The Rob Granito Interview – From One Year Ago

All approaches to Rob Granito, his wife Alison Granito and his agent Alison G (look, let’s keep the pretence they are seperate people to as to appease them) from Bleeding Cool, even after the interview offers were made, have been ignored. Not surprisingly. But we do have an exclusive interview with Rob from one year ago, with Michael Goldstein. And, because this is Bleeding Cool, we have annodated it…

Granito: I started my career in the early 90’s at the Warner Brothers Gallery as a picture framer and later on was given the chance to work for the studio on Batman the Animated Series Cel’s  the Animated Superman Series painting cels and back grounds. (No you did not. We’ll buy the picture framing, but there is no evidence that you worked on the actual Batman or Superman shows. And no one who worked there knows you. Nevertheless you have used this story to sell crappy traced work for hundreds of dollars) Afterwards I was picked up for Design work by Mtv and Vh1 through Viacom and headed from there to covers and graphic art illustrations for Padwolf Publications working on a slue of novels and comic covers (a vanity press publication that seems to have its own issues). Recognized for his art skills I was asked to teach for a year but found that teaching and dead lines were to hard to juggle all at once (and teaching kids to swipe only takes you so far) so made the choice to leave his teaching career and continue painting which gave him the opportunity to work on the novel The Dragon and the Detective followed by Dragons and Wolves that was published in the USA as well as Europe, this was followed by being asked to work on several stamps for the DC /Marvel Hero’s Stamp series (you really, really weren’t, Rob) which got me back into comics again working on Batman at first (no) then over to Ironman and Spiderman (It is possible you did some sketch trading cards. But the qualifications for these gigs are rather low, and you yourself say how many cards were rejected for accusatyions of swiping, whioch you dismiss. Still you didn’t actually work on Iron Man of Spider-Man). Since the I have worked on many projects from X-Men and Iron Man 2 as well as “A Christmas Story” and Calvin and Hobbs. (In your mind)

Goldstein: What made you want to get into this field of work?

Granito: I don’t know if there was anything specific that MADE me go into the field of art it was just what I have all ways done I couldn’t think of doing any thing else. I’ve had the 9-5 desk jobs at the beginning of my career and it was worse then the beginning of Conan when he was pushing that big honking wheel!! (Just cut… and paste! Easy!)

Goldstein: What are your favorite and worst memories of things you’ve worked on?

Granito: Hmmmm well favorite is a really really tough one but I LOVED working for Warner Brothers and just knowing that art I did is still watched and enjoyed today all most 20 years later is a huge kick to the ego (even if it didn’t happen and no one is watching it. Mind you, lots more people have been watching your work of late) not to mention I would do it again in 1/2 a heart beat if I could now the worst would have to be a cover I did that I was able to go rite from the writers own words to paint. Normally this is a great thing because you can actually converse and find out exactly what the writer is looking for and what kind of feel he wants. In the end the writer had NO idea what he wanted and 50 hours later I made him stand in my studio and tell me exactly the changes that I had to re do and he was taking the piece with him and I NEVER wanted to see it again! (Were the comments something like “I would like an original piece”?)

Goldstein: What have you noticed over the years with fan encounters?

Granito: Its a hard thing to comment on as far as how I have seen or had fan encounters from the beginning of my career to now YOU and these kinds of emails I get would have to be one of the big changes. (Yes, I bet you had some interesting e-mails of late)

Goldstein: And what have you noticed over the years with con experiences?

Granito: As far as conventions its a bit different to pay to attend a convention as opposed to being invited as a guest to go to one its a good feeling to have people actually looking forward to you being there and anticipating what they might see as far as new work. (Again, quite a few changes there. No more guests.)

Goldstein: What are you currently working on?

Granito: Currently I just finished the Garfield and Calvin and Hobbs stamps for and litho’s for the Post office (It is possible, just posible, that you were hiored (or possibly just did it for free) to draw a cancellation ink stamp for a local post office that was used to cancel actual Post Office stamps for one day’s promotional activity. If that). I am doing three covers a litho series, a children’s book, several private commissions and design work for a Batman Story. (So nothing then.)

Goldstein: Is there anything you can tell us about any future projects?

Granito: Well the only thing I can’t go into depth on is the Batman Project that I am working on with Jay Didillo which I am also doing some of the story creating. Past that I am doing a children’s book with Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Powers and a Sports Litho series and project for the NY Rangers’ Garden of Dreams.  Those are a few of them… (So he didn’t just make up the Jay Didillo name when talking to me, you had already been using it for a year, despite no such person existing. Did you always mean Dan DiDio? Because, come on... it’s a year to fake his actual name.)

Goldstein: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

Granito: All ways but there is so much to say and never enough room to type. Don’t be afraid of rejection! (Aren’t you afraid of it now, Rob?) I can’t stress that enough, make sure you Look into the world you are getting into research is as important in art as it is in business and art IS A BUSINESS! I can’t tell you the number of aspiring artists I get that come up to me and as me to look at there work which I LOVE to do but they don’t know what to do or who to show (clearly) and sitting a few tables down are some of the editors from Marvel or DC Comics but they didn’t know or are afraid to go and talk to them, Care about your work don’t through it in a ripped book all crumpled and folded over art is about visuals and if you are looks like you treat it like trash then that’s how it will be received. (Yes, Rob believes in recyling instead)

Goldstein: Is there anything else you want to share?

Granito: Yes I have one last tidbit of wisdom and it makes all the difference between a pay check and saying ” would you like that super sized” and that’s to think for the love of god “THINK” !If you don’t like to draw DON’T get a job working as an artist! If you aren’t good at drawing buildings then find a career that they will NOT appear in your work. I can not tell you the number of people that have asked me some of the dumbest questions just for lack of thinking which is fine for the average fan but if you want to do this as a pro then saying things like ” I really don’t like to draw” is NOT good when interviewing with the editor of any Major company. Another was a young man that watched TV ALL THE TIME but didn’t know why his art wasn’t improving at all. So Please Think and understand once you are 18 you aren’t a kid any more and being taken serious as an artist is tough on its own with out giving your self  more hurdles. (And, learn Photoshop)

Past that Keep drawing and I’ll see you in the funny papers, (possibly when they are served)

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.