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Noted plagiarist Nick Simmons has denied accusations that he shamelessly ripped off Bleach and other works in his “Incarnate” comic, saying that he was merely “inspired” into an act of “homage.”

His publisher felt inspired to suspend sales of the comic.

His official statement weasels thus:

“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.”

Interestingly, he remarks on his DeviantArt profile that “If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.”

Words which may yet come back to haunt him, though thankfully he has a millionaire father to fall back on for legal expenses or compensation, more than can be said for most of the works he inspiredly traced.

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Meanwhile the publisher of Incarnate has suspended the comic:

“We at Radical Publishing, Inc. and Radical Comics, Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate Comic Book.

We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter.

We have halted further production and distribution of the “Incarnate” comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our Company and the comic book industry.”

All Bleach author Tite Kubo has been drawn into saying so far is that he is “more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is writing comics than all this.”

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