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Comic Book RIP-OFFS Are NOT a Big Deal! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

Comic Book RIP-OFFS Are NOT a Big Deal! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync


(cosmic ping) – We’ve had a few episodes[br]about comic book characters who may or may not be rip-offs of other pre-existing characters. But it seems the comments section always boils down into three camps: said characters are a rip-off,[br]they aren’t a rip-off, and does it even matter? (driving rock) Welcome to Comic Misconceptions. I am Scott, and you know there[br]are really a few key things to get comics fans to[br]fight with one another, but it usually has to do with pitting two or more characters against each other. Whether it’s who would win in a fight, who’s the smartest, fastest,[br]strongest, whatever, or my favorite, what characters are just lazy rip-offs[br]of other characters. And while I believe that[br]the definitive title for the smartest, fastest,[br]strongest character is simply whoever the writers[br]want it to be this week. I do think that we can at[br]least address the issue of these so-called rip-off[br]characters in comics. I think there’s a lot of[br]interesting stuff to discuss here. So, by all means, just ignore everything I’m about to say and go into the comments to rant about who ripped[br]off your favorite character. Neil Adams once said that within a year, you had Superman, who was so powerful he could move planets,[br]and then you had Batman who had no powers at all. He was the exact opposite. All other superheroes would fit in-between these two characters. So in that sense, just about[br]every comic book character could be considered a rip-off of these two in some capacity. But it’s not like the idea[br]for Superman and Batman came out of nowhere, Siegel and Shuster were inspired by Hercules and Sampson[br]when they created Superman. And his costume drew inspiration from Flash Gordon and aliens[br]from old pulp magazines, mixed with a little bit[br]of circus strong man thrown in there with the red trunks. Batman creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane also had a slew of influences,[br]from The Shadow, Zorro, The Phantom, Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes, and the list just goes on. And everyone of those were inspired by something else as well. The Shadow, for instance,[br]was partly inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula,[br]which was partly inspired by Varney the Vampire, which, hey, also went around and[br]inspired a Marvel character named Varney the First Vampire. It’s actually kind of a fun game, trying to backtrack[br]influences and inspirations, and it happens with[br]everything that people create. Take a look at this show[br]you’re watching right now, the always wonderful Comic Misconceptions. My influences, probably obviously, were Variant, Idea Channel, Game Theory, Cracked, and a lot of others. And maybe that’s the idea for creation to have lots of influences,[br]instead of just one. Perhaps that’s what makes a rip-off seem less like a rip-off. Playwright Wilson Misener once said that if you copy from one[br]author, it’s plagiarism. If you copy from two, it’s research. Author Austin Kleon said[br]that art is 99% robbery, and even outlines what[br]is good and bad theft in his book, Steal Like An Artist. One of the key traits[br]is to steal from many while also being sure to transform[br]and remix what you steal. We’ve talked before about how the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter[br]Laird, were openly copying and parodying other comics like Daredevil, Ronin,[br]New Mutants, and Cerebus. They took from many sources, while still giving it their own spin. And now, we have the[br]heroes in a half-shell, so obviously the stealing stuff works. But why is stealing even[br]necessary in the first place? Why don’t comic book writers[br]and artists just come up with their own 100% original creation and avoid stealing altogether? Well, to put it frankly, there is no such thing as originality. As Kleon puts it, “Nothing[br]comes from nowhere. “All creative work builds[br]on what came before. “Nothing is completely original.” Creativity requires influence. You need a foundation of[br]knowledge and understanding before you can even begin to be creative. Musicians practice scales,[br]and cover other artists’ songs before they can start making their own. Great authors read a lot, and so on. So is it really any surprise[br]that comic book writers and artists are often accused of stealing from other writers and artists? When you think about it comic books, at least how we know them[br]today, are fairly new art form. Where music dates back many millennia and it’s had plenty of