Has Disney been scanning through Dutch hardcore music recently? That’s the question a graphic designer named Midi would like to know after recently noticing some striking similarities between a promotional poster for the new Disney+ special Werewolf by Night that closely mirrors the shirt print artwork he did for the Dutch hardcore act Born From Pain six years ago for their song “Lonewolf.”
Werewolf By Night is based on a Marvel Comics character and the special was released to Disney+ subscribers earlier this month. To help prove his point, Midi showcased the new poster side by side with artwork he did for Born From Pain in 2016.
“I might be crazy but did Marvel just rip me off?” asked the graphic designer. “I did this art for born from pain around 6 years ago.” The two artistic pieces feature a werewolf character with many of the design choices mirroring each other, if not only just slightly off. The designer then added in a second tweet, “As a vector artist i can tell that these rounded ends mean the art was auto traced and then edited.”
Other followers on the thread then pointed out other similarities. “And you can see where they lowered the bottom jaw but didn’t correct the lower fangs for where the top ones were covering them,” stated one poster. Another added, “Dude.. the nose has the exact same lines. Is Disney really so lazy to just keep stealing people’s art? They do it so often its disgusting.”
As word of the comparisons started to spread, the graphic designer then spoke with The Direct about the similarities. He explained that he felt that the Disney illustrator likely traced his design with a Vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator before using tools to change certain elements.
“I think Illustrator live trace was used on the initial art because it has rounded edges. There are sliders called noise and corners, moving them softens edges, removing sharp edges and artifacts, this is where rounded corners come from. Next, mesh tool was used to widen the snout, and after that lower jaw was moved to make it an open mouth, but the dark notches from the upper teeth remained there. Someone who did it either forgot or didn’t pay attention to that detail,” he explains.
When asked about how the design might have initially been discovered, he offered, “It’s very hard to find art since I’m a lesser-known artist outside of the niches I work in, but I interact with a lot of comic book artists and I have this art In my Twitter feed and on my Instagram page. My wild guess is that this designer/artist saw my interaction with other comic book artists and saw this art, or was following me.”
The graphic artist suggested “credits and royalties” as the best way to right the wrong, given that the artwork is now out in the world. He later added in a tweet, “Didn’t expect this to blow up and thought I’d be ridiculed for this, but I’m so overwhelmed with the support I’ve received from this community! From my side, i already took some legal steps towards this case. Once again, thank you for your tremendous support.”