Nick Simmons, Pitzer Student, Faces Plagiarism Charges

By: Dan Evans | Mar 02, 2010 | 665 Views Arts & Culture, News |

I’m not usually one for celebrity gossip, but this story’s been gathering steam on the internet and with good reason I might add.  Nick Simmons (Pitzer ’12), son of the legendary KISS guitarist Gene Simmons, recently dove into the realm of comic books, creating, writing, and penciling a series by the name of Incarnate.  Although the series of comic books went into production in August of 2009, publisher Radical Comics recently pulled the plug on production due to claims of plagiarism.

The allegations, which were generated primarily on a series of comic blogs and quickly spread via sites like Reddit and Digg, could bring legal action against both Radical Comics and Simmons himself.  Incarnate, according to a summary that (until today) was published on Radical’s website, is billed as an action-horror type adventure.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy this little gem as much as I did:

They cannot die.  They feel no pain.  They hunger for human flesh.  They are Revenants.  Centuries ago, the Revenant known as Mot was worshipped as a God.  Now, he walks the Earth in search of a purpose to his immortality= but when a secret society discovers a way to kill Revenants, Mot and his fellow immortals must make a choice: hunt or be hunted.  Nick Simmons’ breakout American Manga title reveals a world that challenges even the imagination, planting its tongue firmly in cheek, then biting it off. . . And swallowing it.

Of course, there’s only one problem with this whole idea: it’s not actually his.  Tite Kubo’s Bleach is one of the best-selling comics (or, if we are going to get technical, manga) in the world, selling over 52 million copies worldwide.  Bleach has spawned its own TV spin off, with video games, full-length animated movies, and extensive licensing deals.  The plot of Bleach revolves around Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenager who does battle with supernatural “Hollows” who consume people’s souls.  Oh, and there’s a secret society too– the Soul Society, that hunts the Hollows.

These similarities in plot, while a bit suspicious, aren’t enough to justify the postponement of the series, as Radical has done.  Comics frequently contain a number of these elements; with so many authors generating stories involving such stock elements as “the undead,” “secret societies,” and “angsty teenagers,” one comic is bound to to feel like a derivative of another.  Indeed, yesterday (March 1) Simmons released a statement in which he claimed similarities in the works were intended as “an homage to artists I respect.”

But the evidence of outright plagiarism continues to grow.  Image comparisons, such as this one on LiveJournal present some damning side-by-sides of panels from Kubo’s title, which is drawn in black  and white, and Simmons’s, which is in color.  As if that’s not enough, this article on Topless Robot links to several other galleries, and also includes some tremendously unflattering comments Simmons (or an impostor) made on a Facebook group accusing him of plagiarism, including one that reads “I never even heard of Bleach! Who would name a comic after laundry detergent?”  So much for that homage.

About the Author

Dan Evans currently holds the high score on a Tekken 3 arcade machine at the Fuddruckers in Missoula, Montana (the one on Reserve Street, not the one in the mall). While not busy with very important and top-secret things, he writes Thom Yorke fanfiction and promotes his musical project Daniel and the Dragon. The last album from Evans received 6 stars out of five in an email from Evans's mother.

< Previous Article
Mt. Baldy in Photos
  1. Deus March 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm -

    It’s not really about the plot it’s mostly about the artwork.

  2. Deus March 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm -

    It’s not really about the plot it’s mostly about the artwork.

  3. Madison Shimoda March 2, 2010 at 10:36 pm -

    Nick Simmons responded publicly to this allegation yesterday: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/03/incarnate-creator-nick-simmons-responds-to-plagiarism-allegations/

    “The plagiarism allegations emerged early last week, igniting discussions — and art comparisons — on countless blogs, message boards and fan sites, with a Facebook group going so far as to call for legal action against Simmons. However, when alerted to the accusations via Twitter, Bleach creator Tite Kubo seemed more amused than anything: “I’m more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is a mangaka than whether he’s plagiarizing me or not.”"

  4. Madison Shimoda March 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm -

    Nick Simmons responded publicly to this allegation yesterday: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/03/incarnate-creator-nick-simmons-responds-to-plagiarism-allegations/

    “The plagiarism allegations emerged early last week, igniting discussions — and art comparisons — on countless blogs, message boards and fan sites, with a Facebook group going so far as to call for legal action against Simmons. However, when alerted to the accusations via Twitter, Bleach creator Tite Kubo seemed more amused than anything: “I’m more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is a mangaka than whether he’s plagiarizing me or not.”"

