TCAF Pink Catfight
digital artist Saba Moel created her Pink Cat Daily comics on Instagram for around five years, with a following of around a quarter of a million people. Pink Cat is a human/cat hybrid who sports numerous tattoos, takes drugs, and speaks in witty slang and punchlines, and is basically and so tank girl and Garfield had a child and left her with a bunch of hippies. Pink Cat has been collected from comic book collections, but it’s not the physical manifestations of Pink Cat that’s the problem, it’s the digital. Kind of non-fungible.
Pink Cat is a guest at the upcoming Toronto Comic Art Festival, a long-running Canadian comic convention that specializes in comic book creators and creator-owned cartoonists. And it’s Pink Cat who’s listed as a guest rather than Saba Moeel.
Pink Cat is an American Middle Eastern viral artist born on Web 2 and based in Richmond, California. A classically trained designer from Parsons School of Design, she has amassed a quarter of a million Instagram followers, 90% of them women aged 18-35, posting her comics daily on social media since 2016 After publishing his first comic I don’t care, I didn’t ask and I’m babyshe was featured in the Los Angeles Time twice. She currently sells a generative NFT collection, merch, and self-produces an anime series based on her character.
And it was the penultimate credit that caused the problem, the sale of NFTs based on his work, and generative, an algorithm that creates and recreates different unique versions of his work, the kind of this popularized by the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The internet descended into fury, with some people saying they would no longer come to TCAF as a result. Objections to NFTs are a mix of environmental issues regarding the cost of energy, the appeal of NFTs to money launderers, the ephemeral Ponzi-style nature of NFTs, and what is seen as over-commercialization of art. . There are also concerns about the lackadaisical approach to copyright that seems to plague the NFT market. This could of course also apply to the traditional art market.
But Saba Moeel has been accused of, let’s call it… find influence a little too easily. As evidenced by these comparisons to the published art of Tank Girl, and more.
And even people’s tweets were brought up for comparison.
Speaking of tweets, some of the most compelling responses from the thousands that followed included the following;
Christine Hogenkamp: This is a wake up call for TCAF to actively protect people in the comics and art industry and recognize En Eff Tees as the scam they are and, at a minimum, not the platform artists who see nothing wrong with dishonest behavior in pursuit of profit, including art theft #TCAF2022
Nadia Chammas: As an exhibitor, I am quite disappointed with this decision. ENeffTees is a scam. That’s not what this show is about
Ngozi: I will no longer participate in TCAF. Not only do I disagree with the platform of NFTS, but I also will not be a featured guest alongside an influencer who traces art and explicitly merchandises black culture. What was the thought process behind this, @TorontoComics?
Sam Thielman: absolute trash copied from various Tank Girl covers, thanks
Brit Wilson: Not only is it incredibly disappointing from the show I first attended when it was in a parking lot behind Honest Ed’s, but now it’s going to eclipse all the legitimate performers who have worked their ass off to be there.
Steph Blakey: I had an amazing time visiting #TCAF and was thrilled to be accepted as an exhibitor this year, but inviting an art thief who “[doesn’t] appreciate that amateur artists are given big platforms” as a featured guest at an event where that was kind of the point is a slap in the face.
This would be a reference to this previous tweet from the Pink Cat NFT Twitter account;
There were more comments;
Richard Pace: @TorontoComics is hosting an NFT art thief at the table? I’ve just been offered a table, I’m going now. It’s embarassing
Bex Ollerton: The fucking boost of having had the most incredible time at MCM to find out that TCAF supports NFTs on the train back. Literally what the fuck
Zack Davison: It’s a big yuck. #TCAF has always been the benchmark for conventions and artistic representation. Having someone copy other people’s art to sell as NFT as a guest is the opposite of what FASD represents.
Mel Gilman: FASD, I hope you listen to the feedback you receive here and reconsider this decision. N/F/T shouldn’t be given a platform – let alone a *featured* platform – on a show dedicated to uplifting indie comics.
In response to some of the replies, Saba Moelle posted “I think it’s kids who don’t understand blockchain” which received other replies;
Ryan Dunlavey: You’re wrong. We all understand comics AND the blockchain. Kids? I am 50 years old. I’ve filed at TCAF before, and I’m filing this year. I’ve been both a tech and comic professional for 30 years. Asking you to be a guest on this show was a terrible decision. Please stay home.
Leave Saba Moelle for posting what is probably his answer to much of the above;
Saba Marrow:What do you guys think of an older white man recounting probably the only Muslim comic artist who was invited to the event to “stay at home” because I embraced my business for blockchain and raised funds through my own followers instead of through VCs? Or white men like this, who don’t follow me or understand that we had been watching Tank Girl in our Discord, but think they can bully me into not going into this male dominated space white ? I am a single mother who posts every day, my life. I’ve said many times that Pink Cat is the Internet, it represents what it’s like to be a modern woman. I have over 2500 drawings, some are references, some are mine, some are memes. It’s my life, my job. For me. It’s not for anyone else. If you follow him and talk to you, so much the better. If you have a problem with me, my identity, my technique, my narrative, my kick. It’s not for you.
I’m from an area that’s been completely decimated by white supremacy and imperialism, and someone’s like “that’s a Disney character you drew” like yeah…that’s a well-known meme that us people women, use on the web 2. Bc toxic, corporate, colonialist Disney was stuffed down our throats
Because our families fled the EXPLODING BUILDINGS, the sanctions because we don’t use the central banking system, we didn’t have access to our own culture. American culture was imposed on us, even the English language…we should speak our own language,
Why tankgirl? Because she’s the only strong female comic who’s a realistic badass, not looking like a sex doll, she’s not a male fantasy, she’s female.
As it stands, TCAF has not yet made any statements and will be happy to update the situation if we receive a response.