Apparently, Nick Simmons has plagiarized from a laundry list of sources. Including two of the most popular mangas in THE WORLD and an artist on online artists' community DeviantArt.
The internet, which is full of nerds who find this kind of stuff, was lightning quick to catch the offenses and jumped on him like a honeybadger does on a cobra's nest.
Even after seeing the art work, I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I imagined a mousy kid, who really loved comic books and manga and wanted to do one for himself and his Dad, the huckster that he is, used his fame to help his son out.
Even I, in my darker moments, have thought about using other artists' work to achieve the look I desired. But, I tell myself that if I do that then I am undermining my own artistic development.
Then he issued this statement:
“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.”
Then I saw what he looked like...
This is not the face of an earnest but untalented artist. This is the face of an over-privileged jack-ass who either didn't think or didn't care that he would get caught. It is one thing to swipe a hand or an arm. But to swipe entire panel compositions from a Manga that has sold something like 8 million copies in America alone? That's ballsy... and stupid.
And when he did get caught, did he fess up? Did he apologize? No. He used a tactic that is abundantly present in the behavior of a-holes and lawyers (I'd like to see that Venn Diagram). The ol' "I'm sorry you feel that way." People are demanding an apology but you don't want to admit to any wrong doing? "I'm sorry you feel that way."
Bottom line: This makes me mad for so many reasons. But, the biggest reason is that there are so many comic book artists that are more talented than this dork that have trouble getting work. And they actually need it! Whereas Nick Simmons, who won't have to work a day in his life because the KISS army keeps throwing money at his daddy, gets his book (a large portion of which was PLAGIARIZED) published. And I am closing my DeviantArt account for fear that Kip Winger's kid will rip off my work.