The Catfish Comic Artist Swipers Of Miami


Back in September, Bleeding Cool ran an article on a Miami artist calling herself Angel Isart, associated with a tattoo parlour called Miami Inkslinger, selling canvases of comic book inspired work for thousands of dollars a piece. And naturally, it was all heavily swiped work. We called her the Rob Granito of Miami. And that, it seemed, was that.

Then three days ago, someone seemed to notice. She amended all her posts to read "Not my original artwork" which is all fair and good. Lesson learned maybe? There may be copyright issues but there was no more deception right?

Well, maybe someone new posted on that original article objecting to the article. Mitch Vargas writes,

Well Rich Johnson in sure you got your point across, she was not claiming any originality on the work. She was simply a fan of marvel and dc so she used awesome pieces she found online to practice painting and learn a little. Coming from an artist perspective I don't see nothing wrong with it to watch some one learn and grow, but according to you and your minions she should get harassed and bashed on. Coming from fans of super heroes you guys sure know how to play a villian role. Typical crybaby that's my original work shit.

Of course there is a difference between copying other people's work to learn craft and then selling it for four figures. And then amending all the original pieces to say that you are not the original artist – and then complaining that the original article states that you originally claimed something else…

And who is Mitch Vargas anyway? Well he is the actual Miami Inkslinger tattoo artist, the place that Angel was associated with, Mitchell Vargas and who Angel cites as a mentor. And he has his own Instagram account – though strangely this image seems to have recently been removed from it


Well, it turns out, he may be the actual artist of all these pieces, and he was using Angel more as a marketing tool – and one that worked. It has also been pointed out t Bleeding Cool that in Angel's photo gallery where she is seen as painting, there is no ink on any of her brushes.

So basically not only is all the original art swiped, exhibited in galleries and sold for thousands of dollars, but it was not even the person meant to be swiping it that did it….

He continued to post, as the "her" became "our"…

I countlessly see people draw Pokemon, Dbz, Marvel and Dc and they don't ever post anything about it being there original design or not. You guys are all upset because she is a one year artist who can draw/ paint better then half of you, we never at any moment intended to claim originality of it. Yes your right we didn't have (Not our original work) on the on the post before, but now that we corrected that mistake you guys can grow up and act a little more mature. Oh and by the way 2016 we will be working on all original pieces. I'll keep you guys updated on my Instagram @Miami_Inkslinge

If that's not good enough for y'all, then your welcome to come by my tattoo shop. I rather you say things to me in person then harrass her verbally over the internet.

Rich Johnson, I hope you write as many positive articles as you do negative ones. If so we should set up a live interview to clear up things in a few months from now. As for the original artist, we apologize for not giving you credit, It has been corrected and won't happen again. (Keep up the awesome work by the way, we truly admire your work no matter what the situation turned into)

Very kind, but here's the lesson. Draw whatever you want, Pant whatever you want. Copy whatever you want. But if you sell it, if you pretend like it is someone else's work, and you engage in catfish marketing then, if nothing else, we're all going to laugh at it. But there was more.

What am I stealing right now, go ahead and tell me please dude. Because I make a little over $100/hr for tattooing and I'm booked up a few months in advance. So if I did help paint some marvel/dc pieces at one time or another you can trust me 100% it was not to make extra cash, I was just simply a fan of the art But at this point it won't happen again. I'm tired of hearing you internet cowards bash me or my girlfriend.

Now it's "help" painting. And as for the legality of this all.

Laws are created by men who want to take/keep control over society. Thats probably the reason your underpaid and upset at others in the first place. Come on don't you read enough comics to know the difference

Ok guys last time I'm posting on here. On behalf of myself @miamiinkslinger and @angely.isart we apologize for anybody we offended. Now first off let me start by saying I don't paint for money, I am a tattoo artist and I'm booked well over a year in advance so I don't need to paint anything for cash. I make really great money with what I do. Second, @angely.isart is a one year artist, she took care of me after a motorcycle accident a year ago when I couldn't even walk for months and I, at that time decided she should practice drawing and painting because I had seen her sketches. Yes the work you saw wasn't original, and yes we didn't credit the artist (that was a simple mistake on our end). We clearly only focused on painting awesome pieces we found and liked online so she could learn as I did when I was a kid like I'm sure most of you if not all artist at one point or another drew something you saw. It wasn't our intention to show up to events or go to marvel claiming originality of the work, we both already knew it wasn't her original work but I told her keep practicing and one day you will start to grow into your own style. But it's been 3 days of full harassment and we hope it stops soon. Now we understand things in the comic world and don't mean to take credit from anyone work. We will work on original pieces from this point on and hope to see to possibly see you guys at the conventions in the near future. Sincerely,

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." – Luke

Right? Well not necessarily. Because there's something else…

I am definitely looking forward to that live interview, Mitch!


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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