Robot 6

Radical halts Nick Simmons’ Incarnate amid claims of plagiarism [Updated]

From Tite Kubo's "Bleach" (left) and Nick Simmons' "Incarnate"

From Tite Kubo's "Bleach" (left) and Nick Simmons' "Incarnate"

Radical Publishing has stopped production of its comic Incarnate while it investigates growing accusations that creator Nick Simmons plagiarized Bleach and other popular manga series.

The allegations against Simmons, son of KISS frontman and reality-TV star Gene Simmons, emerged at the beginning of the week on the GameFAQ forum before gaining steam Wednesday on fan sites and LiveJournal. The latter link presents perhaps the best visual support for the Bleach claims.

The Wikipedia entry for Nick Simmons now includes a section detailing “Accusations of Plagiarism” that lists eight manga — the insanely popular Hellsing, One Piece and Vampire Hunter D, among them — and an amateur artist from DeviantART. There are assertions that, in addition to panel compositions, character designs and poses, Simmons lifted dialogue and “plot segments” from other works. A group calling for legal action against the 21-year-old Simmons has begun on Facebook, where some members have declared today “Bleach Protection Day.”

Bleach (top) and Incarnate

Bleach (top) and Incarnate

When contacted Wednesday night for comment, Radical Publishing released the following statement: “We at Radical Publishing Inc. and Radical Comics Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate comic book. We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter.  We have halted further production and distribution of the Incarnate comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.  Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our company and the comic book industry.”

Viz Media, which publishes Bleach in North America, was asked Wednesday via Twitter what was being done about the alleged plagiarism. A company representative responded, “We’ve got our team on it.” Creator Tite Kubo, whose series has sold more than 50 million copies in Japan, also commented on the claims (unfortunately, however, I can’t read what he tweeted).

A Viz Media spokeswoman this morning told Robot 6 that, “We appreciate all our fans bringing this matter to our attention and we are currently investigating this issue.”

Simmons’ Incarnate debuted in August with heavy promotional support from Radical and A&E TV, the network that airs Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. During Comic-Con, the publisher sponsored “an exclusive invitation-only rock concert extravaganza” at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Diego to celebrate the release of the first issue, while A&E filmed footage around the Radical booth for the reality show. The comic is also showcased on the network’s Family Jewels webpage and sold through its online store.

The three-issue miniseries centers on predatory, immortal shapeshifters called Revenants and their battle against a shadowy organization that has discovered a way to destroy them. Simmons spoke with Comic Book Resources about Incarnate in June, and he and his father later visited the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con.

As word of the accusations has spread, Simmons’ dormant DeviantART account has become a magnet for negative comments. His first journal entry, made in November 2008, includes a warning: “If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.”

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132 Comments

There are translations in the Livejournal resource for Kubo’s tweets on the subject here: http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html?thread=10839899#t10839899

「正直似てるかどうかより、ジーン・シモンズの息子が漫画家ってことのほうが気になる…。」
“I don’t know whether or not I should seriousl feel uneasy about Gene Simmon’s Son the Manga-ka…”

「なんか、昨日の夜から今朝にかけて、すごい数の海外のファンから「アメリカにBLEACHの真似をしてるマンガがある!」的な返信が入ってた。で、サイト見たら英語よくわかんないけど、どうも「ジーン・シモンズの息子のニック・シモンズが描いてるマンガだ」みたいなことが描いてあった。」
“Last night and this morning, an amazing number of foreign (non-Japanese) fans have been replying ‘In America there is a manga imitating BLEACH!’. So, even though I don’t understand English very well, I looked at the website. I would quite like to see the manga that Nick Simmons–Gene Simmons’ son–is drawing.”

Is it really plagiarism or is it just art swiping? I guess if it’s panels here and there who really cares. Lots of artists have drawn panels that seem to be exact duplicates of other artist’s work or photographs. However, if almost every panel is a swipe then there may very well be an issue.

It’s much more than a couple panels. Also, I’ve seen at least three character designs that were obviously copied from Bleach. I can’t say anything about any other manga, but it’s obvious he’s swiping from Bleach.

I have to agree with roanoke. An isolated art swipe or ‘homage’ is one thing. But from this and other examples shown online, he’s lifting more than just a couple character designs and compositional layouts from Bleach.

And somewhere Greg Land is wiping his brow thinking “at least it ain’t me this time”.

I kind of liked the first issue, but in my review for CBR last summer, I wrote: “It may be an amalgamation of other comics and role-playing game ideas, but it’s a good amalgamation.” I guess amalgamation was the right word, indeed.

Wow, that translation is pretty bad. He actually says:

“A LOT of foreign fans have contacted me overnight about a comic book plagiarizing BLEACH. I don’t really understand English, but I went and looked at the website, and apparently it was something about a comic that Gene Simmons’ son is writing.” And: “I’m more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is a mangaka than whether he’s plagiarizing me or not.”

By the way, it should be noted that Nick also plagiarized many other manga, including Hellsing and Deadman Wonderland.

I was waiting on the trade for this because I flipped through the first two issues and really liked it.

Hopefully it gets published.

Hey Spencer,

If you really enjoyed the first two issues of incarnate, i’d read the original works that Nick Simmons stole from. Even used original dialogue from the Bleach manga! :P

If were going to debate this should we also bring Greg Land into the conversation?

A Google search on swiping and copyright infringement found general agreement that poses cannot be copyrighted. Swiping is legal, if the likeness of the swiped character isn’t reproduced. An article at the Kirby Museum covers examples of swiping back in the days of Simon and Kirby, at http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/simonandkirby/archives/956 , and the protection of graphic characters through trademarking and copyrighting is covered at http://www.publaw.com/graphical.html

SRS

ahahahaha this is too hilarious

Has Rob Liefeld read this?

Wow. Radical should offer a money back return on all copies of this book. This is outrageous. I really hope daddy is smacking his kid upside his head today.

Steven, it’s not just poses, it’s full character designs that appear to have been stolen here. The evidence is there for you to see and I’d hazard a guess that this is actionable.

It never pays to be lazy, and it can be expensive to be a thief.

Swiping and remixing art and music is getting more and more commonplace. More and more creators and fans see it as fair use.

Eventually someone will produce a Star Wars/Spider-man/Beyonce comic/song without worrying about copyright/likenesses/lawyers.

These aren’t my feelings. There is a movement out there where all intellectual property is free and available to use. They are taking it all the way to the legislative levels.

Leave Nick Simmons alone!

Uhh, Trey, what you’re talking about is ILLEGAL. Just because they SEE it as fair use doesn’t mean it is and doesn’t mean it’s not actionable. Ignorance of the law is NOT an excuse.

Leave Nick Simmons alone? A guy who traded on the work of others in blatant fashion to build his own career? We should leave that alone? I don’t think so.

I’ve got to say I see absolutely no problem with this. From what is included in this post, anyway, it looks like pretty basic swiping. Hardly something to get upset about. In addition, the character designs in question look quite generic, especially to the genre both Simmons and Kubo are working in. And let’s not forget that if people had made big fusses about this kind of thing in simpler times, we’d have no Shazam, no Flash Gordon, no Adam Strange, et cetera. There are worse things.

And please: “A guy who traded on the work of others in blatant fashion to build his own career? We should leave that alone? I don’t think so.”

Then we’ll be going after Geoff Johns, Brian Bendis, Alan Moore, Ed Brubaker, Alex Ross, Stan Lee, and basically everyone else working in corporate superhero comics too, right??

