Teletoon responds to the LICD discussion

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 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.


Posted on May 25, 2011, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Hey folks-

    This thread got pointed out to me, so I did want to take a minute to comment to set a few things straight.

    While Heather has made the distinction between Broadcaster and Production company very clear, it was not the production company that got the LICD Bible and character sheets on their own accord.

    It should be noted, that Teletoon, the Broadcaster, provided me, Blind Ferret and our production partner Cinegroupe with the Bible and Character sheets of The Dating Guy, of which I still have in my possession. The reverse is also true.

    The other point I wanted to clarify, was that Heather has her dates mixed up, as LICD had a deal in place 2 years before The Dating Guy. I have all the time stamped documents, as well as the timestamped Dating Guy pitch.

    Though commenting on pending litigation isn’t the smartest thing to do, I did want to at least make those two points clear.



  2. “Management has another story, of course: management always has another story.”
    Penny Arcade, Nov. 30, 2007

    I’m siding with Sohmer on this one.

  3. Anything that takes money away from Sohmer is A-OK in my book.

  4. But which one is better at getting their side of the story across? Ryan Sohmer or Teletoon? Theres only one way to find out! FIIIIIGHT!!!

    (I’m with Sohmer on this one btw)

  5. this is going to end up ugly, and probably we will never find out who is right,
    on one side we have a big company and in the other we have one independent cartoonist.

  6. Sofía Yáñez

    I’m with Sohmer here, and The Dating Guy sucks. LICD characters have personality, TDG it such a ripoff and a poorly made cartoon.

    • I guess in the strictest sense that’s true, but the depth of every LICD character’s personality can be exhausted with a single adjective. It’s got some good gags, though.

  7. Oh wow, two cartoons about “sassy” jerks who treat women like trash existing in the same space? What are the friggin’ odds.

  8. honestly, i cannot see the dating guy making it past season two. and really i read Least I Could I Do to fall asleep (Looking for Group has the same effect on me, but i digress).

    The animation style of TDG is horrendous and ugly, and the stereotypes are boring and insulting. LICD has some good art in recent years, but i have had more stimulating conversations with my cat (or rather her butt… my cat is an arse).

    while i do feel that Sohmer has a right to be upset if he feels his work has been plagarized, my burning apathy means i don’t care and i hope both projects die in a fire. and i hate to tell you this Sohmer, but LICD is not that original and is something i can see severel parties working on. not cool that Teletoon did not see the similarities themselves and perhaps took more steps to ensure everyone felt like thier own property is protected, but really it been done before.

    on the brightside i no longer need medications to fall asleep anymore.

    • “my burning apathy means i don’t care”

      This describes my feelings pretty well.

    • You’re the 2nd person that I heard to use burning to describe his own apathy.

      I’m not sure which is worst. I only seen one short clip of The Dating Guy so I could only tell that The Dating Guy is bad. However in the outside, the dating guy seems more marketable. It’s more ethically diverse and no niece means that he doesn’t have to mister responsible at the same time. Both ways, I didn’t want either to exist.

      I know that it is harsh but I honestly don’t feel bad for Sohmer. I don’t really believe he was wronged and I don’t really care if he was. In fact, I think that I’m subconsciously taking this opportunity to mock him.

      I’m sorry that everybody is a dick. It could be worst like the million of the horrible things that happen to a million nicer people.

      • MoronAdjacent

        While I understand your reasoning for enjoying the removal of the niece in the Dating Guy as opposed to Least I Could Do, Ashley (the niece) as a plot device works to show that Rayne isn’t a sexaholic 24/7, and when tested can show himself to be a rather caring and compassionate guy. While these attributes can also be administered through the implementation of other cast members, such as his helping Noel with his proposal, and then eventual marriage, the story really hits home when the effected party is a child. On top of this, Ashley allows for some buy-in on Rayne’s part, such as the recent story arch in which she decided to Google his name and was horrified at what came up, because now Rayne has to describe his promiscuous tendencies to an innocent child who he loves. Again I understand why you wouldn’t want a niece or buy-in (I mean, what guy wants his life of free, unadulterated sex ruined by a moral dilemma), but this moral dilemma allowed for character growth and development, something any series that wants itself taken seriously has to have, or else it just becomes the same guy doing the same task over and over again, and if I wanted THAT, I’d just go play a MMORPG and enjoy the tedious hours of grind that follow.

