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.