DC Comics cover artist accused of using AI and swiping character poses

Comic book artist Adi Granov has accused DC Comics cover artist Francesco Mattina of using AI to create his variant cover for Superman #18, reports Heidi MacDonald in The Beat.

Granov made the accusation in a Facebook post in which he also accused Mattina of "continued blatant plagiarism."

At the heart of the accusation is an image of Superman in which his iconic "S" symbol on his chest has an extra tail on it, which does seem like the kind of mistake A.I. would make, but that no human artist would.

Granov posted to Facebook:

When image generators first came to prominence the first person who came to mind was the serial plagiarist Francesco Mattina as I thought he'd think all his Christmases have come at once. If you don't remember, he made a whole career out of photobashing other people's art (mine included) into whatever you want to call his "work". I don't post about artists I dislike, but I neither consider him an artist nor can I hide my dislike for the continued blatant plagiarism. Anyhow, here's his new cover. Not only is he a hack, but he's not even good enough to hide the glaring mistake on one of the most iconic symbols in all of pop-culture.

MacDonald says that other comics professionals joined in, in the post's comments.

It's fair to say that this error-ridden image fired up a lot of simmering rage that artists are feeling over the use of AI art instead of human effort. Among the more than 300 comments Bill Sienkiewicz, Mico Suayan, Meghan Hetrick, Duncan Rouleau, Jill Thompson, Billy Tucci, Emanuela Lupacchino and many more pros sounded off with brutal put downs.

And she details Mattina's history of plagiarism accusations.

As Granov indicated, Mattina has a long history of being accused of swiping – Alex Garner called him out for swiping a fee years ago, as did artist Lee JeeHyung. And that's not all.  There's a long Twitter thread also enumerating many times when Mattina was accused of swiping – including by an art director at Sideshow Toys.

I haven't seen any response from Mattina or DC Comics.