I don’t mind the occasional pose swipe. That’s pretty much just an homage. But if in three issues there are a lot of them like the article says, that’s pretty bad. If you’re going to do something like that, at least try to be slick about it. The two examples pretty much look just like the Kubo’s panels. I love Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball and Full Metal Alchemist. I’ve used them as reference and practice to figure out how to draw something. I’ve done homages and whatnot. But I wouldn’t blatantly copy panels like that. Part of being inspired by other artists is being inspired.

Trey, I don’t think that will ever happen. By that logic, Marvel could start publishing Batman stories and DC couldn’t do anything to stop them.

Flip, it happens all the time in music. Images are co-opted all the time.

But yes it is currently illegal. I was just pointing out, there are very small steps being taken where all IP is free to do with what you want. Even to re-mix and resell, without paying the original. Blame digital technology.

Matt, there are a bunch of pages in his comic which are clearly just traced right out of the bleach manga and then colored differently, theres a female character which many of her pannels are just traced and colored in with blond hari, and then the guy claims it as his own work and sells it.

Trey, there have also been countless lawsuits in the music industry about sampling and countless settlements. Then musicians got “smarter” and started to steal from the international music scene more since they’d be found out less easily, except then the Internet came along and leveled the playing field.

Truth be told, while has happened here is possible actionable, the problem for the original copyright holders is they have to prove that damage has been done to their copyright, which may be a bit harder to prove. That said, if Nick has profited majorly in any way from this, he could see those money’s attached very quickly.

And Matt, there’s a VERY big difference between the work those creators you mention do and theft and under no circumstances would I say that those creators have engaged in copyright theft. Has Bendis stolen ideas from other books for Powers? Has Brubaker done the same with Criminal? Absolutely not. Do corporate comics reference earlier stories in their history? Certainly, but they’re more than allowed to because it’s THEIR product. With Incarnate, the references are coming from someone elses product, not his.

Steven, it’s not just poses, it’s full character designs that appear to have been stolen here.

If Simmons copied entire trademarked/copyrighted characters into his publications, them I’d agree that he should be found liable. However, even minor changes in appearance can distinguish one character from another. In the artwork above, one character has hair and clothing; the other one doesn’t. Those differences probably suffice to make Simmons’s artwork legal. I haven’t found any evidence that panel composition can be copyrighted.

SRS

Nick Simmons can suck it!

If anything, I would hope that this brings more attention (and beratement, of legal and non-legal action) to those who make comic books to bring the hammer down on those who swipe.

Yes, it’s a part of comic book history, but we now recognize it and can stop it.

After looking at a few different websites, i’d have to agree with some of the outraged fans that he’s copied peoples work. Whether or not legal action is taken will be a different story. Maybe rather than sueing him, they should take away all the comics and destroy them. But i know others will probably say thats a stupid idea.

Though, this reminds me of the whole Repo vs. Repo deal thats going on. A new movie Repo men is coming out, and people say its a complete rip off from Repo! The Geneic Opera. The only similarities? Each movie has a corrupt company selling organs to people, a repo man to take them away when they stop paying them, and the company going after the repo man to try and kill him.

But they can’t sue them. Why? There’s no actual stolen things from Repo! The genetic opera, just the main idea, which has been done for years and years.

So I bet nothing will be done about Nick simmons and his stuff. Yes, it looks like a complete rip off. His characters do look a lot like characters from very popular mangas. But until they can prove that he stole everything from them, and took exact things from each manga, to the T, i don’t think anything can really be done about it.

As I noted in my post, this Livejournal entry contains numerous examples in support of the accusations.

For those saying it’s okay if he only traced a little…. That is bull.

The artists who penciled the original comics he stole from literally spent years or decades of their lives studying art and anatomy and creating their comics. There’s a reason their work is copyrighted.

No one has the right to spend a half hour tracing it and changing a few details, then trying to sell it as their own ‘work’. The fact is that if you put Simmons in room alone, there’s no way in Hell he could even drawn ‘his own’ copied characters like he did in ‘his’ comic. I’m not saying this lightly. Look at his DeviantArt account. The sketches he did by himself are incredibly amateur and would NEVER be published.

Pay no attention to Trey. I am the new improved Trey 2.0. He is now my intellectual property. I am in your harddrive…stealing your music…

Just some law primer for you guys:

The central tenet of copyright law is protection of the ability of a distinct content provider to profit from his works. In the eyes of the law, a copyright violation has only occurred when the ability of a person/group to sell a product is compromised and it can conclusively be proven that the existence of the offending work inhibits the ability of the original content provider to reasonably sell his work.

Furthermore, you cannot trademark a plot or design. You CAN trademark distinct style (like the bumps on a sprite bottle) if it can be reasonably proven that the general public specifically associates it with a distinct product, but it only applies to a single discrete instance, not things that look similar. Again, it’s only a violation if you can reasonably prove that the consumer base is confused and cannot differentiate between the “real deal” and “a fake”.

While the evidence clearly shows more than a vague similarity, and the act of such duplication isn’t very professional, Simmons has technically done nothing wrong (especially since Bleach is still moooing like the cashcow it is) and thus aside from his publisher dropping him (depending on contract clauses and how they want to play their PR), nothing else can come from this.

tl;dr
Did he replicate some designs? Yes.
Is he a thief? Personal preference.
Did he break the law? No.

Trey 2.0 is so much better than that dirty commie Trey. Of course your point is perfect. It’s fun taking from someone else’s work…. until someone copies from your work and doesn’t give you a lick of credit.

Again, funny as pointed out that Simmons commented in his DA page, “If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.”

Geez, when I posed I thought he copied from Hellsing and other manga on CBR months ago, I didn’t think the iceberg was this huge. I had no idea how directly he copied from Bleach. I just thought the main character looked like a young Alucard from Hellsing. Then someone else pointed out similarities to one Bleach character. Then the whole thing exploded last night thanks to that Bleach fan page compiling everything.

There’s a difference between homage, inspiration, and stealing. Flash Gordon and Adam Strange may have been inspired by Buck Rogers, but the theme and concepts are completely different, they just exist within the same genre. Captain Marvel has similarities to Superman, but his power source, characterization and costume design is different ( DC never won that lawsuit because it was hard to prove copyright infringement, Fawcett just went bankrupt and couldn’t continue the fight). You can imitate a scene, a pose, or even create a character similar to another and call it an homage. But, swiping poses, layouts, story, AND dialouge….THAT’S STEALING. I think they have a case.

For everyone who doesn’t think this is a big deal– or for those of you who are saying, “so, he swiped a couple of panels, so what?”– you should check out the Livejournal page that Kevin Melrose has already posted a couple of times:

http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html

Then come back here and try to tell us it’s “only a couple of panels.” Sorry, it’s TONS of panels from many different sources! It’s dialogue! It’s character designs and more!

No, it’s not *all* prosecutable, but it IS theft. It’s not a “personal preference”– it’s STEALING, and ANY reasonable person who visits that Livejournal page will come to that conclusion.

For all of you who want to know what other sources of information regarding the plagiarism there is, you can go to Nick Simmons english wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Simmons

There is a list of the works involved of which he has been “Swiping art”/”Stealing plot”/”Done blatant tracing”/”Plagiarising” or whichever it is everyone decides they want to call it.

There are also lists of links of where you can find sources for more indepth information.

Until the makers of the manga’s get a lawer to go through everything, nothings going to be done about this.

And unless he stole everything, word for word, designs and all, nothing can be done.

People have stolen plots, swiped ideas and art and all sorts of things for years in books, comics, music and movies. But nothing gets done because they didn’t do it word for word, exactly like the original.

