• The Toxic Mario Tracing Scandal and Our Stance On It

    It feels like we haven't had an explosion in this fandom in months. Usually we try to avoid getting too embroiled in these things, but quite a bit of evidence has arisen, and since this does involve people's hard earned convention spending budgets, we figured we'd get a notice out.

    If you haven't been following the deeper fandom news, it came out a few days ago via a post on DB that Toxic Mario's anthro Rarity was most likely a trace. A direct comparison between fan art of Yoko from Gurren Lagann and his Rarity interpretation were pretty telling as you can see from the images above. His response to this was what really ticked people off though, as he denied it while saying he'd continue selling it at conventions. If you have followed art at all in this fandom over the years, you know that's a huge negative.

    Continue below!

    I'm not going to beat around the bush here. The way the lines line up is pretty dead accurate. The odds of him pulling that off without tracing are almost impossible. The level of skill between the traced body and hand drawn hooves/head is pretty much polar opposite, and even some of the best artists in the fandom would have trouble copying something 1 to 1.

    He has since provided supposed evidence via video and sketch, but the video does not show his sketch phase, layer, or any pre-setup, and his physical sketch doesn't show any kind of construction lines or even heavy erasing. Someone in the comments at HN that regularly watches him says he never shows his sketches during stream. Toxic's response is his use of paths instead, but based on his other pony works, paths are going to struggle matching as perfectly as the comparison above unless traced right on top.

    As Horse News points out, he does trace his own work. This isn't really wrong though, especially in the comic world where things take a much longer time. If you have created assets, you can re-use them freely. Even professionals do it regularly.

    On the subject of his non-anthro art, I highly doubt he is tracing these, as the proportions and heads tend to be vastly different from any of the big artists or show assets. His lines tend to be more much rigid and oddly proportioned, probably due to his drawing with paths as opposed to actually penning it where things would seem more fluid. A good example is the dash head above, with the perfectly straight path-drawn upper nose line and almost mechanical looking eye pieces. 

    So, what will our stance on EQD be? Right now we are awaiting more evidence before doing anything further. Was this just a one off trace for Yoko?  I still find his other anthros somewhat fishy with how little the heads and hooves match the bodies, but the world of anime art is vast, so finding a match will be difficult.

    For us, his art wasn't being posted in Drawfriend anyway for quality reasons, so it's down to comic posts (which require less art skill).  If more tracing evidence arises, we will probably treat it the same way as Drawponies and cut his comics until he fixes his stuff and apologizes, then welcome him back for a second chance. At the moment though, we really only have one image.

    This is primarily just a PSA to save money for others if he does continue to sell the anthros at cons, and an initial heads up as more evidence arises!

    Thanks to the armada of people that sent it in!