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Swipe is a comics term that refers to the intentional copying of a cover, panel, or page from an earlier comic book or graphic novel without crediting the original artist.

Artists Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Hergé, and Jim Lee are common targets of swipes (though even "The King" is not above reproach:and don't his fanatically fans. Kirby was known to have swiped from Hal Foster early in his career,[1] as were many Golden Age artists — many of whom kept "swipe files" of material to be copied as needed).[2] Certain contemporary artists have become notorious for their swiping, including Rich Buckler (who favors Neal Adams and Jack Kirby), Rob Liefeld (many artists), Keith Giffen (José Antonio Muñoz), and Roger Cruz (Jim Lee and Joe Madureira).

There is a long tradition in comics of using fine art as "inspiration" as well. Most observers do not consider this as objectionable as swiping from another cartoonist's work.Template:Citation needed Examples include Art Spiegelman swiping an image of the Russian artist M. Mazruho's in Maus,[3] Eddie Campbell swiping Diego Velazquez,[4] and Jill Thompson swiping the work of Arthur Rackham.[5]

Cartoonists have also swiped images from mass media and commercial art. Examples include Batman creator Bob Kane repeatedly swiping from early 20th-century illustrator Henry Vallely,[6][7] Greg Land repeatedly swiping pornography,[8] 2000 AD artist Mick Austin swiping an image of Toni Shilleto's from Mayfair: Entertainment for Men,[9] Jon J. Muth swiping a 1940s photograph,[10] and David Chelsea swiping from Spanish pornography.[11] Sometimes the swiping happens "in reverse," as in the example of an illustration from Organic Gardening magazine swiping the iconic Kirby cover for Fantastic Four #1.[12]

Swiping brings to mind the amusing conundrum of whether an artist can swipe from himself. One example is two almost-identical Peanuts strips by Charles Schulz done almost ten years apart.[13] Another comic strip-related ethics question was invoked by latter-day Nancy artists Guy & Brad Gilchrist swiping Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller.[14]

"Cloning" Edit

Though not technically swiping, some artists have made a career "cloning" other artists. Phil Jimenez has been quite open about his work being modeled on George Pérez's,[15] though he has never been accused of directly swiping a Perez drawing. Bryan Hitch started off as an Alan Davis "clone."[16] Bill Sienkiewicz's early work was blatantly derivative of Neal Adams,[16] as was Tom Grindberg's,[16] Michael Netzer (Nasser)'s, and Mike Grell's. And industry veteran Dick Giordano maintains that cloning is not only acceptable, but actually preferable, when an artist fills in for a regular artist on a title.[17]

When cloning becomes direct swiping, however, a line is crossed. In the mid-1990s, during the "Image craze," Marvel Comics adopted a "house style" hugely derivative of Image superstar (and former Marvel artist) Jim Lee. Marvel encouraged artists like Roger Cruz,[18] Fabio Laguna,[19] Roberto Flores,[20] and Mark Pacella[21] to clone Lee to the point of the publisher turning a blind eye to blatant swipes done on a regular basis.

Appropriation Edit

Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein made a splash in the 1960s with his "appropriations" based on the work of Kirby, Russ Heath, Tony Abruzzo, Irv Novick, and Jerry Grandenetti, who rarely received any credit. Jack Cowart, executive director of the Lichtenstein Foundation, contests the notion that Lichtenstein was a copyist, saying: "Roy's work was a wonderment of the graphic formulae and the codification of sentiment that had been worked out by others. The panels were changed in scale, color, treatment, and in their implications. There is no exact copy."[22] Comics industry figures don't have such a sanguine attitude about Lichtenstein's swipes.[2]

Similarly, Canadian artist Kevin Mutch once drew an entire comic book entirely based on swipes. Mutch's 1993 comic Captain Adam was a "narrative collage" of images and texts from over fifty separate Silver Age and Bronze Age comics, randomly put together to form an original story.

Pastiches Edit

Comics pastiches are blatant uses of swipes, cloning, and appropriation, usually using the same characters as the original source. French-Canadian cartoonist Yves Rodier is known for his many Tintin pastiches, as is the infamous anonymous comic book The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free. In his Masterpiece Comics series, American cartoonist R. Sikoryak cleverly mixes exact cloning of famous cartoonists' styles with classic literary texts, creating unique comics "mash-ups." Alan Moore and Rick Veitch's 1963 series is another example of pastiche in comics form, as are the many take-offs of the Charles Atlas ads found in old comic books.

