Cuz we all need something to love:
by Geoff Manaugh
Back in 1990, in an awesome piece for The New Yorker, author Ian Frazier told the—shall we say—little-known story of Wile E. Coyote’s endless legal battles with the Acme Company. Now, the tale of Coyote’s legal tribulations, suing Acme for grievous personal injury and catastrophic product malfunction, has been designed and republished by Michael Bierut of Pentagram, featuring original diagrams by Daniel Weil.
Frazier’s premise is that Coyote has finally had enough of the injury, trauma, and humiliation inflicted upon him by Acme products—products that never seem to work as intended and that always, in the end, turn against the person (or, his case, animal) using them. So he has lawyered up and taken his case to court.
“My client,” we read on the opening page of the ensuing fictional legal argument, “Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hereby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.”
The dry legalese of Frazier’s text sets a perfect tone for this—and it is maintained consistently, going through “improper cautionary labeling,” for example, to a case of “sudden and extreme malfunction” in the case of Coyote’s spring-powered shoes.
However, if imaginary legal arguments aren’t quite your bag, Weil’s helpful diagrams of the offending products add an awesome level of investigative detail to the new publication.
Read it all (including terrific diagrams/pics)