I’m willing to bet that by this time next week the word “Granito” will be a shiny new entry on Urbandictionary.com.* It’s a broad term, with applications as a noun, a verb and even an adjective. It’s like a sad and deluded version of “smurfy,” suitable in any scenario where the user wishes to convey the depths of depravity that must dwell in a plagiarist’s soul.
The origins of this term lie squarely on the shoulders of one man, Rob Granito.
[Editor’s Note: statements about any legal wrongdoing by Mr. Granito should be considered alleged, as he has not been convicted of any crimes or sued for any copyright or other infringements.]
In case you have not yet heard, allow me to fill you in. Apparently, for a number of years (by some estimates as many as 15!) a fellow by the name of Rob Granito has been showing up at conventions around the country with a resume that takes padding to a new level. In that — it’s all lies. He also brings with him to these cons a variety of “original works” and prints that are blatant copies of other artist’s work. I have not called them exact copies because frankly his skills are minimal and his attempts to change or hide the original pieces ham-handed and sad.
What’s interesting is that many people have suspected or even known about this issue for years, and it’s just now coming to an inter-splosion largely because of this article. Rich Johnston of Bleedingcool.com was “sent a number of allegations saying that Rob is basically nothing but a chancer” and decided to do a bit of investigative blogging. He emailed Rob with pointed questions, and what he received in response was disturbing, and clearly worth sharing with the community at large.
The community was outraged.
The result has been a firestorm of blog posts, forum threads and Facebook shenanigans that Aaron Sorkin really should consider writing a bio-pic about. As luck would have it, Mr. Granito attended Mega Con in Florida this weekend, and well, he didn’t have the best time. Aside from being surreptitiously filmed via iPhone while talking about the very allegations that he’s currently so vilified for, he was also recipient of the world’s most gracious confrontation, courtesy of one of his “victims,” comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver.
If you missed all the hubbub and want to dive into some comic-art-geek-dramz on your lunch break, I’ve written a small primer to the situation, and collected a list of essential links for you. Enjoy! And don’t forget to support your favorite real artists.
- Mr. Granito’s deplorable grammar and spelling is one of his most unique and original qualities. As a result the interwebs are mimicking and of course mocking this mercilessly. So any posters exhibiting these traits are called out immediately as trolls, or as Rob himself (and most likely accurately).
- Terms such as Legit-O-Mite, based on Rob’s initial misspellings, have become instant hits. There are already t-shirts.
- Jay Diddilo is a writer that Rob has referenced repeatedly as someone he is currently working with. No one has ever heard of this dude, but he does have a fake Facebook page and website already — naturally.
- One of the more notable and ridiculous claims on Mr. Granito’s resume is that he worked as an artist for Calvin and Hobbes. No one other then Bill Watterson has ever worked on that strip. Additionally, Watterson is know for his rigid opposition to any licensing involving Calvin and Hobbes.
- Start here, at the blog that started it all. (Don’t forget to read the comments!)
- Podcast NonCanonical covers the situation — Rob talk starts at 8:00 mark. (Warning: language NSFW.)
- YouTube video of Rob at MegaCon (language NSFW).
- Side by side pics of originals versus Rob Granito Rip-offs.
- A former friend of Rob’s, Joe Peacock, tells his story and gives some insight as to how anyone was ever duped by this dude.
- Facebook anti-fan group.
- Ethan Van Sciver tells Granito that he’s not allowed to go to any more cons.
Food for Thought (links that aren’t directly related, but address the ideas relevant to this controversy)
- When Appropriation Masquerades as Re-Conceptualized Art.
- Appropriation Art topics at TechDirt
- Forgery and Plagiarism
*The fact that I submitted the term myself is beside the point. Lots of other people sent it in too. We were up late, and feeling rather touchy.
33 thoughts on “Rob Granito, (Alleged) Con Artist”
I’m fascinated by this Rob Granito story featured on your blog and Bleeding Cool News. Did a little checking myself, and Rob Granito is referenced in an interview with Dustin Warburton as having done the illustrations for an upcoming children’s book, How To Scare Children (A Guide for Monsters). I wonder how many of the illustrations have been swiped?
Link to Dustin Warburton site: http://dustinwarburton.com/personal_bio
I wrote How to Scare Kids in 2010 and hired Rob Granito to illustrate the 32 page, 28 scene book last fall. I am a professional writer and have collaberated with a total of seven artists over the years, and in my experience with Rob he has been professional and on time with my current project. I personally plotted out each of the 28 scenes for the storyboard in my new book with Rob and I have no complaints as he’s illustrating my story and my characters in a timely fashion. In regards to the claims people are making against Rob, I believe people have a right to speak the truth they may believe but when it comes to threatening his family with death threats that crosses the line.
In reply to Dustin:
First off, I totally agree with you that people bringing Rob’s family into this matter are completely in the wrong. His family has nothing to do with this and they deserve none of the vitriol. It’s rather disgusting, to be honest.
