Comic Publishers

February 25, 2010

Nick Simmons’s and Radical’s Incarnate Halted Over Allegations of Plagiarism

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Written by: Kristin
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Radical Publishing has halted production and distribution of Nick Simmons’s Incarnate comic book.  Fans have accused Simmons of copying several popular manga, specifically Tite Kubo’s Bleach, and also One Piece, Hellsing, NANA (action series and then…a shojo romance manga?), and even an artist on deviantART.  There has been evidence shown, claiming that Simmons copied character designs, fight scenes, expressions, and even plot elements.

Radical Publishing has responded quickly to the allegations, and posted the following this morning to their news blog:

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.

Viz Media, publisher of several of the titles Simmons is accused of plagiarizing, including Bleach, has also announced that they will immediately start looking into these allegations (via Twitter).  Tite Kubo has also responded via Twitter, commenting on fans’ claims.

One of the images being compared: On the left, Kenpachi from Bleach, with Incarnate on the right.

You can see a rather sizable collection of compared images on this Live Journal entry.  It presents…a pretty convincing case, honestly.  And that’s just with Bleach.  I can see some Hellsing elements in there too (there are some Hellsing references linked to on that LJ page, including this one….).  For the fan forum discussions: on GameFAQs, Bleach fansite Bleach Asylum, the Naruto Fan forums.

News via: Anime News Network and Comic Book Resources (with some link hunting help from Wikipedia).

No official allegations have been made yet (as far as I can tell), so this is currently speculation being investigated by the publishers.




  1. Decapated Dan

    While it upsets me, it is not something I would have known initially as I am not a fan of the genre, but I was a huge fan of this series. So yeah I can see how people are all up in arms about this. I don’t see how Radical could have seen this coming, or prevented it.

    My main gripe here is not so much at Simmons as it is at Marvel. So how do I go from point A to point F? Well if were going to call out Simmons for copying and make an ordeal out of this, should we not call attention to the work of Greg Land? How come nothing has been said of his work in this same capacity? Do people not own the rights to the images he copies?

  2. Kristin

    Because the anime/manga community is loyal and very vocal, and we know who Tite Kubo is, but not who Greg Land is?

  3. Phil

    Wow… I actually thought that first colored image was from bleach for a second there. The images are way to similar to to be coincidence in my opinion.

    It could be a case of him taking influence to far. Maybe he didn’t even notice he was doing it?…

  4. Kristin

    Maybe…except some of the images almost look as if they were traced right out of Bleach. That Hellsing looking one is really pushing it, too.
    There’s a fine line between homage and plagiarism. I think he crossed it in the wrong direction.
    What’s funny is that he’s not being accused of just copying a single author or work, but SEVERAL.

  5. Drew

    Sigh, this is a tough one for me to weigh in on cause I’m a total ‘Bleach’ fan, but sometimes if its not broken then why fix it? Haven’t comedic movies and shows always used the same gags and bits since the dawn of movie cameras? The pics are pretty dead close but at the same point can’t we just say he was inspired by the Japanese and its homage and call it a day? If it was one guy writing poetry that was exactly the same as another guys, then that’s plagiarism. If it’s this, it’s recycled but fine.
    On a note: Tite Kubo, ‘Bleach’/’Zombie Powder’ creator didn’t seemed overly bothered with the resemblance and was more interested on his twitter that the son of a Kiss rocker creates comics.

  6. billy

    I hope this is some kind of crazy coincidence or just that he was using these other characters as an idea because if not, that is really terrible. Oh, and anybody that reads Marvel knows Greg Land…and most think he stinks. I think he’s just OK. lol

  7. Wow, crazy.

    What’s even crazier is that this guy is getting flamed for it, but Greg Land does it on an issue to issue basis.

  8. There was a mangaka fairly recently (er, within the last couple years anyway) who traced the clothes for her characters from a fashion magazine. She got slammed big time. This almost looks like Simmons traced the art (I mean, it’s seriously close).
    I don’t know that Kubo has actually seen the art comparisons; he was commenting on the topic itself. But either way, I don’t think it’s up to him. There would be more than one American publisher involved in this, which also translate to several Japanese publishers, if it were determined that the case was plausible.

    But look, there’s only 3 issues of Incarnate, and there are pages and pages of dangerously close comparisons. If it was a longer series, maybe it wouldn’t be so obvious or troublesome.

    Though I will admit that the way it’s so entirely obvious makes it seem like he’s clueless to what he’s done. Otherwise I don’t know how he thought he’d get away with it.

  9. I looked through some pages of the comic and it looks like a general bastardization of contemporary anime. However, the covers look similar to Jo Chen’s work as of late (lol).

    I get a sense of plagiarism when I looked through some of RAE’s images at ( ). I can see the similarities, but I think it actually takes a proper in depth study to know what was copied.

    The main character’s hand possession looks familiar and I’m trying to rack my brain on which anime or manga I’ve seen it from.

  10. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by girlg33k_Kris: The big news of the day: Incarnate copies Bleach?

  11. Just because Land didn’t get flamed for it as much as this guy doesn’t mean it’s right by any means. From what I’ve read about Land’s work is that he doesn’t use other comic creaters work as a reference but real people and magazine shots for his “style” so yeah it IS a bit different. Liefield did/does the same thing as this Simmons guy though, he copied panels, character poses, and even the likenesses of characters and was called out by Peter David. But everyone “loves” Rob so he gets a little slap on the hand and it gets swept under the rug.

    And “Homage” my ass that is a straight up copy right there no matter any way you slice it. Who does a “homage” in all of their work for several panels?

  12. Princess Powerful

    “However, the covers look similar to Jo Chen’s work as of late (lol).”

    Self-Correction: It is Jo Chen’s covers. She posted it on your Myspace page. Wow, I did a great guess XD

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