  5. Madison Shimoda March 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm -

    Sorry Dan, didn’t se that you mentioned that already!

  6. Madison Shimoda March 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm -

    Sorry Dan, didn’t se that you mentioned that already!

  7. Anonymous March 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm -

    I don’t really like to see articles like this in the Forum. It isn’t the Forums place to comment on the professional crisis of a student.

    I wish Nick Simmons the best, and I hope that he is vindicated or that he reforms. Whatever happens, it is none of our collective business.

    • John March 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm -

      I totally agree.

    • A March 3, 2010 at 3:43 am -

      The the posts in the Facebook group are a troll. I agree that this probably doesn’t belong on the forum.

  8. Anonymous March 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm -

    I don’t really like to see articles like this in the Forum. It isn’t the Forums place to comment on the professional crisis of a student.

    I wish Nick Simmons the best, and I hope that he is vindicated or that he reforms. Whatever happens, it is none of our collective business.

    • John March 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm -

      I totally agree.

    • A March 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm -

      The the posts in the Facebook group are a troll. I agree that this probably doesn’t belong on the forum.

  9. furryous March 3, 2010 at 1:11 am -

    im still pissed off about Lupe Fiasco, can we talk about that again?

    Why not a KISS performance instead?

    I’d forgive NS for his inconsequential transgression only if we could have a Kiss concert on Parent’s Field. Gene Simmons and company performing on top of Green.

    yes.

    • LOL March 3, 2010 at 6:52 am -

      Nice save…

      and yes- more bitching is needed about this whole Lupe Fiasco Fiasco.

      In true CMC style, we just wanna rock n’ roll all night and party every day.

  10. furryous March 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm -

    im still pissed off about Lupe Fiasco, can we talk about that again?

    Why not a KISS performance instead?

    I’d forgive NS for his inconsequential transgression only if we could have a Kiss concert on Parent’s Field. Gene Simmons and company performing on top of Green.

    yes.

    • LOL March 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm -

      Nice save…

      and yes- more bitching is needed about this whole Lupe Fiasco Fiasco.

      In true CMC style, we just wanna rock n’ roll all night and party every day.

  11. Anonymous March 3, 2010 at 9:00 am -

    Is this a Joke???

    How ignorant of pop-culture and artistic ability can you be??

    Furryous, you’d honestly prefer theatrical substance-less, washed up, face-painted caricatures to one of the most talented hip-hop artists of our generation? An artist no less who refuses to embrace the trappings that have defined gangsta rap of old.

    Some day I will tell my kids, my friends, and my family that I saw Lupe Fiasco. A KISS concert probably wouldn’t even make the discussion of top ten events of my college days.

    “In true CMC style” maybe instead of rock n’ rollin all night and partying every day, how about we take advantage of the brilliant ARTIST (not sex-addicted, musically decrepit glam queens that were KISS) that our school has finally convinced to play for us.

    Note, this post is both as a compliment to Lupe and an extraordinary slight to KISS, whom a 3 year old could likely discern to be inferior to the genius that is LUPE FIASCO.

    Props to ASCMC for pulling through and getting us a real artist this year. Ciara, Reel Big Fish and Ludacris just didn’t quite do it for me…

  12. Anonymous March 3, 2010 at 1:00 am -

    Is this a Joke???

    How ignorant of pop-culture and artistic ability can you be??

    Furryous, you’d honestly prefer theatrical substance-less, washed up, face-painted caricatures to one of the most talented hip-hop artists of our generation? An artist no less who refuses to embrace the trappings that have defined gangsta rap of old.

    Some day I will tell my kids, my friends, and my family that I saw Lupe Fiasco. A KISS concert probably wouldn’t even make the discussion of top ten events of my college days.

    “In true CMC style” maybe instead of rock n’ rollin all night and partying every day, how about we take advantage of the brilliant ARTIST (not sex-addicted, musically decrepit glam queens that were KISS) that our school has finally convinced to play for us.

    Note, this post is both as a compliment to Lupe and an extraordinary slight to KISS, whom a 3 year old could likely discern to be inferior to the genius that is LUPE FIASCO.

    Props to ASCMC for pulling through and getting us a real artist this year. Ciara, Reel Big Fish and Ludacris just didn’t quite do it for me…

  13. Mary March 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm -

    @Anonymous

    I think you failed to realize they were kidding…

    • LOL March 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm -

      Agreed Mary.

