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INCARNATE Accused of Plagiarism

Radical halts publication amidst controversy...

Sister sites Comic Vine and Anime Vice are reporting two sides of the same story today. What’s the reason for this bridging of Eastern and Western comics news?   Radical Publishing’s publishing halt on Nick Simmons’ INCARNATE after accusations that it plagiarizes the manga, BLEACH, among others. 

 Some compared pages...

Here’s Radical’s official statement on the matter…

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.

A Live Journal community has been fanning the flames of this controversy, posting several page-by-page and panel-by-panel comparisons of art from the series.

For those of you unfamiliar with INCARNATE, it’s written and drawn by Nick Simmons, the son of rock legend Gene Simmons, the front man of Kiss. Here’s the official synopsis from Radical…

From Nick Simmons, son of rock legend Gene Simmons and star of A&E’s GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS, comes a revolutionary new take on the undead.

They cannot die. They feel no pain. They hunger for human flesh. They are Revenants. Centuries ago, the Revenant known as Mot was worshipped as a God. Now, he walks the Earth in search of a purpose to his immortality – but when a secret society discovers a way to kill Revenants, Mot and his fellow immortals must make a choice: Hunt or be hunted. Nick Simmons’ breakout American Manga title reveals a world that challenges even the imagination, planting its tongue firmly in cheek, then biting it off...And swallowing it.

 The two’s father/son dynamic’s gotten quite a big spotlight over the past couple years with the A&E reality show following their lives, GENE SIMMONS: FAMILY JEWELS. Simmons is a noted comics fan, having said he partially based his face-painted Demon stage persona on Marvel’s Inhuman Black Bolt. And, of course, there have been so many Kiss comics over the years, it’s been hard for me to keep track.

I’m not going to comment one way or the other on these accusations - - innocent until proven guilty, I say. However, if you’re interested in the subject of swiping in comics, I recommend you check out the regular Swipe File feature in Rich Johnston’s Bleeding Cool for many examples in American comics.  Until then, I turn the verdict to you, Comic Vine community? Do you think these accusations are accurate, or baseless?

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

27 Comments
Posted by darth bul

uh-oh
Posted by 1eyejoker

When I first saw a few pages of INCARNATE I got a strong Hellsing vibe from it. Reminded me of the manhwa Jack Frost, too.
Posted by CATMANEXE

props to Radical Publishing for doing
the right thing without hesitation.

Posted by Marshal Victory

Hmm looking over some of the photoshop over lays some of it looks pretty daming. an some do not.Just glade i have a idea on how to make sceens for comics with out drawing insperation from other comics my self. Maybe one year ill get things set up to try it.
 
The poses tho in comics have been aped from "comic artists" to illustrators.This has been done for years an year.Illustrators can make their own poses an draw in 3d so to speek.Comic artis ape(copy) poses they like to fit the sceen. 
 
An haveing watched a fair amount of anime um theirs a bit of sharing of style their as well.To put it nicely.
Posted by 4Essence

I just checked out the link where they compare them side by side.  
No way this kid is gettin away this BS.
Posted by crazed_h3ro

LOL that guy does look like zaraki kenpachi XD,

Posted by Stamps

Yikes, this looks really bad!

Posted by The_Warlord

He's in so much trouble

Posted by Decept-O

Checked out the links and have to agree, more than slightly similar,  the art (if you call it that) and even the dialogue match up rather closely.   
 
It doesn't take much to be original.  Takes more time and energy to steal something than it is to be yourself.   
 
I'm curious what the fall out will be from this, if Simmons will be hit with a lawsuit given his family's wealth.  People think along those lines not saying it's right if it happens.
Posted by WickedWays

This is horrible news! I was totally looking forward to checking out Nick Simmons' manga masterpiece... Do you sense the sarcasm? I actually think this news is hilarious and I hope it will follow that kid for the rest of his days. The level of "douche-baggery" for stealing someone else's art for profit, fame, and\or to garner respect for your "artistic talent" is out of this world!

