Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, J Scott Campbell and Todd McFarlane Victims of Certified Forged Original Art Scandal (Update: Humberto Ramos)

Posted by December 1, 2017 Comment

As more people turn digital, original comic book artwork is getting rarer. Prices on sketches at comic book shows or commissions are also going up in value. And where there’s such demand, in come the fakes.

Rob Liefeld was the one to break cover over one seller, highlighting artwork that was being shown and sold online (but now deleted) purporting to be by him and apparently certified as genuine by CBCS (though the photo cuts off the certificate details) as being anything but.

The seller of the piece was furious. They posted their upset on the Instagram post, then posted their own response:

“We contacted @cbcscomics and they guarantee your signature is 100% accurate. You should attack me, you should approach these grading companies. I feel harassed by you, calling me out in your posts like that! If I post something, it’s because companies like @cbcscomics made me feel comfortable posting authentic signature work.”

Harassed, folks. Rob replied:

“I warned the buyer that this was fake and my comments were deleted.”

They also replied:

@robliefeld @cbcscomics @cbcssales @cbcs_witness @cbcs_uk @pgxcomics We can’t believe this “professional artist ” had the decency to attack us on social media! We probably will be speaking to a lawyer about this soon if he continues to speak about us in a threatening way. We believe this is the reason why they created insurance for things like this as well? We looked at a few chatboards about this artist in the past, and not everyone agrees to feel great about this artist. In fact, people were making fun of his past work and the way he drew years ago. Personally, we like Rob Liefeld works, reason we posted his work on IG, but the way he went about it is totally wrong! Society shouldn’t be punished for posting a piece of art that was guaranteed authentic/verified by a legitimate company. CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CBCS COMICS & PGX COMICS!!! What a cbcs representative told us 2 weeks ago was, “do you think every artist will remember every piece they did in their life time?” Especially 20+ years in the industry, that’s very questionable….. if we may say….. #instragram #robliefeld #cbcsverified #cbcscomics #pgxcomics #gossip #gossipgirl #lawyer #insurance #professionalartist #art #artist #marvelcomicsart #marvel #dramaqueen #drama #inappropriate #harrassment #lawyers #check #rude #disrespected #newspaper #socialmedia #news #cnn #cnnfakenews

A post shared by Lady Deadpool Universe! (@yourwishismycommand323) on

(This image has been removed, it read:)

With the comments:

We can’t believe this “professional artist ” had the decency to attack us on social media! We probably will be speaking to a lawyer about this soon if he continues to speak about us in a threatening way. We believe this is the reason why they created insurance for things like this as well? We looked at a few chatboards about this artist in the past, and not everyone agrees to feel great about this artist. In fact, people were making fun of his past work and the way he drew years ago. Personally, we like Rob Liefeld works, reason we posted his work on IG, but the way he went about it is totally wrong! Society shouldn’t be punished for posting a piece of art that was guaranteed authentic/verified by a legitimate company. CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CBCS COMICS & PGX COMICS!!! What a cbcs representative told us 2 weeks ago was, “do you think every artist will remember every piece they did in their life time?” Especially 20+ years in the industry, that’s very questionable….. if we may say.

But other items they were posting for sale, and certified by PGX looked also suspect.

(The image has been removed. It looked like this:)

With the words: Another amazing sketch by the one and only Jim Lee! No one else could have authenticated this sketch and signature economically but @pgxcomics thank you to the other grading family there!

 

(The image has been removed. It looked like this:)

I have confirmed from Jim Lee that the above pieces are fake, telling me that they were a “laughable attempt of a forgery. And Todd McFarlane also confirmed that the piece below was not by him, saying “Unfortunately that artwork isn’t mine. It isn’t even a good forgery.” Which, to be fair, we kind knew, but it was good to get the horse’s mouth on this.

