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Mike Peters sued for $20M over coffee cartoon

Offending Mother Goose and Grimm comic

Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters has been sued by the The Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers over a cartoon published last week poking fun at Columbian Crime and Columbian coffee. The federation alleges that Mike’s cartoon “damages the intellectual heritage.” They’re asking for US$20 million.

According to Columbiareports.com, Mike has apologized in a letter to El Tiempo and says the idea of the cartoon was based on news that the inventor of Pringles had his cremated ashes buried in a Pringles can.

Community Comments

#1 Wiley Miller
January/7/2009
@ 9:45 am

“According to the coffee growers, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s comic insults Colombia’s national dignity. ”

Columbia has national dignity? Who knew?

#2 Mike Cope
January/7/2009
@ 10:19 am

It could be worse … They could be calling for his assassination.

#3 Rick Ellis
January/7/2009
@ 10:20 am

Who knew that a cup of Joe was really a cup of Juan?

#4 Darrin Bell
January/7/2009
@ 10:34 am

I’m no lawyer, but if I were, I’m pretty sure my first bit of advice for a client being sued for $20M would be “don’t write a letter of apology.”

In any case, Mike’s going to have to pay this Federation an awful lot of money as soon as they show there aren’t any big crime syndicates in Colombia.

#5 Norm Feuti
January/7/2009
@ 10:43 am

The federation alleges that Mikeâ??s cartoon â??damages the intellectual heritage.â?

Real intellectuals don’t sue over a joke.

#6 Wiley Miller
January/7/2009
@ 11:01 am

I guess this pretty much ruins the plans for the 2010 Reuben Awards in Bogota.

#7 jesse
January/7/2009
@ 11:04 am

what is it about coffee and frivolous lawsuits?

#8 Milt Priggee
January/7/2009
@ 11:22 am

If the lawsuit is truly frivolous (as I believe it is) I look forward to Mike’s counter lawsuit for frivolous lawsuit filing.

#9 Jim Lavery
January/7/2009
@ 11:35 am

Totally and completely frivolous grounds–but enough about Columbian Coffee, the lawsuit is pretty lame too.

#10 Bill Kellogg
January/7/2009
@ 12:12 pm

I guess that’s what they mean when they say “it’s a full-bodied cup of coffee.”

#11 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
January/7/2009
@ 12:40 pm

I always thought that “Mrs. Olson” character was kind of creepy with a hidden agenda and a phony Scandahoovian accent. Reminded me of a 007 villain!

#12 Paul Fell
January/7/2009
@ 12:55 pm

Things like this is why syndicates keep a battalion of lawyers on call day and night. Hell, if Mike worked for Disney, they would have already staged an invasion of Columbia.

#13 Lucas Turnbloom
January/7/2009
@ 12:56 pm

I’ve gotta side with the Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers on this one.

I mean, how come nobody ever pokes fun at the Maxwell House Crime Syndicate? For shame, Mike!

#14 John Cole
January/7/2009
@ 12:59 pm

Small point: Nowhere does it say that a suit has in fact been filed; so it’s probably premature to say Peters has been sued. If and when it is filed, though, it ought to be laughed out of court.

#15 Wiley Miller
January/7/2009
@ 1:49 pm

Well, the term, “lawsuit” would imply that it has been filed. Otherwise, it’s just a letter of complaint to the cartoonist and his syndicate. And I’m assuming it’s being filed in Colombia, so it might not be laughed out of court there. But the court would be wise to do so, as this just makes them all look ridiculous.

#16 John Cole
January/7/2009
@ 1:58 pm

One story reports that the growers’ association met with their lawyers in NY and plans to file suit here.

http://insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2009/january/07/reg03.htm

The translation’s a little rough.

#17 Stacy Curtis
January/7/2009
@ 3:23 pm

I can’t wait to see Mike show up to court wearing his Superman costume.

#18 Tom Heintjes
January/7/2009
@ 4:02 pm

Maybe Mike can get Jackie Chiles to represent him. It worked for Kramer.

I love Mike’s work, but it’s too bad this dustup occurred over work that isn’t even particularly strong. If you’re gonna get sued, at least have it be over something that really kicks some gluteas maximus.

#19 Rick Stromoski
January/7/2009
@ 4:31 pm

I dunno Tom when I first read it the other morning I sprayed my double shot nonfat no foam cinnamon venti misto clear across the table through my nose.

#20 Jorge Estrada
January/7/2009
@ 4:31 pm

When the people is happy with the crimen in Colombia, they are cracy. When someone in USA is buying some cocain, with that money someone is kiling anybody here. Sure you think the USA´s problem with cocaine consumers is a joke too. Please think before write.

#21 Clay Jones
January/7/2009
@ 5:26 pm

I thought it was pretty strong, especially for a comic strip.
I don’t think much will come of this lawsuit in the U.S. since Larry Flynt and the U.S. Supreme Court has already broken this ground.

#22 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
January/7/2009
@ 5:26 pm

“I love Mikeâ??s work, but itâ??s too bad this dustup occurred over work that isnâ??t even particularly strong. If youâ??re gonna get sued, at least have it be over something that really kicks some gluteas maximus.”-Tom H.

I dunno Tom…implied cannibalism ‘after the fact’ is always a good gag!

( I think it especially funny that a goose would eschew eating human! )

#23 Darrin Bell
January/7/2009
@ 6:23 pm

“When the people is happy with the crimen in Colombia, they are cracy. When someone in USA is buying some cocain, with that money someone is kiling anybody here. Sure you think the USA´s problem with cocaine consumers is a joke too. Please think before write.”

Huh? What are you talking about? Americans are ALWAYS joking about crime and drugs in America.

#24 Quint Nelson
January/7/2009
@ 11:16 pm

I think he’s gonna be payin’ out the ying-yang…I’m just sayin’.

#25 Cate Eales
January/8/2009
@ 12:17 am

The Federation needs to back away from the cappuccino machine.

#26 Rich Diesslin
January/8/2009
@ 1:28 am

Yeah, well they are going to have to produce Juan to win this … and he hasn’t been seen lately!

#27 Rich Diesslin
January/8/2009
@ 1:29 am

… and his burro ain’t talkin’!

#28 Juan Valdez
January/8/2009
@ 8:30 am

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

#29 Dan Collins
January/8/2009
@ 10:06 am

They don’t EVEN want to see my cartoon about Juan.

#30 RS Davis
January/8/2009
@ 1:55 pm

***The Colombian Hillbilly***

Come and listen to a story about a man named Juan
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his coffee farm,
Then one day he ran clean out of luck,
â??Cause he saw a hundred keys being loaded on a truck.

Dope that is, nose candy, Bogota marching powder…

Well the first thing you know olâ?? Juanâ??s a disappeared,
Cartel said “Juan we need a volunteer”
Said “This Folgers can is the place you ought to be”
So they packed him up & shipped off to the local grocery…

Krogerâ??s that is, Save-A-Lot, Piggly Wiggly.

But itâ??s also time to say goodbye to Grimm and all his friends!
â??Cause he made a joke about that dope and Juan aâ?? droppinâ?? in.
Heâ??s been invited, â??Hey, come and stay in old Itagui!
And have a heapinâ?? helpinâ?? of our hospitality!â?

Like Enrique Camarena that is, suffer a spell, take your ears off.

Heâ??ll never come back now, y’hear?

#31 Rich Diesslin
January/9/2009
@ 12:09 am

RS – That’s a hoot! Good stuff!

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