What we do, and a LOT of professional artist do too, when taking commission work with some known character is not the same thing. We (and any artist I see posting commissioned works) NEVER CLAIM that said character to be ours.
Wait, I thought you said stealing OR BORROWING when you asked your question. Is there a misunderstanding between us as to how we define these terms? I mention this because your reply seems to indicate you are now ONLY addressing the stealing part in how you have taken my comments into consideration and stealing and borrowing can be two very different things at times (yet very similar at other times).
What we and professional artists do when taking commissions of characters created by others is ABSOLUTELY borrowing in my view! Clearly, you should not outright steal someone else's work. Is anyone disputing that?
One of the points I'm trying to make is this is not always so simple as yes or no. These lines get blurred very easily. Plenty of my favorite comic artists have "swiped" the work of other artists when drawing their stories.
My bad, wrong choice of words on my first post. I meant to use the BORROW part as sarcastic, not a very happy way to present it on my part.
What I really wanted to highlight was how some comments on Michael Netzer's post made it seem, at least to me, that SINCE Ms. Mystic wasn't a big character that why should he (Michael Netzer) be upset with Neal Adams. Again, I was not and I'm not taking sides on that discussion, Just found some of those comments, ... at the lack of a better word.., disturbing at how some people seem to think...
Fortunatly, I can blame on english not my native language.
On a more serious note, I really see your point and agree with it. And yes, things are not always that simple, specially if big names (either authors or companies) are involved.
And to add to your DW's Oni character example, there are also those examples of just great minds think alike so it can also be a coincidence that 2 artists create 2 characters very similar, or also could be the case that they take inspiration from the same source...
All said and done, the fact also remains that almost everything has been imaginated and re-imaginated at one point in time and its bound to happen that some new author will come up with something similar to something already been done before.
Example: The Green Lantern Corps and the Lensman Corp. I always found them very similar although I never read anything sugests that GLC was inspired by the LC. I might be wrong, tho...
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