        • Raine isn’t a “deep” or well written character. Yes, Raine has many aspect but it just makes him an Olympic swimming pool barely enough water to make the floor wet. A lot of the attributes don’t mix well with each other, his actions, and results of the situations. Depth isn’t necessarily about adding new characteristic to the character or making him more likable but making him seem more like a person.
          A misogynous man might be expected to punch a woman but letting him do so adds depth. Saying that Hitler loves dogs doesn’t really add that much to the character. Hitler doesn’t become balanced and it doesn’t make us understand how he became Hitler.
          Raine is a wish-fulfillment. He always wins augments. His friends love him despite being treated badly. He has a successful business and he always gets laid. However he also has to satisfy his super-ego as well. He doesn’t punch women, steal, or rape. He is nice to his niece and he does charity work.
          You may ask “Why would anyone hate such a ‘nice’ guy?”. The answer is simple. He is not a person. He is a manifestation of the author’s psychological needs. The only people interested in a wish-fulfillment character is the one making the wishes. All their characteristic are superficial and anybody can imagine being one. Anybody can dress up like Superman or Batman but not everyone can “be” Superman or Batman.

        • edit: Yes, Raine has many aspect but it just makes him an Olympic swimming pool with barely enough water to make the floor wet.

          For the sake of analogy, let say a character has three dimensions length, width, and height (or in this case depth) and the idea shape is a cube. The length represents how much the character appears in the story. The width represents how important is the character to the story. The depth represents how much we understand the character.

          We don’t want an idiot that just walks around making fart jokes show up in every scene. You can’t kill off the main character of the story in the first chapter (“off” means you never see them again). We don’t need to psychoanalyze henchmen #25.

          • I can tell how well you’ve studied LICD: it’s Rayne, not Raine.

            LICD is, IMO, an awesome comic that I read daily, as is LFG. Anyone who thinks otherwise can suck it and find something else to read. I haven’t seen any of “The Dating Guy”, so I won’t be weighing in on the main debate here.

          • Word of advice: all credibility in any argument is instantly lost if you cannot spell the main character’s name right. The comic is all about him and if you can’t even spell it right, then how much research have you actually done? You’re just spewing out BS that you’re surmising or presuming due to the nature of the comic and you’re not actually reading it.

  9. This whole ordeal is a bit much to make over a show ripping off a misogynist cartoon that will probably be cancelled after the first season and promptly forgotten forever.

    If you ask me.

  10. Teletoon wanted Sohmer to change some things, it’s not at all uncommon. I had a children’s book published and before it got off the ground the publishing company asked I change a few things to make it appeal to a larger audience. I did, because that’s what it took to get my idea off the ground.
    Ryan Sohmer, you have proved once again that you don’t deserve your crappy self-insert to hit the air waves. The man is acting like a baby. He refused to do what it took to get his show going, so they continued to green light one that would.
    Boo. Hoo.
    I feel absolutely no sympathy for that whiny mouthpiece. LICD itself used to be witty and somewhat funny, now it’s just chock full of Sohmer’s self-righteous opinions. Heaven forbid the company ask for some multiculturalism and a change of scenery, which in the big picture is very, very small.
    Not like it would have made it past the first season.

    • Ah, and I forgot to add— Ryan Sohmer, if anything, should thank Teletoon for showing that a show with a one trick pony premise like TDG/LICD is barely watchable anyway. Because we all know how very popular TDG is.

      • fuck off hickiburp

        one trick pony? i don’t think this thread is about you troll……..also if the changes were made the entire comic/show would be different it would not be the licd that we all know and love its like removing Richard from lfg then it would be boring

    • I agree. He’s acting like a total novice when it comes to production. It must be nice to live in webcomics fantasy land where you’re the big comic and people like you, but television has bigger fish to fry and listening to Sohmer complain about how he doesn’t want to work with the network just isn’t time well spent.

      I’m also tired of this whole plagiarism accusation. You can’t copyright an idea, not even a crappy one. I mean, how many “comet/asteroid hitting the Earth apocalypse” movies did we have to put up with back in the day? It happens in movies and TV all the time, and it’s not illegal.

      • Actually, you can copyright an idea as long as its a tangible one. In the case of comics (which happens to be protected by copyright infringement) plagiarizing characters for profit without prior content from the author is against the law. Otherwise, the movie industry, music industry, publishing industry and TV networks wouldn’t have the ability to keep others from stealing their ideas.

        Non-tangible objects like mathematics, or something that cannot be proved to have been created (undocumented inventions or uncreated media forms [i.e. things that are still in the minds eye]) cannot be protected via the copyright laws.

        Copyright laws are also international, thus protecting international copyright theft.

