Stolen Art used to make TF vs. Terminator variant cover

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by cybertronbeast, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. BlackHawkOmega

    BlackHawkOmega Artist with a Temper

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    There is something about it that makes it look... pasted in the image.
     
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  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Everything in this image is pasted together...

    Also, I think Soundwave is swiped from this piece of fanart drawn by Will Mangin aka "Beamer":
    Soundwave Beamer fanart original.jpg

    The perspective, the pose of the left arm, and especially the details on the left shoulder look like a dead ringer.
     
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  3. optimusbee

    optimusbee Well-Known Member

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    This is unacceptable.
     
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  4. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    Are we sure they're "stolen"? Obviously they're traced or they reuse assets. But they all seem to borrow from officially commissioned art. It's possible that Hasbro makes artists sign a contract okaying alterations and reuse of their work in future media. Or maybe Hasbro flat-out owns the art, making it theirs to do with as they please. Depending on how the contract is set up, a client can become the copyright holder of commissioned art. If so, they may have okayed this.

    The current Star Wars comics literally trace fan-art. And it's been confirmed that they don't ask permission from the fan artists. That's flat out stealing. This seems like it could be a bit different. Hopefully they've secured necessary rights or permission. I'd be curious to learn more about this situation.
     
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  5. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    First, this cover is apparently exclusive to Unknown Comic Books, so I assume they paid for the art.

    Second, they paid an artist to create this piece. They didn't pay the artist to just recycle stuff from other artwork. That's not how this works.
     
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  6. BlackHawkOmega

    BlackHawkOmega Artist with a Temper

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    I mean, it doesn't matter; they copied the art, claimed it as their own and didn't credit them. So yeah, it's theft.

    I know, I meant the Terminator in particular though.
     
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  7. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    To be fair, we have no idea what the artist was payed to do. For all we know Unknown Comics could have requested these assets from Hasbro in order to save time (maybe they had a super short deadline). Would that request be unconventional? Sure, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. We have no idea what Hasbro's or Unknown Comic Books' request was or what was in the contract that the original artists signed.

    I do think it's a strong possibility that these were stolen. I just don't think it's fair to pounce on the guy (as some people here are) without being sure of the facts. Art theft is a pretty strong accusation. I'm an art major, we talk about this sort of stuff in my classes. The line between inspiration and theft can get iffy. If this artist didn't acquire the rights, there's no question that this is theft in this case. But without knowing the contractual side of this situation, it's impossible to make a definitive judgement. I think it's fine to discuss the possibility, but I think we also have to be careful not to straight up accuse the guy before knowing the full story. I mean, the title of this thread paints a very one-sided picture of this situation, when other possibilities exist.

    If one of the original artists speaks up, we'll know for sure.

    That's not exactly how it works. If the original artists signed a contract allowing reuse and forfeiting credit, it would be perfectly legitimate.

    Dario Marianelli (composer of Bumblebee) used aspects of Jablonsky's score without crediting him. Jablonsy's contract with Paramount likely stated that he doesn't have to be credited if another composer takes cues from him (or something along those lines).

    In these images you can see the War for Cybertron video game designs being used in the Robots in Disguise comic. Were the game designers credited in that comic? This is a legitimate question, I don't have a copy of that comic, so I'd be curious to know what the credits say. I'm not finding anything on Google about them being credited.

    Art theft is a pretty strong accusation. Tracing or reusing assets isn't inherently theft. Not crediting someone isn't inherently theft. It all boils down to what this artist has acquired the rights to use. Which also ties into what the original artists signed. As of now there's no way of knowing either. The best way to find out would be to see if any of the original artist speak up. They'd be the best judges, because they know what they signed.
     
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  8. markerguru

    markerguru tech master TFW2005 Supporter

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    The art he went off of that is mine isn't even printed work from IDW, It was my own person TF art that I was using to show off I could do more G1 style for IDW at the time. So it's not official art for IDW or Hasbro. So this was taken without asking to be used, and the worst thing is these aren't even on model for the character designs in the book. It's all suppose to be G1 era
     
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  9. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    This is just sad.

    But who hired him?

    He must have submitted a portfolio, and I doubt this is his first time tracing. (though the art is pretty damn amateurish even for a trace)

    I mean, we do. The mere fact that he traced the art but didn't copy it 1:1 or simply compile existing, owned assets means he was hired to draw.

    The fact that there's even fanart traced in there is even worse. I don't think there's a company on this planet that would hire an otherwise scrupulous artist and say "hey, can you shittily trace a bunch of random pieces of art from different sources and even fans for this splash page that's so obvious it'll make us look like total buffoons? Thanks!"