Moving on, you said the following: “I believe people have a right to speak the truth they may believe.” Now, perhaps I’m interpreting this incorrectly but are you implying that all of what has been revealed over the weekend (the numerous swipes, tracings, etc.) are merely only ‘possible’ evidence of his misdeeds? If I have misinterpreted you, I sincerely apologize.
As for the book you collaborated with Rob on, I hate to bring this up but are you entirely certain that the art you received from him is 100% his own? That he didn’t trace or swipe other people’s hard work? I’d hate to think that hard working creators in other fields (in your case, writing) are getting swindled by this man as well.
I also noticed that you have Rob listed on your website as one of your collaborators over on your website. This I have no problem with.
What I do have a problem with, however, is the fact that the artist’s description is entirely false, saying that his “…name can be found alongside such companies as Warner Brothers, DC comics, Disney, Marvel, MTV, and VH1, where he worked on cartoons and comics as well as book, magazine, and novel covers.”
This is simply not the case. Many people within the industry have stated over the past few days that they had never even heard of Rob before and that his claims were downright lies.
I do realise that it was not you that typed up that bio. It was, no doubt, put together by Rob himself. I think you should look at the possibility of having that bio edited, not to out Rob, but merely to reflect the truth of the situation. It would be doing your readers and visitors to your website a great disservice to have them believe that this man is the professional he says he is.
“I also noticed that you have Rob listed on your website as one of your collaborators over on your website.”
Ack! Apparently, I am quite fond of the word ‘website.’
In response: I am a writer, not an artist, therefore as a writer I take pride in my work and I know how hurtful it can be when someone steals something I created, which HAS happened in the past. This entire ordeal is mind boggling and I as a professional don’t want to make any assumptions or opinions in this matter due to the fact Granito had already been hired in 2010 to ilustrate my book. I want to make this very clear, we have updated my website in regards to Granito’s Bio, and I am focused on my new book, and it has nothing to do with any of this negative press Granito is now receiving for matters unrelated to my project. My manager reviewed the contract for Granito to illustrate my 5th book in October, 2010, and I signed it with the assurance my book would have quality art. People can do what they want, but in no way does this situation have anything to do with the project we hired Granito to do for us. I hope people realize that “How to Scare Kids,” was written by Dustin Warburton, and the illustrations Granito was hired to do was based on the visions I created. I will make sure the art is original as we hired Rob to do us a service, and we expect to get what he hired him for.
I think it’s very professional and admirable of you for trying your best to make your opinion know on the issues that have come to light about Granito and for making changes to his fraudulent bio.
I’m actually an illustrator myself and the idea of someone stealing my artwork is a frightening one. Even more so, finding out someone I work with isn’t who they say they are and possibly dirtying my reputation in the crossfires would be disheartening.
I know it must be unfortunate to have hired someone for work only to have their name slandered across the internet and, subsequently, tainting everyone’s veiw of your upcoming project.
If for any reason you find yourself needing a replacement for the project or some new blood for a project, I humbly suggest you take a look at my website and feel free to shoot me an email at R.LeighAnderson@gmail.com
Mr. Warburton. I noticed you have quite a few books published (Taste, Strange Things and My brother eats spiders). You are on the verge of publishing another book with Robert Granito’s illustrations and it’s due to publish in April 2011. You hired him in October 2010, did you receive any work at all from Mr. ganito? Sincerely…
In response to: Mauricio Fleury
No, I have not yet received or SEEN any art what so ever. I assure you my manager and lawyer are in control of this matter. Thank you for your concern.
Hello. I Have Been Reading This Story With Some Interest Because I Am Actually A Attorney/Lawyer. I Dont Know The Kid Personally But I Have Felt Interested In This As A Case So Have Done Some Research. First Off Many Examples Of Swipes And Homage Have Exsisted In Comics For Many Years. How Many Examples Have We Seen Of The Famous Fantastic Four Cover 1 All These Years. This Guy Seems Like A Hard Working Artist Whos Mistake Maybe Was Forgetting To Credit His Homages. People Like Mark Waid Should Realize Their Taking Food Out Of The Mouths Of Those Innocence Children. Again I Dont Know This Guy Personally But It Seems To Me He Suffered Enough And We Are Crossing That Line. In A Court Room Because I Am Actually A Lawyer I Can Tell You That Just Becaused Of Populiar Opinion Doesnt Allways Mean A Closed Case. Let This Go Away So This Guy Can Get Back To Work To Do What He Loves And Support His Family. He Is Not Forcing Any Body To Buy His Artwork. This Has Been Blown Up And It Proves Comic Pros Can Be A Click And Work Against Those Who Arenot Popular. Thank You For Your Time.
If this guy is a lawyer, I’ll eat my socks.
For a lawyer, your grammar seems rather suspect… unless on all legal documents you capitalize EVERY letter.
Also, I may not be a fancy big city lawyer, but it seems to me that homage and tracing are not the same thing, since an homage is done with the other image as simply a reference, and by reference I mean the artist is looking from one image to the other and not tracing it line for line. Also, an homage in the way you’re describing would be done with full acknowledgment of the original source and not claiming the art is their own or that they have worked in areas that it has been proven that they have not worked in.