If he’s really that good
then he should try to pen his own comics on his own name and not on his Daddy the rockstar

We could probably argue about copyright law and theft/no theft until the cows come home (though really, pretty much any artist, but especially the ones trying to break into the industry, would be having choice words with those who seem to think ‘a little swiping’ to bring to market is perfectly okay when there are people out there working as hard as they can to come up with their own ideas and art style only to be upstaged by things like this), but at the end of the day what matters is whether or not there are effective consequences for what happened here.

I think, judging by the publisher and especially the fanbase reaction so far, this comic artist isn’t going to get very far off the ground even if he does dodge the law.

I’m not attempting to defend Simmons’ actions. The subject of similarities between characters came up last year, when Kirby’s estate filed a suit against Marvel. Cases that have gone to trial, such as Marv Wolfman’s suit against Marvel, indicate that very minor changes in appearance (e.g., costumes that are practically identical, except that one is blue and yellow, while the other is black and white) can separate one character from another, in terms of legality. From what I saw at LiveJournal, the differences between the characters easily outweigh the similarities. The TCJ article about Wolfman’s case is at http://archives.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=250&Itemid=48

SRS

His father made a career out of ripping off The Rolling Stones etc. This comes as no surprise.

I found a site with a huge list of panels that were traced by little Simmons.
http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html

I personally don’t care about the legality of it all, I just find it pathetic.

“His father made a career out of ripping off The Rolling Stones etc. This comes as no surprise.”
+1

Ok, Nick Simmons is a fucking bastard, in my opinion. I, for one, know how hard it is to work on manga and try to get published, and it takes a loooooong time. For him to just trace and copy other people’s hardwork is just wrong. I understand it might get frustrating, and you’d look to your favorite manga for help, but to make it so obvious….. its just…. sad.

What I really hate is that he’s already rich, because of his father. There’s completely no reason for him to have plagiarized Bleach and other manga.

I’m a huge Bleach fan, and I demand something be done of this. Like, cancel the whole Incarnate series. Give the few people who actually bought and liked Incarnate their money back. Or donate it to the anime community in Japan. I heard Incarnate was going really bad so far. Plus, some of the characters there have already been created anyway -.- .

From an artistic standpoint, what he’s doing is definitely wrong, but I don’t think he’s done anything that’s punishable by law. It’s really just incredibly poor craftsmanship and shoddy artistic integrity. I feel like a lot of people are getting really riled up about this because a lot of the art is so blatantly ripped from a very popular series and hardcore fans, despite their noble, if ignorantly so, intents, are really just getting so worked up over this that they want to try to find a legal way to punish this evildoer for stealing from their precious mangaka’s glorious product as the only substantial way to right the supposed wrong he’s done.

…As if the entire internet shitstorm weren’t punishment enough already. ANd of course, Kubo’s being chill as a goddamn fridge because he knows none of this is going to inhibit the sales of his series at all.

But at this point, I think pulling legal action is complete overkill. It’s not like this guy was making a substantial money off of the comic in the first place, and it’s incredibly unlikely that he’ll ever sell anything after this. It’s unlikely he’ll create anything at all, considering how many big-name publishers seem to know about this already. gg Nick.

To Steven R. Stahl, while I’m not totally on-board with your arguments, I gotta say the links you provided are super interesting reading. Nice citation.

This plagiarist shouldn’t have the luxury of comics’ history of swipes and the proliferation of superheros. Fans on their own have found 4 or 5 pages traced over other manga and this thing is maybe 2 or 3 issues.

Radical should just burn the book and take the loss. No reason defending this.

I’m a real Entertainment Law/Intellectual Property attorney. I haven’t read either of these publications, nor have I have seen any of the panels (other than the ones shown in this article). Let me address some of the legal misconceptions on this forum:

Trey – You are incredibly misinformed. I practice in this area everyday – there is NO mainstream movement to “sample” copyrights freely and as “fair use.” Fair use is an exception to copyright protection only in certain circumstances, news and teaching probably being the most common. For example, a newspaper/TV news could show an image from a film or describe the plot of a movie for a review; or an art teacher could draw Spider-Man to show you how to draw superheroes.

More importantly, there is no way that the government is looking to lessen Copyright protection. If anything, in recent years, they’ve gone the other way – actually extending copyrights. Intellectual Copyright is probably among the U.S.’s greatest amount of exports in the form of film, music, software, books/magazines, video games, fashion, etc. If these protections are removed, there’s no longer an incentive to create them. Currently, copyright is mostly Life plus 70 years (if not a work made-for-hire, its tweaked a little if the copyright was created by a corporation, since they can’t “die” in the same way people can).

To address your flawed music industry comparison, the music industry has set up a compulsory rights system. For example, if you’re Lady GaGa and you want to take bits of, say, a Bruce Springsteen song, you can do so without getting permission from The Boss, HOWEVER, you better be prepared to pay the set rate. He gets a portion of the sale of each version of the song as well as for each play on the radio. This compulsory pricing system is pretty unique to songs. Other forms of copyright will typically have to license the rights on an individual basis.

Trey WILL BE correct in one regard – eventually, anyone WILL be allowed to mix and match Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Beyonce in any work (assuming a world where copyright protection/likeness rights will not be extended) when all of the copyrights expire.

I should also note that copyright and trademark are NOT interchangeable words. Copyright protects the expression of an idea for a set term. Trademark preserves the “good will” of the “mark” of a company FOREVER. For example, and we’ll see how this goes soon, Disney will lost copyright protection in its oldest cartoons (i.e. Steamboat Willy) so ANYone will be able to release it, show it, whatever, without paying for it. HOWEVER, I believe that Disney has also Trademarked Mickey Mouse as a representative of their company, so they MAY be able to block it on those grounds. This is unusual, because you’re not supposed to be able to copyright AND trademark something, it’s copyright OR trademark.

Matt – Your point was, I think , to claim that Bendis, Johns, etc. have copied the stories that were previously written by the company. If it was, then you’re also wrong, since the companies have always retained the rights of the properties, and since THEY’RE the owners of the copyrights, they can retell the same stories over and over again. It’s not a copyright violation.

Jacob – That is an EXTREMELY liberal reading of the Copyright Act that I don’t believe ANY court would follow. True, similarity alone isn’t copyright infringement (Transformers vs. Go-Bots, for example – no copyright infringement here), HOWEVER, if the artwork AND plot are actually taken, not similar, but taken from another source/sources, then you better believe there’s copyright infringement. If true, then Simmons is making money off of someone else’s designs and plot points, then they WILL most likely be found to violate copyright law. If it’s an homage, or a parody, then that’s different, there are exemptions about that. The courts will generally read that ANY money made from a direct copy of copyrighted material effects the original copyright holder, and, if proven, will require damages. If I film my OWN Spider-Man movie, with the plot, design, and look close enough to the copyrighted Spider-Man, even if I only make $150 dollars from friends and family, guess what, I violated copyright law.

Tim makes some excellent points; then again a lot of manga fans are pretty young and easily riled, and also as a result unrealistic — it’s gotten results, but now the problem is to calm them down again.

And yeah. If you’re trying to sell ‘American Manga’, you don’t start by pissing off something like 70% of your potential readers, i.e. the Shounen Jump manga fans.

If somebody told me this guy was an elaborate troll tomorrow, I’d want to believe them.

There was a manga-ka named Yuki Suetsugu that was caught for plagiarism.
http://cabin.jp/k55yuki/sd.html
http://comipress.com/files/images/articles/2007/07/plagiarism/suetsugu/kayono.jpg
http://cabin.jp/k55yuki/
The publisher pulled all her titles off of the shelves and her career as a manga-ka ended. She was a well-known girl manga artist, and had many series out for more than 10 years.

