Netflix's 1899 accused of plagiarising "identical" Black Silence comic

21 November 2022, 17:21

Behind the scenes of 1899 on Netflix

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Mary Cagnin has called out Netflix's 1899 for copying her Black Silence comic in a viral Twitter thread.

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Netflix's new series 1899 is being called out for allegedly plagiarising from Brazilian comic writer and illustrator Mary Cagnin.

Last week (Nov 17), 1899 debuted on Netflix and immediately became one of the most popular shows on the platform. The multi-lingual series tells the story of a group of people who travel from the UK to the US on a steamboat. So far so normal but it soon becomes apparent that they may never reach their destination and everything may not be as it seems.

Fans have praised 1899 for its shocking twists and turns but it's now coming under fire for allegedly ripping off a comic.


Netflix's 1899 accused of plagiarising Black Silence comic
Netflix's 1899 accused of plagiarising Black Silence comic. Picture: Netflix

Taking to Twitter yesterday (Nov 21), comic author Mary Cagnin directly called out the series and wrote: "I'M IN SHOCK. The day I found out that the 1899 series is just IDENTICAL to my comic Black Silence, published in 2016." Mary then posted a thread in which she included screenshots comparing her work to frames and storylines from the Netflix show.

Mary then added: "It's all there: The Black Pyramid. The deaths inside the ship/ship. The multinational crew. The apparently strange and unexplained things. The symbols in the eyes and when they appear. Codes written. The voices calling to them. Subtle plot details, such as the characters' personal dramas, including their mysterious deaths."

Mary went on to explain: "I've been on panels and distributed the Black Silence comic to countless publishers and people in the business. It's not hard to imagine my work reaching out to them. I not only delivered the physical comic but also made the translated version available in English."

She also wrote: "I've cried a lot. My dream has always been to be recognized for my work nationally and internationally. And to see such a thing happen really breaks my heart."

You can read Mary's Black Silence comic: HERE.

Mary's original tweet has since been liked over 300,00 times with many people calling out Netflix.

One person tweeted: "So yeahhh the new Netflix show "1899" just straight up stole a Brazilian comic book called Black Silence and they are acting as if it's the most original stuff ever. The author wasn't contacted, credited or even mentioned in any aspect of this. This shit is just plagiarism."

Another added: "Netflix "original" 1899 plagiarized a Brazilian comic titled Black Silence (2016). So much of the plot, characters, and even framing shots were lifted. The author I'm QRTing was stolen from: no permission, no pay, no credit. The only only thing changed: black protag became white."

However, other people who've read the comic have also argued that the similarities are minor.

One person wrote: "You all should read the comic and watch the show before making any conclusions. This comic isn’t about a simulation or ships at all. And 1899 has mentioned no aliens yet so can we please read the comic and watch the show to make some conclusions?"

Someone else tweeted: "So many people are qrting the tweet about 1899 and Black Silence claims they plagiarized the her story and… no actual evidence besides a couple comic panels. Just from the summaries the stories are wildly different."

As it stands, Netflix and the team behind 1899 are yet to address the comparisons.

What do you think? Does 1899 rip off Black Silence?

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