time[br]to evolve and branch off into drastically different genres, the comic on the other[br]hand only dates back to the 19th Century with superhero comics seeing a boom in the early 20th Century. And you really can’t argue[br]that superhero comics are, by far, the most successful type of comic, especially during the[br]incredible Silver Age, when Marvel and DC[br]started dominating sales with their costumed characters, since the Comics Code[br]Authority helped shut down other popular genres, like[br]crime and horror comics. So when you have these[br]comic writers and artists who are all reading other[br]comics that predominantly feature superheroes, that’s where they’ll pull their inspiration from. If you’re a musician, and[br]all you ever listen to is one genre, like Country music, then of course your songs are going to sound like Country music. You could copy elements[br]from different artists, but it’s still gonna be Country, and the Internet is still[br]probably gonna make fun of you. When your list of influences is small, then your creations start to seem like rip-offs instead of remixes. Now simply acknowledging[br]that nothing is original and we all steal ideas from somewhere else sounds like a good idea in theory, it’s nice in sentiment, but what if the tables were turned? What if you are the one being robbed? In his documentary, Everything is a Remix, Kirby Ferguson explains that people tend to put a higher value[br]on losses than gains. So when we steal from[br]others, it’s no big deal. It’s just how things work. But when we are the[br]ones being stolen from, then suddenly we’re gonna get territorial. In the simplest of terms,[br]copying is absolutely fine so long as we’re the ones doing it. As we discussed at the top of the show, Superman was heavily inspired by others that came before him. But when Superman started[br]growing in popularity, DC made it a point to sue anyone who copied any aspect of the character in order to protect their property. You’ll recall that this is what happened with the Fawcett Comics[br]and Captain Marvel case. And I think this not only applies to the creators of comic book characters, but also to the fans of these characters. Fans of Green Arrow can accept that the Emerald Archer is[br]really just a simple cross between Robin Hood and Batman, but Hawkeye is totally a rip-off. Even though we, as fans,[br]aren’t actually losing anything when our favorite characters are taken and remixed by others, it[br]still feels like we need to defend and protect them. Our favorite characters are kind of like a part of our identity. And maybe when someone[br]say’s they’re unoriginal, we sort of feel like they’re[br]calling us unoriginal, and that’s why we get[br]into these crazy debates about whether or not Deadpool[br]is a rip-off of Deathstroke. Now I know what is probably been on your mind since the start, “Scott, there is a[br]difference between characters “who were inspired by[br]others, and characters “that were just obviously[br]shameless rip-offs.” I completely understand what you mean, but I personally kind of find that distinction to be irrelevant. I think we just need to[br]accept that everything was inspired by something[br]that came before it. So it shouldn’t really[br]matter if one character seems like they’re just a carbon copy of one that came before them. It’s not important how a[br]character was initially created, what’s important is what the writers do with that character that will make them even just a little bit different. So let’s stop being caught[br]up in all these arguments about who is and isn’t[br]a shameless rip-off. As Nobel Prize winning[br]author Andre Geim said, “Everything that needs to be[br]said has already been said, “But since no one was listening, “everything must be said again.” What do you guys think? Does it really matter if[br]certain comic book characters are rip-offs of other[br]pre-existing characters? Do you ever think we’ll stop[br]fighting over this stuff? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And, just for fun, I would[br]love to see you trace the influences for your[br]favorite comic book character as far back as you can. That might be super interesting. And if this is your first time hanging out with us here at NerdSync, we[br]make new videos every week that ask questions and examine[br]comic beyond the surface, cause we believe that doing so can actually enhance your[br]comic book reading experience. And make comics just a[br]little bit more awesome. So make sure you hit that[br]big, sexy subscribe button so you don’t miss out on anything. Once again, I’m Scott. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, and I’ll see you right here on Friday, I better see you right here on Friday, for a tie-in video. Alright, see ya.

