So I’ve been stewing on something for a few days now. At first I was all Benefit of the Doubt Girl, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more it bugs me. Of course, it is something I have zero control over and may not fully understand. Perhaps you can help me.
On Friday, I saw mention of the similarities between a few pages in Madame Xanadu #28 and the general premise of the main character in Chew. Madame Xanadu is on my pull list, so I had already read the issue and noticed said similarity because I also read Chew monthly.
Basically, in last week’s issue of Madame Xanadu, there were splash pages (not just panels) showing the female protagonist having psychic visions of the food she eats. It was so similar to Chew that it even featured an orange grove and images of a slaughterhouse. When I read it, I said out loud, “Um. That is just like Chew. Please don’t use the word cibopath. PLEASE.” It didn’t, and the book went on to say that the woman was a clairvoyant who needed “training,” as her visions were working in reverse. Thus, she went to Madame Xanadu to be mentored. OK. Fine.
What’s giving me so much heartburn is that I love both books, and it would seem that one has stolen from the other. It’s as if my two best friends were fighting. I’ve flat-out said Chew is the best comic book I have ever read. I meant that. I adore Madame Xanadu too, to the point that I am genuinely sad that the book is ending. Wagner has given heart and soul to Nimue all along. But I gave specific praise to Madame Xanadu editor Shelly Bond for this current story arc, because it features a group of up-and-coming female artists. It is in this very arc that the swipe occurred.
I don’t presume to know what goes on at these publishing companies; I’m just a fangirl. I’m sure every writer has their process, and the way they communicate to the artists probably varies from person to person, and an editor’s involvement can also vary. But how is it that the very same editor to whom Chew was pitched is the editor on a different book with a strikingly similar element? Mind you, Vertigo rejected Layman and Guillory’s pitch for Chew.
Did Vertigo think that no one would notice the similarity to a New York Times bestselling book?
Madame Xanadu ends at issue #29, so let’s just throw the credibility of the entire book out the door right before it dies?!!!
Is this the sort of unethical bullshit artists and writers have to worry about when pitching their ideas? Is that even legal?!
This being Election Day and all, I suppose these aren’t things I should be getting my panties in a bunch about. There are certainly grander issues to concern myself with, but … Nimue deserves better! As Jimmy Fallon would say with a bad British accent as Robert Pattinson … as Edward Cullen: I’m BOTHERED!