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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

And That's Terrible

How Has Rob Granito Taken His Scam This Far?


The man pictured above is named Rob Granito, and according to numerous people, he has been ripping off artists and collectors for years. He runs a table at conventions, selling what he calls “original” art when it has clearly and blatantly been ripped off from other artists. Not only that, but he also pads his résumé like nobody’s business. Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston has been digging deep into this, and what he’s found is pretty infuriating. And illegal. See for yourself after the jump.

It’s one thing to use a trademarked character for original art as an homage or tribute piece while giving credit to the original artist. But what Rob Granito is doing is way beyond that, and it seems that he rarely — if ever — gives credit. And it’s been going on for years. Basically, he’s been taking original work from other people, making minor changes to it, putting his name on it, then selling it at conventions and his own web site for hundreds of dollars. And if you need proof that he’s not just doing tributes, here are a couple of examples:



He’s even been confronted by one of the artists he ripped off, Ethan Van Sciver, who drew a Batman stamp that Granito claimed to have drawn.

“Explain yourself, Rob. What’s up with all of these swipes here?” He said, “Well, it depends on what pieces you’re looking at. He paged through these 3 huge folders on his table. “THIS isn’t a swipe.” No, but it wa…s horrible. “Yes, but THAT is.” I said, pointing to the John Byrne Plastic Man painting that was hanging up. “John Byrne drew that, but I wouldn’t know it from the way you’ve presented it. It simply says, ‘Rob Granito.’”

“Well, people know…” “No, they don’t, Rob. If you must swipe someone else’s work, you must be very clear. It must say, “AFTER JOHN BYRNE” or something. You’ve got to credit the original artist with the entirety of the drawing.”

Rob got panicky and went through his folder again, pointing out a big print of George Perez’s Superman cover with Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield. It said, on the bottom, in typex, “Inspired by George Perez.” He tapped it with his two fingers, “I do do that! Look!”

“Rob, that wasn’t ‘inspired’ by Perez. That was STOLEN from Perez. It’s entirely his drawing, which you’ve traced.”

He shrugged and said “I don’t know what to do.”

One of the biggest red flags is that Granito has claimed to have worked on Bill Watterson‘s Calvin and Hobbes. Even when anyone who’s anyone knows that Watterson and only Watterson has ever worked on Calvin and Hobbes. And yet there is Rob Granito, selling an image that is so obviously a Watterson original, flipped. But one of his biggest lies was his claim to have worked with the late (and beloved) Dwayne McDuffie, which he even perpetuated upon hearing of McDuffie’s death.

Johnston’s reporting on this matter is worth checking out, especially since he had the gumption to contact Granito himself and get some pretty shady responses. (From both Granito and a guy Granito didn’t want Johnston to believe was also him, even though it was pretty obvious.) He makes up imaginary gigs and imaginary coworkers, and then he makes actual money by ripping off actual people. It should also be stated that as blatant as this all looks, we have to refer to all possible copyright infringement as “alleged.” But I think our question is this: Why hasn’t anyone sued this guy yet?

(Bleeding Cool via Geek Mom)

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  • Erincb87

    Nobody has sued this guy because he’s ripping off artists, and artists are practically poor by definition. They probably don’t have the money to afford a good lawyer and file a suit.

  • http://www.unstoppablecomic.com RobP

    Isn’t that what the CBLDF is for?

  • Anonymous

    Granito is right to be afraid – it looks like a pretty straightforward case and not in his favour. Also, to add insult to injury, his art is terrible. The originals are much betters. Perhaps we also should be looking into those people willing to pay lower prices for wonky-eyed Wonderwomen?

    And you do not mess with Calvin. Ever.

  • Erincb87

    Yeah, technically. But (being an illustrator and designer myself), the lost income due to the time you’d have to take to file a suit like this could still put an artist in the red. If you’re spending time in court, that’s time away from drawing/designing, which means money lost.

