Friday, May 6, 2011

Comics, Pornography, and Plagiarism

Okay, if you're a follower of my blog, then you know that I'm a fan of comic books. Now, it's no secret that, since roughly 2007, a certain up-and-coming illustrator has been using porn magazines and a light box to illustrate comic books.

Wait. Are you surprised? Scared? Or...oh God. On second thought, don't tell me!

You know, I don't have a problem when an artist wants to use a photograph to base their drawing off of. I understand that, as an artist, it helps to have a model to show you exactly where the body falls when it is in a certain position.

But, if you have to use a light box to trace an image then I'm going to question your ability as an "artist". And when you take your images directly from porn mags and don't even have the decency to change the "Oh" face to an expression that mirrors the storyline of the comic? Come on.

I mean, really?


No, really. My eyes always roll back in ecstasy when I'm really angry.

I don't know about you, but I always look like I'm preparing for an OBGYN exam when I fight crime. 

Now this is just blatantly rubbing it in our faces.


I don't understand how this is allowed to go on. As a writer, if I tried to pull this kind of "artistic tracing" I would be out of a job and shunned from the industry faster than you could say...

What do you think? Is it just harmless image "borrowing"? Or does this constitute as plagiarism?


  1. Um... well... eh... yeah. Whatever you say, Cole.

  2. Wow. Cole, you are the queen of blog posts! *bows to your greatness*

  3. I had to come back for a second peek.

  4. There is a fine line here. What's the difference between using a live model for art and a photograph? About the same as fictionalizing a real life event for a novel?
    I dunno.
    I will agree that tracing the images puts a huge dent in the guy's artistic integrity and he should be called out for it by real artists though.
    Interesting...thought provoking... Hmmmm

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  6. Yeah, this is just idiotic. I wasn't aware this was happening, but you can be sure I don't approve. My son is a budding comic book artist, and he draws everything from hand, straight out of his mind or by viewing it. The talent he displays is incredible. Of course, he's actually drawing it, not tracing. Any lunkhead can trace a picture, much the same way any lunkhead can copy someone's story. I don't care how much the idiot dresses it up after the fact, tracing is tracing is cheating. Some people never get a clue. Thanks for bringing this to light, Cole. You're the coolest comic book ninja writer ever!

  7. AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hooooly crap is that both blatant and ridiculous.

    If you're going to straight up trace someone from a porno, at least save it for when your characters are getting it on!

  8. I guess I'm playing devil's advocate again, damnit.

    Okay, using models or photographs as a basis for other artwork is not plagarism. Artists have been doing this forever. And not just graphic artists either or was I mistaken in noting that the first season of Sons of Anarchy was really just Hamlet on a Harley.

    Everyone borrows from somewhere and it's very rare for something 100% original to come along. If we can establish that then it shouldn't matter what the inspiration for a work of art is so long as the finished product says something new.

    And in my mind, it makes a kind of sense for artists to use pornstars and bikini models as the basis for female superheros. Comics have always displayed men and women as having these impossible physiques. In short, they've always looked like pornstars. Why not cut the shit and admit it? It's the one thing porn and comics have in common; a representation of an impossible fantasy.

    Also, I like porn and I mostly hate superhero comics. Now if you'll excuse me I have a few issues of Hellblazer waiting for me.

  9. Hey Louis! I get that and I totally agree. My only beef here is that it's been proved that this particular artist is tracing these images. As in, you can hold one image directly over another and they're exactly exact. Really, I don't have a problem with any comic artist who wants to use a model from a Playboy as their inspiration. Just be an artist and draw the image. Don't trace it. And, please, for the love of God, change the "Oh" face. :)

  10. Why is that Sports Illustrated backwards?

  11. Rotoscope animators trace images. Are they not artists?