One of these things is just like the other

elaba1In the wake of the Affaire Nick Simmons, Gottsu-Iiyan posts some suspiciously similar pages from Frank Miller’s Elektra Lives Again and Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita—but this time, it’s Kishiro who is doing the borrowing.

Meanwhile, Simmons has made a statement, saying that he only intended to pay “homage” to Bleach, not to copy it. This did not go over well with commenters, to say the least. Ditto at Anime Vice. The New York Times picks up the story but fails to credit the message board and fansite that originally broke the story. Not good journalism, NYT!

Tokyopop held one of their periodic webinars yesterday, and the big news to come out of it is that they are licensing Neko Ramen. At Panel Patter, Rob runs through some of the other highlights, including news of future licensing plans, the sorts of books they are looking to publish, etc. Interesting stuff.

Melinda Beasi announces an upcoming Banana Fish Roundtable at Manga Bookshelf and suggests that readers check out the books now so they can follow along at home.

Attention Tezuka fans: Kate Dacy is giving away four copies of MW at The Manga Critic. Click here for instructions on how to enter.

Not entirely manga, but fun to check out: In this week’s Unbound column, I read some webcomics in print, and at Good Comics for Kids, we discuss good reads for a snow day.

Reviews: The Manga Recon team posts their weekly Manga Minis, featuring some Shonen Sunday series and a bit of shoujo.

Leroy Douresseaux on 9th Sleep (The Comic Book Bin)
Julie on vol. 2 of The Big Adventures of Majoko (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Biomega (Comics-and-More)
Erica Friedman on vol. 19 of Comic Yuri Hime (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 6 of Gestalt (Slightly Biased Manga)
Todd on Haru Hana Complete Collection (Anime Maki)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 3 of I Hate You More Than Anyone! (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kristin on vols. 1 and 2 of Millennium Prime Minister (Bento Bako Weekly)
Kate Dacey on MW (The Manga Critic)
Jennifer Dunbar on vol. 1 of Selfish Mr. Mermaid (A word is a unit of language)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee (Tangognat)
Tiamat’s Disciple on Tricky Prince (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Snow Wildsmith on U Don’t Know Me (Fujoshi Librarian)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 1 of Yaoi Hentai (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)
Tiamat’s Disciple on vol. 1 of Yellow 2 (Tiamat’s Manga Reviews)

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  1. Gottsu-Iiyan has found a great example.

    Of course, he claims that Japanese plagarism is unnoticed, American plagarism is unpunished, and that is the only ways it plays out. I believe it’s a little more complex than that. I mentioned the Naruto copying incidents and accusations of extensive Slam Dunk tracing. In American comics, too, there are plenty of people (such as Greg Land and Rob Liefeld) frequently accused of tracing their drawings.

    That said, Simmons clearly copied in bulk. If this incident makes people more aware of other copying going on, is that a bad thing?

  2. Nick H. says:

    I’m not sure if the Frank Miller/Yukito Kishiro examples show a genuine double-standard. Unlike the Bleach/Incarnate cases, where overlaying the images proved they were traced, there’s no overlaying going on with the examples given here. And to my, admittedly untrained and Photoshop-less, eye, it looks like Yukito Kishiro has taken inspiration from the poses in the Miller books and redrawn them himself.

    Now, I’m not saying whether this is wrong too or not, as I want to think a little about it rather than having a knee-jerk reaction, but one thing that is clear to me is that it is not at all on the same level as what Simmons has been doing.

  3. As an artist. Copying poses from some other art work is okay, as long as its with a very different look (just my opinion). Tracing an artwork (as I saw some of simmon’s sample panels compared to bleach’s panel which is almost exactly the same) is another matter, its okay when you’re doing it for practice or doing rough sketches, but publishing them in your book, not only that there’s a lot of panels being trace but also the concept design of the characters is almost the same, which is a very, very bad move.

  4. The top figure, the one with the sword, does look close enough to have been traced. The rest of it, I grant you, is more “inspiration” than copying, but the overall composition of the page, which is quite distinctive, was clearly copied as well.

    I always think a work is more clearly an “homage” if it includes a reference, direct or indirect, to the original work—that lets the reader know that the artist expects the connection to be made.