Artist Florent Belmonte’s portraits of characters in the Marvel, DC, and Star Wars universes are absolutely astounding. The portraits were all created in Photoshop, but there’s this very interesting juxtaposition going on that makes the pieces feel tangible while also giving them this volatile energy. The razor blade-like cuts sketched around the characters flatten and restrain the image, but the carefully placed splatter makes it feel like the art is bubbling and about to burst off the “canvas.” It’s controlled chaos at its finest. I really hope Belmonte does a portrait of Bruce Banner/Hulk sometime, that character would really lend itself to the artist’s style.
This image is highlighted at the top of the article:
But wait! Artist Jan Duursema, who has done a lot of work for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, but is most famous for a ton of work on the Star Wars franchise for both Marvel and Dark Horse, took issue with this on Facebook:
If there's one thing I can't abide it's when someone rips off a piece of my art and tries to pass it as their own which is what Florent Belmonte has done here. What's worse is when someone sings their praises for it, which GeekTyrant has done here.http://geektyrant.com/news/explosive-marvel-dc-and-star-wars-portraits Art to the left ripoff copy--original Maul art to the right by me and Rick Magyar.
Why do some people think doing this is ok? He didn't even bother to redraw it, just used the original art and recolored--and typical of this kind of thing, he flopped the image...
Here's Duursema's original Darth Maul art, compared to the swype:
The Facebook thread picked up fast, pointing out some other obvious swypes, like this one from Greg Land's Wolverine Origins #26 cover, pointed out by commenter Travis Bannister:
Commenter David Sopko found this Flash swype:
Writer C.W. Cooke called out the swypes on Facebook as well, and even alerted adorable Dickensian street urchin Rich Johnston in his post... but Rich is too slow, because our own Indy Hunter was on top of it first, sending me the type of message that always makes my day:
get it before bleeding cool does
It's a rare but sweet opportunity. :)
So what's the big deal here? Doesn't this kind of thing happen all the time? Duurseema points out what makes this wrong:
Copying the masters in order to learn has always been tradition, so that's cool. It's when someone calls themselves a pro and tries to pass those copies off as their own that it becomes wrong.
Everyone in this crazy art business works too hard to be original and to develop their own brand of art to allow this kind of blatant swiping. IMO, GeekTyrant owes all of the swiped artists and apology and needs to call out this ripoff 'artist' making fans aware of what he is doing.
GeekTyrant certainly does. But as for Belmonte? Well, he provides a little information on the pieces on his website, which might be a little unclear at first since it's written in a language only understood by snail-eating cowards and amorous cartoon skunks:
Une illustration du Flash version Barry Allen, en painting digital fait sous Photoshop et réalisé sur un format portrait. J’aime beaucoup cette illustration (un petit coup de coeur), j’aime surtout son dynamisme et ses couleurs. Pour cette illustration je me suis basé d’une oeuvre originale (lien plus bas) que j’ai ensuite retravaillé graphiquement.
Luckily, The Outhouse put a team of highly trained interns on the case, and, using highly sophisticated Google Translate tools, they were able to make some sense of this encoded message:
An illustration of the Flash version of Barry Allen in digital painting done in Photoshop and made on a portrait format. I love this illustration (a little crush), I especially love its dynamism and its colors. For this illustration I based an original work (link below) I then reworked graphically.
Whoops! Belmonte even links to the original piece for each of his portraits ([oeuvre originale]).
On this Green Lantern piece:
Une illustration de Green Lantern version Hal Jordan, en painting digital fait sous Photoshop et réalisé sur un format portrait.
Sur cette illustration, le personnage de Hal Jordan est basé sur le comics et inspiré des couleurs du film (2011) pour le vert de la tenue. C’est une illustration retravaillée graphiquement sous base d’une oeuvre originale (voir ci-dessous).
An illustration of Green Lantern Hal Jordan release in digital painting done in Photoshop and made on a portrait format.
In this illustration, the character of Hal Jordan is based on the comics and inspired by the colors of the film (2011) for the green outfit. This is an illustration graphically reworked base of an original work (see below).
Une illustration de Wolverine, en painting digital fait sous Photoshop et réalisé sur un format portrait.
Une version en portrait (similaire à celle d’IronMan) avec un Wolverine en costume « Brown and tan ». Cette illustration est adapté d’une oeuvre originale (lien ci-dessous) adapté avec à ma façon sur l’aspect des formes et des ombrages.
An illustration of Wolverine in digital painting done in Photoshop and made on a portrait format.
A portrait version (similar to Iron Man) with a Wolverine costume "Brown and tan." This illustration is adapted from an original work (link below) adapted my way with the appearance of shapes and shadows.
But as for the first piece, featuring Jan Duursema's Darth Maul? No credits on that one, so Duursema's complaints stand:
Une illustration fait sous photoshop qui reprend mes trois personnages favoris de StarWars appartenant au côté obscur de la Force. Elle met en scène les guerriers et seigneurs Siths Galen Marek, alias Starkiller (issu du jeu-vidéo StarWars : Le Pouvoir de la Force), Dark Maul (StarWars Episode 1 : La Menace Fantôme) ainsi que Dark Vador (pas besoin de le présenter).
An illustration made with photoshop who gets my three favorite characters from Star Wars belonging to the dark side of the Force. It depicts warriors and Sith lords Galen Marek, aka Starkiller (from the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) Darth Maul (Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace) and Darth Vader (no need to introduce ).
So, what do you think? Deliberate swype, or unintentional oversight? Most likely, it's somewhere in between. Perhaps, in lieu of pitchforks and torches, someone might send that stinky cheese-eater an email letting him know that ALL of his work should be credited to the original artist by name, even if he wasn't purposely trying to pass it off as original.
If you take anything away from this, however, let it be this: we totally scooped AND swyped Bleeding Cool on this one. Pip pip, Uncle Rich!
Read more Swype Files (always entertaining) here. (see, it's okay because we posted a link)