Little late to this story, and i don’t have a lot to add. First, most of what you want to know has been covered well by Bleeding Cool.
Start with Who On Earth Is Rob Granito? posted March 24 by Rich. Then More Fun With Rob Granito Before MegaCon, Yes Orlando, Rob Granito IS At MegaCon – Pics, Rob Granito Hits YouTube At MegaCon, When Ethan Van Sciver Met Rob Granito, all posted March 25. Concluding for the moment with Artists React To Rob Granito In The Only Way They Can, posted today, March the 26th. [yep, there’s been a lot of posting about this, hasn’t there?]
The short of it this Rob guy is producing art and prints that are clear swipes of other people’s work–something you do see in comics but is only tolerated if you credit the work as an homage–and saying it’s his own.
This is on top of what can only be described as a fantastically packed full of lies list of false credits, like saying he drew Calvin and Hobbes for example, or other titles we know full well he had nothing to do with.
I think mostly the things i linked to up top cover the bases, i just want to add one note coming from having read this from a friend on facebook posting on Ty Templeton’s wall.
Anastasia Acid PopTart [one of the more obvious victims of Robs swipes] has already contacted Chiller [con] and, at this time, they will not cancel Granito’s appearance. They have been informed of his thievery but say that it is up to the individual artists who have been ripped off to deal with the situation. Anastasia has said that she will possibly go to the convention and present papers in person.
Here’s my very public reaction to this, in the form of a note to all convention managers.
This is not how to handle this. The quote is anecdotal, but if it’s true?
Very bad PR and possibly leaves you liable. You have it on very good word from numerous creators, regardless if they have contacted you personally, that someone is forging their work, selling it as his own at your shows. And furthermore that the credentials he presented you with were faked was well.
If you’re taking money from Rob you’re profiting from fraud. You are also a victim of fraud. Even if you are providing space for free. You took him on under the understanding this person is someone who did X Y & Z, and they did not. They lied to you.
In either case you most certainly should not be leaving it to creators to do your job for you and police the event. That’s asking to host a brawl and not going to help create the kind of positive event environment that is in your own best interest. And while i’m not a lawyer, I think you are leaving yourself open to legal consequences by taking money from Rob, who is really playing Russian Roulette here with his brushes.
True, artist don’t have tons of money for legal action. So maybe Rob will get lucky with them and never receive a cease and desist letter or get sued by that crowd. Maybe. Perhaps he’ll just get punched in the face.
But the man is claiming to have worked on some pretty big license properties and is selling their copyrighted merch illegally at YOUR shows.
Get ahead of the curve on this one, and invest in some karma. And keep in mind leaving it to creators, Marvel or DC, Bill Watterson or Jim Davis to file suit or papers means probably leaving yourselves open to receive papers too.
Just a thought.