I get home from work to check my email, and there's a message from one of the fine upstanding people on my f-list (not going to say which one, just to respect his privacy. I'd rather err on the side of caution instead of him worrying that he'll become fodder for my posts). It seems there was a sort of Marvel...excuse me, Marvelous Team-Up against Rob Granito at MegaCon.
Ethan Van Sciver and Mark Waid.
Rob GranitOH SHIT!!!
And they claim Granito will never be able to attend another convention ever again.
Okay, just to make sure we're on the same page of music, Granito is a rip-off artist. Now, before you say he's just a swipe artist, it's not that. Swiping is actually pretty tolerated in the comic book industry (years ago, when Peter David blew the whistle on Rob Liefeld and his "tributes", I had considered doing a book that was nothing but Rob Liefeld swipes. The kick? They would all be swipes of art he swiped, and I would have a contest to see who could identify which Liefeld books I got them from and what books he got them from. Ah, the good old days, when you could get 1000 comics printed for $200. Good times, good times....). Almost everybody fucking does it. And I don't mean like the guy at Marvel who supposedly gets his poses from watching porn movies. Technically, aside from really iconic images, that's referencing (and anybody who watches that much porn that they can identify what movies he got what poses from really needs a reality check). The sin is making people aware of the swipe. You know, that whole "Stop snitchin'" bullshit that says that people have a right to get away with unethical behavior because they've gotten away with it so far.
I want you to keep this in mind as you read the next paragraph. This is so you can understand how the situation got this far out of control.
Granito, however, didn't just swipe. He plagarized. He's apparently been doing it since 2006. And no one said shit. Other artists for whatever reason (maybe because they didn't want to rock the boat, maybe because they were afraid their swipes and thefts would be uncovered in retribution, what-fucking-ever) would grumble as he got prime real estate at conventions when they KNEW he was ripping people off. 'Course, they did nothing to stop that....
On Thursday, Bleeding Cool ran a piece about Granito where he lied about working in the industry as a ghost artist for artists who don't use ghosts (Stellrfreeze? Jurgens? PEREZ?!?). That jerked the stopper. Suddenly, everybody in the industry was pointing out his swipes (better late than never, amiright?) and piling on. And the fun was just beginning -- Granito was a guest of honor at MegaCon in Florida this past weekend.
Side note: Granito has a bodyguard. The guy claims to be strapped and supposedly once showed the pistol in his holster. No one got a real good look at it, so it could have been
So, the con starts, and Ethan Van Sciver has a little chat with Granito.
But that wasn't the end.
Mark Waid was also there.
You have to keep in mind what Mark Waid is like. You think I'm a sarcastic jackass? Check out Waid's run when he edited Amazing Heroes. Not only was the snark ramped up to 11, but Waid called Jim Salicrup a Nazi in print (and Waid pointed this out to people, so it's not like he trying to hide it). Waid seemed content to just let Granito be. He felt Van Sciver had done enough to humilate him. But while hanging out and talking with Van Sciver (Van Sciver and Waid are on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. Van Sciver is arch-conservative. Waid is arch-liberal. Finding out they talk casually was like finding out Alice Cooper and Glen Campbell are golf partners -- you never would have guessed if you hadn't seen it). So if Waid is going to get mixed up in this, it's not going to be pretty.
Van Sciver told Waid about the Twitter post where Granito claimed to work with Dwayne McDuffie.
That did it.
Everyone LOVED Dwayne McDuffie. In a way, he's like the Michael Turner of comic book writers -- you talk shit about him, you are pretty much signing your own death warrant. Waid became enraged, Van Sciver became enraged again, and they returned to talk to Granito. Trust me, you want to read that. Granito's bodyguard saw them coming and stood up. Van Sciver bellowed, "SIT THE FUCK DOWN!" and the guy dropped like a sack of flour. I don't know how much Granito paid for his bodyguard, but I hope he kept the receipt.
Chiller Theater just tossed Granito off their guest list. DragonCon is considering doing the same. Wizard just banned him from their conventions. Like Raff said in Stress Puppy, "Nothing inspires bonding like a common enemy."
It took two firebrands who are known in the industry for not keeping their mouths shut and being defiant to make action be taken against this guy.
How did he operate for so long?
He did it because we allowed him to.
He's been doing this for maybe five years.
I have long said, the longer the fuse, the bigger the explosion.