Haven’t heard back from Hot Topic, but my story made it on The Consumerist.
Out of discretion, I won’t say too much about the matter until there’s a real update… But I’ll talk about the ripped piece a little.
Before my 15 minutes of e-fame that jump started my professional art career, I started a tattoo flash section on my site where I uploaded my original designs catering to the geek culture. The Kaizoku piece was done on December 2006, as stated on the site (screenshot: proof on my computer). It was never meant for any sort of profit.
When I gained a lot of attention from the Simpsonzu drawing, Scott from Portland came across my site and saw the Kaizoku flash. He contacted me on January 2007, asking for my permission to get it tattooed on him. On January 20th, he got it done (screenshot: proof in Scott’s photobucket account). In gratitude, I mailed him the original piece.
Flash forward to three days ago, when Scott was doing some Halloween shopping at Hot Topic and saw the rip. He snapped a couple of photos and alerted me about it. Funny how the one who discovered the rip was the guy who’s living proof I’m the original artist for that piece!
The Kaizoku piece is pretty easy to find on Google. Just do an Image Search for “pirate girl“, and there it is on the first page of results. I’m guessing whoever took the piece found it that way. If someone found it on another site, it’s very easy to find the original artist; image searching “kaizoku tattoo” (or even just “kaizoku“) takes you to my site.