When Jan Duursema Called Out Florent Belmonte Over Darth Maul, And The Internet Joined In

Florent Belmonte is a French artist with a penchant for Marvel, DC and Star Wars imagery, and was recently featured on Geek Tyrant, showing off his work.

But one recent piece raised the ire of Jan Duursema, as it bore quite a resemblance to herown version of Darth Maul. Florent on the left, Jan on the right.

10178070_10152417110998993_2321865214109520819_nSo naturally folk on Facebook started going through his other work… noting another image from that cover….


Whether that be Joe and Andy Kubert...

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There is photo ref too.

grant-gustin-first-flash-picdownload (7)


download (1)10247436_750923781608477_3757819145930857759_n

Although in fairness, Greg Land got to that one first.


Folk have started posting on Florent's Facebook post and page, saying the likes of,

Jim Ristway This isnt your art, so why do you promote it as your own?Angel Tovar Go take a drawing class, Maybe you'll learn how to draw something original someday.James Tampa Hack. Nice rip off from Duursema on the Maul.Izzie Herman Congrats…you can steal other peoples' art over the internet. You *ARE* original /eyeroll. Common flipping thief.

Florent made one comment on the situation, stating,

FB Creative Project sorry but I don't claim this art as mine totaly and I don't hide it.

for some illustrations, I don't invent the character, but I reworked the visual with an other technique. I start with a base image (or photomontage), and I reworked the visual with a diferent aspect:



or : http://florentbelmonte.com/…/2014/02/superman_WIP.jpg


I am sorry to make you sick and I respect the artists above.

Well, Florent, they don't seem to respect you. Jan had a small back and forth with the equally respected Kyle Baker.

Kyle Baker The only time This is okay is when the corporation orders it. Often, Disney or Marvel will give me a piece of art they already own by another artist and ask me to use elements of it in my own version . If the corporation owns it, they can do what they want. DC's licensing department gave me Batman drawing by another artist and asked me to trace it in a different line style for a T-shirt. And I have seen Joker drawings I did for DC re-purposed and altered for licensed goods. It's okay if Lucasfilm owns both pieces, but if this guy's stealing a piece of Lucasfilm property and re-selling as his own, that's wrong.

Kyle Baker On a more positive note, Your original drawing is wonderful. I hope that your art is being appropriately praised and recognized by everyone. The inevitable by-products of success are thievery and envy. As an artist, I find it useful to regard theft as proof of value. We are plagiarized, bootlegged, torrented and all the rest because the stuff is good.

Jan Duursema Kyle, I understand about the corporate stuff. What a company owns is theirs to do with as they will. However, I believe the kind of plagiarization this joker is doing demeans the value of my art– especially when he is receiving a whole freaking page of 'look how wonderful he is' for STEALING! I'd love to say that the original piece of art he stole from received the same kind of attention, however that would not be the case. There is no way to soft sell blatant art theft. The guy is a creep.

Kyle Baker I'm not aware of all the details. is this an unlicensed product he's selling? If so, that's WRONG for sure! I'm so entrenched in the Disney/Warner system, that I assumed this was just some corporate publicity press release fed to another corporate-owned website. My own work is regularly credited to editors, writers, companies, producers, etc. instead of the artist. I've even Added Matt Groening's signature to my artwork. If the creepy rip-off artist is doing this outside of the system, he needs to be stopped. I didn't get what was going on.

Jan Duursema Kyle, this is an unlicensed product that he is selling on his own– and as his own work.

Kyle Baker He needs to be arrested, then.

And Chris Deal looked at what appeared to be Florent's creative process.

Here's the"artists" work in progress pic from his website…what a punk. He literally doesn't have an original thought in his head. I love your work. I will keep posting this Around so people can see him scamming.


To Jan's reply.

This is bull. Out of curiosity, I put my version over his in PS and it's a scanned copy line for line of Rick Magyar's ink line and my drawing. Rob Granito had a little similar trick he would pull to show his so called process. Thieves are full of little gimmicks like that. His process is to steal plain and simple.

 I raised these issues with Florent, and he replied,

Hello, I understand …

I did it just for me and I haven't benefited from it all. I never sold anything.
I reworked graphically original works (I mentioned) with different style.
As a fanart or coloring. But I understand and that is why, for your respect and that of the original artist, I stop everything.

I'm really sorry, I don't think it will take such proportions. I will return with my own work and I hope you will appreciate.

I look forward to it, Florent…

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luke 15:7

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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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