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Comics A.M. | Singapore cartoonist arrested; crowdfunding scam

Leslie Chew cartoon

Leslie Chew cartoon

Legal | Singapore cartoonist Leslie Chew was arrested last week on charges of sedition, held over the weekend, and released on S$10,000 bail. His cellphone and computer were also confiscated. The charges stem from two cartoons on Chew’s Demon-cratic Singapore Facebook page. [Yahoo! News Singapore]

Crowdfunding | Chris Sims tells the truly bizarre tale of a crowdfunding scam: Someone copied Ken Lowery and Robert Wilson IV’s Kickstarter campaign for Like a Virus, including the video, and made it into an IndieGoGo campaign, presumably planning to pocket the money and run. [Comics Alliance]

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Defunct publisher not really looking for handouts

This is not the Go! Comi site

Manga fans have fond memories of Go! Comi, a manga publisher that produced some interesting and high-quality series during its brief lifetime: You Higuri’s Cantarella, the story of the cursed, but incredibly hot, Borgia family; After School Nightmare, a gender-bender tale that was nominated for an Eisner Award; and the beautifully drawn, sensitively written Song of the Hanging Sky. They also published entertaining trash like Train + Train that was simply fun to read. We liked Go! Comi.

Did we like them enough that we would donate money to help them get started again? As Kevin noted earlier, some enterprising scammer apparently thinks so: The Go! Comi web domain expired last year, and it looks like someone has picked it up and launched a fake Go! Comi website, complete with an appeal for donations so they can relaunch. Continue Reading »

Rob Granito will talk about tiger blood, being a liar … for the right price

Joker by Ty Templeton + Joker by Rob Granito

“Artist” Rob Granito is making waves again this week. As Kevin noted last week, he’s the guy who “for several years has traced other artist’s work — everyone from Ty Templeton to David Finch to Arthur Adams — and passed it off as his own on eBay and at conventions. In addition, his list of fake credits includes everything from Calvin & Hobbes to Batman to Iron Man 2.” Check out Legit-o-mite for a very thorough list of the guy’s offensive behavior.

He was called out, both on the web and in person by creators Mark Waid and Ethan Van Sciver at Mega Con a couple of weeks ago. Reportedly he’s been banned from a number of conventions.

You’d think after all the negative publicity he’s received, the guy would want to find the nearest rock, crawl under it and hope that maybe someday the comics industry and the internet would forget about him. But, no.

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Web scammer charged; once preyed on webcomickers

Beware of internet scams

Beware of internet scams

Sam Jain makes a living by bilking the credulous, and one of his scams nearly took down the webcomic Penny Arcade.

That’s ancient history now (2001), but I’m sure there were smiles in some quarters when Jain was charged last week with 24 counts of wire fraud as well as one count of conspiracy. Jain’s two partners are in a heap o’ trouble as well, but as Jain is on the run (possibly in the Ukraine), he won’t be locked up anytime soon.

(Note: All the parties here are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the allegations sure do make for entertaining reading.)

Jain’s latest scam used fake ads (on real websites) to trick computer users into thinking they had a virus; Jain and his partners then sold them fake anti-virus software to fix it. But back in 2000, when webcomics were still shiny and new, Jain ran an ad network called eFront that hosted, among other things, Penny Arcade and Something Awful. At first things were rosy, but then Jain stopped sending the checks, and creators had little recourse, because eFront controlled the websites. If you have a bit of time, take a trip through memory lane with this 2005 posting at Penny Arcade, in which Mike Krahulik digs up some chat logs that show Jain and his colleague Will Bryant discussing how to stop Krahulik’s public complaints about the company and even kick him and partner Jerry Holkins off the site and have another artist take over the strip.

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