Homages Edit

In comics, it is understood that the difference between a swipe and an "homage" is generally whether the source is directly acknowledged — as opposed to being exposed by a third party. Throughout the history of the medium, artists have engaged in homages — most often of well-known cover images like Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, Amazing Fantasy #15, and Fantastic Four #1. (John Byrne is particularly fond of doing homages to the latter, having produced at least seven versions to date.)[23] Some observers find homages as objectionable as swiping.[2]

Swiping watchdogs Edit

From 1991 'til at least 1997, the industry magazine The Comics Journal kept a "Swipe File" which documented perceived swipes in the comics field. The tradition continues on the TCJ website. Similarly, in the late 1990s the (now defunct) website Genesis Comics sponsored a "Swipe Of The Week" contest, which placed two pieces of published work by two different artists side by side, asking users to vote whether the example was a swipe, an homage, or just plain coincidence.

Artists accused of swiping Edit

Alleged Swiper Source Notes
Chester Brown Joe Orlando

[24] ||

Rich Buckler Neal Adams

[25] || rowspan=2|Buckler has a dubious reputation as one comics' top "swipe" artists,[26] with his early work in particular filled with "homages" to artists like Jack Kirby, John Buscema, and Neal Adams. After being publicly accused of the practice by The Comics Journal in the early 1980s,[27] Buckler denied the charges[28] and sued the magazine for libel;[29] he later dropped the suit.[30]

Jack Kirby

[31][32] ||

Charles Burns Hergé

[33] ||

Michael Allred David Chelsea

[34] || Allred denied the charges.[35]

Denys Cowan Gil Kane

[16] ||

James Chrulski Wendy Pini

[36] || Charges of plagiarism ended Chrulski's career in comics.[36]

Roger Cruz Jim Lee

[18] || rowspan=2|Cruz has acknowledged on his (now defunct) website that he learned to draw primarily by copying from other pencillers.

Joe Madureira

[37] ||

Glyn Dillon Jaime Hernandez

[38] ||

Steve Ditko Will Eisner

[39] ||

Roberto Flores Jim Lee

[20] ||

Ron Frenz Jack Kirby

[40] ||

Keith Giffen José Antonio Muñoz

[41][42][43] || Giffen has acknowledged Muñoz's influence, and in 2000 referred to the controversy this way:

"I had a bad incident with studying somebody's work very closely at one point, and I resolved never, ever to do it again. I can get so immersed in somebody's work that I start turning into a Xerox machine and it's not good. . . . There was no time I was sitting there tracing or copying, no. Duplicating, pulling out of memory and putting down on paper after intense study, absolutely."[44]

In 1986 Giffen was one of the most popular comic book artists in the industry. The ensuing swiping controversy hurt Giffen's reputation.[2][45]

Bob Kane Alex Raymond

[46] || The classic Batman pose on the cover of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman) is swiped from a 1937 Alex Raymond drawing of Flash Gordon.[46]

Gil Kane Jack Kirby

[31][47] ||

Jack Kirby Hal Foster

[1] ||

Peter Kuper Rius

[48] ||

Ralph Steadman

[49] ||

Alan Kupperberg Gil Kane

[31] ||

Fabio Laguna Jim Lee

[19] ||

Rob Liefeld Brent Anderson

[50] ||

John Byrne

[2][51] ||

James Fry III

[52] ||

Kevin Maguire

[53] ||

Frank Miller

[2][54] ||

George Pérez

[2] ||

Ron Wilson

[50] ||

David W. Mack Adam Hughes

[55] || Mack admitted the Hughes swipes online:

". . . About the reference to Adam Hughes, yeah, I owe him credit here too. When preparing for the look of this book, I wanted to really embrace the comic book look of things while keeping things looking realistic as well, and I'm a big fan of Adam's ability to do that, . . . and I was looking at a lot of his work, among others, as a kind of training wheels in considereing [sic] styles, and getting started on this issue. . . . This was one of the first pages that I drew in this issue, getting into the vibe for the series and you may be right that I referenced it too heavily. Sometimes when you are getting rolling on a project it takes a few pages to work the influences out of your system. So props to Adam, you have to give credit where credit is due. . . ."[56]