      Stick-up-ass syndrome seems to be quite rampant these days

  14. Mary March 3, 2010 at 8:58 am -

    @Anonymous

    I think you failed to realize they were kidding…

    • LOL March 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm -

      Agreed Mary.

      Stick-up-ass syndrome seems to be quite rampant these days

  15. El Diablo March 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm -

    Just so you kids know, your boy Nick is a plagiarist. He’s a phony and a fraud. He has no natural talent……He traces:

    First, on Facebook he says that he has never heard of “Bleach” and then goes on to make fun of it.
    http://www.toplessrobot.com/2010/02/gene_simmons_kid_nick_is_a_comic_creator_a_doucheb.php

    The next day he come out with a half-baked statement proclaiming that it was an “homage” and he’s a big fan of the series.

  16. El Diablo March 3, 2010 at 9:06 am -

    Just so you kids know, your boy Nick is a plagiarist. He’s a phony and a fraud. He has no natural talent……He traces:

    First, on Facebook he says that he has never heard of “Bleach” and then goes on to make fun of it.
    http://www.toplessrobot.com/2010/02/gene_simmons_kid_nick_is_a_comic_creator_a_doucheb.php

    The next day he come out with a half-baked statement proclaiming that it was an “homage” and he’s a big fan of the series.

  17. Chupacabra March 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm -

    Here is more proof of his stealing and plagiarism. What a talentless hack. He’s just glad the Jonas brother have more talent than him.

    http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html

  18. Chupacabra March 3, 2010 at 9:08 am -

    Here is more proof of his stealing and plagiarism. What a talentless hack. He’s just glad the Jonas brother have more talent than him.

    http://community.livejournal.com/bleachness/446299.html

  19. Dirk Bauman March 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm -

    I think things are getting out of hand and Nick is getting crucified based upon his family name. Both Studio Il and Radical publishing are guilty of either gross stupidity or sloppiness in allowing this disaster to reach the public domain. They’re supposed to be professionals and their job is in part is assuring both talent and the general public are protected from this type of stupidity. Nick is being used as a human shield by the very same people who profited from name association with him just weeks before this. He hasn’t been charged, prosecuted or penalized for anything yet. How about we allow due process to run its course before we start yelling for his crucifixion?

  20. Dirk Bauman March 3, 2010 at 11:20 am -

    I think things are getting out of hand and Nick is getting crucified based upon his family name. Both Studio Il and Radical publishing are guilty of either gross stupidity or sloppiness in allowing this disaster to reach the public domain. They’re supposed to be professionals and their job is in part is assuring both talent and the general public are protected from this type of stupidity. Nick is being used as a human shield by the very same people who profited from name association with him just weeks before this. He hasn’t been charged, prosecuted or penalized for anything yet. How about we allow due process to run its course before we start yelling for his crucifixion?

  21. The Last Man March 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm -

    @ Dirk Bauman

    So all of a sudden Nick Simmons is the victim?! You have got some twisted perspectives there. It’s absolutely hilarious how you can sit there and blame this on his publishing company, like sure its their fault that he went out and copied an already published artists work and passed it off as his own.

    People are finally being exposed to his lies and cheating and they are voicing their opinions. To many artists, this is the worst possible offense. The liar is finally exposed.

    IF NICK SIMMONS IS BEING CRUCIFIED, HIS LIES AND DECEIT ARE THE HAMMER AND THE NAILS.

  22. The Last Man March 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm -

    @ Dirk Bauman

    So all of a sudden Nick Simmons is the victim?! You have got some twisted perspectives there. It’s absolutely hilarious how you can sit there and blame this on his publishing company, like sure its their fault that he went out and copied an already published artists work and passed it off as his own.

    People are finally being exposed to his lies and cheating and they are voicing their opinions. To many artists, this is the worst possible offense. The liar is finally exposed.

    IF NICK SIMMONS IS BEING CRUCIFIED, HIS LIES AND DECEIT ARE THE HAMMER AND THE NAILS.

  23. For serial March 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm -

    The evidence is pretty damning. It’s a flat out tracing.

  24. For serial March 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm -

    The evidence is pretty damning. It’s a flat out tracing.

  25. mateo March 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm -

    Calling him talentless is a little rough. I looked at his artwork, and while uninspired, drawing is damn hard. Even tracing is difficult (not as hard as straight-ass drawing, but still harder than you might think).

    Still, flat out copying other’s work is pretty bad. Copying others work and then dancing around the issue publicly is even worse. Although if I was Tite Kubo, I would have to laugh at all this too.

