Incarnate creator Nick Simmons, whose publisher Radical Comics removed his books from sale last week after accusations of plagiarism (see “Radical Pulls Incarnate”), issued a statement through a representative to Comics Worth Reading. The statement acknowledged “similarities” between Simmons’ art and other material, but says he intended the swipes as an “homage.”
“Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire,” the statement said. “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.”
The statement does not appear to have calmed the furor on manga fan sites, which continues.
The reaction of the 21-year-old Simmons has some similarities to the reaction of Helen Hegemann, the 17-year-old German author whose work was discovered to include passages lifted verbatim from other works (as reported in the New York Times, among other places). “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,” a statement from Hegemann released by her publisher said. Hegemann had established her creative bonafides with other work before the use of others’ material was discovered in her latest novel, which is causing some to view her use of material from other sources (which Hegemann admits should have been credited) with some tolerance in the context of her over-all creativity. It remains to be seen whether Simmons will get a similar pass—his career as a comic creator is at a much earlier stage.