Alex Maleev

[57] ||

Todd McFarlane John Byrne

[58] ||

Otomo Katsuhiro

[59] ||

Mark Pacella Jim Lee

[21] ||

Joe Phillips Barry Windsor-Smith

[60] ||

Andi Watson Mike Allred

[61] ||

Rob Liefeld Frank Miller

Rob Leifeld Frank Miller [62]

See alsoEdit

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 O'Brien, Richard. "Golden Age Gleanings," The Nostalgia Journal #8 (February 1975), p. 20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Best, Daniel. "A Rose By Any Other Name," 20th Century Danny Boy (June 26, 2006).
  3. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #141 (April 1991), p. 117.
  4. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #155 (January 1993), p. 8.
  5. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #175 (March 1995), pp. 4-5.
  6. "Gang Busters! (Secret Origins of Batman Part 1)," The Vallely Archives (May 25, 2006).
  7. Kimball, Kirk. "Secret Origins of The Batman, Chapter 3: The Haunting of Robert Kane!" Dial B for Blog (Sept.).
  8. Template:Cite web
  9. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #143 (Apr. 1991), p. 59: Austin's 2000 AD #713 (Jan. 12, 1991) and Shilleto's art from Mayfair (December 1989).
  10. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #171 (September 1994), p. 5.
  11. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #176 (Apr. 1995), pp. 6-8.
  12. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #158 (Apr. 1993), p. 9: Organic Gardening, v. 40, #4 (Apr. 1993) vs. Fantastic Four #1 (1961).
  13. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #184 (February 1996), p. 5: strips of June 11, 1987, and Jan. 20, 1996.
  14. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #190 (September 1996), pp. 8-9.
  15. Simmons, Scott. "Phil Jimenez Talks About The Invisibles," Heroes & Dragons (Feb. 1997).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Larsen, Erik. "One Fan's Opinion" #17, Comic Book Resources (December 1, 2005).
  17. "Reinventing the Rules," in Eury, Michael. Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time TwoMorrows Publishing (November 5, 2003), p. 136: ISBN 1-893905-27-6.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Cruz's Wolverine #89 (January 1995), p. 18, vs. Lee's Uncanny X-Men #276 (May 1991), p. 10; Cruz's Wolverine #89 (January 1995), p. 21, vs. Lee's X-Men vol. 2., #6 (March 1992), p. 21 and Lee's WildC.A.T.S. #3 (December 1992), p. 1.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Laguna's Wolverine #88 (December 1994), p. 20, vs. Lee's WildC.A.T.S. #3 (December 1992), p. 22 and Uncanny X-Men #275 (April 1991) cover; and Laguna's Wolverine #89 (January 1995), p. 13, vs. Lee's X-Men vol. 2, #1 (October 1991), p. 21
  20. 20.0 20.1 Flores' Angel Fire #3 (October 1997), p. 9, vs. Lee's Uncanny X-Men #340 (January 1997), p. 12
  21. 21.0 21.1 Pacella's Wolverine #64 (December 1992), p. 2, vs. Lee's X-Men vol. 2., #6 (March 1992), p. 21
  22. Template:Cite web
  23. Amazing Heroes #1 (June 1981), What If #36 (December 1982), Fantastic Four #264 (March 1984), Marvel Age #14 (May 1984), Avengers West Coast #54 (January 1990), Danger Unlimited #4 (May 1994), and X-Men: The Hidden Years #20 (July 2001)
  24. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #166 (February 1994), p. 5.
  25. Gillis, Peter B. Letter about Rich Buckler swipes, The Comics Journal #45 (March 1979), pp. 22.
  26. Cooke, Jon B. "Dan Adkins' Strange Tales: The Artist on his Visits to the World of Wood and the House of Ideas," Comic Book Artist Collection (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005), p. 42.
  27. "Plagiarism: Rich Buckler Signs his Name to Jack Kirby's Work," The Comics Journal #83 (August 1983), pp. 33-35.
  28. "Rich Buckler Answers His Critics," The Comics Journal #86 (November 1983), pp. 28-31.
