1899: Netflix accused of plagiarism by Black Silence comic creator

1899 netflix comicNetflix/Mary Cagnin

1899 is an incredible concept, but the creator of comic book Black Silence has accused Netflix of stealing her ideas to make the show.

One of the newest shows on the block for Netflix is also one of its most anticipated: 1899. This new series comes from the same creators that gave us one of the greatest mind-bending shows of the past few years, Dark. We certainly enjoyed 1899, and you can read our review of the show here.

1899 is a mystery thriller set on a migrant ship in – you guessed it – 1899. Everyone there already has a mysterious past, but things take a turn for the stranger when the Prometheus, a ship that disappeared months ago, suddenly starts sending the migrant ship coordinates.

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However, in our review we stated that this story felt familiar, but we didn’t know how true that may be – according to a comic book creator, her ideas were stolen by Netflix in order to make the show.

1899 is allegedly a ripoff of Black Silence comic

Brazilian comic creator Mary Cagnin took to Twitter recently upon the shock and betrayal of when she realized the alleged similarities between the imagery and plot points in her sci-fi comic, Black Silence, and 1899.

The synopsis for Black Silence reads: “In the future, Earth’s days are numbered. A team of astronauts is summoned to reconnoiter a planet that may be the only chance for human beings to survive.

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“Lucas is a renowned exobiologist who finds himself in a difficult situation and his career is on the line. Destiny brings him to Nee, a military woman with quite a reputation, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse. What he doesn’t know is that this mission will change everything he once believed to be true.”

If you know the ending to 1899, you may release that these two stories have things in common.

Cagnin proceeded to make a thread, detailing how many factors were the same. A translation of her tweets – if you need to read an English translation in actual tweet form, another account did so here – reads as thus:

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“I’M IN SHOCK. The day I found out that the 1899 series is just IDENTICAL to my comic Black Silence, published in 2016. Follow the thread.”

She also provided comparative images of her comic and the show.

“It’s all there: The Black Pyramid. The deaths inside the ship/space ship. The multinational crew. The apparently strange and unexplained things. The symbols in the eyes when they appear.

“Codes written. The voices calling to them. Subtle plot details, such as the characters’ personal dramas, including their mysterious deaths.”

Cagnin went on to explain how her work could have been plagiarised, and according to other users, it may be a result of Netflix’s policies.

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“You must be wondering: how is this possible? Well, in 2017 I was invited by the Brazilian embassy to participate in the Gothenburg Book Fair, a very famous and influential international fair in Europe.

“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.”

Some users believe Netflix may have heard of the comic and adapted multiple ideas and iconography from it – and according to another Twitter artist, the streaming platform has allegedly done this before:

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Another Twitter user shared a screenshot of an earlier job advert to work as a writer at Netflix, highlighting a condition that applicants agreed on the potential for their story ideas to be developed or adapted in the future.

We have reached out to Netflix for comment, but so far there has been no response.

Black Silence creator asks people to read comic

Cagnin went on to say how much she’d cried over the ordeal, and how it’s been her “dream” to achieve international recognition – however, in this case, she believes she’s been wronged.

“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. We know that in Brazil we have few opportunities to show our work and be recognized for it.

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“I had the opportunity that many comic artists never had: to be able to show my work to an international audience. People. I gave lectures. Talked about the plot. I presented it to influential people in the area. The business is serious.”

“Obviously, Black Silence is a short work, almost a short story. It is very easy, in 12 hours of projection of the series, to dilute all these ‘references’, but the essence of what I created is there.

“Anyone who wants to can read my comic that is available for reading online to draw their own conclusions.”

Dexerto has contacted Netflix for comment.

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