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Monday, March 17, 2014

SCI FI, FANTASY & COMIC FRANCHISES - INSPIRATIONAL NOTES AND BLATANT PLAGIARISM

I came across some Shera fantasy fan art the other day and it made me think about a few issues. A few years ago, I wrote an article on the distinct difference between Sci Fi and Fantasy, while giving several posters and examples of each genre [that article is over HERE]. Anyway, I'll build on those principles today, in this new article.

Every epic sci fi / fantasy saga usually has a well of inspiration that it draws from; and that means if you see a classic TV series like Lost in Space [it debuted back in 1968], then you don't have to look too far before you find Star Trek [debuted earlier, in 1966]. And if you saw a cartoon in the 80s called M.A.S.K. that  debuted in 1985, then you can be certain that there are other franchises that it drew inspiration from [namely G.I.Joe and Transformers, which both slightly predated M.A.S.K.].

You can consider Superman [from DC Comics] and Sentry [from Marvel Comics]; and this comparison lets you know that characters can be designed as alternate counterparts, with similar powers and different costumes.
Also, look up Blue Jay [Dc Comics], vs Hawkman. And when you do, you'll realize that DC Comics literally copied itself; alas, there are no restrictions when it comes to copying a great idea. 

[BTW: The sexy image of Catra, above, from the Shera cartoon was done by digital artist scebiqu]


Additionally, when plagiarism gets out of hand, you have characters like Major Victory and General Glory. Who are those two patriotic guys you may ask? well, they are sloppy / poorly developed characters created by DC Comics in the 1940s, in order to compete with Marvel's Captain America.
 
Along those same lines, first we had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, back in 1984; and after that, the Battletoads [1991], the Biker Mice from Mars [1993] and the Street Sharks [1994], were not far behind.

Honestly, when it comes to copying a successful franchise, it can basically be a hit or a miss; since success is not an automatic thing.


[Shown on the left is the Dark Queen, the sexy thick female villain from the Battletoads video game series. Art by nosmirmcawesome] 

It's a known fact that true fans really respect originality and creativity; and it is rare that a copycat franchise will end up being far more popular than the original. Of course there is the debate between the success of the StarCraft video game series and Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game; since Warhammer and its alien races predate StarCraft, but the latter is more popular.

As for the DSNG Sci Fi Series, I've drawn inspiration from DragonBallZ and Starwars; and this relates to a having a vast sci fi setting with multiple planets and diverse alien races, along with the super soldiers that can fly and project fireballs at will. Of course the DSNG heroes and villains all have diverse personalities along with a plethora of abilities. And since DSNG is presented as a series, the concepts can go on and on, while evolving to fit diverse media channels.

There is nothing wrong with having healthy competition, although plagiarism is the woeful pitfall that all creators have to avoid, when they make their Original Characters and their new franchise ideas.
Yet I will encourage all artists and writers to do this:
Look back for inspiration, but make sure you look forward for the creation of your characters ~ Quote from Mr. DSNG

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