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Kill Nick Simmons With Guns And Fire, The Thieving Little Sod!

“I’ve been plagiarising my whole life. It’s called learning.”
Akira The Don, 2008, paraphrasing Hunter S Thompson

So, I was taking a break from the rent-earning task I was doing today that I kinda hoped I’d have got out of the way by this point what with having loads of really important stuff to do like songs and comic strips and whathaveyou, riiiight, and I had a look at Tweetdeck, and at the top of my mentions column, which is essentially an inbox, I had the following, from fellow Death’s Head fan @jaykayell_ :

@AkiratheDon Sorry to beg of your services good sirrah but could you let your followers know about this http://bit.ly/a5Frv9

And I thought, sheee-it, who am I, Neil Gaiman? Then I clicked on it, cos I am totally into helping people out. I figured it might be a song that needed some promo, or a charity, or something. But it was not! It was a link to a message-board, seething with outrage over this indie comic that’s full of art that rips off other comics, that’d I read about already earlier on Robot 6 while I was eating my hot buttered toast.

So I was like,

@jaykayell_ The thing about Gene Simmons’ son? I saw that earlier. Silly boy. Why’d you want everyone to know?

And he was like,

@akirathedon Art theft really pee’s me off. Speshly when it’s so blatant, just thought you’d be the man to report them :)

And I was like, HMMMMMM. I suppose I AM that man.

I am, after all, an authority on comic books – well, the comic books I’ve read at any rate. Or the one’s I’ve read that I can remember. Like, I read a lot of Justice League comics at one point, but I’m buggered if I can tell you what happened in any of them, apart from that one where everybody fell alseep. Actually, that’s all I can remember about that one. Batman probably figured it out. He usually does.

ANYWAY! I know stuff. And you know what stuff I probably know most about? Ripping stuff off. Shee-it, I even called my second album – well, my first album-mixtape, my Hatfull of Hollow, shall we say – Thieving. That’s something I do. I steal stuff, bubba. And make new stuff with it. And that’s what this kid Nick Simmons did, right? He ripped off some stuff and made some new stuff with it. For example, a panel from Tite Kubo’s famous Manga Bleach, and a panel from Simmons’ Incarnate:

OK, that’s pretty similar. I’m not quite sure what he’s added there. Other than laughter. Laughter’s good, right?

“AH AHA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!”

Oh no, I just noticed the other guy’s laughing too, just with a uniform typeface. Oops. Well, Simmons got rid of the drooly blood stuff! That changed it, right?

Um…

Further investigation reveals that much of Incarnate is copied from Bleach, from fight sequences to character designs right down to personality types. Simmons is obviously a big Bleach fan.

Now, as I mentioned, I am an authority in the field of creative theft. I have sampled the crap out of most of my favourite artists, and have always been as brazen as possible about it. Like, when I ripped off a gang of Jack Kirby art for my second album-mixtape, The Omega Sanction‘s sleeve. I said I’d ripped off a load of Jack Kirby art. I’d changed it a bit, I’d made it look like me, and arranged it in a big Omega Symbol, so it was something new – it looked like something else now, and, more importantly, it said something else.

Not that saying something new with your stolen art is necessary. The message I put across in CLONES was pretty much the same as Alice Cooper’s in his Clones (We’re All). I just went into more detail – my detail. And I went crazy with the drums and bass.

I also credited Alice Cooper on the record. Maybe if Nick Simmons has put a nice “inspired by Tite Kubo’s Bleach” at the start of his comic people wouldn’t be calling for his immediate DEATH by ANGRY BLOGGING. Then again, maybe if he was someone other than Gene Simmons’ son, and people weren’t already suspicious that he’s got his own comic book because of that monied parental bonus, rather than any of his own talents, maybe there would less of a giant shit being given. I mean, it’s not like this sort of thing is rare in comics. They have a word for it: “Swipe”. Some of the industry’s biggest names have been doing it for years. People like Levi’s Ad star Rob “Crosshatched Groinal Area” Liefeld, for example:

And so on… Sheee-it, Rob even has his own character called SMASH!, who’s a, shall we say, hulking individual with purple skin and a propensity for city-levelling fights with other super-types.

But so what, right? Doesn’t Alan Moore steal all his characters from out of copyright Victorian books? Wasn’t X-Men a rip off of Doom Patrol (super powered outcasts lead by bloke in wheel chair)? Wasn’t Batman created by drawing on top of a picture of Superman? Wasn’t Superman himself a big rip off of Doc Savage, Man of Bronze?

The Stones Stole. Led Zepplin stole. Kool Herc stole.

If we dismissed all stolen works from popular culture we wouldn’t have any popular culture.

So Sayeth The Don.

As for Nick Simmons, he’s only 22, give him time to learn. You gotta copy a whole gang of pictures before you get good at making your own. He obviously loves what he’s doing, so let him get on with it. He will learn from this. Either way, I’m not salty about any jump-starts he might be getting. I don’t imagine having Gene Simmons as a dad is all that fun in real life.

Well, that’s my 5pence worth anyway. What do you think?

— Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Share & Commen
  • BJ

    What an elegantly argued piece.

    (I'm a call you in about half an hour when the boy is properly asleep)

    • Akira The Don

      That baby doesn't sleep. He WAITS….

  • zp

    …we learn by copying others, we follow others footsteps until we learn to walk, but then our intelligence and wit and experience and drive and a whole buncha personal stuff starts us heading off in other directions. New(ish) directions. Ones which will begin to define our style. But we never forget those who showed us the way, and there will always be a ghost of their beauty and their style in what we do, as an homage to something that showed us the light when we were still young.

    This little ratfuck has blatantly copied his hero wholesale, no sense of homage, no sense of panache, no hint that he wants anything other than the glory. People have a right to feel cheated, the simmons boys art work is far below the benchmark set by his unwitting muse, yet he carries it to the high table, and sets it before the king! Off with his head, i say!

    Interesting convergence with Carnivale, which i've just finished watching. Perhaps the best thing HBO ever started, was cancellated dead in the water after two seasons 'cos the bloke who wrote it had nicked it twenty years prior from his teacher in a script writing seminar! Jesus Christ Monkey Balls, i don't bel

    /i'm afraid i've run out of spare change by this stage, and can't find yet another tuppence for the old opinion pump tonight….!

    • Akira The Don

      hahaha! "ratfuck". I loled. And you have convinced me to watch Carnivale. ALTHOUGH I AM SICK OF LIKING THINGS THAT GET SHELVED DAMMIT! Although that's a damn good reason.

  • Charlotte

    If you've ever watched Delia Through The Decades http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00q08p9 you will see that Delia Smith 'borrowed' plenty of recipes from Victorian recipe books. She'd go down the library and copy them out! But if she hadn't then they might have died a death non?

  • shadowowolf

    …I had no idea part of Clones was another song until now. D: Both your’s and his are good.

  • http://lifejustbounces.blogspot.com/ tomasz.

    big props for this, Akira. there’s two types of theft, much as there’s two types of art (good and bad).

    Kid shoulda been more blatant about it. If he just admitted he was on the rob, the aestheto-puritanical lynchmob’d have nothing from the get-go.

    • http://lifejustbounces.blogspot.com/ tomasz.

      “…’d have HAD nothing”, that is. stupid missing words.