100 comments on “Comic Book RIP-OFFS Are NOT a Big Deal! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

  1. This is a great vid, I like both Green arrow and Hawkeye and I don't think it matters who came first in the maybe one or two characters but exactly what you said inspiration

  2. Great video. Nerdsync is the best comic channel on youtube.If you haven't already subscribed, I suggest you do so for some great content. I have been for years and have never been disappointed!

  3. oh geez…I can agree with everything in this, I actually have a game I play where I try to carry a conversation and switch subjects so much and then at the end we try to figure out how we got from Point A to whatever the heck we started just finished talking about

    though I feel I need to say two things about this and my own experiences

    First, I'm struggling to be a writer and I admit I've taken a LOT of inspiration from a LOT of places but I've been reworking everything for over Seven Years that it's kinda become a part of me and if I get something similar to something else then I either forgot or it's been ingrained into my mind so deep that I wouldn't know in the first place, but really my goal is to pull as far away from other peoples works as possible and if I do use anything it'd be Public Domain
    But that's just me, and I haven't even gotten anything close to being finished yet because of constantly reworking ideas

    Second, I've actually worked with two friends who've TOTALLY stolen ideas
    One of them seems to write things like Fan Fictions and he was supposed to help me with my thing and we even went to do a crossover with him saying "It would help me to get more fans." which I didn't want because I think Early Access to unfinished work is just it's own special kind of idiotic, but that's just my opinion.
    I do let people in on what I'm trying to work on but only to understand it more myself and because I care what other people think
    My friend totally ignored helping me and ended up taking all of his ideas right off of old Monster Movies (which I guess are Public Domain but seriously)
    The good thing is that with trying to work with him and help his work, I had to race ahead which lead to me expanding greatly on my own ideas which my friend would still not listen too because he was only interested in the part that concerned his own work
    So I guess this video has a point with people stealing your ideas make you territorial…..in my defense on that, the few times my friend actually listened to me when I was suggesting ideas and trying to get opinions and help, he ended up using in his own work like he thought it was his own idea, which if that happens to anybody you would know how I felt with that
    I feel it worked out in the end since I just quit working with the idiot because it was just harmful to me and I kept losing more from it…..

    Then there is this other idiot I called a friend but he had like ZERO interest in anybody other then himself, also he is totally an idiot and took my offer of friendship as an insult because he didn't read what I said
    anyway
    this tool freaking only had ONE form of "Inspiration" this guy had was quite literally just coping everything from Bleach and claiming it was his
    the other work we tried to do, he would refuse anybody else's ideas and only do what he wanted….which turned out to be poorly done copies of things he happened to see….like…scene for scene and word for word stuff, it was bad
    (last I checked he's currently copying Trigun scene for scene and he STILL hasn't given any credit to Trigun)
    though looking back on that "Steal Like an Artist" book outline….that idiot I know did literally all of the Bad Theft side….and that's not even me saying that with any Anger towards the guy, he just outright stole everything he's done…..well I got carried away again
    I apologize for that, it's just this is my thoughts in the comments

  4. The problem is that you see one character that has something that another character has, it's normally considered a rip off. It sucks, but ya that's what happens. Now to me personally, I love Erik Larsen's comics, but no lie, his characters are sort of too similar to other characters. Savage Dragon looks like Hulk, Maul really looks like Hulk, Supreme is basically Superman, Ripclaw is Wolverine and well ya, Idk what it is, I mean I actually like all those characters, but people look at them and right away associate them with more popular characters. I mean gee, a character that's Green and Buff, it ain't gana happen without people thinking about the Hulk.

