Clowes accuses LaBeouf of illegally borrowing from his 2007 comic, Justin M. Damiano. The plagiarism went unnoticed until LaBeouf’s short film, Howard Cantour.com, debuted online. Fantagraphics Books Inc., Clowes publisher, calls the film “a complete rip-off,” and that the novelist was never approached by LaBeouf to authorize an adaptation. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Clowes says:
The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf. I’ve never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.
In response to the accusation, the short film is blocked from view on Vimeo yet continues to be available on BuzzFeed in its entirety.