This. is. really. amazing. to watch. We’re witnessing someone with very low levels of morality going about his business. Amongst the many, MANY fake items in his portfolio is the claim that he actually worked on Calvin and Hobbes. Not only is this the most laughable lie ever, the sheer chutzpah of that claim, considering that C&H has a far larger fanbase than most comics and most fans are familiar with Watterson’s rather unique views towards artistic merchandising, is breathtaking in its audacity. There is a lot of divided opinion on whether he’s clever (for pulling the scam successfully for this long) or stupid (for having the scam being so utterly dependent on the credulity, ignorance and sheer apathy of his victims), but my personal opinion is that the mentality of the small-time shyster/gambler is responsible, because once something bold works, you’re inclined to repeat it and perhaps even escalate it many times once you become increasingly convinced of your invulnerability and/or cleverness. The psychology of crowds also plays a part, because it’s far more likely a solitary person witnessing an accident will call the police, as opposed to a crowd of 20-30 gawkers. And the crowd doesn’t get bigger than at a convention.
Now that the gig is up, his Deviantart page has been closed after being mercilessly swamped by unforgiving trollage. His personal site is also down for the count. It’s probably for the better, since the quality of his commision items is really hard to reconcile with his claimed body of work. I think someone said it best that Granito would have gone without any fear of comeuppance if he haunted Etsy instead, considering the rather blasé attitude that site has towards mass producers and out and out design-stealing fraudsters, like Regretsy has repeatedly shown. But it’s probably beyond his meagre artistic skills to manage more than a tracing, considering most of the craft peddled on Etsy is of the 3D variant.
UPDATE: Hey hey, someone mirrored his site.