(The image has been removed. It looked like this:)

 

While it seems J. Scott Campbell already confirmed to them that this piece was fake, they questioned whether he would remember if it was fake or not, saying, “Keeping in mind, J. Scott Campbell has been around for YEARS! Jeff’s art form has definitely changed throughout time, thinking back from Gen 13 and Wildstorm, as most artist style slowly evolves as well. How can Jeff reply to this posting after the COA?”

A few months ago, my cousin got shamed on ebay by @jscottcampbellart and his fellow fans, admitting that this piece of art wasn’t done nor signed by J Scott Campbell! This Certificate of Authenticity says elsewise, proving and indicating what the COA states! I feel my cousin is owed an apology for the misunderstanding, as she received “threatening” emails/messages from the ebay community, and shamed by J.Scott Campbell’s Facebook account. Figured to take the initiative to share this on IG and the world. Keeping in mind, J.Scott Campbell has been around for YEARS! Jeff’s art form has definitely changed throughout time, thinking back from Gen 13 and Wildstorm, as most artist style slowly evolves as well. How can Jeff reply to this posting after the COA? I believe Justin Edwards PGX management from @pgxcomics wouldn’t ruin his reputation to actually verify the “verification process.” I’m sure PGX use’s the same technology as CBCS to verify signatures, or even a closer connection to these artist somehow. PGX has been around way before CBCS, a bit after CGC began. I can understand how people would feel about PGX, “past history” and West-Coast competition in regards to CHEAPER grading prices versus everyone else! #marveluniverse #marvelcomics #collectors #jscottcampbell #trueart #originalart #sketches #pgx #certificateofauthenticity #authentic #signature #authenticsignature #blackcat #spiderman #pastart #stanlee #cbcs #cgc #verified #amazingspiderman #sketch #comicartist #comicbookart #igcomicfamily #igcomics #artlover #comissioned #comissionedart #comicsociety #comiccollection

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(This image has now been removed, here’s how it looked)

With the words:

few months ago, my cousin got shamed on ebay by @jscottcampbellart and his fellow fans, admitting that this piece of art wasn’t done nor signed by J Scott Campbell! This Certificate of Authenticity says elsewise, proving and indicating what the COA states! I feel my cousin is owed an apology for the misunderstanding, as she received “threatening” emails/messages from the ebay community, and shamed by J.Scott Campbell’s Facebook account. Figured to take the initiative to share this on IG and the world. Keeping in mind, J.Scott Campbell has been around for YEARS! Jeff’s art form has definitely changed throughout time, thinking back from Gen 13 and Wildstorm, as most artist style slowly evolves as well. How can Jeff reply to this posting after the COA? I believe Justin Edwards PGX management from @pgxcomics wouldn’t ruin his reputation to actually verify the “verification process.” I’m sure PGX use’s the same technology as CBCS to verify signatures, or even a closer connection to these artist somehow. PGX has been around way before CBCS, a bit after CGC began. I can understand how people would feel about PGX, “past history” and West-Coast competition in regards to CHEAPER grading prices versus everyone else!

And Rob Liefeld tells us that the following sketches apparently certified by CBCS are all fakes.

 

(The image has been removed. It looked like this:)

With the words:

Earlier today my cousin received my order from #cbcs and dropped my package off. These #sketches were included in the order to get verified/authenticated. I was happy to receive positive results on some of the art, while others negative results. I guess, I’ll be trying other professional companies like #psadna #pgx to verify artwork/signature

He offered a selection of the genuine articles for comparison.

However, in a twist, Neal Adams confirmed that both pieces below were genuine.

Neal Adams remembered it, saying, “That ‘rushed’ piece of Batman art is not only mine, but it is well over 30 years old, and probably drawn in a hallway of the Penta Hotel late into the night,” and confirming the validity of the other.

UPDATEx3: Neal Adams has now retracted that, saying

The Adams family has gotten together and treated the question of the two sketches more seriously. And we have come to the following conclusion: those drawings were copied from or traced from my original drawings, which of course I did do. But the following points have been made here in our group:

1. The figure drawing of Batman was definitely based on a drawing I did, as I said over thirty years ago. Unfortunately that drawing in the photo was done on Canson Comic Art Board (from the Fanboy series) which wasn’t produced until circa 2009.

