For the month of September, we were getting the PDFs ready for print. All of the artwork had been turned in and we sent artwork for the game and the Art Books out for printing this month of October. We decided to go with a printer in the United States through Cartimundi’s Dallas branch (the print vendor of Magic the Gathering). That’s the good news!
Here’s what has been going on these past 3 weeks and the reason for the white noise from us. We found that one of our artists, the illustrator of the King of the Ring deck had plagiarized all of his artwork. We found this out after seeing prints for our art books as the printer told us that he’s seen some of those pieces before. We saw the red flag and did some investigation in the matter only to be shocked to see that this artist took actual photos and traced over them in Photoshop, just adding effects to make the photo seem more like painted artwork. He did this possibly to save time so he can get paid quicker and get the next batch of work. Upon even closer inspection, you can definitely tell how he doctored up these photos. Here is an example of just one of the 19 pieces he faked. We went through ALL of his pieces and found all but two of them to be photo tracing and photoshop manipulation. This is not excusable and could even cause legal issues if we didn’t know and had printed the deck and sold it via retail!
For the naked eye, his pieces look pretty good, but when you look REALLY closely, you can see the imperfections. What was worse, was having these pieces as 8.5″x11″ in the art books where you can see it even clearer.
So…… what can we do? Unfortunately for us, that means we are having to redo all of the King of the Ring artwork. We can’t print until they are complete since the printer has it setup as whole project sheets instead of separated by decks. The good thing, is that we will not have to sacrifice any integrity of this project and you will have even better artwork from another artist to represent the King of the Ring. Here is this new artist’s art style. He was one of the 4 artists who was commissioned to do the backer created deck for Drunken Fist (Zui Quan).
Because of this incident, we had to review all the other art pieces to make sure than nothing was traced or borrowed from other illustrator’s work. Fortunately, it was ONLY this artist. It was definitely a blow below the belt and we felt this one. Having a strong relationship with all our artists, it was a very sour feeling to see that one of them would do this to our campaign for some quick cash. Needless to say, he is no longer a part of our team.
To you all, we sincerely apologize for this and are trying to quickly get the revised deck up, laid out and sent to print for the Art Books and cards.
In the meantime, I’ll update you about the progress and will get some of the PDFs ready and uploaded to a Dropbox for you to Print and Play while we wait. Sadly, King of the Ring will not be available for Print and Play until the situation has concluded.
For those curious about the other artwork from the main deck, here are just a few pieces from the decks you’ll receive. In order, it’s Enter the Phoenix, Ume and the Blade, and Master of the 8 Limbs.
Thank you once again for your patience and once again, we apologize for the delay and for this unfortunate predicament.