  5. there is no original character lets take an example my favorite character Spider-Man. He has the pretty much the same powers as a DC character called The Taranula. Taranula had suction cops on his boots and he had a web gun and used acrobatics as a fighting style. He was even called a spider man at one point. But wyat about the story Stan Lee told about him beimg inspired by a fly scaling a wall is that just out of the picture. But if Spidey is a copy of Taranula then what was tje Taranulama copy off could it be him who was inspired by a fly scaling a wall. Something i see around a lot is that people never see somebody as Batman as a rip off (i am a huge Batman fan he is my second favorite superhero and i only mean he is a rip off if spidey is) Batman was inspired by the shadow in his early days. The shadow had a revolver just like bats had in the start Batman was dark and woar a mask like the shadow. Batman had no powers and was called a superhero like shadow. His name in it self is something you could call Bats. But does that matter? No Batman aint a ripoff because they have a lot of the same traits. The shadow is obviously based on off Dracula with a black cape with red inside being dark and greedy and frighting but that still aint a rip off. But you know what looking at others work and trying it out yourself is called being human you see something being successful then your mind automatically wants to do something like that. Thats just nature. So all in all shouldn't we just be happy with our characters and have fun with it. It can be a pain in the ass totally being ripped of your idea but thats not the same as taking elements or character traits or powers and using them for your own character just as long as they are good and interesting characters then we shouldn't complain.

  6. As an aspiring author I want to say that sometimes you borrow from other works without even realizing it. I was writing up a quick prompt to practice my prose and it was only when I was re-reading it that I realized how much I borrowed from other works.

  7. Red Tool is a DC ripoff/insult of Deadpool. Ironic because Deadpool was a Rip-off of one of DC's other characters, Deathstroke. But because Red Tool has a romantic relationship with Harley Quinn, in her spin-off series, I can pretty much just imagine it is Deadpool, and be happy with it.

  8. I made this comic book character who is just a rip off of Superman his name is Strong Man and killed him off forever then made a rip off of Steel and Iron Man named Eek Steel and killed him off forever than I completely original characters (and I have not published my comics yet) . And then I made a rip off of Flash who has enemies similar to Batman's.

  9. Actually the Justice League are ripped off of the Greek Argonauts and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table . The Scarlett Pimpernel was basically the first superhero.
    Masked hero fighting for justice who secretly is also a rich man who pretends to be helpless.
    Zorro is basically the Pimpernel, as is Batman

  10. One of the earliest Batman comics was a panel for panel copy of a Shadow comic. Before Batman came about The Shadow was called the Knight of Darkness and was likened to a bat a bunch. One of The Shadow's enemies has Joker in their name. Even with all these similarities Batman is still a great character. I don't care all too much about rip offs so long as the character is good.

  11. Of course Marvel ripped off DC with Thanos. Marvel has a long and storied history of ripping off Jack Kirby. Furthermore, Marvel ripped off the Justice League with their Avengers team up book and Bruce Timm ripped off Phantom 2040 to create Batman Beyond. It's true and it's okay to admit that. What I don't get is being offended. I've gotten many an angry reply and even PM taking exception when I state this. Why? It's comic books, people. I understand that Flash Gordon ripped off Buck Rogers and I still like it. I don't like Buck Rogers either, even though it's the original. I once even got a lecture from an angry Teen Wolf fan about how that show is not related to Twilight in any way and it definitely is not a knockoff or cash in. Nope. Not at all. See how silly this is? Just chill and move on. Everyone rips everyone off. That's how it works. There are bigger things to worry about in the world.

  12. I always see that heros/villians/other are called "copycats" just by looks and not by powers, origins, etc. which is what you should be basing it off of

  13. I hate Hawkeye for so many other reasons besides him being an archer like Green Arrow.

    Hate GA too… but mostly for that bland tv show of his…..

    Guess it boils down to why we have somebody fighting supervillains with sticks. not even stones….

  14. Technically every fictional character is a rip off. Not just superheroes and supervillains but any fictional character. Everything is unoriginal to some degree and extent. When I first got into superheroes and comics, I never considered Marvel and DC characters copies and rip offs of one another. They're just similar but also original and unique in their own way. In the very end, it doesn't matter.

