Rob, Rob, Rob, man did you make waves.

Not good ones mind you.

Sorry to the dude who took this pic.

In fact, you not only caused problems for you, you may have caused issues for a ton of other people.

I know this is a story that has been circling the net for months now and for the most part, I’ve let my peers at Bleeding Cool report on it.  Frankly, they were there first, they’ve got better stories on Rob then I do, so why dog pile on the guy?

A friend asked me what I thought about the situation.

And then I got to thinking about it.  Which, if you’ve read this column long enough, is usually a bad thing.  Many brain cells die and a lot of steam ends up coming out of my ears.

First of all, let’s be honest with ourselves. The whole copying art and selling it at a convention thing; we’ve all seen it, we all know of artists who do it.

BUT

90% of those people who do that, DO NOT take the credit for the reproductions.  In my experience most of them usually put the “after…” on the credit with the original artists name on it.  When you’re an indy artist, the fact of the matter is that sometimes you gotta eat and doing a recreation of a cover can do that very easily.

The problem?

Rob Granito has possibly poisoned the well for them.

This story has gone far and wide.  There is no escaping it.

So, how many people out there are just going to take a look at something, not look for the credit and just decide that the artist is a stealing douche?

A fair amount.

So not only has Rob stolen from other artists and lied about, he’s now screwed it up for many people who are a little more honest about it.

Not to mention if the actual copyright holders start policing conventions.

Let me take you back a few years.

Remember when you could buy a bootleg of the entire Adam West Batman series. It was a golden age of bootlegs.  But then legal people got involved (and to be fair, completely in the right) and hey they were gone.

There are a number of artists who do sketches and prints at conventions that are completely original drawings of copyrighted characters.  Legally, they are in the wrong unless the have some sort of agreement with the copyright holders but most people turn a blind eye to it.  And really, why not? Working in mainstream comics is kind of the ultimate version of fan fiction, a lot of the artists are doing these to make a few dollars as well as the hope that someone might notice them and hire them on.

Now if copyright holders start cracking down, these guys plus the recreationists may be all out of luck.

As for Mr. Granito, let’s talk for a second Rob.

I’m not going to trash you.  Quite honestly, you did a good enough job of that yourself followed by everyone else going after you.

You know you did wrong, they know you did wrong, I know you did wrong, I doubt anyone would dispute that, including yourself. My kind of feeling is you started with a small lie and it barreled out of control until it was a ton of big lies. It happens, sometimes to the best of us.

I’m also fairly certain that while you probably made a few bucks out of these copy prints, you probably didn’t get rich off of it.

But somewhere in there, I’m also sure that you do love comics and the art form.

Your name is tarnished… and that’s putting it mildly.

But I have an idea how you cans tart to make amends with the comic community.

It’s called The Hero Initiative. It’s an organization dedicated to helping out comic creators with medical bills and such.

Maybe it’d be a good idea to head over and make a donation.