Incarnate / The Nick Simmons Plagiarism Scandal

Incarnate / The Nick Simmons Plagiarism Scandal

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Updated May 12, 2021 at 04:43PM EDT by Adam.

Added Feb 02, 2011 at 04:24PM EST by Mellow.

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Incarnate is a comic book series published by Radical Comics and created, written, and penciled by Nick Simmons (son of KISS member Gene Simmons). It is known for allegedly its plagiarizing from several manga, most notably Bleach, and from independent artists on sites such as DeviantArt. Nick Simmons denied the accusation claims made by many outraged artists and fans, but publication of Incarnate was halted.


Radical Comics published Nick Simmons' Incarnate in the summer of 2009.[1] It was a three-issue miniseries that was intended to evolve into a larger narrative until plagiarism accusations caused Radical to stop publishing the work.

tncarmate 17 SA MA


On August 9th, 2009, YouTuber jimsupreme uploaded a video review of different comics for the YouTube web series, "Geeking Out Weekly." In reviewer Leila's review of Incarnate, she shows skepticism towards the originality and illustrations of the first issue made by Nick Simmons.

"I like this one… Not so much after a second look. It's very minimalistic, there's a lot of art references towards Hellsing, One Piece. There's a few other animes I could pick out [and mangas]. It's almost like he's ripping right from the other books. And I mean that literally. You look at the books and if you're any manga fan, you're gonna know it on sight."

On October 16th, the channel made it clear that they were certain of Nick Simmons' plagiarism in the second issue.

"This is just another horror show of copyright infringement. And I mean that quite literally… looking at this book, I recognize SO many characters from SO many series, it's hard to count. And the fact that he is getting away with it, I just don't understand it at all. It's horrible; his writing is okay. But everything else in this series just makes me go "Why?"

Accusations of plagiarism began gaining steam in February 2010, when concerns were raised that Nick Simmons had plagiarized several character designs, plot segments, and dialogue from numerous manga series, particularly Bleach. The Livejournal account Bleachness[2] published a lengthy post that showed side-by-side comparisons between Incarnate and Bleach (shown below. Note: All the pictures are labeled, but generally, BLEACH is in black-and-white while INCARNATE is in color.)

Incarnate #2 pg11 BLEACH 220 pg10 Incamate #2 pg46 BLEACH 348 pg14

MY WOUNDS... How...? WASN'T THERE A HOLE IN MY CHEST 17 Incamate #2 pg29 BLEACH 353 pg12

After the LiveJournal entry surfaced, anger at Simmons grew across the internet. Simmons' DeviantArt page and Facebook page were flooded with hateful messages, though Simmons remained quiet about the matter.

Tite Kubo, author of Bleach, took to Twitter after being inundated with messages from fans and generally brushed off the controversy.[3] Simmons' plagiarism and made a couple of nonchalant Twitter posts on the situation, saying over two tweets:

"So, uh, from yesterday night until this morning, there've been an amazing number of messages from overseas fans along the lines of "There's a manga imitating BLEACH in America!" Well, I had a look at the site and I don't understand English that well, but I think what's written there is something like "It's a manga drawn by Gene Simmons' son, Nick Simmons. I'm more concerned in the fact that Gene Simmons' son is a manga-ka than whether he's plagiarizing me or not."

A Facebook page[4] was created to raise awareness of Nick Simmons' act of plagiarism. The scandal also received recognition from several media outlets such as the New York Times,[5] Escapist Magazine,[6] and multiple other publications. On February 25th, 2010, Radical Comics announced that it would be halting distribution and production of Incarnate "until the matter is resolved."[7]

Simmons' Apology

On March 1st, 2010 Nick released an apology[8] via a representative but did not take responsibility for art theft.

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.

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Adam Staff

author's note: i am 90% positive the manga writer level in persona 5 strikers is based on this but i found no literature confirming that. In the game, a young manga writer who's a famous writer's son becomes hot shit by plagiarizing other writers' work. I'm pretty sure the manga he's writing is similar to Incarnate as well, but i mean, it's a shonen isekai, which is similar to lots of things


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