There are a lot of american comic artists that copies other artists out there, but usually it doesn’t seem like a big deal since they’re not punished for doing so, or they just claim that it’s an homage.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=265475

Well, as i see this, it’s more a moral than legal problem you know? This problems have been around for centuries (in paitings mostly), and a quick look at the comics from the late 90′s just shows you how artists like Joe Madureira or Roger Cruz (among dozens at that time) swapped from their favorite artists. Mr Nick, should just humble a bit and confess that he’s still learning, and that although he swipped/copied/whatever, he appologised to the original creators, and promised not to ever do it again. (Man up, and be responsible boy, you´re not a kid anymore)
:)

Nick traced.
For people to say it is ok, is just bull.
I’d be pretty pissed off if someone traced over my work and was selling it.

But as things stand – even if a lawsuit does not happen, the massive amount Bleach fans on the internet will keep ripping Nick apart. Lets just face the facts, this guy is going to get a ED article and be constantly trolled on for a very long time.

He dug his grave, now he has to lay in it. :\

Geoff, thanks for setting me straight. Although I did say it was a very small fringe movement. Obviously, those that are already in the industry are against this. And yes IP rights are very important.

I am mostly interested in the artistic choices that people make, whether they trace and copy, they still create a work that consumers will have to judge on its own merits. Greg Land does this, but he also makes changes. (His artwork is viewed as horrendous by many)

Lets say a rapper mentions Yoda or Batman in one of his lines? Its an artistic choice.
Andy Warhol used corporate art.
How many people used The Seven Samurai, or Hamlet, or Flash Gordon, or HP Lovecraft? But simply changed things?
What if I were to create a short 8 minute movie about aliens attacking a zoo, where the dialogue was taken word for word from Martin Scorsese movies?

Does it automatically invalidate the work as a distinct, new work?

For the record, I am not defending Simmons. I’ve never seen any of his work.
But as some have pointed out, Simmons will have to pay (not in the courts) for his artistic choices, as fans have now found out how he creates his work, and the backlash is strong.

Like father, like son.

As someone said, KISS themselves have been ripping off other bands forever. Their whole Psycho Circus stuff is just a lame copy of the Insane Clown Posse’s Dark Carnival concepts.

This has actually turned into a pretty fascinating example of comics culture. We’ve established that there are legal ambiguities here. I’m sure Shonen company will act accordingly and we’ll see what the courts decide with regard to legalities.

Two things I’d note that I think are more important:

- This got by the eyes of Radical, and Barry Levine isn’t an idiot.
- Reader backlash here predicts an impact on sales figures that supercedes legal ramifications… or does it?

On the first part, there are countless examples of other artists (and not just Land) who’ve done this for years. It’s gotten nowhere near this attention. At the same time, despite the attention Land received, he kept his job and kept putting out books– books people bought, by the way.

That kind of gets to the second part. As always, companies care about putting out books and making money, period. We should expect nothing less– or more. We can gripe on here all day if we like. The companies aren’t hiring bookeepers to tally forum responses. Their bottom line is the bottom line.

That said, out of how many people that read the CBR site would have actually bought the book anyway? How big is the media attention surrounding this? Consider that the best selling books each month move 40,000 copies. Radical probably only expected to move 4,000 copies of Incarnate at best. It’s possible that the impact of this forum is so miniscule that it wouldn’t have hurt Radical’s sales on the book enough to count. They could have still moved 2,500 copies and paid their printing costs. We should feel relieved that they did the right thing. They could have done the wrong thing for a little while longer.

I’m impressed that the fan movement picked up on this and did something about it. That really speaks well of our community as a responsible audience. However, there are about 20-some image comparisons. That means about fifteen or so people putting forth the effort to get this out in the open. Perhaps they deserve the exalted title of “the Incarnate 15″ or some other such moniker, but it also demonstrates how few people got involved. We’re a small body of people, and the voice of the outspoken is even smaller.

Things like this will continue to happen until the people speak with their wallets and make publishers listen to the words going into the bank accounts. If you don’t like something, stop buying it. Tell other people not to buy it. Explain to them what the impact of buying it is. Demand better content from your publishers and tell your comic book store that you don’t think they should order books that guys like Land and Simmons work on until they clean up their act. You don’t have to act the fool and picket your comics shop. Just get three or four regular customers together and tell the owner how you feel and ask how many extra titles you each have to buy in order to get them to drop a book you object to. Given how tight the market it right now, you might wind up buying one or two extra books a month, unless it’s a large store.

I don’t think that’s too insane of a suggestion. Mark Waid didn’t think so when he was booted from Fantastic Four. Marvel didn’t think so when they offered the Deadpool variant for the “Darkest Night” variant covers. And Radical didn’t think so when they halted production on “Incarnate”.

Ultimately, there’s a lot of complaining that takes place relative to the amount of action undertaken. Complaining is good, up to a point. It lets others who are dissatisfied know they’re not alone. Awareness of large-scale solidarity is important. There are about 40 people here disgruntled with the current state of things. The question now is what will they do with the knowledge that they and 39 others feel so similarly and strongly that they’d talk to each other about it?

What started as grousing in Boston pubs grew to Tea Parties and climbed the heights of Bunker Hill, trudged through Valley Forge, and came out the other side an independent country. What will a forum on a comics website start?

Some people actually SUPPORT him. I read the comments on dA.. and I’m SURE they’re nice to him because he’s Gene Simmons’ son.
He TRACED. Some say his is better than Kubo’s but that’s not the point! Why will his be better than the original if the art isn’t even HIS?
Lots of artists trace over art but at least most are not that stupid and trace over COPY RIGHTED art.

I don’t know about the story… but I think he even copied some of the dialogs… wouldn’t surprise me if he did >_>
What a prick.
Who cares who he is? He traced/stole art period.

Just one thing: out of all the things to plagirize, why something as pointless as Bleach?

Kidding. I don’t like Bleach but I can’t deny that this is pretty terrible.

This is the best shit I have ever seem

Trey said:

“Leave Nick Simmons alone!”

Put that punk in jail for a few years, and we’ll all forget about him.

I laugh when people say his drawings are better than Kubo’s. He puts Bleach out on a weekly basis with few breaks in between and he doesn’t have the benefit of copying from someone else. While I have some complaints about the story, I’ve felt he’s kept the art at a good level.

Bookkeeper is one of the few words in the English language to have three consecutive double letters” oo. kk. ee.

I have a question: if CBR talked to the Simmons about this way back in June, wouldn’t it have been in a position to notice any similarities with Bleach well before this week?

Geoff: EXCELLENT post. Thanks.

Jim: Yes, certainly, within the direct market, Incarnate likely sold around 4000 copies or so (according to this site, that’s right on the money http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/15820.html ) but there’s more to this story than just a guy ripping off other comics, which of course is a very important part of the story. This book has been promoted on a television program with much more than 4000 viewers, the book was being sold via various channels including the A&E Web site, was heavily promoted in mainstream media and Nick is a celebrity, even if it is a minor one, and the son of an icon celebrity. When you put all those things together, and the fact that he blatantly plagiarized, it’s deserving of any attention it gets. Plagiarism should never go unanswered and definitely has consequences.

Greg Land has been called out numerous times, but the public has spoken — they keep buying his books. But his level of reference and tracing is a tad different than what we see happening with Incarnate and various manga, where we’re seeing wholesale stealing of concepts, designs, mannerisms, etc … and it’s not just 10-15 pieces, the number of copied panels is growing and growing and who knows where it will end. Last time I checking that Livejournal site I counted at least 40-50 instances of theft.