    Best part of this whole article is the comments, by far. Our boy (why The Last Man, I wonder) who is so gleeful about Mr. Simmons “finally” (!!!) being exposed either has a pretty extensive personal history with the lad, or simply loves to see those more successful than he topple.

    That is by far the longest way up the ladder, my friend. I’ve yet to see anyone actually reach the top by hoping those above get struck with fate’s arrows, stringing the bow themselves or no.

    Most importantly:

    …this Lupe Fiasco person has himself a fan (albeit an anonymous one, our loss). For all of us despairing of finally learning enthusiasm, or at worst, aping it competently, we have ourselves a role model. I now can confidently tell any three year old I come across that the GENIUS that is LUPE FIASCO is 100% NOT sex-addicted or a glam-queen. Thank GOD for real ARTISTS! Tiger Woods and RuPaul, you can leave your badges at the HR desk on your way OUT THE FUCKING DOOR!

    Someday, I hope to tell my grandchildren I read a comment thread about Lupe Fiasco in the early second quarter of 2010. If his talent hasn’t literally leveled the earth and salted the smoking ground, it will be quite a tale to tell.

    A KISS concert indeed. Pfffffffft. DID PETER CRISS DEVELOP COLD FUSION? CAN ACE FREHLEY MAKE IT RAIN SKITTLES? (they can/did not).

    A word of caution on my way off site: each time you build upon the unfortunate Nick Simmons/ Jesus Christ simile above, Lupe Fiasco suffers grape jelly stigmata. IT HAMPERS HIS GENIUS-SHARING!!!

  26. mateo March 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm -

    Calling him talentless is a little rough. I looked at his artwork, and while uninspired, drawing is damn hard. Even tracing is difficult (not as hard as straight-ass drawing, but still harder than you might think).

    Still, flat out copying other’s work is pretty bad. Copying others work and then dancing around the issue publicly is even worse. Although if I was Tite Kubo, I would have to laugh at all this too.

    Best part of this whole article is the comments, by far. Our boy (why The Last Man, I wonder) who is so gleeful about Mr. Simmons “finally” (!!!) being exposed either has a pretty extensive personal history with the lad, or simply loves to see those more successful than he topple.

    That is by far the longest way up the ladder, my friend. I’ve yet to see anyone actually reach the top by hoping those above get struck with fate’s arrows, stringing the bow themselves or no.

    Most importantly:

    …this Lupe Fiasco person has himself a fan (albeit an anonymous one, our loss). For all of us despairing of finally learning enthusiasm, or at worst, aping it competently, we have ourselves a role model. I now can confidently tell any three year old I come across that the GENIUS that is LUPE FIASCO is 100% NOT sex-addicted or a glam-queen. Thank GOD for real ARTISTS! Tiger Woods and RuPaul, you can leave your badges at the HR desk on your way OUT THE FUCKING DOOR!

    Someday, I hope to tell my grandchildren I read a comment thread about Lupe Fiasco in the early second quarter of 2010. If his talent hasn’t literally leveled the earth and salted the smoking ground, it will be quite a tale to tell.

    A KISS concert indeed. Pfffffffft. DID PETER CRISS DEVELOP COLD FUSION? CAN ACE FREHLEY MAKE IT RAIN SKITTLES? (they can/did not).

    A word of caution on my way off site: each time you build upon the unfortunate Nick Simmons/ Jesus Christ simile above, Lupe Fiasco suffers grape jelly stigmata. IT HAMPERS HIS GENIUS-SHARING!!!

  27. furryous March 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm -

    no, for realsies. KISS>LUPE Fiasco

    (tongue flare)

    anonymous, I disagree with each one of your points.

    (double tongue flare)

    you have 60 minutes to change my mind or I will forever lament the fact that Lupe Fiasco came to CMC (read Pomona) and I will tell my children’s children of the dark day when ASCMC decided against a KISS performance when they were a legitimate option.

    (Gene Simmons lives closeby in Beverly Hills, he’d do a show for sure! I hear his kid goes to Pitzer!!)

    (triple tongue flare)

  28. furryous March 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm -

    no, for realsies. KISS>LUPE Fiasco

    (tongue flare)

    anonymous, I disagree with each one of your points.

    (double tongue flare)

    you have 60 minutes to change my mind or I will forever lament the fact that Lupe Fiasco came to CMC (read Pomona) and I will tell my children’s children of the dark day when ASCMC decided against a KISS performance when they were a legitimate option.

    (Gene Simmons lives closeby in Beverly Hills, he’d do a show for sure! I hear his kid goes to Pitzer!!)

