Saturday, March 26, 2011
The words 'comics' and 'scandal' are a rare pairing, at least to my knowledge, but any person with even the slightest interest in the comic book industry is probably still leering at this Rob Granito affair even as I type this. It's been a couple days, but accounts on Granito's fraudulent career are going strong and can be seen on sites like Bleeding Cool and the anti-Granito Facebook page. It's wild stuff, but I won't delve into specifics here. Read about the affair via the links above. I will, however, strike while this iron is hot. Aren't I entitled? I'm a comic book person and I'm utterly fascinated by the news, like passing a horrible car crash on the highway.
Firstly, I'm not personally offended by Granito's lies. How could I be? Nothing of mine was at stake. He certainly would not have ripped off anything I've done. So I won't insult actual professionals whose work was stolen by trying to share in their anger. What I am is saddened. I ask myself questions: what was he thinking? how and why did he start? did he have an endgame? The questions don't end there, but they'll all go unanswered unless someone can get a hold of this guy. Apparently he's slotted to attend a convention somewhere this weekend. Everyone following this story are probably on pins and needles. It's like Fritz Lang's "M", only geekier!
So yes, I feel sad for the man. Don't confuse that for sympathy, mind you. What he's been doing is wrong and disrespectful to everyone in the business. Every single artist at a convention, from the biggest professional to the newest beginner, has worked very hard to be at their respective tables. By sleuthing his way into these shows with his counterfeit artwork, Granito has spat time and again on the hours of dedication every honest artist has spent on their craft. The reason I feel sad though is I can't reckon why someone would go through all the trouble and effort to lie so convincingly and to create these forgeries just to make a few hundred dollars at a show.
Incidentally, I passed Granito several times at the recent Wizard show. Like me, he had a table opposite Artist Alley. He was mingled with all the celebrities. I remember his booth vaguely. I never looked closer because what I saw of his work didn't impress me. They all looked like lame versions of better pieces. Go figure. I do remember thinking, "that kinda sucks" and then immediately chastising myself for putting someone else down at a show--in my own head, no less!--because it felt like the wrong attitude to bring to a convention. I honestly try to approach everybody with a positive and accepting frame of mind. Like I said, anyone at these shows has worked hard to be there, and you must respect that about a person, if nothing else.
What did he stand to gain? A spotlight? Didn't he think any attention would bring him down? What void, what lack of soul, kept him from working as hard (or harder) to create original works? I've looked at his forgeries. He clearly has an understanding of the materials used, some skill with his tools. Why did he do it? I can't wrap my head around it. So all I can do, from this comfortable distance where I sit at my computer, is laugh. What else can I do? Asking myself these questions, trying to put myself in his shoes, I just feel dirty and, again, deeply sad. So I prefer to laugh instead. Here's a big Nelson Muntz right in your eye, Granito: Haw-Haw!
Last weekend I promised 5 new pages of Teuton #3 and only delivered 4. Despite my superficial complaints about the Wizard show, I enjoyed the time spent meeting people, catching up with familiar faces and watching those fierce rollerskate girls zip so fearlessly through the crowd. Although the jokes about the cute one named "Rugburn" got tired very fast. But I digress. I did not get much work done for all the fun and excitement. Not following through has been eating me all week. I have been working quite tirelessly on several projects, the biggest being Teuton of course. So today I decided to toss up a lot of fun stuff, including the page I did not finish on time.
There will be some new faces in the upcoming issues of Teuton: the dreaded Pagan Gods! Fred eats up history and mythology, and has done a lot of research for the book to make our antagonists fun to design and draw. Making his debut on page 5 of this issue is Vakaris, a ruler of the winds and lightning and lots of fun stormy stuff. He shows up unannounced and inexplicably in true god-like fashion, standing eight feet tall, all muscle and furious business.