Thursday, April 07, 2011

Rob Granito shoots self in foot

I trust that I don't really need to recap the Rob Granito fiasco for you. If you're active in the comic blogosphere, you already know about it. If not, check out The Beat and Facebook for the story and Legit-O-Mite for the evidence. In short, Rob Granito lied, stole art and sold it as his own, and possibly has any number of disorders, and consequently has been run out of the comics community on a rail. And for good reason.

Now, with his apparent main source of income very suddenly dried up, the Rob Granito experience has looked for a way to turn lemons into lemonade. Seeing how he's gone from nobody to infamous pariah in a matter of weeks, Granito--or at least his wife--is looking to cash in on that name recognition by charging for interviews. Because clearly, the only way War Rocket Ajax can talk to Matt Fraction or Nerdy Nothings can interview Dan Abnett, is by paying their extravagant honorarium fees. I myself received a comely sum for my appearance on the latter podcast, because podcasts are totally bottomless pits of real cash money.

Here's the reason I think this is worth mentioning: I'm pretty well convinced that Rob Granito is a scumbag of the first order, and after this latest salvo of scummery has me pretty convinced that his wife is too. But we're all forming these opinions without hearing Rob's side of the story. It's entirely possible that Granito could have turned this infamy into a series of interviews on various podcasts and websites. Wouldn't that be a coup? To have the first--the exclusive!--interview with comics' current most hated figure? To a guy who makes Rob Liefeld look super-competent and Greg Land, non-tracer? To be the first quasi-journalist to really stick it to him and ask him the tough questions? It might not pay the guy's bills, but it would certainly help him engender some much-needed sympathy if he has any hope of continuing in this line of work. Muddying the waters with his own sob story, telling the "more that you don't know about" which he alleges in his press release, exposing the grand conspiracy of bloggers and comics professionals who have pursued a groundless vendetta against this guy who just didn't know any better--at the very least, it could gain him some defenders, possibly allow him back into an Artists' Alley here or there.

But instead, he's tried to cash in on a cash-strapped industry, wildly miscalculating the best available tactics in such a way as to make him appear even more like the cynical, amoral douchebag that most people already think he is. He has all but ensured that no one will hear his side of the story, egocentric and mendacious though it likely would be, at least until the sting of joblessness sets in and he drops his prices and searches for a media outlet who will hear him out, long after any possible sympathizers have long since stopped caring.

And so, through yet another colossally stupid choice, Granito has realized ripped-off artist Leonard Kirk's hope:
In all honesty, I really don’t want to know his story. I’ll admit, I’m a little curious about his fraudulent beginnings with that very first swiped image that he sold to some poor schmuck for twenty bucks. However, I don’t want his full story to come out. I don’t want to know about his life outside of the fraud. I don’t want to know about his wife or his kids or his childhood or his schooling or the bully who took his lunch money or his first legit-o-mite job. I don’t want to know any of that because such knowledge will begin to humanize him. Not that he isn’t a human being with feelings and loved ones. I’m just saying that it will lead to people coming up with stuff like, “Oh, look. The poor guy had it rough.” or “It’s been his lifelong dream to get into the business.” or “Can you blame him, considering how his parents treated him??” or some shit like that. Hell, I’ve already seen people post comments about how they feel sorry for the guy.

I don’t want this asshole’s story to turn into.… well…. A REAL STORY. I don’t want this transformed into some human interest piece of fluff like the crap you see on Oprah.

I will, however, donate money to the first comics news organization that offers to pay Granito's interview fees with a traced, slightly altered copy of a $200 bill.

No comments: