Nick Simmons likes to Trace

Nick Simmons, son of Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons, is a “manga artist.”  Not only that, he’s been published too!  His comic Incarnate was published by Radical Publishing in July of 2007, with a follow-up second issue out in August of 2009.

What is interesting here is that most of the comic has been lifted from other manga artists, and we aren’t talking amateurs here.  His victims are some of the most notable books in this comic genre, including but not limited to: Bleach, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hellsing, One Piece and Vampire Hunter D.  He’s even “borrowed” from some rather talented folks on Deviantart. Digging through that would take a while for those of us not familiar with manga comics enough to spot the rips, so here’s some helpful comparison from some outraged fans of the originals:

Panel from Bleach on the left, Panel from Incarnate on the right…

And in case that wasn’t clear enough, an overlay for you!

Incarnate on the left, Bleach on the right

One more, for fun… Bleach is on the top, Incarnate is on the bottom.

Plus, some lifted dialogue…

This was first brought to light on fan forums and LiveJournal, and a small Facebook following is sprouting calling for legal action against Mr. Simmons.  The fellow who created/illustrated Bleach, Tite Kubo, tweeted this (translated from Japanese): “Actually, from last night til this morning, a huge number of foreign fans were saying “This American manga is ripping off Bleach!” or something like that. Well, I looked at the site, but I can’t really read English, but it’s a manga made by Gene Simmon’s son.”  And a company representative of Viz Media, which publishes Bleach in North America, was asked what was being done about the alleged plagiarism.  They said, “We’ve got our team on it.”

Not one word from Mr. Simmons in all of this, but his publisher released a statement saying they are no longer producing the Incarnate comics pending further investigation.

“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.”


My favorite part?  This little gem from Mr. Simmon’s DeviantArt Journal dated November 2008:

If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.
Spank you very much and good night.

Spank you very much, indeed, sir.

Posted by JessiBean  |  47 Comments  |  in Design, Fine Art, Literature, Web


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  3. mariah 06/28/2012 2:17 pm

    Honestly, Nick’s work looks Sooo much better then the work in Bleach….but that’s just me….

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  20. knocknocknock 05/18/2011 5:24 pm

    And no lawsuits filed? His father must have swooped in with some fast cash. Stay out of the limelight, boy, you haven’t Earned anything.

  21. simple 03/12/2011 5:12 pm

    *Of course you don’t, Zeia. It’s obvious that you haven’t been apart of the media scene, as this, the stealing of ideas, has been going on for centuries. For artists (graphic or otherwise), whose main income (usually) is their ideas and their presentation. When you think of a musician, he makes his living off of his music, that he has made. When you think of a wirter, it’s his ideas put into words. Ideas can easily be stolen, and that would jepordize the original creator of said ideas.

    That is why there is more than a mere fine for stealing ideas. A simple “pay what you made” doesn’t cut it, as there is still damage done. What if people saw this hack’s work first, and thought that Bleach was the plagarizer?

    And it makes sense that people would cry for blood with this. On top of everything I have said, it also demeans the hard work that legitimate artist do on a daily basis. As someone here pointed out, they, like Nick, are amateur artists (which is ok, as you don’t have to be a bigshot to make good work), yet this guy can get off by copying other’s work? That undermines everything that actual artist strive for, as they would kill to have what he has. Not only is he rich, but he’s also a plagariizer.

  22. Zeia 02/15/2011 6:20 am

    Jeez man everyones getting so fired up over this Nick Simmons kid. I mean sure he copied panels/lines out of Bleach, but do you really have to resort to such barbaric behavior like hoping terrible things come flying in his direction?

    Human nature baffles me sometimes, some people are so quick to have a death wish upon someone just for one simple slip up. Its not like he killed anyone.

    Sure I don’t think his actions were very reasonable, and should go without consequence, but I don’t wish any physical or emotional harm on him.