  15. I don’t really see the similarities between Green Arrow and Hawkeye. Just because they both use bows doesn’t make them the same character.

  16. Heh I'm making my own comic for myself and friends and I drew inspiration from both punisher and captain America and at first I felt bad cause I couldn't come up with anything else but after this I feel better

  17. So your saying we should just enjoy these characters just how were suppose to be doing and not debating which is a rippoff? sure why not, im sick and tired of saying which is original, weve been on this planet for a long time and many heroes were created like the gods and myths, turned into the comic book genre, zues and hercules. Since i could consider dc and marvel ripoffs, their the greatest ripoffs ever in a good way. Remember justice league's slogan? Unite… justice is served

  18. I really don't care if the character is a blatant or a slight rip off of someone else, i just care for how much interesting that character is for me no matter how has been conceived, i think that's why i'm far more interested on Marvel characters than most of Dc's

  19. My Favorite character is Connor Kent Superboy. He obviously comes from Superman, whose inspiration you briefly listed, and the original sidekick Robin, who was created for people to live by curioslly through. Technically he could even be traced back further with the reason of his creation for The Death of Superman arch. Just like that Superboy's creation was really confusing and inspired by several things

  20. I can't find a single or two comments about pronouncing Andre Gide's name wrongly and it makes me surprised. It's french so should be pronounced as like alphabet Z + ed, ZID, like ZIP with D, not like "Guide".
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Gide

  21. I feel that a character can be taken as long as a writer puts their own spin on them for instance taking powers ,adding powers ,enhancing them or limiting them

  22. humans- apes
    comic books- cave painting
    variant- comic misconceptions
    ancient greece- ancient egypt
    lions- tigers
    the shadow- zorro
    batman- moon knight, black panther
    superman- sentry, hyperion and blue marvel and even more.
    wonder woman- queen elizabeth
    daredevil- TMNT
    danTDM-pewdiepie
    pewdiepie-jacksepticeye
    lego-minecraft
    roblox- minecraft
    robin hood-ishikawa goemon
    youtube- vimeo
    facebook- twitter
    facebook- snapchat
    bing-google
    matthew santaro- Vsauce
    watchmojo- the richest
    pirates- ninjas
    samurai- knights
    akatsuki- Iluminati
    deadpool- deathstroke
    mortal kombat- street fighter
    tekken- street fighter
    street fighter- DBZ
    naruto- DBZ
    DBZ- journey to the west
    pepsi-coke
    zorro- batman
    mostamazingtop10s- watchmojo
    young avengers- TT
    TTG- powerpuff girls
    pizza- burger
    japanese erasers- chinese erasers
    darkseid- adolf hitler
    ultron- brainiac
    mortal kombat vs DC- marvel vs capcom.
    avengers- justice league
    fantastic four- justice league
    hulk- solomon grundy
    dante from devil may cry- kratos
    vergil- sephiroth
    goku- sun wokung
    sun wokong- Sun Tzu
    lao tzu- confscucius
    dracula- the shadow
    the internet- the universe

    do I get a reward for longest comment ever? do I…. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDOOOOO I?

  23. I agree with this video. As a kid I always thought it was interesting how each comic company has similar characters. I do believe that everyone can be inspired by someone else but not everyone will take an interest in every character yet all of these popular characters have a following which makes each of them unique as their own characters and to us.

  24. You're right…favorite characters are a part of us. We identify with characters ethics and point of view/mindset. Myself (as a kid) for example…Superman…the riginal boy scout….trying to do the right thing…and the Hulk…just wanting to be left alone

  25. It does matter when its done to diminish the other company's achievements … like The Imperial Guard of The Shiar …..

  26. I'm glad you mentioned The Shadow as one of the inspirations for Batman. He usually gets overlooked by Batman fans.

  27. I never really cared if Thanos was based on Darksied, but I never really appreciated Thanos as a Character until Infinity War.