In fact, as a lawyer you’d probably also realize that this is an open and shut case of theft and that it’d be in his best interests to apologize and attempt restitution and acknowledgment of his wrongdoings, since the thing about the industry is that words gets around pretty quickly and he will quickly find himself without any places to conduct business, legitimate or otherwise.
Rob, why not just stop going around to all the sites and pretending to be an Attorney, or a famous writer, or Jesus or whomever you think would help your case. We know these people are all you. How do we know? Because there can not possibly be that many people who sound so ridiculous and have the credentials they supposedly have. We know it’s you, Robert Granito.
God you’re a disgrace. You really seem like an attorney the way you capitalize every single word. Mental illness?
Honestly: “Actually A Attorney/Lawyer?” “Have Exsisted In Comics?” “Whos Mistake Maybe Was Forgetting?” “Should Realize Their Taking Food Out Of The Mouths?” “Of Those Innocence Children?” “Populiar Opinion?” “Doesnt Allways?” “A Click?”
— And what sort of odd obsequious love of hierarchy does it take to believe that smart & opinionated people must type every word with a capital? And then take the time to do it?! VERY creepy mind-set.
The saddest part of this is that this goop is still trying to make himself right by lying. Please do some self-reflection, cut your losses, go quietly away for a couple of years and pray people have forgiven you. PLEASE get a little outside help with this. You CANNOT keep lying to dig yourself out of this hole.
This may possibly be a troll, guys. This same message was posted over at Comic Cube and Comic Alliance
That John Shields post was also posted on the Comics Alliance story word for word.
Cut it out, Rob.
It is the “master” himself. He is also Gary Taylor, boys and girl we’ve been granito’ed again.
With all the lies and deceit and being a lawyer myself, I recognize his true potential. Leave the comic industry business and join me in my legal firm. You’d be a terrific lawyer yourself. You have pedigree man, lying your way to the top.
Regarding “John Shields, Lawyer”: Obvious Granito is obvious.
This is fascinating. Reminds me of a good post Meg Cabot did a few years back when her work was plagiarized:
Thanks Ellen – great link! I re-posted it to the Facebook group!
Why is it that the internet turns to threats against someone’s family every time?
@Ben Meh. Because it’s the internet – instant access to the world and there are lousy people in the world. That said, I’ve been reading about this ALL OVER the place and I’ve yet to see something along the lines that he claimed. Not saying it didn’t happen. But it’s clearly not the dominate response by a long shot.
I think that this is absolutely absurd. I have known him for a few years. It is completely wrong to attack him like this. Whatever legal issues there may be, those he wronged should bring them up. You have no right to assault him like this Ashwood. There was no reason to link his personal accounts to this entry, You should be ashamed of yourself. I understand that what he may have possibly done is wrong, but you have no right to invade his personal life in such a manor.
I haven’t attacked or assaulted him. But it’s adorable that you think so. Thanks for the giggle – I needed one today. Rather, several different blogs and newsgroups have pointed out his ACTIONS. As to linking to his websites, and his various online presences: They are not personal accounts , they are public, and linking to them allows people to review his art for themselves. Presumably he put up those websites to share them with the public and to promote his work. Why would he object to them being shared? Unless….
o_0, that was a ridiculous response. Granito is a thief and a fraud. That is fact, and it’s a matter of public record. So are in Web site and his Facebook account, and linking to them is entirely acceptable. And you are pretty much the ONLY person defending Rob online, anywhere. Every other account defending him–the lawyer, Gabe, Anonymous and a bunch of other names he’s used–are Rob himself. Obvious Granito is obvious.
This is pretty funny, because I found this out over the weekend and remembered a commission he did of my friend’s original character. It was of the character having her hands bound. Looking at it, it reminded me of a tied up Wonder Woman pic. With a quick search, I found the image on the second page that he traced. It’s kind of sad. I met him once in person at Ubercon in Jersey, and things did seem kind of off.
Yes what Granito did was wrong. It is HIS OWN FAULT that his personal information is out there. If you are going to steal and rip off the hard work of others , Then you better not be so callous as to leave that info for all to see. he deserves every bad thing that happens to him and more. HE STOLE MONEY FROM THE PEOPLE HE SWIPED. Go read his website and come back here and tell me ONE thing on there that is true. BECAUSE NONE OF IT IS! His Resume’ is completely fabricated. The artwork he sells are fakes drawn by others and traced by him without so much as an indication that someone else drew it. So, “o_O”, Go Run back to Rob Granito and let your little heart bleed all over him, Because obviously, You are one of the ONLY people that he hasn’t stolen from yet.
I aM A chupacabrA, aS yoU caN TelL bY mY ReversE-LawyeR CapS.
I’D jusT likE tO saY thaT iT iS TerriblE wheN thE interneT threatenS tO PoisoN rOb’S houseplantS oveR thiS supposeD matteR, anD thaT despitE whaT anY oF yoU havE tO saY, hE haS verY nicE goatS.
I alsO agreE iN whaT the genuinE lawyeR saiD wheN hE calleD yoU ArtistS A buncH of clickS. YoU arE alL probablY clickS.
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