Over the past two weeks, the Internet comics community has been buzzing with the news surrounding Rob Granito, a talentless parasite that managed to con his way into comic book conventions as an "artist" who sold commissions and "originals" that were completely ripped off of other artists' work. The Wonder Woman piece above, for instance, is swiped wholesale from John Delaney and Rob Boyd's cover for Adventures In the DC Universe #1, but he's also stolen from Bill Watterson, Ty Templeton, Al Rio and Joe Quesada, claimed to be the ghost artist for Brian Stelfreeze, and falsely claimed to have worked with the recently deceased Dwayne McDuffie, a statement that prompted Mark Waid and Ethan Van Sciver to angrily confront Granito at this year's MegaCon.

Since the story broke, Granito's name has become synonymous with art theft and he's been banned from a number of conventions. This week, however, things got even stranger when blogger Duy Tano of Comics Cube received an email from Granito's "Press Agent" that compares Granito to Charlie Sheen and then invites journalists to pay $150 for the privilege of a 20-question email interview.

Sent by an "Alison G," the offer to pay Granito for an interview in which he can offer "candid, explanatory revelations" about how he thieved and lied is so monumentally stupid, one can hardly believe it's real. Compounding the awfulness of it all is the likelihood that "Alison G.," who identifies herself as a representative of Robert Granito Art Services, is actually Granito's wife -- which she denies in a followup email to Tano, the implication being the similarity between her name and that of Rob's wife Alison Granito is just some wacky coincidence. Even the fact that he references the late, well-respected Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens seems like a parody of Granito's infamously false "friendship" with Dwayne McDuffie, except that it's a claim he's made before. And it only gets worse as it goes on.

Here's the full text:

Dear Comics News, Blogs, and Journalists:

March 2011 was a month that the comics industry, and comics fandom, was not expecting! A month where suddenly comics websites became 'TMZ-like', and scandal and tabloid excitement erupted. This was due to the controversial Rob Granito.

We ask you to consider looking past personal feelings and judgement to consider the following:

-A Facebook Group about Robert Granito had over 3,000 members in less than a week

-Websites such as comicsalliance, Wired, and many others made Rob Granito a major headline

-An entire convention panel is due to Rob Granito, called 'How Should An Artist React To Being Granito'd'?

So, regardless of personal judgement you must admit that Rob Granito creates controversy- and controversy attracts attention. Rob Granito gets attention. Rob Granito gets people talking.

The Blog owner at All Things Geeky even explained how he had thousands of visitors to his site when he had never experienced that before. Rob Granito has gotten more attention and caused more talking amongst his detractors and his fans than any other comics professional!

Now is YOUR chance to take advantage of this red-hot story. As Charlie Sheen has proven in the mainstream media, controversy sells. It has been proven, and suggested by the convention fans blog that Rob Granito is the Charlie Sheen of Comics. And just like Charlie Sheen caused MAJOR headlines with his controversial 20/20 interview, now YOU can get Rob Granito to sit for an interview for your site or blog!

Rob Granito will live up to his image as the bad boy of comics, who admits he has made some mistakes (but who hasn't?) but also points out that comics fandom at large does not know the WHOLE story. Find out how Rob Granito began as an artist. Discover what his experience was with the legendary Dave Stevens. Find out what REALLY went down with Mark Waid. Learn how Rob feels about the comics professionals who have derided his name in the past few weeks like Ty Templeton Jamar Igle, Al Rio, and more!

We assure you Rob Granito will live up to his interview commitments. We guarantee candid, explanatory revelations. Rob Granito proved he shook up the world in March 2011! Now watch him light up the Spring comics schedule. "I will keep going to conventions", he says. Also, why did BleedingCool decide to break the Rob Granito story out of nowhere? Why was it pursued with such a fever? "There is more there that you dont know about", says Rob.

ALL WEBSITES: the following is a list of Rob' interview fees

-e-mail interview (20 questions ONLY) $150.00 PayPal

-30 minute phone interview $200.00 PayPal

-1 Hour Phone or Skype interview $250.00 PayPal

Thank you for your time. We look forward to working with you.

Alison c/o

Robert Granito Art Services

I don't even know where to begin cataloging the legitimately worrying insanity here, but I think it says a lot that even when he's trying to spin himself into something other than a thieving hack, Granito is still ripping someone off. And this time, of all people, it's Charlie Sheen.

It would be hilarious if it wasn't such a creepy, desperate grab for attention, as evidenced by the bulleted list of reasons why Granito is such a hot story at the top. The Facebook group with over 3,000 members is specifically about him being a thief. The ComicsAlliance article they reference called Granito a "grifter" who "doubled down on the swindle by falsifying professional credentials to his customers and to convention organizers." They even threw in a panel where his name is used as a synonym for "ripped off." These are things he should be apologizing for, not bragging about.

Also, one wonders if "Jamar Igle" is meant to be Supergirl artist Jamal Igle, or if it's another imaginary character Rob's created to work with his entirely fictional DC editor Jay Didillo.

And then there's the Interview menu, which is an unbelievable exercise in absolute, jaw-dropping gall. The very idea that he thinks he could get $250 from someone to hear more lying from this guy is appalling, not to mention the fact that that's not how interviews work. Not that Rob Granito would ever be expected to know that. It's not like he's actually a "comics professional," after all, and when you get right down to it, the claim that he is probably ranks as his least offensive lie to date.

Newsflash, Rob: You're not the "bad boy" of comics. You didn't roll into the convention on a skateboard with a pair of sunglasses and a leather jacket, freaking out the squares with your edginess. You're a no-talent lump who took other people's work, ran it through a Photoshop filter, daubed some paint on the edges to make it look more authentic and then called yourself an artist. You're not an artist, and despite what it says in the press release, there are no "fans" to balance out the "detractors." The closest you get to fans are the people who feel pity for your delusions instead of anger at how utterly shameless you are in trying to capitalize on them.

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