        Your comparison of the Armageddon movies are similar in theory, but plot lines, characters and scripts are all different unless created by the same author, or publisher/studio/etc.

    • The hell are you talking about. Multiculturalism is something imputed into TV to shut activists up. Not everyone has a slew of varied raced friends. You don’t have to be a racist to have all Caucasian friends.

  11. So uhm…. If ya’ll don’t like LICD or LFG, why the hell are you even bothering with this thread?

    Don’t read the bleedin’ things if you find no enjoyment in it.

  12. Some of you seem pretty excessive in your comments towards and his comic Ryan Sohmer. =\

    Did the man do something to each of you personally to warrant such…burning apathy?

    • What? Is Apathy now an emotion for a new lantern corp? How does one channel apathy to a ring?

      • You don’t care enough AND IT JUST HAPPENS~

        i mean i think there is this glowing spherical thing on my bedside table, but i don’t care enough to check.

  13. I’d just like to say a few things here . . .

    I haven’t been an avid reader for very long, just under a year now, and only 6 months ago did I start reading LICD (I was an LFG fan). So I don’t know as much about Sohmer and I can’t say much about his underlying personality. But seriously, why do you people care so much, have such a strong negative opinion that you have to get on here and bitch about him? We’re trying to make a point about the argument between Teletoon and Blind Ferret, not about how much of a d*** Ryan Sohmer is. If you don’t like the comic, well, that’s your opinion and your right to choose to hate it. Maybe it’s not to your taste, maybe it’s not to your liking, maybe you find Rayne and insensitive prick who’s being glorified for the writer’s own personal wanting of what he does to be okay. That’s great. Congratulations. You are your own person with your own preferences. You don’t stick with the crowd. Awesome. Those of us who do like it really don’t care. And a few harsh and/or crude words are not going to sway our opinion. How about you give us some base and real meat to your side of this instead of using this to rant and spread generally negative feelings. All you’re doing is proving how much of an ass you are and making us want to promote the comic and its author all the more. Just to spite you.

    As for the production thing. The second you take something like this and try to put it into big time production, you’re going to find that that particular business track is full of assholes and the occasional person who really cares. The way you get anywhere in that world is getting what sells. These people have studied and worked and found what they believe to sell the best. If they’re pitched something that they think might do better with some changes, of course they’re gonna want you to change it. And quite possibly refuse to do anything with it without radically modifying it. Which to the general populous, makes them assholes. But they know that they can’t get anywhere while making everyone happy. So they HAVE to change some things. You gotta get used to it.

    On the other hand, this is Sohmer’s creation. He made this from something small, something that was probably just his little thing, to something that a nice number of people read, that people follow with dedication, that people love and has become part of their daily ritual to check and enjoy. Which must be amazing to him, especially the fact that it’s HIS, that he made it the way he wanted and it grew like it did. Now, to have someone say he has to radically change it just to get it animated? I can understand why he might be a bit . . . reluctant. I would be too. He has every right to want to keep it the way he has it or the way he wants it. It’s his, people like it, and he got to do it his own way. So why change it in his opinion? And if he wants to say fuck off to the people who wanted him to change it, that’s his choice. He knows the consequences of it.

    Now, whether Teletoon actually stole the idea or not, I have no idea. And we may never know. This’ll all get mixed up in emotional and political bullshit and the truth’ll probably never be known. Ah well.

    Now. Just because I have an opinion and it’s my right to express it, I love Rayne. Like . . . a lot. And I wouldn’t want him changed. At all. I could go into details, but this is obnoxiously long as it is. That’s just . . . what I had to say. Thanks for listening I guess . . . cookie for anyone who actually read this.

  14. All I have to say is….

  15. I think part of the problem is whenever someone tries to change media (i.e. going from comic to cartoon to live action) usually the perceived reason is that they want more money. And people who want more money are typically considered douchebags, at least if they don’t follow through with a good product to stifle the haters. A crappy product? Sohmer should be laughing his ass off.

    If TDG had been successful at all I could see him getting his knickers in a twist, but I think there has been a resounding “Meh” from everyone. And especially after the surprising campaign to raise money… Something that even the writers at Penny Arcade with which were astonished… He has everything he wants. A poor representation of his work (given that there were some ideas creatively borrowed and interpreted) that he gets no credit for? Perfect incentive to get the rabid fans mobilized.

    So bravo to everyone from fans to trolls for making this an internet blip, because in the end, Sohmer will profit ❤

  16. The Dating Guy is extremely lame.
    I will never get those minutes of my life back. 😦

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