Information in Fandom is Currency
There are some people in fandom who are simply never going to get what they want out of their lives, and the most important thing that will ever happen to them is proximity to a person more famous than they are. A writer, an artist, an actor. Fan gossip is currency. And some fans will make up stories or conflate minor grievances to have a narrative that will give them that currency.
If they have a narrative of why they will never get the great career they deserve, then so much the better. In the absence of real ability, they will always have an ontological excuse for why they never got rich and famous.
I don’t know any pro no matter how good, or kind, or generous who does not have a trasher somewhere out there.
Almost 20 years ago, some homeless guy me and local fans tried to help returned our largesse with some pretty horrible backstabbery. We call him Doctor Lizardo.
A retailer who let him sleep on the couch and loaned Lizardo $4000, found that Lizardo called the cops and falsely reported the shop for kiddy porn. Why? The shop owner got pissed this lazy mofo Lizardo wouldn’t get off his ass, get a job, and pay back the money he owed. Instead, Lizardo went to conventions and bought toys with the loan.
How outrageous for the shop to expect Lizardo to act like an adult with obligations!
A friend of mine who was his business partner was left holding the bag in a five-figure convention scheme that went under in large part due to Lizardo’s backstabbing. And when my friend dared tell others what Lizardo had done, Lizardo threatened to sue him. You know, for telling the truth.
In my case, Lizardo, who I decided to give some odd jobs because I pity people and I’m an idiot, went around telling everyone in sight that he wrote and drew my work for me, was my boyfriend, business partner, and would soon be my husband. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I found all this out.
I kicked him to the curb and eventually forgot about it until nearly 20 years later, I was informed someone was vandalizing my Wikipedia page with info that this dude was my “unpaid personal assistant”, and that he’d done creative work on my projects, both of which were incredibly stupid lies.
Last year, I eviscerated him on my blog without naming him, though those in the know easily recognized the Liar who Lies. Some fans who’d heard a few of Lizardo’s seamier tales came forward as well and gave me an earful of Lizardo’s nonsense, and the crap spewed by his small circle of cronies, all of whom are sure they rule the universe because they help run some convention.
And yet, despite Lizardo’s ridiculous claims to creative credit and money owed, an entire year after the post, it will come as a surprise to none of you that Lizardo did not come forward to claim this mythical money or credit. No surprise that he did not step forward to defend his indefensible stream of lies.
Because he knows perfectly well he is not owed anything. Just as he knows perfectly well he was not my business partner, nor my boyfriend, nor my fiance.
When you hear some of these goofballs going around to conventions spouting crap about pros, please take a moment to think.
This sort of thing is very common, and it happens to everyone. Here’s Cully Hamner dealing with a former assistant who also lied about his contributions.
Do a search for Rob Granito, and see yet another lying liar who lies who spent more than a decade making solid money on the convention circuit with a completely fake resume as a pro and ghost artist for creators who never met the guy. And I was just reminded of Rick Olney. An over-the top liar and convention schemer with nearly 20 years of ripping off creators, faking credits, and pretend pro cred with companies like Lucasfilm.
Just because someone who is working a convention or hangs out with all your fan friends talks a big game, that does not mean they have game.
Everybody loves the insider stories, and some of these stories simply aren’t true. Some of these stories even come from people with real pro cred. Some of them are just crap spewed by resentful people who have no way to get what they really want out of life but they do have some good gossip. And if they don’t have good enough gossip, they will make some up.