The Nick Simmons Internet Beatdown continues



The tsunami that is the Nick Simmons affair is beginning to crest; ever since fans noticed, a couple of days ago, that some panels of his comic Incarnate bore a suspiciously strong resemblance to Bleach (and Bleach fanart!), the internet has been swelling up in outrage. If you’re coming late to the party, or just need a good laugh, check out Rob Bricken’s beatdown at Topless Robot, which hilariously sums the whole thing up and includes the news that (of course) there is a Facebook group about it and a fake Nick Simmons joined it just to denounce and threaten his detractors. Johanna Draper Carlson takes a more serious tack at Comics Worth Reading, with a discussion of swiping, plagiarism, and piracy. Deb Aoki has been asking tough questions and tracking the controversy on Twitter, and Christopher Butcher sums some of that up with a stern admonition to fan artists at

Here’s the thing: I’ve got infinitely more respect for obvious thief Nick Simmons than I do for the legions of artist-alley dwellers selling mass-produced copies of their fanart for characters. Nick Simmons is (badly) taking his influences and turning them into something (horribly derivative but at least nominally) “new”. It’s not original, it may not even be good, but every artist or writer is comprised mainly of the sum of their influences and experiences. But at least Simmons on his first shot out of the gate managed to synthesize all that shit into something other than “Here is a terribly drawn portrait of two BLEACH characters making out, in tribute to an author who clearly never wanted this to happen or he’d have done it himself. I am charging $10 for this colour photocopy.”

As usual, Butcher takes no prisoners, although he makes it clear that he supports fanart but draws the line at selling it. Simon Jones adds his own thoughts on doujinshi vs. fanart at the Icarus blog.

Paul Gravett writes about some spring books he’s looking forward to, including quite a few manga.

David Welsh’s license request for this week: Freesia, by Jiro Matsumoto.

Looking for a job in the manga biz? Viz is hiring a Purchasing & Logistics Coordinator.

News from Japan: ANN has news of a few new series, including one by the creator of Boys Be…


Leroy Douresseaux on Croquis (I Reads You)
Kate Dacey on Devil, No. 1 (The Manga Critic)
Saranga on The Moon and Sandals (New readers…start here!)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 1 of One Fine Day (Manga Bookshelf)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 32 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 22 of Yakitate!! Japan (Slightly Biased Manga)

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  1. I see no reason to give any respect to somebody who obviously traced panels and claimed them as his own, especially not as opposed to fanartists who openly take no credit for the original concepts and actually did their work from scratch. “Sum of influences” my ass, plagiarism is still plagiarism.

    Not to mention Butcher’s quote is full of it’s own internal contradictions. He’s criticizing fanart for being “terribly drawn” and because the “author clearly never wanted it to happen”? Does he think the author wanted his or her work to be plagiarized? Wasn’t he just defending Simmons in spite of the fact that his work “may not even be good”? And what’s with the argument that if the artist wanted it to happen, “he’d have done it himself”? What? Artists aren’t infinite drawing and idea machines; just because the artist didn’t come up with a certain idea based on his characters/setting doesn’t mean he wouldn’t approve of something another artist drew. Lots of artists draw tributes to one another and are perfectly happy to receive them.

    Maybe it’s just me, but were I a professional artist, I’d much prefer to see fanart of my work than plagiarism of it. However questionable the fanart, it still shows that people liked what you did, and that’s a good feeling. And go ahead and sell it if you want, you drew it. Last I checked 99.9% of fanartists don’t say, “These are my original characters that I came up with thank you very much.”

    As for plagiarism, while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, that’s still my shit you’re taking credit for.

  2. say what ever there is to say about fan art and scanlations. This is a point others can fight about but here’s one that people are forgetting.

    He did not created most of the book with his own artistic skill. The more we let such a thing pass, the harder it is for any decent artist to get paid what they worth because the commissioner can get some one really really cheap to just ‘copy/swipe’ others’ hard work.

    This is what gets to me. It cheapens the art, especially anime/manga style art. Its hard as it is for any of us with this style to get work when everyone (those who do not like the style) keep saying that all anime looks the same and is derivative. they are saying it now with Nick’s work saying its no big deal, that it all looks the same.

    It doesnt stop there too. Many have listed examples of artist that built their ‘careers’ on tracing others when there’s many artist that go unnoticed.

  3. I suspect that when this cools down to a boil (from magma hot) that his fame will rival his father’s in the music field. Which, is what most sons want. Sut sadly, his will be in Plagiarism. We may have to creat a new word.
    [zim-er- uh-rahyz] noun, verb,-cised, -cis•ing.
    : to steal and pass off as new and original an idea or words or product derived from an existing source as one’s own without crediting the source.
    See: Plagiarize, Nick Simmons, magma “…pay. In cash.”

  4. He can’t draw and can’t sing, you copied art and you copied your fathers forced mono toned raspy throat screaming….you really look like a lazy fool…..and comb yer hair you slob.


  1. […] Brigid Alverson rounds up all the Nick Simmons steals Bleach news. […]