  • Anonymous

    “Just shoot him.” – that is what my old coworker would have said…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001024198090 Scott Mccormick

    “wonky-eyed wonder woman” damned if that did’nt illicit a giggle.Might I suggest just lifting his “art” right off the table? It’s obviously not his in the first place

  • Cahi

    The crappy ripoffs are bad eno

  • Cahi

    The crappy ripoffs are bad enough, but as Morwen said, a line is crossed when you mess with “Calvin and Hobbes”. But now what will happen to him? -sorry, I sent before I finished-

  • http://www.adistantsoil.com Colleen

    The CBLDF would have nothing to do with this. It’s not a First Amendment Case.

    Any creator who needs legal aid should contact the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. They specialize in representation of artists who would otherwise be unable to afford counsel.

  • John Park

    Rob Granito is Innocence seriously peoples this is just a bandwagon the dude is just a comic artist trying to make it people are jealous i personally know comic book editors and chiefs who both have said rob granito is one of the best rich johnstone from the internet has always had it in for Granito open youre eyes

  • Dngillikin

    Funny, John Park, over at Geekdad at Wired.com, you were claiming to be an “assistant Editor chief” at Marvel Comics from 2005-2009.

    http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/03/rob-granito-con-artist/#disqus_thread

    As I asked over at Geekdad, whose “Assistant Editor” were you? I don’t recall seeing your name credited as such in my Marvel Comics of the period… and Marvel has been in the habit of crediting their assistant editors since the late seventies.

    Would Axel Alonso or Tom Brevoort be able to identify you if they were to be sent an e-mail to verify your claim of having been an “assitant Editor chief” (sic) at Marvel from 2005-2009?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ShadewearOnline-Scott/100000385934136 ShadewearOnline Scott

    Rob Granito has more aliases than frickin Zartan from GI Joe. Let’s see: “John Park”, “Chris Wall”, “John Shields”, and I’m sure there’s a dozen others spread out across the many blog posts and articles around the ‘Net.

    Christ-on-a-tomato, Rob. From now on, your aliases should just be “Not Rob Granito #1″ or “Not Rob Granito #2″ because your criminal abuse of the English language is about the only thing original about you and identifies you immediately. You’re not any of these people you proclaim to be. Haven’t you learned a goddamn thing over the last few days?

  • Gobo

    I find it really difficult to understand you. Punctuation is important Rob.

  • http://twitter.com/rwmonty rwmonty

    I’m new to this guy, but is it even remotely possible that Granito is some sort of Borat/Mr. Brainwash joke-on-the-establishment type of character/performance artist?

  • Quixxor

    I would hope that an assistant editor would have a better grasp on punctuation, spelling, and using the correct word. Should be “innocent”, not innocence.

  • Quixxor

    I would hope that an assistant editor would have a better grasp on punctuation, spelling, and using the correct word. Should be “innocent”, not innocence.

  • Cranier

    only if he set it up 15 fricking years ago, which is how long dude’s been doing it

  • Tom Brevoort

    No, we would not. Rob Granito has never worked in any capacity for the Marvel Comics Group.

    Tom Brevoort

  • Whyisheajerk

    You may not like what the guy is doing. Hell, I’d be pissed off but threatening his family and life…? Really nice, right? Now, who looks like an A##hole?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Lange/1321826888 Peter Lange

    Not really. The CBLDF may not approve of scam artists, copyright infringement, and general douchbaggery, but their specific charter is to protect the first amendment rights of those in the comic book industry and not the copyrights.

  • Dngillikin

    Thanks for the reply, Tom, but what about so-called “assistant Editor chief” (sic) John Park?

  • Batjustice

    They don’t sue because most of the work he has swiped is under the work-for-hire copyright clause. The work he swiped of Marvel & DC art, Marvel/Disney & DC owns. Those companies would be the ones doing the suing if they decide to do so.the only thing most of the original artists is increase awareness.

  • Batjustice

    *can do is increase awareness.

  • http://twitter.com/Blaquestarr Lauren Tillman

    In honor of Dwayne McDuffie (who’s comics changed my life and allowed me to see a variety of African Americans in comics), this guy needs to be tarred and feathers and paraded around EVERY comic convention…