I got in touch with Gianluca Glazer over at Radical Publishing, who sent me the following statement this morning, in which they say that they are halting production and distribution of the comic "until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties."
We at Radical Publishing, Inc. and Radical Comics, Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate Comic Book. We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter. We have halted further production and distribution of the “Incarnate” comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our Company and the comic book industry.
Bleach's North American publisher VIZ tweeted that they "have [their] team on it," but no further comment has been offered at this time.
Meanwhile, fans spent some time trying to get Bleach creator Tite Kubo's attention via Twitter as well. His thoughts, spread over two tweets:
"Last night until this morning, I got a ton of "an American comic is copying Bleach!" messages from overseas fans! Looking at the site I don't speak English, but I saw something like "Gene Simmons' son Nick Simmons who draws manga-style comics."Honestly, more than whether they remble each other or not, I wonder that Gene Simmons' son is a mangaka..."
I've only posted a couple of the images here, but the LiveJournal post has several more, and there are even more in the comments. I'm no professional, but it doesn't look very good for Nick Simmons.
That said, I'm not quite sure what might happen from here, though I imagine it's much more likely to get dealt with privately from here on out rather than a lawsuit or something of that nature. But this is rather poor timing for Radical: Incarnate, which is currently a 3-issue series, was due to be released in a collected hardcover format on March 12th. Depending on how well the comic has done, they may want to find a way to publish that book, especially since they've put in the effort of putting it together in the format. (At least the TPB isn't due out until October.)
All in all, an unfortunate situation for everyone. That's what plagiarism gets you, kids! Now quit trying to plagiarize on the wiki.