2. On the Cyclops sketch, the signature is not my signature. We have a scan of the drawing that was originally done for this and you can easily see that is not the signature. While there was an effort made to make the drawing the same. The rendering on the upper lip, the lack of dark shadow in the back of Cyclops’ head, the mildly incorrect structure of the jaw, and the neck make this very clearly a forgery. I am embarrassed to say, my family is more conscientious than me. They are right and I was wrong.

Nevertheless, with many creators claiming their artwork as forged, I pointed this out to the seller and asked if they had any comment, without response. Instead, I found my Instagram account blocked.

And, they seem to be doing well out of such sales.

We feel totally blessed this past month! Have met a few friends here and there on IG, and even though we are new on IG, can totally say a SPECIAL thanks to @magickeyz215 for pulling my cousin and I away from ebay sales only. He forced us to create an Instagram 😋 lol “jk-insider”. We never considered this as a marketing tool, especially hearing all the scams and horror stories from others 🤚. We don’t hold an established business like most, and do this as a hobby, since we both got passion for collecting comics. Another special thanks to @donscomics @randomwanderer111 @comicsseattle for giving me us opportunity to share our comic collection with you! Your business is very much appreciated, but “friendship” overall is what carries more weight! 😚😚😚😚 For each one of you! -cheeky… “insider” hehe…. #friendship #entrepenuers #businessrelationships #comicsales #ebay #ebayseller #igsale #instasale #independentwoman #independent #marketing #social #socializing #residualincome #hobby #passion #sparetime #honesty #networking #buildingbridges #investments #openminded #longtermrelationship #business #businesswoman

A post shared by Lady Deadpool Universe! (@yourwishismycommand323) on

(The image has been removed, it read)

With the words:

We feel totally blessed this past month! Have met a few friends here and there on IG, and even though we are new on IG, can totally say a SPECIAL thanks to @magickeyz215 for pulling my cousin and I away from ebay sales only. He forced us to create an Instagram 😋 lol “jk-insider”. We never considered this as a marketing tool, especially hearing all the scams and horror stories from others 🤚. We don’t hold an established business like most, and do this as a hobby, since we both got passion for collecting comics. Another special thanks to @donscomics @randomwanderer111 @comicsseattle for giving me us opportunity to share our comic collection with you! Your business is very much appreciated, but “friendship” overall is what carries more weight!

I have contacted John Byrne and Humberto Ramos to ask if they’ll comment on the validity of artwork posted to the account attributed to them. I also talked to PGX, who apparently certified most of these pieces of artwork. They were grateful to be made aware of the creators’ take and said they would investigate. They told me:

“Rest assured, we are investigating this matter further. If we are able to corroborate that the pieces are forgeries we will be issuing a recall on the certificates immediately.”

Sometimes it’s a good idea to rely on your own eyes, as well…

UPDATE: Humberto Ramos replied to me saying that this appeared to be fake, the facial hair being the giveaway.

(The image has been removed. It looked like this:)

With the words:

Part of a collection that was picked up between my cousin and I before the summer. We feel very blessed @pgxcomics was able to verify/authenticate

UPDATEx2: Mike Roman posted in the comments in a rather insulting fashion complaining that BC had not contacted CBCS. We pointed out that we had. The posts were then deleted and Steve Paulus of CBCS replied in e-mail saying,

The Verified Signature Program was created so comic book fans have the opportunity to verify the authenticity of an unwitnessed signature on comic books and other media that can be encapsulated. It is important to note that CBCS does not address the authenticity of the sketches submitted to us under the Verified Signature Program, only the signatures.

I asked how a signature could be genuine if the sketch was fake, but Paulus told me he was unavailable for further comment this weekend.

(Last Updated December 2, 2017 2:35 am )