Anabel Martinez posted the above image comparison talking about artist Jeff Pina and Phoenix Comic Con's decison to invite Paul Bradford to their show again this year, saying,
Jeff's original art on the top left. Bottom left was Paul Bradford's theft of his art, which he made into a t-shirt to sell. When he was caught, he draw the slightly different version on the right, but anyone can connect the origin of it to the original swipe. Not classy at all. There are hundreds of way to draw a dalek.. for a talented artist.
The next day, she got a full response, after a number of people expressed similar concern.
Hi all, Convention Director Matt Solberg here.
We listen to feedback from our attendees and guests, and we take the issue of art swiping and art theft seriously. Last year during our Badge Art Contest it came to light that one of the winner's art was stolen from a different artist. We disqualified that piece as a result.
Yesterday we became aware of a much larger issue involving Phoenix Comicon Guests: that one of our guests, Mr. Paul Bradford, had swiped art from another Phoenix Comicon guest, Mr. Jeff Pina, and attempted to use that art without permission in the sale of his t-shirts. Once contacted about this art swipe, Mr. Bradford modified the art slightly and in my opinion the modified art continues to bear striking resemblance to Mr. Pina's art. For what it's worth: Mr. Bradford also used a saying on the t-shirt that was taken from another, and then modified it slightly in the final version by changing a few words.
We take the issue of art swiping, art theft, and plagiarism seriously. As a result, I have called Mr. Bradford this afternoon and informed him that we will not be bringing him out as a Guest to Phoenix Comicon.
Mr. Bradford has been a good guest in the past for Phoenix Comicon, participating in Programming and meeting with his fans. In light of the current news and our own beliefs in regards to art swiping, we must move forward without Mr. Bradford as a guest.
We know there are many who were looking forward to meeting Mr. Bradford. We appreciate your support and dialogue as well.
I appreciate Ms. Anabel Martinez for bringing this issue to our attention and for being vocal in her defense of her fellow creator and creators' rights.
Prior to yesterday's Facebook thread, I, nor the Director of Programming nor the Director of Guests Relations was aware of the issue. We are open to feedback and know it's the only way for us to get better as a convention. We often make decisions with the information we have at a given time, and occasionally with new information we need to re-think our decisions. Today is one such occurrence.
This decision is my own as Convention Director with the support and agreement of our Director of Programming, Director of Guest Relations, Horror Programming Manager, and Comic Book Programming Manager who are also involved in the Guest decision process.
I spoke with Mr. Jeff Pina after I made my decision. He had hoped to put this issue behind him and is comfortable with attending conventions that Mr. Bradford attends as well. I respect his position and his contributions to Phoenix Comicon. While Mr. Pina is comfortable with attending conventions with Mr. Bradford, the decision I made today I believe is the right decision for Phoenix Comicon.
We strive to organize a great convention with Phoenix Comicon. We have volunteers who spend close to a year in the planning of our event, and we have creators and guests who contribute mightily to our show. I appreciate the dialogue yesterday on Facebook and offer credit to those on both sides who kept the dialogue civil.
Thank you all for your continued support of Phoenix Comicon.
Eight-seven days to go till we open our doors!