Cultural Thievery

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Cultural Thievery

The further adventures of Captain Gaijin.

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To be fair... Star Wars kinda was taken from samurai stories... and mixed with Westerns.

Darth sandals.... very nice touch, hehe.

There's a lot of truth to it, I'm sure that Giger was inspired by a lot of different cultural art, and Picasso openly admitted ripping off African artists.

Star Wars was pretty openly a sci-fi remake of The Hidden Fortress.

As some have already said, Star Wars was heavily influenced from old oriental (mostly Japanese) cinema (among other things).

Thor is obviously inspired by North mythology. I'm pretty sure America can claim full credit of Captain America however, for all it's worth.

The 4 on Captain "America's" forehead actually comes from ancient India, not China.

Lot's of details in the pictures for folks to pick out.

I hadn't thought much about intellectual thievery on such a scale before. The old "we thought of it first" attitude is common and has always been common. And so has sheer thievery.

History has taught us that just as Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz separately developed Calculus around the same times "the 100th monkey" effect influences our creative abilities on science and engineering. It happens with artistic endeavors all the time.

It's called Convergent Evolution when Mother Nature does it rather than plagiarisn: Emus and Ostriches, anyone?

Well, I'd say it doesn't really change anything. "There's nothing new under the sun", as they say.

So long as we all recognize that our culture does have roots in other areas of the world, I see no problem.

It is kind of cool though. To see that something ancient come back and become something again in the world that we all know about. Makes you wonder if there is anything else we have yet to rediscover.

Edit: Hmmm....Seems the art isn't that old actually. Still would like to find out for sure if it's real or not. Also the painting is still cool.

Bwahahaha! China can't even convince it's con-men to stop feeding plastic to their children with watered down milk laced with poisonous chemicals (to pass protein content testing) and mixing rice shaped plastic beads with actual rice to bulk up the mass total.

Reminds me of what a damn shame it was that you couldn't give Darth Vader's mask or lightsaber to Yoshimitsu in SC 4 (or give Vader Yoshi's wodden arm).

That's like saying Egyptians invented Stargate, because all the symbols and things were used in pyramids first.
Also, I find it hard to believe there was some sort of feudal lord in ancient china, writing about chestbursters.

Nice art though, reminds me of the ancient chinese Pokemon.

I wonder if Gieger had ever actually seen that painting and this is all a major coincidence. ...or a hoax.

So... The chinese were also obsessed with man rape?

2xDouble:
To be fair... Star Wars kinda was taken from samurai stories... and mixed with Westerns.

And had a very Japanese aesthetic at points....AND Lucas was very, very open about it.

While I'm not doubting that Giger may have gotten inspiration from other cultures, the painting they show seems rather suspect. It looks more like the Xenomorphs as they're portrayed now as opposed to Giger's original design. It would seem weird if he looked at the painting, did his rendition of it, and then when the movies come out decide to go back to the inspiration. I guess I'll wait too see what's the deal with it.

I actually went and read the article they linked. Apparently it's a Chinese blogger making the claim... someone named Zhao. Basically, they found a painting of the Xenomorphs in a flea market and seems to think it's the art of one Qi Baishi, an artist who died in 1957.

I don't think there's proof, nor has the painting even been taken to a specialist to be analyzed... I don't think the picture is even signed by Qi Bashi. However, I don't know anything about Qi Bashi, or this Zhao person. Is Zhao someone with an art doctorate and a way to test the age of the paint? Is this the kind of art of which Qi Bashi has other examples?

It's very clearly a picture of Xenomorphs... suspiciously just like them. That, honestly, makes me a bit skeptical about their authenticity. But as I said, I don't know enough.

...
>.>
IT'S A FAKE! THPPPPPT!

Also, I have never watched Aliens.

This wasn't even remotely funny. If it was supposed to be funny, then that alone almost makes it funny though. But that would be a sad kind of funny.

And the Kanji on the Vader pic actually say (from right to left) Young something Samurai (I think), next one is Light Blade. And I can't work out the others. The left most Katakana mentions robots. Well done, sirs.

Stormtrooper: Lord Vader, are troops are being driven back by Ewoks!
Vader: *Cooor'keeer* Shamefur disray!

jmarquiso:
There's a lot of truth to it, I'm sure that Giger was inspired by a lot of different cultural art, and Picasso openly admitted ripping off African artists.

Star Wars was pretty openly a sci-fi remake of The Hidden Fortress.

And Picasso's not the only artist. Ayn Rand's Objectivism actually suggests that all art is based on natural observations.

Well, Lucas was inspired by "The Hidden Fortress" and Samurai in general when it came to "Star Wars". :P

"Random guy in a country thousands of miles away makes a claim with zero relevance to anything"

Video game "news" sure are amazing. Especially kotaku.

The funny thing is that you have the Norse god of thunder and lighting in the picture while trying to joke about culture stealing.