    I also understand you can’t take this sort of thing lightly, and give him a simple ‘time out’ punishment. Really to be honest I think he should be fined and be on his merry way, I don’t see why you need to go to jail for copying art, I think a fine is reasonable, its like paying back the money you got from ripping off someone’s artwork. You don’t have to go to the extent to sticking someone in jail for it.

    I understand Bleach fans are pretty pissed, I guess I can only say this because I haven’t read or watched Bleach myself, but I usually like to keep a neutral perspective on everything before I judge, it can be difficult, but then at least your not leaning in favor for one party and giving an unreasonable punishment to the other.

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  25. Discover_shockwave 02/12/2011 12:51 am

    Man… Nick is a shame to the art world. The guy can’t write a fucking legit storyline, AND he copies drawings off of people to GET MONEY. He is already fucking rich. Besides, he always relies on his dad anyway. What’s the difference between extended parental pampering?

  26. GreatlyThankful 02/04/2011 9:52 pm

    I went to school with this brat at CCA for a bit. We were both illustrators. I remember one day he was talking about how he was an amazing artist and I was thinking, “Fuck this guy, he’s a dickhole.”
    I’m really glad someone stopped him in his tracks.

  27. سعودي كام 01/29/2011 2:08 am

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  28. Graham 12/08/2010 2:36 pm

    Gene Simmons is a twat.

  29. Anonymous 10/20/2010 11:53 am

    Dear Gene Simmons,

    I totally understand and agree with your stance on piracy and copyright infringement. I therefore fervently hope and trust that you will be testifying against your son, Nick, for his blatant commercial infringement of the ‘Bleach’ manga comic, and that you will do all that you can to ensure that he receives the maximum possible jail time and punitive fine for his illegal (and immoral) actions.

    Yours sincerely,

  30. What? 10/20/2010 11:42 am

    Wow. Look at this. I remember when I traced…when I was 5

  31. Anonymous 10/20/2010 11:12 am

    So can we assume that Gene is now intending to have his son sent to jail for copyright infringement, just as he’s promised to do to file sharers?

  32. gergjio 10/16/2010 12:12 am

    I hope this plagiarist, douchebag fucktard dies homeless as a pauper. He has yet to show any remorse for his art theft, has barely spoken about it, and he deserves any bad press he gets.

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  34. Tofu 07/20/2010 2:43 pm

    who would’ve thought such an original artist would have such an unoriginal offspring… KISS rocks! Nick Simmons needs to get his head out of his emo ass and do something useful with his life.

  35. Kissy 07/17/2010 1:56 pm


    BrokeAndDrive is using copypasta responses without even bothering to read the articles for pertinent info. Ignore he/she/it. Trolls tend to go away if they’re starved of their favorite food–attention.

    As for Simmons, he finally deactivated his DA account. Guess he got tired of all the negative attention. Aww…that poor, misunderstood art-thief.

    I followed Nick’s work before this whole debacle began, and I’m disgusted to say that he had marginal talent of his own. He really didn’t have to resort to tracing from Bleach and Hellsing, etc. Guess he thought being Gene’s son would get him out of this mess. He thought wrong, huh?

  36. Late2dParty 05/18/2010 4:51 pm


    Hahaha, posting in public domain? Bleach author didn’t post it in public domain, fans of the manga did. XD Research before going copypasta

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  38. deeters 04/23/2010 4:46 am


    He’s friggin lucky it’s not Hiromu Arakawa he’s tracing from. Because Fullmetal fans would have set his house on fire and killed his family by now.

    Copying Bleach like that though.. not only panels, but actual dialogue. That’s just pathetic. A level of low that not many hit.

  39. Wow 04/22/2010 10:44 pm

    I guess BrokeAndDrive is just going through and copy/pasting this response on everything. If they’d even bothered reading then they would know that this was NOT public domain in the slightest and was actually ripping a COPYRIGHTED work.