ABNA: Not necessarily — there wasn’t a lot of preview art available at the time, plus CBR’s not exactly a Manga site. These sorts of plagiarism are almost always noticed by the hard core fans. At the same time you could ask the same question regarding any site that covers comics and or manga — Anime News Network, Newsarama, Manga News, etc … the only ones who caught it were the fans and hey, YAY fans!

One other quick thing that makes this situation so unique — Radical issuing a statement distancing themselves from the creator they originally backed. That doesn’t happen often in publishing, but when it does it’s always news.

Even the speed lines match up in what he stole, and he straight up took dialogue. Legal ramifications aside, this man should never work in comics again. But he will, some comapny will give him a jobe because his name alone will move books. This is what happens when comic companies run to celeberties for a quick buck.

people keep mentioning Land, let’s not forget Liefeld. for some reason comic book COMPANIES don’t care about plagarism/tracing/swiping. I don’t know why. I don’t know a single actual ARTIST that DOESN’T care about swiping, that doesn’t feel dirty and upset when something like this.

The American comic book industry, for some reason, doesn’t care, but the majority of artists do. I don’t know why this paradox exists. Fans seems to fall on either side, I hear a lot of fan that don’t see why it matter.
Let me put it in terms that are more grounded. This is work. Work that someone gets paid for at the least, puts their heart and emo little soul into, at the most. They are taking that work and taking money and credit for it on the back of another person’s hard work. Actual work. Surely you can understand that? This is not a homage, this is someone trying to NOT WORK FOR THEIR MONEY. There’s a difference, do not pretend you don’t have a brain and cannot tell the difference. You can.

Any artists I talked to about this were very cynical, as people have pointed out, we have all seen this happen many times in the past and we are used to no one caring. I can’t ever remember anyone getting in “get fired” trouble for this. None of us believed that anything would happen, and I have to admit I still don’t. People will side with him and go “I don’t see the big problem” and artists as a whole will die a little more inside because their work is valued less than that of a child in school. You remember school? Where it wasn’t okay to turn in work that wasn’t your own? Comic book companies have lower standards than your teacher in grade school.

Their standards are “people still buy it, people still like it, so it must be okay”.

And it might be okay to you, but when you accept crap like that, when you continue to purchase it, you are spitting on artists that actually take the time to do work. I really wish someone would bring litigation to the big two, maybe some of those frigging photographers (remember the legal issue with the Obama campaign poster?) could bring litigation. Until that happens, it’s more profitable for our industry not to do anything because the fans like photorealistic styles and they like swiped art (“hey, I liked it the first time!”) don’t care how it’s achieved.

If Radical REALLY, TRULY continues in the direction that they’re going with this, if they actually put the kabosh on this, this will literally make them have more honor and integrity in my eyes than any other American comic book company and they should win a frigging Eisner.

What a load of hot air, holier than thou posers.

How many of the above tossers have got a downloaded comic on their computer, a ripped film or cd in their collection. There’s no difference.

Fine if you haven’t, all power to you. You can post an opinion. The rest can shut the fuck up.

The only people really worth listening to are the original artists. If they feel that they’re being ripped off, and their lawyers agree, then Radical as the publisher is in deep shit. Time will tell if that will happen. Time will prove if Simmons deserves your vitriol.

In the meantime stop getting your panties in a twist like a bunch of little girlies.

Not very cynical of you, “Myke.”

Yeah a lot of people download music, movies and comics but how many of them try to resell it as their own work?

Yeah that’s what I thought.

Your logic sucks and people have a right to express themselves. It’s called freedom of speech you filthy communist.

“Put that punk in jail for a few years, and we’ll all forget about him.”

That’s your solution to everything. Minor infraction? JAIL TIME! Didn’t like an issue of “Hulk”? IN THE CLINK!

Modern Business 101: Bad publicity sells better than good publicity thanks to the internet.

Kiss Inc. calculates high and low estimates of all across-the-board issues and settlements regarding the matter before their books even debut. Once the topic comes to light, as carefully planned, it spreads like hotcakes…not only on internet message boards but “reputable news outlets” as featurettes that wouldn’t look twice without controversy. Hundreds of millions of otherwise disinterested people are linked to the story as they check their email, visit their facepage myfriend bookspaces or whatever, and Kiss Jr’s name is carved in stone…not only as a legitimate entity in the comic book sphere but a sellable one at that. Tens of millions of people will now stay tuned while tens of millions more are genuinely interested. Free publicity at pennies to the dollar for Kiss Inc.

An intentional marketing scam, just like the stolen celebrity sex tapes that conveniently put them all on the map and maintained their name status a buzz word. Kiss Jr. will now continue to do his crappy comic book and sell even more of them…drawing larger crowds wherever he goes because of this bogus crap. The internet proves that people like to lambaste celebrities like this…commercial entities have long been aware…the celebrities don’t like the music you listen to, why should they care if you don’t like the music they make? If enough people hear it, some WILL buy it. Negative publicity is news, positive publicity is commercial…thank you internets.

…..pretend all those typos didn’t happen. The rage, it blinds me.

Thoroughly Upset

February 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I can’t believe how people can be so careless. But I guess if it doesn’t affect you directly then it shouldn’t matter, right?! Unbelievable, I bet if someone was taking credit and getting paid for something you did you would have a fit. You have absolutely no idea how hard it is for some people to come up with their own ideas as well as make their art stand out from the rest. It’s people that don’t care that keep people like Nick happy with padded wallets. Just because other people copy/swipe/etc. does not make it a good reason for you to do it also. Although this may sound so cliche, but “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. It doesn’t matter how much money he makes off of “Incarnate”, he doesn’t deserve it. All the money he made off of the comic should be split amongst the people whose artwork he swiped/copied/etc. Stealing no matter how minor is never right, the sooner people get that through their heads, the better.

Thoroughly Upset

February 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm

He should get some jail time. If you stole someone’s possesions I doubt they’d give you a slap on the wrist and tell you not to do it again.

Don’t put him in jail, wasting the taxpayers time and money and adding more strain on an already tremendously overburdened court system. Just blackball him. You think he’s going to get work after this? You think any of those artists he mentioned admiring in that CBR interview would piss on him if he was on fire now that they know he’s a charlatan? That’s punishment enough.

For the record, I’m not sympathizing with Nick Simmons. I’d be happy if he never got work again after this. I just think throwing him in prison is harsh, wasteful and unnecessary.

Ok, the penalty for copyright infringement is damages (usually money, but sometimes, in rare occasions, the ruling is that guy copied, but no cash prizes).

I think there’s some confusion here about what type of copying is copyright infringement – if certain poses are imitated or a cover is “covered” (i.e. Buffy or Spider-Man lifting a car over their head a la Action Comics #1), that’s not copyright infringement – they aren’t lifting the already created work, they’re taking the idea of it and putting in other characters – they’re passing it off as a separate, distinct work. Now, some of you might say, but it’s NOT a distinct work, they copied the cover. Yes, yes they did – but in both cases, it’s most likely a parody, which is protected use, and besides, there’s nothing else about either of those issues that replicates Action #1.

Also, the Andy Warhol comparison isn’t exactly a good comparison. Painting the iconic label as a picture is not copyright infringement. If Campbell’s Soup ONLY made soup labels, then yes, it WOULD be copyright infringement. If anything, it’s really trademark infringement, or it would be if Andy Warhol used that painting as his OWN brand, or if people could confuse that painting as coming from Warhol. SInce Campbell’s isn’t known for painting pictures, it’s cool.

And again, if Simmons traced ONE panel, this would be a non-issue. If he traced MULTIPLE panels, AND the story is lifted, then it’s copyright infringement and he’s trying to benefit from the copyrighted works of another, which is a violation of the law. If the comic was given away for free, then hey, damages would be minor. If it wasn’t, then he’s profiting off someone else’s work. Would you like it if someone else profited off of your hard work? No, hence massive money damages.

