Nick Simmons Releases Statement, Takes No Responsibility

Nick Simmons, artist of Incarnate, which contains panels copied from Bleach and other manga, has released the following statement via a representative:

“Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire. 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.”

Note that he doesn’t acknowledge he went beyond “homage” to flat-out copies. He also doesn’t apologize for what he did — he’s sorry if other people “feel” he went too far or “perceived” similarities (that are obvious to anyone). In other words, it’s our fault that we’re upset because he didn’t mean anything bad by it.

“Certain fundamental imagery” appears to be code for “I couldn’t find a different way to show a guy screaming / girl crying / etc. so I just copied them.” That’s not honoring his “inspirations”. Is he really blaming the medium for making him a plagiarist?

This is oil on a grease fire. Better if he’d said nothing than tried to calm people down without taking any responsibility on himself for his actions.

Update: (3/2/10) My response has been quoted at the New York Times Arts Beat blog.


  1. […] Lähde: Comics Worth Reading […]

  2. Oh hey, want his dA?

    His style doesnt even match up to any manga. Way to fail… XD

  3. […] la web Comics Worth Reading, Nick Simmons declaró sobre la situación, alegando  solo haberse inspirado  de Bleach y otros […]

  4. […] Comic fans talk about Nick Simmons, son of KISS memberGene Simmons, who copied several manga (mostly Bleach) to make his own comic Incarnate. When caught, Simmons issued a non-apology. […]

  5. Oh so it’s an homage…since when making copy/paste it’s an homage? Come on…if a 20 year old boy has NOT AT ALL any fantasy, where will he be in 15 years from now? If you’re not good at drawing it’s okay, just do something else…but this is just and only a simple way to make easy money: being a copycat! Please stop copying and do something else…like go to work!

  6. […] a graphic novel which appeared to be copied WHOLESALE from Japanese manga.  Nick Simmon’s lame ass response: “Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire. There are certain similarities between some […]

  7. Steve Chaput

    Pretty cool seeing you quoted in the NY Times, along with a link to your site. Heck, and I knew you back when you were just a fangirl!

    Seriously though, it’s sad that Simmons would use such a lame and obvious excuse for what he did. Also, how could he not expect his “homage” do go undetected, when he was trying to appeal to that same demographic?

  8. My parents were immensely impressed — online doesn’t mean much to them, but a PRINT paper! :)

    Some have speculated that that might have been a factor in him using scans, instead of stuff that was already in print here and thus presumably better known. Alternately, it’s easier to copy something online in Photoshop.

  9. qwertymaniac

    Well…I know I lack creativity too, but I don’t make blatant excuses for it.

  10. […] 1, 2010: Apparently Nick Simmons has released a statement. Nick Simmons Releases Statement, Takes No Responsibility and Incarncate Creator Nick Simmons Responds to Plagiarism Allegations. In this statement he makes […]

  11. […] lo publicado en el blog Comics Worth Reading, Nick Simmons ha emitido un comunicado a través de su representante, en el cual no hace más que […]

  12. […] anos de livros de comédia, o criador Nick Simmons emitiu uma declaração publica sobre as acusações generalizadas sobre cópias de imagem e idéias do mangá Bleach de Tite […]

  13. […] satisfaction of all parties“. Simmons meanwhile, after ignoring the noise for several weeks, issued a statement that denied any wrong-doing telling fans “there are certain similarities between some of my […]

  14. There is some fundamental imagery in comics, but somehow in the 60+ years Superman’s been drawn, you can’t find too many cases of this sort of thing – even in the ‘Muscle Guy Flying’ genre. In ONE issue of his comic, you can find a dozen plus. His logic is brilliant.

    I also was giggling that Amazon is trying to sell me Nick’s comic book on your side bar.

  15. I swear Nick Simmons mentioned he hadn’t heard of Bleach when he was first confronted on the issue

  16. the “Nick Simmons” who said he had not heard of Bleach was a troll on face book.

  17. There’s no need to be angry at him. Plagiarism is the simplest way of flattering. Incarnate made a scandal, and that scandal, is not about the money he makes copying Bleach, its about how many people, who didnt know about bleach, will start to hear things, giving indeed Free advertising for Bleach.

  18. If you are saying that plagiarism is a ‘good thing’, I’m afraid I can’t agree with you at all. I could cut and past a few chapters of a Stephen King novel, change the character names and you think he’d be fine with that? How fast with his lawyers be on the phone to me? “I’m sorry, I thought Mr. King needed the exposure.”

    An homage or even a spoof is one thing, but using character designs or layouts without credit go way beyond that.

    Steve C.

  19. 4635jm67e56857e546jw34895u8934u58934u58934u58934895f23y784fy23784y2374y237894uy2378

    Long story short – he hasn’t learned his lesson, and he will never learn his lesson unless he gets it in the form of a foot planted firmly up his ass.

  20. Biggiejackson

    Ok if I copied a 100 bill and said it was homage to america fine… but as soon as I try to spend it thats when its a crime ok because now Im trying to get paid off of it!!!!!

