It's shades of Nick Simmons with a new comic/toy property called SINS!, a darker spin-off of Jon Schiller Design's Little 9 property. Artist Jon Schiller, or someone working under him, has released a series of promotional images which are all traced from recent anime such as Casshern SINS (a nice tip-off right there), Soul Eater, D. Gray-man, Tenjou Tenge, Gungrave, Corpse Princess, and of all things, Training with Hinako, among others. In addition, further inspection of the company's previous work reveals a series of pictures in which a weird alien assumes the poses of Mega Man characters.
The similarity was first spotted by Sean Hall on his personal blog, and was later expanded upon on Bleeding Cool. When asked for comment, Jon Schiller claimed that the work was done by another artist at his company, unbeknownst to him, and that he had been fired once it was discovered. He stated that they would be "resigning [sic] from scratch on many design" and to look for official replacements in the coming days. However, an earlier email complaint came to light in which Schiller admitted that the designs were his own work and that he didn't see anything wrong with it, saying:
no this is my style as many artist we get references & research from books toys and many others I did not copy anything that is very clear, now if you are seeing I am then many other artist is guilty then many artist get idea’s and or work that inspires us I have my own style and which that being said I did not copy anything. hope you understand.
Pictures have been disappearing from his Flickr account, which is down to 81 photos from an initial 96, and his company's website has been down. There are many more examples at the two sites that investigated this. Personally, I think it's very obvious that the guy's at fault here, even though his art wasn't as much of a rip-off as Nick Simmons. You can see him change his art style depending on the image he traced, which is especially obvious with the character Samei Roshei in these twopictures. Do you think the similarities are too glaring, or does this indeed fall under the category of artistic reference?
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