Posted by AprilTaylor

LOL, who the hell would want to plagiarize Bleach? Hellsing, i could understand.

Edited by MemnochZERO

Man, plagiarism is for douchebags. Until the sides, I thought maybe I could give Simmons some comic n00b leway and say INCARNATE was just clumsily inspired by BLEACH and say the boy should just hunker down and not make a comic "like such and such" but do some serious original work... but not now. This is just horrible. I really hate leaches who think just because they change a small detail, they think it's new; because it's not. Given it's a visual medium, I think artists in general can't help but be inspired by others and it filters into their work... but Nick Simmons is a Goddamn tracer. It's not even like Greg Land taking existing photographs and drawing costumes on 'em! Simmons is TRACING A WHOLE COMIC. One that exists.. with a huge fanbase!
Nick Simmons clearly has no creative ability, he just copied one comic, made it shittier, and then put his name on it. The worst part is, he put it out there for PUBLICATION meaning $$$MONEY$$$ and to me, this is even lower than the tracing, because now he's not just stealing the image, he's stealing the image and trying to get PAID FOR IT. 
What a douche. 
 
Also I gotta echo CATMANEXE for giving props to Radical Publishing for responding to this in a responsible and serious manner.
Posted by Virago

I can understand using references and having influences. But I think this goes a little too close for comfort =\
Thanks for posting this, it's a good reminder that plagirism doesn't pay!

Posted by Decoy Elite

I've seen some other examples of this. It's pretty damning stuff. If he Simmons doesn't get sued his comic will most likely be canceled. At least it looks that way so far.

Posted by danhimself

so they're saying that they traced?    if that's the case then Greg Land does that every day and no one's said sh!t to him yet

Online
Posted by TheSavageAssasin

Glad i wasn't the only one that saw the similarity.There is quite a bit that is same about the characters.

Posted by InnerVenom123

This kid is screwed. GUILTY!
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

OUCH! That's gotta HURT, kid!

Posted by Argentino_18

you need to be blind to not see the plagiarism in that images...

Posted by FoxxFireArt

Nick Simmons is now the Greg Land of US manga. The comic should be retitled as RE-Incarnate.

Posted by Destinyhero20

Look like he wasn't even trying
Edited by DH69

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA <long breath> HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA <pee a little> HAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH OH MY LUNGS!...screw you nick simmons and stay away from bleach

Posted by xerox_kitty
@FoxxFireArt said:

"Nick Simmons is now the Greg Land of US manga. The comic should be retitled as RE-Incarnate. "


LOL!  I was just thinking 'at least Greg Land doesn't trace other people's comics' ;) 
 
Seriously though... I know Bleach is all kinds of awesomeness, but shame to anyone who thinks of stealing from Tite Kubo!  He's worked so long & hard to make Bleach.  The backlash from the fans is nothing compared to the professional beating his reputation is gonna take.
   
Moderator
Posted by drone.devil

lmfao....take that Simmons scum.

Posted by Crazy Pan

Kid probably thought no one would notice. *shakes head* I think using references is okay if you do not intend to publish or sell the work you create based off of someone elses work. I mean, I sometimes like to recreate comic book pictures just for practice. But if someone asked me to sell it to them I'd say no. It's important as an artist to practice by studying anatomy and using various common poses to improve your work but in no way can you just take a very popular cannon picture of Superman, redraw it as your character (look ma! I gave him a GREEN cape!), then sell it and think no one will notice.

Posted by The Sharp Dressed Lady

Remember that the japanese only started making manga and anime to counter what they perceived as the evils of American cultural influence of media forms such as comics. Just as the british "evangelized" rock in britain to counter the so-called "atrocities" of American musical dominance.
 
The british, for the most part, no longer rock. The way it's going the japanese aren't as much into anime and manga as they had been a generation ago.
 
Did the japanese or the british cry at Astroboy or The Beatles? Maybe, but we sure didn't hear much about it.

Posted by LP

THIS IS SHAMEFUL.... HE'S BROUGHT DISHONOR.