  21. if you need proof. well here is a set of links that will clearly show where nick has gotten this idea he’s entitled to steal from others as he lawyers up just like his parents. the douche bag was taught good by the moneybags with the big ego and the big mouth;

    (associate press int.) dec. 1998

  22. There’s a fine line between admiration/inspiration and acutally copying the whole thing….from the concept of the story (undead gods…? oh come on) to the art also (specific pannels), from what I can see, he went beyond that whole inspirational crap.

    You don’t see us writing about a report and using other peoples work specifically without citing them. It’s plain plagarism. For him to actually copy some of the panels exactly from Bleach, yea it’s definately plagarism. I’m sorry but I’ve never seen any other “inspiring” artist do that.

    There’s just no excuse for it Mr.Simmons.

  23. Steve Chaput

    I made my comments earlier in this thread, but have to admit that I’m surprised that folks are still talking about it.

  24. Just a thought

    I do hope people keep talking about it, its something that should never be forgotten. Nick Simmons is a terrible artist and terrible writer. Having zero talent may work on a crap reality show, but in the real world, you have to step up and bring it. Nick Simmons reminds me of a cheesy 80’s villain. Just swap the hipster douche hair and kool kid costume for a sweater wrapped around his shoulders and there’s no different. He’s lame. I hope he’s forever blacklisted and people treat him as the joke he is. You see him in the street – point and laugh.

  25. If he dared to copy from Bleach which is very popular, I can only wonder how many of his works were actually ripped off from those which are relatively unknown.

    A lawsuit should be filed against him.

  26. OMFG what a frieaking dirt bag!! Ripping off other people’s art I hope he got sued and his stolen art removed. I am REALLY pissed about this… -_-

  27. Omigod get over it. all manga looks the fu**ing same. it shouldnt even be considered art at all. art is a reflection of yourself and your thoughts, not someone elses, and everyone who draws manga is imitating someone elses style. THE END.

  28. manga marnie

    Nick Simmons is a gifted young artist. Sure, most manga looks similar. everyone who draws manga is clearly imitating someone else’s style. What young Nick needs is a good, stern talking to about artist ethics. Be inspired, absolutley, copy and trace, verboten. I think Gene Simmons could smarten him about business ethics.

  29. Really?? I can’t belive all I’ve read here!! 1st of all would any of you really care if he wasn’t gene Simmons son? And way to dwel on this to keep your blog going! Truly pathetic!! If he did in fact copy art work, who cares? You’ve made your point, move on!!! Nick is talented in many ways , jealousy is a foul way to live!! Get over it!! It’s done!! Next!………

  30. “And way to dwel on this to keep your blog going!”

    Johanna hasn’t posted anything about this since March the 22nd, a quick search says — she just never closes comment threads. It’s people turning up and posting on the thread (like the both of us) that’s keeping it alive.

    And I have to say that a comic that contained that many traces from a popular manga would have been a story whoever drew it.

  31. I haven’t posted here in a while, although I do lurk & read. I’m always surprised when a new message on this thread shows up in my mailbox. Hasn’t this dead horse been beaten, skinned and used for glue at this point?

    I said pretty much all I had to say about this months ago. No matter on which side of this issue you are shouldn’t folks move on?

  32. Gene Simmons always goes on about how people who illegally downlaod music should be sued out of existence,etc. So, what does he say now that his son has done something similar,
    with copyright infringement? Why should Nick be treated more leniently, just because his family is rich and famous?

  33. okay guys you’d really hate on someone for this?
    its just manga. he obviously didnt mean for people to react like this, you gotta see both sides, maybe he did go to far like he stated. but we all need to chill. life goes on…i really dont know how old this post is but yeah i know where you guys are comming from, but in all seriousness, its just a manga, i’m sure he didnt mean to do what he did. and you shouldn’t base his character as a person on something like this, we all don’t know him personally. chill.

  34. So if I took a block buster movie and slightly edited it and resold it It’d be okay, starlah? Cause that’s what we’re talking about here. Bleach is a blockbuster equivalent in the comic industry.

  35. And for you to say he didn’t mean to do what he did are you working for him? Cause I don’t understand how any logical human being can defend this thief Nick Simmons. He copied a very popular and successful Manga and sold it for profit. People don’t do that on accident. That’s like Ben Bernanke accidentally scamming those billions of dollars from people.

  36. Most art imitates other art and as for blockbuster movies, actually they usually are the rip offs. Unoriginality is everywhere. Not that I care for comics much, so I guess I can’t see the huge deal. However I am familiar with other forms of art and the line between inspiration and plagiarism is always a fine one.

  37. Sarah, maybe you should educate yourself about the issue before talking about it? This case is blatant plagiarism.

  38. Steve Chaput

    OMG! This has to be the longest lasting forum thread ever. It is also probably the one with the single fewest individuals changing their viewpoints after reading those of others.

    This would make Flat-Earthers shake their heads.

  39. All art/manga/novel base themselves of previous works, but they always avoid blatant copying.

    Deriving inspiration from the bleach drawing style is ok. Many mangaka’s copy other managaka’s drawing style, but they never copy the actual art frame by frame, line by line.

    What this guy did was copy-paste and colour it in, which makes him a talent-less hack.

  40. It seems at this point I’m going to make my yearly comment that I can’t believe this thread still continues.

    Not going to deny that what Simmons did may have been wrong, but nobody was actually harmed by this. About time to move on.

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