Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sincere form of Flattery or..?

I wasn't planning on posting again so soon, but I wanted to get this done.
At least 4 or 5 times a year over the last three years-maybe longer-I've gotten e-mails asking if I knew about this guy John Persons. I just didn't pay attention until about two years ago when I checked out this dude's site and, whatta you know, I recognized just about every drawing he did was from one of my books-at least all the ones in the preview section. I let it go as just inspiring another artist and didn't expect to hear anymore about it. Every artist has learned from other artists by copying them.
Now, here it is two years later and I'm still being asked about this guy. I didn't expect him to still have a site up, but I checked it out today and there it is. I'll never knock another artist for learning from others this way. I've had my Gil Kane and Barry Smith moments (tits and ass, Corben and Frazetta) but I eventually broke away from that and developed my own thang. And I'm hoping that's what Mr. Persons will be able to do. It takes a while, I know, so I'm trying not to be too paranoid about someone doing better with my work than I am. And it's not something to get riled up about: if he were simply printing my books online then I'd just sic my publisher on him. My biggest complaint with him is his decision to re-draw the male characters as Tarzan stereotypes with Jane of the jungle. And that dialogue! I'm sure somewhere in that site is the phrase "Feets, do yo' stuff!"
Go check him out at and see for yourself. I'm not worried about giving him exposure because from the looks of it, he'll have to wait for me to do more work to continue. Oh, damn...Body Heat 2 just hit the stores. I guess that'll keep him going for a while. Does anyone think I deserve a lifetime membership?


joe gumbo said...

what's pathetic is he clearly gets off on watching chicks get mauled by old fashioned 'sambo' drawings... i wonder if his fellow klansmen will kick him out once they find out

joe gumbo said...

he should call his website

Fu said...

Damn.... I am so sad to see this. It's cheesy... it's like puttin' on a black sweater and callin' yourself poet when all you did was change a few words in a Frost poem. Anyone can render, composition is everything.

(and yeah, I'd consider you a "Robert Frost" of erotic illustration)

Why is the guy on the left a cyclops? Is there some hiddin meaning there?


Josh said...

Yeah, I've come across a few panels from other artists which I immediately recognized from your work. You're absolutely right, doing that is a form of artistic training wheels, but once you find your own style those wheels need to go.

What's terrible here is how your poses are being used. I wouldn't mind seeing other artists variations of your characters, but to use those poses to create this ridiculous 1950's stereotypical bullshit is so very wrong. I'm sure Strom Thurmond is stroking it in his grave to this crap.

I'm glad to see this post, I know you've heard from lots of folks about how your work is used out there. Most of the time it's just a simple homage to you and your great work, but posts like this are key to making people aware of the problems which exist.

GM said...

If this guy is ripping off your material can't you take legal action?

GM said...

You should take legal action against this guy. He's ripping off your material, badly I may say.

-kev. said...

I don't know, GM. When I think about legal action for something like this, all I do is imagine the line I would be in behind all the other artists that would have cases pending. I'll just wait and see how this plays out for a while.

GM said...

The artwork of Girl at the bottom of your blog is one of my favorites that you've done of her.

Bob said...

Hey Kev,
I agree that the lines would certainly be long as most notable artists have had their stuff ripped at some point during their careers. This has happened to us before with the French guy selling copies of Girl pin-ups on Ebay (claiming them as his own work)which we quickly squashed with the simple request to take it down "or else". This isn't quite in that realm but it is DAMN close.

It does stomp all over the idea of intellectual property though. He is quite obviously using YOUR artwork as the basis for his own "creations". While the colors may be different, any fan of yours could pick them out in an instant.

Since the images he has "borrowed" have been published and you own the property in question, you have more of a leg to stand upon than someone ripping Jim Lee's Batman. While both are a disservice to the fans, you are the ONLY source for artwork featuring Girl, Jill, Blue, et al. You may want to check with NBM since some of the images are in books that they have published.

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? In this case, I'd say no.


Andy Lupine said...

I've seen this before kinda sad. I've drawn poses you've done in your books before, but never tried to sell them. Now I try to do references from photos, not from other drawings.

JohnPersons said...

You guys need to relax and take a chill pill. Of course I think Kevin is a great artist, his work is very inspirational to me and I'm sure to a lot of other artists out there. My artwork is not published anywere in baperback, and I have no desire to go that route, it's just a hobby for me. Anyway, I know a lot of people may hate my artwork not because it's drawn badly, but rather because of the interracial content, and I can understand that. And just for the record, I'm not a racist and I do not belong to any KKK group, I just thought that some people out there may enjoy this kind of art. I also admire other atists such as Milo Manara and Paolo E. Serpieri, and of course Kevin Taylor. It's an honer to have him comment on my work. Thanks!