Among mamy comments on the Nick Simmons plagiarism case, Chris Butcher has the strongest words for the connection between those who swipe art panels and those criticizing him who illegally scan and distribute manga and anime:
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.”
Paying “tribute” to an author like Kubo by selling work based on his creations is about the same as “building his popularity” by distributing illegal scans and fansubs of his work, I personally put the two in exactly the same category: complete fucking fiction.
What I’m saying is Nick Simmons’ behaviour is embarrassing and the work is getting the smackdown it deserves. But North American anime “fandom” for their legion of sins have no reason to be so comfortable in their condemnation, particularly because the behaviour they condone–and celebrate–is worse.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.