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Original Comic Art, Yer Ass!

When I first attempted to learn to draw all those years ago, it was recommended that I copy the work of other artists so I could see what was working and what wasn't.  I didn't want to do that, as I wanted to evolve my own style.  I did, however, develop life drawing skills, so copying something was definitely something I was capable of.

You know, folks, I'm starting to think that maybe I can do Marvel/DC quality stuff, if I just choose obscure source material and don't make myself a target.

Comic publishers have been signing celebrities to create and/or star in comic books.  You have Jennifer Love Hewitt (Music Box), Tyrese Gibson (Mayhem, a book he can't believe isn't selling more, but those of us who have read it sure can), and more.  Among the people to score a deal was Nick Simmons.  Nicky is the kid of Gene Simmons, the guy with the long tongue from KISS.  Nick is an aspiring comic artist who once posted to his LiveJournal page that if you steal his art, you will pay in cash.  Radical Comics (who I understand to be made up of some very nice people) gave him a deal to do a comic for them.  Nicky would write and draw it, Radical would publish it, and everybody would be happy.

Not quite.

Manga fans have long noticed a similar vibe between Incarnate, Simmons' series, and Hellsing and Death Note.  This was bad.  Anime and manga fans are masters of minute arcane detail.  Put them on a scent, and if there's any dirt, they will find it.

They found it.

Simmons has been majorly swiping art from Bleach.  Not just panels, entire pages and layouts.  And the otaku are digging up more.

So, what is Radical's response in this age of Rob Liefeld and others swiping and claiming there is nothing wrong with it?

Production and distribution of Incarnate has been suspended indefinitely until this gets hashed out.  Radical is listening very closely to what people are saying, and they are not happy to be in this situation.  Which, I h ave to admit, is a great change of pace for the usual excusatory stuff.

I have never claimed to be a great artist.  The fact that so many people dig my style is still a shock to me.  But at least it's truly mine.  If someone says, "Oh, your little mermaid is adorable", I know I did the job right, it's not because I found the right template.

When talent is nothing more than buying a lightbox and Photoshop, why can't the honest people catch a break?

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