  29. "Rich Buckler Sues Comics Journal and two of its Writers for Libel," The Comics Journal #88 (January 1984), p. 13.
  30. "Buckler Drops Comics Journal Libel Suit," The Comics Journal #93 (September 1984), pp. 11-12.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Larsen, Erik. "One Fan's Opinion" #15, Comic Book Resources (November 17, 2005).
  32. O'Neill, Patrick Daniel. "Career Moves" (interview with George Pérez), Wizard Magazine #35 (July 1994):Template:Blockquote
  33. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #178 (July 1995), p. 9.
  34. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #168 (May 1994), p. 5.
  35. Allred, Michael. "Blood & Thunder: Not Guilty," The Comics Journal #169 (July 1994), p. 12.
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Elfquest Plagiarism Ends Artist's Career," The Comics Journal #97 (Apr. 1985), pp. 17-18.
  37. Cruz's X-Men: Alpha (February 1995), p. 30, vs. Madureira's Vanguard #3 (December 1994), p. 21; Cruz's Brigade #17 (February 1995), p. 21, vs. Madureira's Vanguard #3 (December 1994), pp. 10, 11, and 20; Cruz's X-Men: Omega (June 1995), p. 7, vs. Madureira's Vanguard #3 (December 1994), p. 20; Cruz's X-Men: Omega (June 1995), p. 26, vs. Madureira's Uncanny X-Men #312 (May 1994), p. 9; Cruz's X-Men: Omega (June 1995), p. 31, vs. Madureira's Vanguard #3 (December 1994), p. 22; and Cruz's Uncanny X-Men #324 (September 1995), p. 7; vs. Madureira's Vanguard #3 (December 1994), p. 11.
  38. "Blood & Thunder: Swipe File," The Comics Journal #161 (Aug. 1993), p. 6.
  39. "Ditko's Eisner Swipe," The Comics Journal #43 (December 1978), pp. 23-24.
  40. Boyd, Robert. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #140 (February 1991), p. 28.
  41. Burbey, Mark. "The Trouble With Keith Giffen," The Comics Journal #105 (February 1986), pp. 9–14.
  42. "The Official Keith Giffen Swipe List," The Comics Journal #105 (February 1986), p. 15.
  43. "More Giffen Swipes in Taboo," The Comics Journal #125 (October 1988), pp. 20-21.
  44. Keith Giffen interviewed by Jon B. Cooke, Jack Kirby Collector #29 (Aug. 2000).
  45. Jozic, Mike. "Meanwhile Interviews Keith Giffen" Part 3," Meanwhile... The Web's Snappiest E'Zine (1999).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Schumer, Arlen. Comic Book Artist/Alter-Ego Vol.1 #5 (1999).
  47. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #142 (June 1991), p. 117.
  48. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #154 (November 1992), p. 118.
  49. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #192 (December 1996), p. 4.
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #170 (August. 1994), p. 5.
  51. Leifeld's New Mutants #93 (September 1990), p. 5, vs. Byrne's Fantastic Four #247 (October 1982), p. 21
  52. Leifeld's Captain America vol 2., #6 (March 5, 1997), p. 15, vs. Fry III's Nomad (mini-series) #4 (1990), p. 19
  53. Leifeld's Youngblood #1 (April 1992), p. 5, vs. Maguire's Justice League International #19 (November 1988), p. 2
  54. Leifeld's New Mutants #100 (Marvel Comics, April 1991) vs. Miller's Ronin #1 (DC Comics, 1983).
  55. Mack's New Avengers #39 (Marvel Comics, May 2008) vs. Hughes' earlier work.
  56. Mack quoted in "To Swipe or Not to Swipe," Comic Geek Speak website (February 26, 2008).
  57. Mack's New Avengers #39 (Marvel Comics, May 2008) vs. Maleev's Daredevil work from 2003.
  58. McFarlane's Incredible Hulk #330 (April 1997), p. 17, vs. Byrne's Incredible Hulk #317 (March 1996), p. 9
  59. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #146 (November 1991), p. 14.
  60. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #167 (April 1994), pp. 4-6.
  61. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #198 (August 1997), p. 4.
  62. "Swipe File," The Comics Journal #198 (August 1997), p. 4.

References Edit

External linksEdit

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