And to people who think anyone goes to jail for this – PLEASE – buy a clue. In the grand scheme of crimes, this is ONLY punishable though money damages. NO JAIL, no matter how blatant.

FINALLY! my fav Anime and Manga is safe from Nick Simmons!

Thoroughly Upset

February 25, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Which only shows how litttle appreciation people have for others hard work. All Incarnate comics deserved to be removed from where ever they may sit. And the money spent onthis comic deserve to go back to the people who bought it. Although you’re not specifically talking to me, I am not confused about how copyright infringment works. I only stated what I think should be done to him. Also, someone said earlier about manga fans being young, easily riled, and unrealistic. I am not a manga fan, but I have read a couple and have also seen some of the mangas listed here on tv. I am not as young as you may be imagining the manga fanbase to be, I am also not easily riled. But it really makes me upset when someone is clearly doing wrong and most of the responses are “I don’t see anything wrong” or “So and so did way back when so what’s so different now?”. We have every right to be upset. To see something that we love and enjoy reading/watching ripped off by some rich loser with no life is disappointing and wrong.

lets not forget folks. even if no action can or is taken against ol nick, weve won anyway. his reputation is nigh destroyed, and he’ll not make another cent off this garbage. add to the fact that the overall quality is so low (like, amateur webcomic low), and its pretty much guaranteed that people will pick it up, flip through it, and then “accidentally” toss it in the trash at the bookstore. no other publisher will touch him, i doubt radical will resume publishing, hes pretty much screwed.

weve won either way. it would just be more satisfying if we might also pass his hobo ass on the street.

I don’t think he’s going to be out of work. Maybe for right now, but he’ll get work later. All the artists I’ve seen who did the same thing still get work. This’ll be a lesson for him not to trace other artists’ work though.

D= That animal….that…urgh!
Some people really work hard…others…simply copy >_>
Jail is not for him…a bunch of Bleach fans attacking him is what that guy diserves.

“there are a bunch of pages in his comic which are clearly just traced right out of the bleach manga and then colored differently, theres a female character which many of her pannels are just traced and colored in with blond hari, and then the guy claims it as his own work and sells it.”

I’m saying — check out comics history. This practice was de rigeur for half a century. Not that it isn’t uninspired hackwork, but I think “actionable plagiarism” is a bridge too far.

“Do corporate comics reference earlier stories in their history? Certainly, but they’re more than allowed to because it’s THEIR product.”

My claim wasn’t that the Bendis/Johns superhero rehashes were copyright violations — they obviously aren’t. But what’s the difference in purely artistic terms? Corporate ownership is the lamest of excuses, especially when 95% of the Marvel and DC universes were unceremoniously ripped off from their creators. Jack Kirby was a lot more upset about like, John Buscema drawing Silver Surfer than Tite Kubo seems to be about this nonsense. It absolutely IS the same, all that’s changed is the times. It might be “THEIR product”, but it’s still stolen ideas. It doesn’t make it okay just because they made the original creators sign away their rights so they could feed their families.

I am just saying… this isn’t a defense of what Nick Simmons did — I’ve never seen his work, but this scandal is enough to put me off it for good. It’s a little hypocritical, though, for fans of a genre that had its formative years as a series of Milt Caniff and Alex Raymond swipes and publishes thousands of comics/year based off more-or-less stolen Kirby and Ditko concepts to make the kind of extreme moral judgements that keep popping up in this thread. Think about the last comic you bought, think how that character’s creators would feel about it, then cast your stone if you still feel like it.

There’s a second name on the cover of Incarnate, side by side with Nick Simmons, a guy called Nam Kim. I’m surprised it didn’t come up before in the conversation. Why do I have the feeling that he may share a big part of the plagiarism responsibility? According to what I read here, SImmons doesn’t even seem to have the skill needed to properly draw other artists’ work, surely he got help somewhere. Also, not to be harsh on Koreans, but this kind of practice is rampant in Korea (Kim is a Korean last name).

Flip,

Thanks for the boost. Glad to see the community is as dedicated as it is small. I would still expect the number of people “working the case” to be no greater than 60, tops. What matters is that they were effective… this time. When it comes to other items, there’s still some inertia to defeat.

Adriana,

Like I said before, the industry doesn’t care because we, the consumer, are paying them not to care. Liefield can still come up with some stuff that people buy. I’ve personally never seen him rip someone else’s material off, but if he did it’s equally as unconscionable as Land or Simmons. Again, when people vote with their wallets, the companies will listen and respond– quickly. The margins are too small not to.

This is one of many fouls people cry out about with regard to art in comics. There are “background programs” out there that keep models of buildings like the Justice League Headquarters and the Baxter Building for continuity and ease of placement. There are “apprentice” artists who do more work pencilling some books than the “maestros” who headline them. You’d never know it because the apprentices don’t even get credit.

Why does all this happen? Because we, the consumer, became enamored with high-gloss, digitally-colored, mega-effect art that requires multiple artists and is still incredibly time consuming. Go on youtube and watch some of these guys coloring this stuff. Here’s a GREAT example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y19ABvaDTDs&feature=related

I mean, my God. Look back to the way comics were presented twenty years ago. Wasn’t that good enough? The point is that you’ve got 30 days to produce 22 pages of artwork. That means the penciller(s) has to get his bit completed in at most 20 days so the inker(s) and colorist(s) can do their work. You’ve got at least three, and sometimes six, folks working their butts off. Every issue of every such book ought to have a big red arrow with the words “Adobe-ized!” pointing to the $4 price tag on it, with a burst at the base of said arrow screaming “because you demanded it!”

Stan Sakai, Terry Moore, and a host of others put out books in simple B&W. They’re quality stories with great line work. If they went to color it would look just fine without using Photoshop and a team of flatters. Terry and Stan charge almost as much for their books as the “major titles”, and I’m fine with that. I pay a little less, they make a whole lot more– and I feel good about it because they deserve to.

But people still convince the big publishers that pretty pictures will draw the crowds. Meanwhile, that simple line work and B&W scheme on newsprint is doing gangbusters for a little magazine called Shonen Jump. Those guys know their market and they know how to find quality stories for that market. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t buy it.

And the Simmons’s are hopefully proving that.

Doctor Pepper Cherry Diet Splash Ass tastes like regular Doctor Pepper. How do I know? My son copied it from regular Doctor Pepper! Trust me. I’m a doctor.

Okay it is true negative publicity sells on the internet but the thing is that does not apply in this case because he is taking someone else work to be his own.
The funny thing about comic book industry which is far different from the music industry is that you have to win over the community to keep that buzz going …sure some people (none comic book fans) will buy his comic (if it still gets publish) but eventually it will flop then what? example of this name a musical artist that lip sings but make good music that was successful years to come?

Plagiarism is something you don’t want on your resume in the comic community….his reputation can be salvage within time but i highly doubt he is the type to be able to do so.

whoever says what…..but the thing remain ….original is original n if ur copying n using it to make money …u cant get low than that……especially is creative field…….if u cant come up with ur own leave it to pro to do it ….freaking sick to see a rip off!Bleach rocks……. support original not rip off!

If anyone thinks Simmons is going to lose anything from this fiasco, they’re crazy. See Todd Goldman. He’s made millions ripping off cartoonists, but because he’s wealthy, he can get away with it. The cartoonists are scraping together a living, Goldman steals their artwork, and he sues them if they complain about his swipes. Simmons should learn from him, steal from deviant artists, they don’t have the money to sue him.