  28. I think BatTran, the character of Batman transitioning to a woman, is a rip-off of Marvel's diversity efforts.

  29. Nah we'll never stop arguing… people on the internet being rational and listening to reason, get outta here

  30. Ripoff: Someone/thing inspired heavily by 1 thing with barely anything transformative done to it. Often intentional

    Inspired by: Someone/thing inspired by 2 or more thing with a lot of small or a couple substantial changes, or Someone/thing inspired by 1 thing but a lot of changes were made

    At least that's how I see it

  31. Ripoff implies it’s a less well adapted carbon copy.
    Otherwise, it will just be an adaptation or inspiration.

    Just connotation of the modern usage of words.

  32. I swear I saw a video from you talking about the parallels of Thanos and Darksied, but I just can't find the video… or am I just mistaking It for something else? pretty sure I remember a story about Darksied being a rip-off of another Marvel villain but then someone told them If you are going to rip one off, might as well go all out and then they kind off ripped-off Thanos. Did I Imagine this video? ahaha

  33. I Believe Anyone who has Ever said nothing is Original has never had a Unique Idea of their Own. Original to me is coming up with an Idea off the Top of the head, and not really finding much Inspiration in other Characters, or Things just Creating something New within a Familiar Medium.

  34. 2:32 I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.
    In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics:
    Plagiarize!
    Plagiarize,
    Let no one else’s work evade your eyes,
    Remember why the good lord made your eyes,
    So don’t shade your eyes,
    But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize –
    Only be sure always to call it please ‘research’.

  35. When you think about… if everything humans do artistically was "inspired" or "copyed" from something else..

    That means that we may have learned to sing by mimicking Birds…

  36. I love going through old anime and seeing how Star Wars and Alien added something powerful to what had previously just been Disney-influenced, creating most of what made anime seem so badass and cool to our eyes. Apparently Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie are responsible for the magical girl genre, as it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how Japanese culture adores the delicate balance of male-female power in those shows. but a big surprise for me was how Marvel superheroes were so much an inspiration to Super Sentai.

  37. Ripoffs arent a very big deal characters with many "rip offs"
    Are superman the character with immense power
    Batman the hero with no powers who uses his intellgence and gadgets
    Spider-man the kid hero with normal problems
    If a character fits into one of these arctypes they will label as a ripoff of those characters even if they are more similar to other characters.

  38. I think I typically don't mind when a character is similar to another if it's just for the purpose of making a new character, to be creative or realize a vision or whatever. When I have trouble respecting it is when a character is copied by one company SIMPLY for the purpose of competing with the copied character from the other company. Then it's just bland, vain, and two-dimensional. But, like you pointed out, Scott, what ends up being important is what is done with the said character in writing. But even so, the intention behind the making of the character may still bother me on some level.

  39. Any time you have a first time movie director who says "I'm gonna make the most original movie ever" you get those indi movies where it's gay guys drinking coffee in a cafe for an hour and a half. When an artist couldn't care less, you get Tarantino, (young) Lucas and Spielberg. "That's derivative" is the cry of amateurs.

  40. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a ripoff of Frank Miller directly, because Miller said in an interview, "All Marvel produces is Teenage Mutant Ninjas!"

  41. My favorite superhero, Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), was basically a reboot of the Betty Kane Bat-Girl of the ‘50s, who was the sidekick to Batwoman, who probably also influenced Barbara’s superhero identity. And all of that of course goes back to Batman.

  42. Hey I will proudly proclaim Static to be DC's Spider-Man because exactly what he is. Is that so wrong? No! He's still awesome.

  43. I think the case for a harmful ripoff is when someone rips off a nuanced character only superficially but the superficial ripoff overshadows and makes the original look bad simply because the ripoff had a bigger budget, then it would be a problem. In terms of Deathstroke and Deadpool, they’re both great characters for entirely different reasons and it’s not like Deadpool made Deathstroke any less popular.

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