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Comics A.M. | Siegel & Shuster heirs fight DC’s interference claim


Legal | In the aftermath of last month’s ruling that DC Comics retains full rights to Superman, the heirs of creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are urging federal judge to dismiss claims that their lawyer interfered with the publisher’s copyright to the character. DC sued attorney Marc Toberoff in May 2010, accusing him impeding a 1992 copyright agreement with the heirs by striking overriding deals with them in 2001 and 2003. The families insist the publisher filed its claims two years too late, as the statute of limitations expired in 2008. [Law360]

Webcomics | Malicious hackers hit the Blind Ferret servers last week, and they didn’t just wipe out the websites that host Least I Could Do, Girls with Slingshots and other high-profile webcomics — they also wiped out the backups. Gary Tyrell has the story and advises creators to have multiple backups in multiple locations. [Fleen]

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Simmons, Bleach and plagiarism vs. homage: A story in words and pictures

From Topless Robot's post on Nick Simmons's response to plagiarism accusations

From Topless Robot's post on Nick Simmons's response to plagiarism accusations

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What about when those pictures are juxtaposed with words — specifically the words of Incarnate creator Nick Simmons? And what if those words are denying that the pictures, which pretty clearly show that he plagiarized Tite Kubo’s hit manga Bleach, do any such thing? That’s worth an awful lot, as far as I’m concerned. At Topless Robot, Rob Bricken mashes up Simmons’ non-apology apology with the pictorial evidence to absolutely brutal effect. In a controversy that’s generated more than its fair share of memorable online commentary, this McCloudian approach has generated my favorite yet.

Incarnate creator Nick Simmons responds to plagiarism allegations

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

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

Incarnate creator Nick Simmons has responded to widespread accusations that he plagiarized Bleach and other popular manga, saying that “certain similarities” were “simply meant as an homage to artists I respect.”

Radical Publishing last week stopped production on the collection of Simmons’ three-issue miniseries amid growing claims he had copied panel compositions, character designs, dialogue and plot elements from eight manga, including One Piece, Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D and Bleach.

In a statement issued by Simmons’ representative and posted on Comics Worth Reading, the 21-year-old artist said: “Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire. There are certain similarities between some of my work and the work of others. This was simply meant as an homage to artists I respect, and I definitely want to apologize to any Manga fans or fellow Manga artists who feel I went too far. My inspirations reflect the fact that certain fundamental imagery is common to all Manga. This is the nature of the medium. I am a big fan of Bleach, as well as other Manga titles. And I am certainly sorry if anyone was offended or upset by what they perceive to be the similarity between my work and the work of artists that I admire and who inspire me.”

A representative for Radical Publishing verified the statement comes from Simmons, son of KISS frontman and reality-TV star Gene Simmons.

Incarnate debuted in August with heavy promotional support from Radical and A&E TV, the network that airs Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. The comic is showcased on the show’s webpage and sold through its online store.

The plagiarism allegations emerged early last week, igniting discussions — and art comparisons — on countless blogs, message boards and fan sites, with a Facebook group going so far as to call for legal action against Simmons. However, when alerted to the accusations via Twitter, Bleach creator Tite Kubo seemed more amused than anything: “I’m more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is a mangaka than whether he’s plagiarizing me or not.”

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