If you’re not familiar with TeeFury, they sell t-shirts. See how that works? A lot of them are fandom-centered designs that deal with intellectual property the artist doesn’t quite have a clear license for (lots of Doctor Who, Firefly, etc.), but for the most part their popular designs use original art, so everyone nervously looks the other way and hopes for the best. And, for the most part, this works. Sometimes you’ll notice designs quietly disappearing, presumably when the trademark or copyright holder drops a complaint on them.
Let’s have a look-see, shall we? Hello, image in my email that makes me spit out my coffee!
And then I fired up Photoshop and got to work. Note that the differences stand out so much exactly because the rest does not. Sleeve, hand, helmet… but the rest is so exacting that even the pants they’ve added fit almost seamlessly onto Hewlett’s drawing.
So what about the artists? Maybe they’re really, really good at eyeballing a pic and re-creating it with startling precision. Right? It could happen… right? Not here. No way. Looking at their profiles, there’s no such skill on display. I mean, yes, Mephias has that one* Twin Peaks/Alice Cooper mashup that’s very nice, which leads me to believe that Mephias was the brawn behind this caper, leaving Punksthetic as the brains (i.e. – “Hey, Meephs, I got this brilly idea but I can’t pull it off. Splitsies?”)
UPDATE: After seeing some more of their respective works, I’m not so sure on the brains/brawn split. Or who exactly the initial tracer was.
I’m not here to slam these two like I have some others previously. But I also don’t think they get a pass. Copying someone else’s lineart and passing it off as your own is plagiarism, especially when done for money. And lest we lose sight of the fact, that’s exactly what’s happening here:
*- Which is polished to a much higher degree compared to other works, but we’re not here to judge… well, OK, yes we are.