Yesterday, Bleeding Cool ran a Separated At Birth article looking at the use of a cosplay photo when Arthur Suydam was creating a cover for the DCeased series published by DC Comics.
Created by Anthony Misiano, known as Harley's Joker, it is one of a number of cover recreations through cosplay and photo manipulation that he is famous for. This, a take on Brian Bolland's cover for The Killing Joke. And it seemed as if it had been cut and pasted right into the Suydam cover, one of a number of his own cover recreations-as-zombies.
Anthony Misiano told me yesterday,
Earlier this evening I actually got a message directly from Harry Arthur Suydam on Facebook, sent to the "Harley's Joker" cosplay page. He said, "Question : We found the one of your great homage photos online and have used it for reference to paint a Joker homage cover for DC . And we would like to pay to you our usual modeling fee if you text to us your name and mailing address for us to send the check to ? Our text address is (**********) — best , Mike
We didn't use the photo but are using the painting we used the photo as reference for ."
So they are claiming they used the cosplay photo as reference for the finished painting. And only actually getting in touch to arrange a fee after the cover was completed, and published on a website soliciting orders. Not the usual order of business – and only after Bleeding Cool had run our original article.
Anthony has replied, though yet to receive a reply back. He told Suydam – or his representatives.
Hi there. Thank you for writing me. I've seen the image going around, I'm not sure if it's the same image you're referring to. The one I've seen, however, does not seem like a painting. It very much appears to be a simple Photoshop manipulation, some kind of paint filter applied to my photograph. It MAY be a traced piece done with a tablet sampling colors from my photo, but (again only referring to the image I've seen) it lines up pixel for pixel with my image and the colors are a digitally perfect match.
That photograph of mine actually took me weeks to create. It's not just one photograph, it's I believe 8 or 9 that I used and stitched together carefully. Every individual element, even the camera strap was very carefully staged and articulated before being photographed and edited into the final image. I've always done all of my own photography and editing in addition to the modelling. The GOAL being it looks like a simple photo. You see, I've been drawing and painting since I was a child, and this is just another avenue for me to use those visual acuities. I apologize if I seem cold, I'm just very attached to my work, I hope you understand."
He also sent another example of his work, homaging the Batman covers of Neal Adams, saying,
"As an example, I spent several months creating this piece from scratch. Neal has a large poster of it."
Let's wait and find to see how it progresses…