my friends or donating them to events and such.

So I imagine it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to rip-off my characters to sell their crap. A year or so ago, somebody told me that a coffee stand had changed "Bad Monkey" to "Naughty Monkey" and made him as the mascot for their business...

Naughty Monkey Coffee Rip-Off
Poor imitation on the left, original on the right
He's kind of been butchered here... the relocation of his nose is particularly disturbing

They even took the color of the shirt he was printed on!

Bad Monkey Shirt Design

The sad thing is that if the owners of the coffee stand had bothered to follow the copyright link on the shirt to my blog and emailed me, I might have given them permission to use my character and also do their artwork for them if they were nice! It's a small valley... we may even know the same people. Maybe we could have worked out a deal where they'd sell my shirts and I'd split the profits with them! I usually don't license out my art for commercial purposes... but, come on, a struggling independent local coffee company wanting to name their business after something you created? How cool is that?!?

But they didn't, and (assumably) ripped me off instead (I don't buy this as a coincidence). Then, surprise! IT'S KARMA, BITCH!


The reason I don't license my characters or give permission to use them for commercial purposes is simple. I don't make any money off my creations, so why should anybody else? I guess that doesn't stop people from taking them anyway. And, in this case, I guess justice was served.

At least until somebody else buys the business and re-opens it.

Categories: DaveToons 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. RW says:

    The font on their sign… there’s something about that too, isn’t there?

    Anyway… Jeebus!

  2. Michelle M. says:

    Oh. So I probably shouldn’t start blog featuring Lil’ Michelle and her sidekick,”cheeky monkey”.

  3. karla says:


    That’s just…wow.

  4. muskrat says:

    Ha! Too bad for them.


    Oops I left caps lock on by accident, but I’m too lazy to go back and re-type that. Still. Karma.

  6. And here I was, thinking we could open a sex toy shop called “Spanking Monkey.” Or maybe a childcare center. Can’t decide which.

  7. MIke says:

    In a low-down sneaky bastardy sort of way, it’s flattering a little.. maybe. I think I would be more offended that they did such a lousy job ripping off the monkey face.. where the playful essence? Where’s the primal mischievousness? Instead all you get is a uninspired coffee cup turned upside down with a plastic lid and a goofy design on the side. Big whoop.

    And the phrase.. “Have you been naughty today?” what were they thinking they were selling- hashish? That phrase belongs to any substance that helps you loosen up and get laid back and all those other quasi-hippisms. Caffeine? no way, dude. No wonder they went out of business.. cuteness only goes so far especially when it’s second-hand!

    • Dave2 says:

      What’s odd is that the place used to be called “The Purple Cow”… which actually seemed to work better. Maybe if the monkey were hyped up on caffeine it would have made more sense, but coffee is hardly naughty… unless you’re talking about the price of the stuff!

  8. sizzle says:

    I guess having a copyright to something isn’t enough to keep people from risking it? Seems pretty stupid on their part.

  9. Tracy Lynn says:

    My Try Evil shirt is a wardrobe staple, and causes comment EVERY SINGLE TIME I WEAR IT.I shudder to think what will happen when it finally falls apart. I may never recover.

  10. Hilly says:

    What a bunch of assholes, seriously. I would never ever ever have the BALLS to rip off someone’s design then prominently display it like that.

    Also, for some reason “Imitator” sounds like the name of a song Depeche Mode should sing.

  11. kapgar says:

    You should stop by and steal the sign!

  12. whall says:

    Grass is always greener on the other side. I can’t WAIT to be good enough at something to be violated copyright-wise.

  13. Poppy says:

    I think you should climb on the lower roof and paste Bad Monkey character over Naughty Monkey Character then cover the word Naughty with the Word Bad, then buy the coffee shop.

    • Dave2 says:

      But I think I’d have to sell hot cocoa… I don’t like coffee. Blech! BAD MONKEY HOT COCOA would totally rock though!

      • Kris says:

        I think Poppy’s onto something there! Bad Monkey cocoa? (Although you wold have to have him flingin’ poo, as monkeys are wont to do, on the sign.)

        But then pershaps only weirdoes like me would still buy Bad Monkey Cocoa.

        Bastages. They deserve some awful crotch rot for their stupidity.

  14. martymankins says:

    Seems these people ripping you off are growing. And some are even local now.

    Poppy has the right idea. You should buy the coffee shop location. Even adding food items like the Bad Monkey doughnut with the phrase “Be Bad Today”

  15. Belinda says:

    It’s funny–as soon as I saw the first photo of the place, I was thinking, “Oh, well, that place will be out of business within 90 days, anyway…”

    Now that I know I’m psychic, I’ll be setting up a 900 line. I’ll keep you posted.

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