Hmmm, so the only way american comic artists can succeed is by stealing from manga…why am I not surprised? At least Simmons had the common sense to steal from his superiors.

@AoAMimic Nick Simmons isn’t “Ripping off” – he has literally traced over the works other artists have created and claimed it as his own to make money. With negative publicity of this scale, I have no doubt that his career as a comic artist is over.

@Matt…Corporations acquiring the rights to creators works and someone like Nick Simmnos stealing another creator’s ideas is comparing apples to oranges. True, corporations have used unscrupulous means to own rights from creators, but the creator had the option to have a lawyer look over the paperwork before signing on the dotted line. They had a choice…take a chance to make a paycheck or walk away. What Nick Simmons is doing is stealing ideas from someone on the other side of the planet whom he doesn’t even know and passing it off as his own. When your ideas are stolen by corporations that involved contracts and negotiations upfront, it’s “bad business”. When your ideas are stolen by some hack you’ve never met, that’s stealing. I’m not saying the former example is right, but that’s the way the world turns.

We are also not just talking about similarities in characters and scenarios… we’re talking about similarities in even the script.

Orihime “Just please… don’t hurt yourself anymore than this.”

Simmons’ blonde chick who looks like orihime down to the head tilt in this particular scene – “Please don’t hurt yourself anymore.”

Also… in Bleach – Ichigo grabs his chest with a shocked look on his face… “Didn’t I… just have a hole in my chest??” (Eerily, the wound is gone.)

Simmons’ character with the identical facial expression as Ichigo, and the identical pose… “My wounds… how?” (Eerily, HIS wounds are gone too!!)

the two scenes… http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff330/Kylara21/plag/hwzwi9jpg.png

the two scenes overlayed ontop of each other… http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff330/Kylara21/plag/ichin.jpg

I just want to know what he was thinking. Ok stealing from art on deviant art… low life scum sucking thing to do… but at least it wouldn’t be as easily catchable as tracing it right from a Manga that is WORLD WIDE known. they know it in RUSSIA for crying out loud… RUSSIA

Such an amazing number of people who know nothing about copyright law exchanging opinions with a great deal more certaintly than they should have!

Without actually looking at complete issues of the various series in question it would be hard to determine if violations of the law occurred.

In the National vs Fawcett case however, the judge did rule that actual copying had occurred and that Fawcett was liable for damages. It was sustained at the Supreme Court. Fawcett never went bankrupt. Instead of allowing the court to set the damages they settled with National out of court, fearing a court set damage amount could bankrupt them. But the issues were settled. Many other plagiarism cases have been won with less evidence than appears here.

But on the other hand National lost its case against the TV show Greatest American Hero. Go figure.

@sanjuro

“I’m self-taught, been drawing since I was a little kid (and only drawing fairly well for the past couple years) and my partner Nam Kim is a great help. All the characters you see in the book, the layout, the story, that’s all me. Nam handles most of the background details and tedious technical details—I’m just not neat enough nor am I skilled enough to do that yet… But I have a strict policy that no one can touch or alter the characters themselves—nothing about them can be changed, even if it’s just a tweak to improve something technical, so that’s all me.”

Quoted from this interview. As its the characters people are comparing to others, that pretty much rescues Nam Kim from your accusations ;)

for those linking this whole thing to Land’s past, hell, all Nick has to do is buddy up to Bendis, and get a large contract with Marvel, who doesn’t care when their artists steal.

I appreciate Radical for taking such quick action, unlike multimillion dollar conglomerates in the comic biz.

also he copied from naruto, the cover of incarnate issue 1, look at the hands, same as deidara’s hands. also the “scythe” is also copied from judas the manga and many other anime that wields scythes

Isn’t obvious? Nick is the real victim here. Lacking the skill to actually draw at a pro level, Nick PAID a korean hack artist to ghost the comic for him. Then the hack artist traced several panels from comics that were released overseas but not yet in the U. S. Nick could not have spotted the scam since he hadn’t seen the unreleased comics (or actually read a manga in his life) and the ghost hack work went to press. My suspicion is that Nick was twice as surprised as anyone when the comparisons began appearing on line.
The real moral of this story is the talentless rich in need of public admiration should be wary of Koreans offering ghost pencils using the name Josh Hoopes.

Wow, i just read the synopsis of the series. Is there any element to this, er, work from story to art that doesn’t scream XEROX?? It should be titled “Played Out” or “Bandwagon”
When you type out a sentence starting with “A shadow organization known only as …” and fail to instantly get a deja vu migraine, you need some serious help!!!

@allblue Check out this site: http://www.miketyndall.com/todd_goldman/
Goldman STILL traces the works of comic artists, he was exposed, and he STILL makes millions of dollars selling paintings which were copied directly from other works and t-shirts with stolen logos and art. Why? He’s already rich and sues the pants off anyone that complains, because they’re poor comic artists. Simmons made the mistake of stealing from manga artists working for a big publishing house. He should stick to web cartoonists.

I wonder how many people actually own a copy of “Incarnate”, or Greg Land artwork, or a Todd Goldman t-shirt. Doesn’t even matter if the Land or Goldman stuff is original, because you PAID for it. You gave money to him. When you say “they’re too rich and just sue the pants off of poor artists that accuse them”, you have to ask “how did they get rich?”

It’s like those commercials linking heroine to terrorism. Nobody liked 9/11, but there are still plenty of heroine addicts out there. Guys like Simmons need your money so they can keep preying on the medium.

As a C&GN lurker and occasional poster, I just want to say this:

GAMEFAQS IS NOW FAMOUS

Its more of a moral issue than a legal one.
Comic artists swipe all the time. Whether you are to support them or not is up to you.

I love this. I hope this teaches Radical a bitter lesson: stop hiring celebrities and quasi-celebrities to write comics just because they’re celebrities!

I am getting so sick of this! Gene Simmons had a comic out. It was absolute horrible but still…the mere fact that it got published when there are so many genuine artists and writers out there trying to create gold drives me up the wall. Gene Simmons’s comic was garbage but it got published anyway because he’s Gene Simmons. Even the dude from HEROES TV Show had a rancid comic too.

These celebs think just because they are famous by God they can write comics too. Good riddance to Nick Simmons. He has never worked a day in his life and all his income is unearned. Time for reality to hit him in the nads.

The guy did a little unwise referencing of popular books, got a little lazy with his dialog ( because Bleach and manga have such revolutionary translated dialog amirite?), and is using the same generic anime designs that Japan’s been pumping out for twenty years – why has everyone gone insane? If you’re going to arrest artists for being lazy or derivative, we’re not going to have anyone left to keep churning out the same tired books over and over and over and over again….

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But the guy’s not hurting anyone but himself. Stop spazzing out.

And if you wanna know why Kubo isn’t flipping out, it’s because comic art isn’t some sacred cow in Japan. Ask him how many uncredited assistants he uses. Ask him who tones his pages. Ask him who draws the backgrounds. Ask him about the photos frequently traced to do those backgrounds or the premade digital tones used to create skies, landscapes, patterns and a host of other elements. Ask about digital inking programs that artificially smooth your lines or work your perspective out for you.

And people are flipping out because some white guy references the poses in his comics? Baka gaijin.

If that Japanese artist doesn’t give a shit, it’s his problem. People who make art for a living, by themselves (and there are tons of those you know), like to pick on tracers/plagiarisers, cause they give a bad name to the profession/skills, industry. If Japan doesn’t care, fuck them, we care.

that doesn’t make any sense. plagiarism is plagiarism. just because he’s too lazy to come up with his own ideas, doesn’t mean he should take other peoples projects. they actually took the time into coming up with those ideas, it probably took them months just to put a chapter together. and he just goes on and does it in what?? a week. that is wrong. someone should sue him or something. cause if they actually let him publish his so called ‘book’ they must be smoking some jack.

