If I were Rob Granito, after what happened I would have found the most obscure rock possible to crawl under and just lick my wounds and hope that in a few years, people would forget who I was. Maybe even get my name changed, and/or a bit of plastic surgery. What happened? Well, I documented that already here. But rather than getting his ass off the comics industry grid at the next available offramp, Granito decided to go full speed ahead in a seriously misguided attempt to salvage his “career”. Alison Granito (his business manager and wife, who did not turn out to be played by Sacha Baron Cohen after all) has emerged as a full partner in this trainwreck, and I suppose at least brings to the table the ability to string together coherently spelled sentences, but their operating philosophy appears to be that if they dig this hole deep enough, they might emerge in China.
The next round of craziness started in April with a message sent to several comics news sites, the text of which is quoted in its entirety here:
Some of the highlights were statements such as “It has been proven, and suggested by the convention fans blog that Rob Granito is the Charlie Sheen of Comics” (even funnier since this was about the time Charlie Sheen was beginning to be booed offstage during his U.S. tour), and a listing of prices for the privilege of interviewing Rob, a list which started at $150 for 20 questions asked and answered by email.
I don’t know if anyone took the Granitos up on that, despite the offered convenience of PayPal. It seems that Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool actually did try to do some negotiations with them, I suppose feeling obligated to follow up on the story most credit him with breaking — or maybe it’s the same urge that drives some of my fellow Show bloggers to pay money to attend repeat viewings of The Room, just to be close to someone who, like Tommy Wiseau, seems truly, wonderfully delusional.
In the course of things, though, Rich Johnston discovered that at least one other gentleman out there had responded to Rob’s newfound notoriety, and it was a name that sent a cold shiver down the Bleeding Cool guru’s spine. Josh Hoopes. A man whose actions in the comics industry make Granito’s shenanigans look positively small time.
(As a bonus, that article also shows what a truly legitomite Granito Original looks like!)
When I first heard about it, I figured Josh and Rob probably deserved each other, but I may be entirely wrong. Rich certainly seemed to think even the Granitos didn’t deserve the fate of those who “collaborate” with Josh Hoopes, but unfortunately, since he was not high on the love list for the Granitos, they were deaf to his warnings.
On the plus side for Rich, after the Granitos waffling between a price of $200 and even a complete refusal to do an interview for Bleeding Cool at any price, somehow it happened. For free. And it is amazing:
I don’t think I’ve ever read more repeated variations on the phrase, “You can’t prove it didn’t happen, so it happened!” Highlights are Rob’s story about Dwayne McDuffie personally giving Rob tips on how to draw Luke Cage (apparently telling him Luke should look more gangsta) and the phenomenon of a pure email interview that includes asides like “(Rob laughs)”.
Now me, I don’t buy Rob’s claims of being an innocent babe that didn’t understand what he was doing, and there’s plenty of testimony that he claimed a hell of a lot more involvement with Bruce Timm and WB animation than he’s backpedaling on now. But there’s still something fascinating about the ramblings of a man who poses for “artist at work” photos with paint everywhere on his body except his hands.
It’s probably the McDuffie angle that most enraged people (such as Colleen Doran, who received an angry letter in response!), especially since there’s that sense the Granitos might figure out they should concentrate their work claims on dead people who can’t refute them. Then again his most recent claim was that he was working with Dick Ayers, a man still alive and contactable, so once again, these just don’t seem to be the chess moves of terribly smart people.
As soon as Josh Hoopes got involved, however, Rich Johnston has come down firmly on the side of “no one deserves this”, and has been trying to convince the Granitos that it’s a move they really, really don’t want to make.
Will they listen? Time will tell.