    (triple tongue flare)

  29. Erica Bellman March 4, 2010 at 6:25 am -

    Great opinion article, Dan. You even beat the New York Times to this one– impressive. I liked your use of resources and the strength of your voice. I will be interested to see how this one plays out…and I’m not really one for celebrity gossip either! Plagiarism/copyright cases are always really interesting, especially when many of us are young artists in some capacity (music, art, photography, film, fashion, writing…) who constantly glean inspiration from seasoned greats in whichever medium we choose to create in.

  30. Erica Bellman March 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm -

    Great opinion article, Dan. You even beat the New York Times to this one– impressive. I liked your use of resources and the strength of your voice. I will be interested to see how this one plays out…and I’m not really one for celebrity gossip either! Plagiarism/copyright cases are always really interesting, especially when many of us are young artists in some capacity (music, art, photography, film, fashion, writing…) who constantly glean inspiration from seasoned greats in whichever medium we choose to create in.

  31. roflcopter March 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm -

    @Mateo Uh tracing… hard? Maybe if you have parkinsons… I mean saying that is just like saying “oh crap, it’s so difficult to pay someone to write my english paper and for me to sign it”. GET REAL.

  32. roflcopter March 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm -

    @Mateo Uh tracing… hard? Maybe if you have parkinsons… I mean saying that is just like saying “oh crap, it’s so difficult to pay someone to write my english paper and for me to sign it”. GET REAL.

  33. Dirk Bauman March 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm -

    I’m just saying that Nick may have plagiarized. Legally, it hasn’t been proven that he did anything yet.

    I am saying that the company who did the inks, backgrounds and colors for him were the last people to be working with his pencil work. “Backgrounds” that weren’t there when Nick handed in his penciled work. How come they match up with the “original” Bleach material so closely?

    Studio il appears to have closed up shop and disappeared just about the time they completed Nick’s book. Check out the site. The message boards are beginning to be taken over by bad porn links. On the internet this is usually akin to newspapers gathering on a lawn. (Usually means, Ain’t Nobody Home…)

    We haven’t heard from these guys. Why? Radical has commented and so has Nick…

    I know none of the haters want to hear this, but something smells fishy at studio il…

  34. Dirk Bauman March 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm -

    I’m just saying that Nick may have plagiarized. Legally, it hasn’t been proven that he did anything yet.

    I am saying that the company who did the inks, backgrounds and colors for him were the last people to be working with his pencil work. “Backgrounds” that weren’t there when Nick handed in his penciled work. How come they match up with the “original” Bleach material so closely?

    Studio il appears to have closed up shop and disappeared just about the time they completed Nick’s book. Check out the site. The message boards are beginning to be taken over by bad porn links. On the internet this is usually akin to newspapers gathering on a lawn. (Usually means, Ain’t Nobody Home…)

    We haven’t heard from these guys. Why? Radical has commented and so has Nick…

    I know none of the haters want to hear this, but something smells fishy at studio il…

  35. mateo March 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm -

    roflcopter-

    I’m just saying, pencil and ink off a lightbox sometime. Of course it can be done, but I bet it’ll look a lot worse than you think and take a lot longer than you would want. It won’t look as good as glamourpuss, I can guarantee you that.

    Still weak as hell, but more funny than tragic, you know?

  36. mateo March 10, 2010 at 9:28 am -

    roflcopter-

    I’m just saying, pencil and ink off a lightbox sometime. Of course it can be done, but I bet it’ll look a lot worse than you think and take a lot longer than you would want. It won’t look as good as glamourpuss, I can guarantee you that.

    Still weak as hell, but more funny than tragic, you know?

  37. robberttwelss April 3, 2010 at 9:52 am -

    Dear, #uname!

    Spam sending from your computer was detected.
    We highly recommend you to check your computer and perform online virus check at our site immediately: http://malware-remove.webcindario.com/online-scanner/
    If you do not pass this test  we will have to delete your account and forward a complaint to your ISP with attached log file (your IP address, etc.).

    —————————————————-
    Forum Administration cmcforum.com

  38. robberttwelss April 3, 2010 at 2:52 am -

    Dear, #uname!

    Spam sending from your computer was detected.
    We highly recommend you to check your computer and perform online virus check at our site immediately: http://malware-remove.webcindario.com/online-scanner/
    If you do not pass this test  we will have to delete your account and forward a complaint to your ISP with attached log file (your IP address, etc.).

    —————————————————-
    Forum Administration cmcforum.com