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An Indie Comic Writer Says Netflix's 1899 Is A Rip-Off Of Her Work

Netflix's latest mystery series is raising more questions than answers — off-screen, that is. The streamer's "1899," a German sci-fi mystery series and period piece, is facing claims that it stole its concept straight from an indie comic creator.

"1899," which premiered on November 17 and quickly debuted at #2 on Netflix's Global Top 10 list, has received mostly positive reviews for its engrossing mystery box plot, multilingual writing, and period trappings. But Brazilian comic artist Mary Cagnin tweeted on November 19 that "1899" bears more than just a passing resemblance to her 2016 comic, "Black Silence." 

"I AM IN SHOCK," wrote Cagnin in her native Portuguese. "The day I discovered that the 1899 series is simply IDENTICAL to my comic Black Silence, published in 2016."

Cagnin then went on to make an alarmingly compelling case by drawing many apparent similarities between "Black Silence" and "1899." She also secured the support of tens of thousands of her fans in the process. Read on to find out more about Cagnin's evolving off-screen drama.

1899 appears to have stolen images and character details from Black Silence

In a lengthy, receipt-heavy thread under her original tweet, Mary Cagnin pointed out several concepts that "1899" seemed to have pulled straight from her "Black Silence." These included a prominent black pyramid, a puzzle box plot involving codes and disembodied voices, and even specific details of character arcs and deaths. As a sour cherry on top, Cagnin was even able to show that stills from "1899" were nearly identical to frames from her comic. 

"I have cried a lot," she wrote. "My dream has always been to be recognized for my work nationally and internationally ... We know that in Brazil we have few opportunities to show our work and be recognized for it."

Cagnin also theorized about how it all went down. She revealed that, in 2017, she attended the Gothenburg Book Fair at the invitation of the Brazilian embassy. At the event, she distributed "Black Silence" to several publishers and literary industry insiders. "It is not hard to imagine my work reaching them," she wrote in reference to Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix, the company has yet to comment on Cagnin's tweets, which have since amassed hundreds of thousands of likes. As for "1899," you can watch it on the streaming service now. To find out more about Cagnin's "Black Silence," you can visit her website here.