Nick Nick Nick… calling yourself “Scuttlebutt” and trolling blogs doesn’t help your case any.

Try hitting dictionary.com and look up the different meanings for the words “inspiration”, “referencing”,”stealing”, “originality” and “laziness”

If someone in here doesn’t know already, but he also stole a lot of deviantart artist….. and besides that, he’s now delating his favourites (in which a lot of people’s art he stole were), so he can say he didn’t know them probably. He should say “I’m sorry, i stole! i’ll pay for my mistake” and then never ‘draw’ anything more in the rest of his life.

There is no debate, Nick Simmons is a dirty plagiarist.

Nick Simmons (and those like him) is an “unappreciative… mindless parasite.”

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision… these were the creators.
“His vision, his strength, his courage came from his own spirit. A man’s spirit, however, is his self. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are functions of the ego.
“The creators were… self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He lived for himself.
“Man cannot survive except through his mind… All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred…
“This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator…
“Nothing is given to man on earth. Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways—by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary.
“The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.
“The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.
“The basic need of the creator is independence…
“The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed… He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption.
“… one cannot give that which has not been created.
“ The code of the creator or the code of the second-hander. This is the basic issue… The code of the creator is built on the needs of the reasoning mind which allows man to survive. The code of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of survival. All that which proceeds from man’s independent ego is good. All that which proceeds from man’s dependence upon men is evil.
“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is—Hands off!
“Now, in our age, collectivism, the rule of the second-hander and second-rater, the ancient monster, has broken loose and is running amuck… It has reached a scale of horror without precedent. It has poisoned every mind… It is engulfing our country.
“I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
“I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.
“I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.
“I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society.
….. From The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

I think the real issue for me is that he claimed the work to be his own. Give credit where credit is due. If I create a mashup of songs and make money off of it, I’m benefitting from someone else’s hard work – which would be fine if the creators were OK with it, and I in turn didn’t stop them from making money. But that is a little iffy here.

Like someone way up at the top said, if there’s this many similarities in only three issues, we have a problem. Being inspired by someone else’s work is one thing (I know the mangaka of Fairy tail is highly influence Oda of One Piece, you can tell by looking at the art, but the characters don’t look like someone traced over them and gave them different hair cuts), but to claim as it’s all your own work and then lie about is just wrong no matter what.
Nick said in a post on Facebook that he’d never read a manga before, yet on his profile he says Berserk is his favorite manga of all time.
I found it irritating that he claimed he has Dyslexia and that would impair his ability read Manga because it’s backwards… That’s a load of bull IMHO, because I suffer from Dyslexia and my reading has actually IMPROVED because of the format that Manga is in. -Eye roll-

The reason Greg Land is not being brought up here is because what Nick Simmons copied were popular MANGA. For better or for worse, manga fans are far more obnoxiously outspoken than comic fans. They also are more adapt to trolling and, because of 4-chan for the most part, they will all rally together for a cause, no matter how minute it is. If something popular amongst people who almost always inhabit the internet gets insulted, copied, etc, those fans will band together and bring about their own ‘retribution’ of sorts.

An example of this was the case where some woman on a news channel was talking about her new book and for whatever reason decided to talk about how Mass Effect was a game that taught men to use women as objects and kill and other untrue things. The next day, under the comments/reviews for her book on every site it was being sold on were completely overwhelmed with negativity, and all the star ratings for her books were atrocious, and so on.

Sadly (well sort of, depending how you think about it- personally, all the annoying fans have ruined anime for me), regular comic books are not as popular as manga, so Greg Land is not going to be the subject of abuse such as Nick Simmons and that other woman are.

Havent read the book but heres my 2 cents on the subject.
If the story is an original one and not copy pasted from another manga/comic book i dont see why theres so much hate on the guy.Yes he may have plagiarised other artists but people are acting like this guy is worse than scum there are hundreds of other artists and creators that blatanlty rip off other pieces of work i mean FFS did anyone see Eragon that stinking pile of shit was so blatant in what it was ripping off it was practically see through.Weve only heard 2 comments from kubo on the subject and from what i can tell he doesnt seem to care all that much…..

How could Radical not even notice this?! It’s pretty pathetic on their part as a company. You would think as a comic publisher, they might be at least a LITTLE BIT interested in manga and anime to tell right off the bat that the dude laughing there is totally a kenpachi rip off.

he is so stealing from TITE KUBO’S bleach I mean at the top of the page the captain with that fake wannebe I love bleach but Nick simmons is a stupid fake MANGA artiest that does not know how to plan out his work and rather steal outhe’r people’s ideas we love are anime and I highli dought nick know’s what ANIME is and if he don’t ask the fans BITCH.

ConcernedBleachAddict

June 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

1:The Idiot Stole from Bleach , I mean one of the most Popular Manga.
2.He not only stole from Bleach and other Manga , but also from someones DeviantArt Account, how low can you get.
3.For those of you saying the Art is Better than Bleach and stuff like that , Bleach is published in Weekly ShonenJump in Japan, Every week , Kubo has to work every week , your wondering why his art may get a little laxing.

im not sure when or where but nick simmons did say that theres “big” difference between bleach and his shit
he said that his you read his stuff from left to right and bleach is right to left also he said that his shit had colors and bleach didnt wtf is that? makers of bleach should sue him

Ok so after reading every comment and rereading the topic I’m some what confused. I’ve heard about it on tv and from family and friends. And I kinda see other artist using the same idea from somewhere cause the idea had to had cone from somewhere. For some people I’d just like to say it’s not plagiarism if they have gotten permission from the owner and credit is given. But I. This case no credit and no permission was given there for it is plagiarism for instant on deviant art thereis a section for fan art but people make it clear that it isn’t there original work

He’s since deactivated his DA account.

His dad is also trying to sue everyone.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/18/gene-simmons-threatens-ha_n_766114.html

What Gene has been saying:
“Make sure your brand is protected. Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars. Don’t let anybody cross that line,”

*sigh*

Dear Gene Simmons,

I totally understand and agree with your stance on piracy and copyright infringement. I therefore fervently hope and trust that you will be testifying against your son, Nick, for his blatant infringement of the ‘Bleach’ manga comic, and that you will do all that you can to ensure that he receives the maximum possible jail time and punitive fine for his illegal (and immoral) actions.

Yours sincerely,
Anonymous.

This argument or whatever you all want to call this stupidity is just plain funny cause guess what every anime/manganese out the ripe each other off deal with it I’ve been reading manganese and watching anime since I was 5yo and that was 20years ago and I’ve seen more then enough major thing that are the same in over 90% of them

tbh, theres so many manga and comics being drawn it wouldnt surprise me if alot of them had the same poses or panels or even character looks.
as a mangaka myself i heavily reference from other artists…i dont copy, but if i see a pose i like i will use it, just with my character instead.

it not plagerism in the slightest.

I really want to read Incarnate but first will someone tell is the story of it plagiarized too? because i think its looks interesting! you can compare alot of manga drawing and some of the scenes together:(

I met this guy in person last night. I was trapped in a car with him for over half an hour. It was traumatic. He is one of the most odious, narcissistic, obnoxious and badly raised pieces of shit that I have ever met in my life.

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Thanks to Nick I didn’t even know of manga or Bleach. It’s not like he was making millions off of someone else’s work. Just get over it, it’s just sad. Artist out there be ware and do a little digging and to see that it doesn’t cause people to get their panties tied up in a bunch. Nick keep doing what u love to do.

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