  40. BrokeAndDrive 04/12/2010 5:12 am

    If it was so important to you, why did you put it in the public domain? Dumbass. You were asking for someone to steal it.

    What you and the rest of the whiny babies at (jesus you idiots suck at domain names) don’t get, is if you don’t write your name in marker on your brown paper lunch bag and — PAY ATTENTION HERE — put it in a ***PUBLIC*** FREEZER, anyone is FREE TO EAT IT. If you were too stupid to write your name on your lunch bag, you lose all rights to bitch when someone eats your lunch. This is where an eight-year-old girl would point at you and say, “DuuUUuuUUuuhh!!” Yeah that’s right, a 2nd-grader is smarter than you.

    So it’s less “you thought we wouldn’t notice” than “we don’t give a shit if you notice, in fact we hope you do because fuck you legal-illiterate wiki-aspbergers”.

    You should have put your fucking name on it you god damn moron! What the fuck is wrong with your head that you can’t connect two neurons in your skulls? As Earnie at put so eloquently, rub those two lone brain cells in your cavernous skulls and spark a fucking clue!

    So shake off the butthurt, self-righteous emo faggotry, take a step back, accept that ***YOU*** FUCKED UP, learn from this experience and DON’T FUCKING DO IT AGAIN.

    P.S. Thank you, Internet, for bringing together so many high-creativity, low-intelligence and low-wisdom cocktards. These derp-derp jackasses have stupidly created a vast, UNDEFENDED resource of art for anyone to FREELY plunder.

    And they’re actually surprised that leaving a thousand freshly-baked pies on hundreds of window sills attracts even more hobos? Or frying up a mountain of steaks in the middle of a forest pulls in every single wolf, bear, and cougar in a 20-mile radius?

    ARE THESE FUCKERS SERIOUS??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!! OOOOOH HO HO HO HO HO HA HA HA HA HA HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HO HO HO HO HO HAAA HAAAA HAAAA!!! Oh my sides! Their braindead absurdity is killing me… oh my god……………..

  41. fwertwen465467jm4 04/08/2010 12:11 am

    What a little fucking twat! I hope the asshole gets what he deserves.

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  43. Zashi 03/20/2010 12:46 pm

    Gah! I cannot describe the anger I felt when I saw this… just ripping off the best, and arrogantly claiming it as his own. Son of a… I’ve been practising drawing, especially comic/manga style for quite a few years now, and it’s only been recently that I feel that I’m getting to the point where I can draw as well as I want [but not quite :( ]. It just pisses me off to think that this guy just up-and-decided that: “Oh, I feel like making a comic. In manga style! That’s cool at the moment. Now, should I start practising? Nah… that’s too hard, I’ll just trace the panels and sh*t for it, and no one will notice! Bleach, pah! I’ll bet no one outside of Japan has ever heard of it.”

    You thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did.

    Now go cry in your emo corner, or try to practise to ACTUALLY become great at something.

  44. free hidden object games 03/15/2010 2:55 am

    holyshit, ripping off just got to a new low. Even comic panels?!

  45. somnambulist 03/09/2010 6:56 am

    I think he is trying to get noticed and make a name or himself because he is tired of living in Gene’s shadow. So, instead of “Gene Simmon’s son,” he is now known as “Gene Simmon’s son, the dumbass who traced artwork claiming it as his own.” Lots of celebrity offspring try to prove they have talent, but usually they do not.

  46. Bolivar 03/08/2010 4:10 am

    Why would he even bother doing something like this? His father is rich. The kid has anything he wants. He could do anything at a mediocre level and make an honest living. Instead, he shoots straight for the top and does anything to get there. I think he wanted to see what he could get away with.

  47. They call me Dr. Love.. 03/05/2010 5:03 am

    The kid looked like a prick on the Dr. Pepper commercial, interesting to see that my assumptions were correct.

    “Be smooth”, eh? At least the trace lines are.

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