Doesn't matter to me- because we get influenced by so much and create amazing things out of it like Lucas did in the productions of Star Wars. If you think about it, a lot of the world looks at what's "different" and use that to make their stuff, and usually this exotic stuff lies in other regions.

How sad would it be that we couldn't use anything if it even remotely looked like something from Japan, or Britain? Shows, movies, fan fiction .. it would be so dull and boring. You would also have a copyright war going on, all because a guy pointed out that the xenomorphs look similar to a design back then.. mm.

Just want to compliment Cory on his artwork; Great job Cory, I really love the japanese style!

The strip in of itself is funny. The issue it's based on is kind of pathetic in that people are taking it seriously, and in doing so missing the entire point.

For the most part China is in trouble for violating current patents and copyrights on products and inventions. Things like taking the pattern for Levis, copyrighted to the inventing company, producing their own, putting a patch on them saying "Levis" and then passing them off on the real thing. Or taking drugs like Viagra, analyzing the formula, and then producing their own version and undercutting the producing company, after never having to have invested the money to develop it to begin with.

In this case it seems doubtful there was any kind of patent or copyright present on the "discovered" painting if it is genuine to begin with, as if there was, it would have come up long before now.

What's more when it comes to artistic/intellectual properties there is a distinction between a homage, or taking inspiration from something, and copying it and stealing someone's work. This is a fine line, and goes back and forth when it comes up legally. The issue with China has largely been a refusal to even acknowlege the accusations, in specific cases where they have been accused of IP theft it's debatable as to whether they would win or not, it
depends on the specific case in question. The bottom line is that even if China DID win some cases, it would overall take a bath, and it knows this. Truthfully the IP issues are a drop in the bucket compared to their patent violations for things like Viagra, and product counterfeiting, it's just a similar kind of issue so it tends to get lumped together.

When it comes to Japanese and American culture, to say that it's incestuous would be an understatement. To be honest the US pretty much invented modern Japan, pretty much everything you see there now is based on things Japan took from the US. This is why Anime tends to resonate so well with a US audience. When you look at things like "The Hidden Fortress" and the like you'll find "early" Japanese films were themselves inspired by American ones. What's more you'll also notice that in the cases where a basic plot structure IS taken from a Japanese film it's both generally acknowleged, and at the same time differant enough where if an issue was made it's doubtful a case against it would stand, if someone was to ever bring the accusation.

There is also the issue in many cases of public domain when it comes to IPs, if you check the list you'll find a lot of what used to be pop culture at the turn of the 20th century (like the Fu Manchu stories) are not in the public domain, and things like mythology definatly are. Still, I would find it utterly hilarious if someone was to find a picture of Marvel's version of Thor with "ancient" origins given some of the flak he's gotten for not looking like the mythological version (especially from people who don't "get it" and understand the whole origin story, or even know who Doctor Donald Blake is/was).

2xDouble:
To be fair... Star Wars kinda was taken from samurai stories... and mixed with Westerns.

Ninja'd. Was coming on here to just say that.

Wonder if Obi Wan is based off of Masakado...

Eternal_Lament:
While I'm not doubting that Giger may have gotten inspiration from other cultures, the painting they show seems rather suspect. It looks more like the Xenomorphs as they're portrayed now as opposed to Giger's original design. It would seem weird if he looked at the painting, did his rendition of it, and then when the movies come out decide to go back to the inspiration.

This.

The '1957' painting is an obvious fake. If it had merely shown some similarities to Giger's original work I might have been convinced that he took inspiration from it, but the painting is a straight sketch, not even of Giger's original alien, but of the slightly reworked design seen in Aliens, and Giger didn't even work on the second film.

ciancon:
Just want to compliment Cory on his artwork; Great job Cory, I really love the japanese style!

It is impressive how they copied the japanese art style, but arent't they shooting their point in the foot if it's based on a "story" from China?

Please, everyone knows that the Xenomorphs are just dicks.

Because the fact that Thor is literally a mythological character from Norse mythology wasn't enough.

This would be more interesting if it wasn't for the fact that stories and ideas are based on anything a culture experiences. Cultural thief means less when you realize that you steal from your own culture just as often. Foreign experiences and modern experiences and historical myth and history are all a big slush that people draw from.

I'm just curious whether or not the writing in panels 2 and 3 actually say anything.

canadamus_prime:
I wonder if Gieger had ever actually seen that painting and this is all a major coincidence. ...or a hoax.

I'm kinda convinced it's a hoax. Looking at the painting they really look more like the Cameron Film versions more than they do Giger's artwork.

The funniest thing about the Chinese Xenomorph painting is that the Xenomorphs they depict look more like the ones from Aliens, not Alien. They're saying not only did a Chinese artist invent the Xenomorphs but he also channeled the designs that they would be modified to 20 years later? You should really do your homework better when trying to rip something off and calling the rip off the original.

saintdane05:
Please, everyone knows that the Xenomorphs are just dicks.

And the guy claiming this painting to be the inspiration that he found at a flea market is acting like a huge Xenomorph Head

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