Hot Topic/Pierce The Veil copies artist Vera Brosgol

Vera Brosgol, an illustrator and story artist on such films as Coraline, has apparently been copied by Hot Topic or Pierce the Veil, or both. I suppose when they were going over this with their tracing paper and crayons, they thought that making it more homophobe-friendly and all-around way lamer might place it outside the realm of copyright infringement. Shameful on so many levels.

Vera’s original image:

[link to original]

The copy:


This news came from a post on Vera Brosgol’s own twitter feed at

Update: It seems this might go under speediest resolution ever. Vera contacted Hot Topic today and was already told that they will pull the shirt from their site and stores starting tomorrow (via twitter). This could possibly be the work of a dishonest designer, but who knows. I hope they will also stop all orders of the shirt that may have already been placed. Though perhaps they can send one to Vera as a souvenir?

Nick Simmons likes to Trace

Nick Simmons, son of Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons, is a “manga artist.”  Not only that, he’s been published too!  His comic Incarnate was published by Radical Publishing in July of 2007, with a follow-up second issue out in August of 2009.

What is interesting here is that most of the comic has been lifted from other manga artists, and we aren’t talking amateurs here.  His victims are some of the most notable books in this comic genre, including but not limited to: Bleach, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hellsing, One Piece and Vampire Hunter D.  He’s even “borrowed” from some rather talented folks on Deviantart. Digging through that would take a while for those of us not familiar with manga comics enough to spot the rips, so here’s some helpful comparison from some outraged fans of the originals:

Panel from Bleach on the left, Panel from Incarnate on the right…

And in case that wasn’t clear enough, an overlay for you!

Incarnate on the left, Bleach on the right

One more, for fun… Bleach is on the top, Incarnate is on the bottom.

Plus, some lifted dialogue…

This was first brought to light on fan forums and LiveJournal, and a small Facebook following is sprouting calling for legal action against Mr. Simmons.  The fellow who created/illustrated Bleach, Tite Kubo, tweeted this (translated from Japanese): “Actually, from last night til this morning, a huge number of foreign fans were saying “This American manga is ripping off Bleach!” or something like that. Well, I looked at the site, but I can’t really read English, but it’s a manga made by Gene Simmon’s son.”  And a company representative of Viz Media, which publishes Bleach in North America, was asked what was being done about the alleged plagiarism.  They said, “We’ve got our team on it.”

Not one word from Mr. Simmons in all of this, but his publisher released a statement saying they are no longer producing the Incarnate comics pending further investigation.

“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.”


My favorite part?  This little gem from Mr. Simmon’s DeviantArt Journal dated November 2008:

If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.
Spank you very much and good night.

Spank you very much, indeed, sir.

Enough Copying Jon Burgerman Already

Jon Burgerman is an extremely prolific artist. Unfortunately, so are his many copycats. I (admittedly obsessively) catalog all of Jon’s work online at Doodlesplatter, and thought it might be interesting to spotlight some of these Sham Artists. I’ve given out medals to the bronze, silver and gold impostors. The award icons were designed by The Neon Hive who have used Jon’s font in homage, a key difference between them and these other “artists” who have straight-up stolen Jon’s actual style without so much as a namedrop for inspiration. You can see all the winner-losers here:

I think Aris Moore is a secret Camilla Engman fan.

I came across some work by a woman called Aris Moore this week in the March/April 2010 edition of the Australian magazine Frankie. I was immediately struck by the similarity of her work to that of Swedish painter Camilla Engman.

The similarities occur in style, compostion, use of colour, technique and most markedly, in subject choice.

While none of the pictures published in the magazine, or upon further investigation, on Moore’s blog : or her Flickr page : could be described as direct copies of Engman’s work, the similarities seem way beyond coincidence to me.

Links to examples of Camilla Engman’s vast body of beautiful and original work can be found via her blog at:

Although I have not read Moore’s blog in it’s entirety I can find no acknowledgement of Engman as an influence or inspiration for her work. It seems very difficult to believe that Moore has never seen the work.

Moore’s blog itself seems to mimic Engman’s, but, just as with her paintings and drawings, she falls short of the quality she obviously aspires to. Please have a look for yourself. If you are a fan of Aris Moore’s work, you will be astounded by Camilla Engman.

'Bring a Friend' by Camilla Engman, posted on Flickr in November 2008

Drawing added to Moore's blog in October 2009

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