Comic book artist Meghan Hetrick was tipped off by a fan of hers that British artist Gary Parkin selling a sketch cover of Evil Ernie #1 with Lady Death on it on eBay.
This image is indeed a blatant rip of the commission she did for the fan, which she posted online.
Turns out that she is not alone. Bleeding Cool reader Joe Peacock got in touch with me, and pointed out that he has done a tonne of them, getting thousands in total so far it seems, on eBay alone.
Some he labels as homages, stating exactly what they are copies of. But many he just doesn't bother saying. And when he starts copying artists non published art, it goes into a different level of concern. It's one thing to copy the cover of a famous comic and sell it, such as the Harley Quinn cover by Alex Ross he rips off above, most everyone knows the score. It's another thing to do the same to someone's DeviantArt account.
In an interview with ExpertComics.com, he said,
I now draw the sketch covers and various other projects as my full-time job, and I'm also working on a graphic novel which should be done in the next 6 months.
I've sold around 1000 pieces of my artwork in the 9 months I've been doing this, so someone must like what I'm doing!
With most pieces selling online between $25 and $50, that's quite a good living. More than some of the artists whose work he is copying. Of course, that's a lot quicker tan coming up with your own compositions.
Gary did not responds to enquiries. Indeed, I found myself blocked from messaging Gary any further after this initial message.