This blog post shows some of Arlem’s work on Annihilation – Silver Surfer compared to John Buscema’s Silver Surfer work. Since John Buscema was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, at least Arlem was stealing from the best.
Alfons Maria Mucha
Alfons Maria Mucha was an extremely influential Czech artist. In fact,an academic paper by Brandon W. Bollom and Shawn M. McKinney interviewed seven comic book artists who were influenced by Mucha’s work. Among those interviewed was Joe Quesada, so you’d think that someone at Marvel would have noticed Renato Arlem blatantly stealing Mucha’s work.
I found two paintings of Mucha’s in the background of X-Factor #10. (As I’ve begun to notice, Arlem hates backgrounds and seems to avoid drawing them himself whenever possible.) Here are the original panels followed by comparisons to the original paintings
In this case, it doesn’t even look like the work was traced, since the photos mostly retain the original coloring. It looks like Arlem simply copied the paintings directly into Photoshop and then put them at an angle.
There’s another obviously pasted-in painting in X-Factor #11, although it’s too small for me to positively ID it.
I have more examples of art theft, but I’ll save those for another post. I’ll give you a sneak preview: anytime you see realistic looking building or the New York City skyline, Arlem probably traced and/or stole them.