    My favourite is Bumblebee. Since you drew him with his gun in perspective covering his chest, the corners of the VW hood were apparently assumed to just be corners of a square plank on the chest, completely at odds with the round VW fenders on his shoulders.

    Dude didn't even have knowledge enough of the characters he was copying.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  10. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    Thanks for saying this. So he didn't get permission, and he even ripped-off fan art. Now there's no question. I wonder if he has a history of this?
     
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  11. PlanckEpoch

    PlanckEpoch Just a regular old plumbus

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    I took a look at his portfolio on Deviantart and it seems pretty consistent. The artist is pretty established, apparently, and he seems to have developed his own style. The issue for me is that I didn't see any robots or anything like that, so to go from the style that he's done to what he did for this cover does seem suspect. As I said in my previous post, it isn't illegal or wrong for an artist to try out different styles, but there's no indication that the guy has even ever done robots before, at least not that I could find.
     
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  12. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde The dreaded

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    Jeez that's awful. You're the artist for this book and yet one of the covers clearly pilfers artwork of yours and others!

    Sheesh.
     
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  13. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    In this image, we have:


    1) A vaguely G1-looking Optimus Prime complete with smokestacks on his shoulders, but with the very distinctive "War for Cybertron" video game Optimus Prime's ion blaster and legs, complete with "Cybertronian" wheels and... a smokestack on the side of his visible leg.

    2) Megatron with a torso and left arm based on his later IDW design, but with the very distinctive "War for Cybertron" video game Megatron's right arm, shoulder and fusion cannon.

    3) A very G1-looking Mirage and Devastator.

    4) Starscream in his very distinctive "Fall of Cybertron" video game/early IDW "Robots in Disguise" comic book design.

    5) Arcee and Rodimus in their very distinctive later IDW designs.

    6) Bumblebee in his very distinctive early IDW design, originally designed by E.J. Su and then further reinterpreted by Don Figueroa and eventually by Alex Milne. Except he's not drawn on-model because Alan Quah based his frankenstein cover on a single image of Bumblebee where the gun in his hand obscures his chest, so Quah had to make up details not visible in his reference image.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  14. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Ironhide uses his Earth Wars design.
    Earth Wars Ironhide original.jpg

    Also, Optimus Prime's left shoulder makes zero fucking sense design-wise. Alex Milne's rendition of the WFC game design has additional shoulder pad kibble because the character model just looks that way, but Quah has a more G1-looking Optimus with a fairly "traditional" left shoulder... but still features all that extra junk with an extra shoulder pad for the right shoulder.

    Just like Megatron, Optimus is off-model with himself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  15. PlanckEpoch

    PlanckEpoch Just a regular old plumbus

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    This all suggests the artist has little to no knowledge of Transformers and spent time googling characters then doing copy and paste more or less. The only way I can explain this!
     
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  16. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    Oh man this is totally all traced. Can't believe someone would be this stupid to try this, and that it got passed the publisher.
     
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  17. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    It's not traced, it's "only" swiped. Meaning, the artist used the original artwork for direct reference (which is a big no-no), but he did not copy the exact lineart. Simply put, we're looking at a Rob Liefeld/Fabio Laguna case, not a Greg Land/John Gallagher case. All the poses, perspectives and proportions do not line up exactly with the original art.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  18. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    Oh I know it isn’t 100% traced, I still don’t think it is right and that it should have been caught by the editors however.
     
  19. Treadshot 2.0

    Treadshot 2.0 Action Master

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    I don't think they're TRACES per se... they all have subtle differences in the posing, et al. and Megatron and Optimus have different body details (in a weird mishmash... like, Megatron is part Lost Light and part WfC)

    It's definitely SUPER derivative, but I think "stolen" is maybe overstating it. After all, every Spider-Man artist has "stolen" Todd McFarlane's poses. Maybe he saw himself as homaging the original work? He obviously redrew everything.

    This is undoubtedly SUPER unoriginal though.

    EDIT: Okay, Alex Milne has weighed in... it's theft. He's taking fan art (including fan art by official artists) and converting it to 'official' art.

    Being able to draw people and robots are often different skill sets. Transformer characters have very detailed and specific designs and not everybody who is good at drawing is ready for that specific kind of assignment. I think maybe dude just realized he was out of his depth drawing Transformers, specifically, but it was too late because he'd already taken the commission. Doesn't excuse things, but that's probably how a "real" artist ends up doing something like this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  20. AzT

    AzT Azlaroc, Yeargroup 431 Moderator News Staff TFW2005 Supporter

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