45 is a Com.X project I've previously commented about that is to be published in December. Written by Andi Ewington, a journalist interviews superheroes about the possibility that his unborn child may also be "a super" as he uncovers conspiracy along the way. This is achieved by 45 illustrations, many by famous comics artists such as Gary Erskine, Liam Sharp, John Higgins, Charlie Adlard, Rufus Dayglo, Dan Fraga, Dan Boultwood, Tim Vigil and Frazer Irving.
And up-and-coming artist Robert Diaz. Who had a wonderful portfolio of work, from Marvel and DC, and was willing to contribute a page to the project for $120. Wired to Peru to the name "Josh Hoopes".
Shortly afterwards, a bell rang somewhere. One google search later, and a closer examination of Robert's portfolio, Robert/Josh was asked to explain himself;
I am trying to explain things to you, Andi, this began long ago, over a jealous rival and had nothing to do with money.
Why do you think they are still looking for the artist to those pages, because I´m the artist, Josh Hoopes!!
And I did respond, countless times, If I was a scammer I would not have been able to supply the same styled work to you with such specifications.
When a few young artist computer hackers get together and say they are going to get revenge.
Well this is how they did it by soiling my name. So now you and every one else will think that no matter how many pages of real art I crank out that it´s not mine.
I wish you would call me, or better give me the benefit of the doubt.
That's right everyone, we're hackers!
Concerned that the work Josh had supplied may have been created by someone else, unpaid, Com.X found a replacement artist and Andi ate the payment. Thankfully it was for just one page, it could have been for a lot more.
45 is a wonderful concept and one that attracted me when I first heard about it. Maybe Josh thought the same. But it's worth knowing that despite the publicity, Josh Hoopes is still active.
Note, Josh Hoopes has deleted his Facebook page…