Tony Greco, who run Pittsburgh’s The Gallery on Baum, has had a tough year. First, there was a lengthy exposé in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that claims most of the cartoon, animation and illustration art he sells is forged. Then, Charles Schulz’s wife made a statement that the Peanuts art Greco sells are forgeries. Then, cartoon art bloggers like Mike Lynch and Joakim Gunnarsson began piling on and writing that the artwork the artwork is fake, with Gunnarsson even saying that, “Luckily the fakes are so poorly done that real collectors will stay away from these fakes.”
The way people are bashing this poor guy, you’d think he was a delusional nutjob sitting at home tracing poor imitations of other people’s work over a light box. Greco says that’s certainly not the case. His story is simple: he inherited all of the artwork from the fine art department of Kaufmann’s Department Stores back in the 1960s. He’s also not going to allow any of the artwork to be authenticated by artist estates, living artists, historians, or museums because he knows that everybody is out to get him. Greco told the Post-Gazette:
“They don’t want to believe someone like me could have all this great stuff. The art world is very cliquey, and I’m an outsider they can’t control. They’re scared of me because I have so much, they don’t know where it ends. And you know what? It never ends. If I let it all out, it would depress the market overnight.”
Plus, Tony says that he’s been doing this kind of stuff since he was a kid:
“Everyone’s an expert, but it’s just their opinion! I’m the one who’s been doing this the longest, since I was a kid. I have the most stuff. I’m the real expert!”
So exactly what kind of cartoon art does Tony sell on his eBay store?
He’s currently auctioning the rarest piece of Frank Thomas art in existence: the only time Frank decided to draw with pencil and then go over the same drawing with ballpoint pen:
Also on eBay right now, a one-of-a-kind drawing by John Kricfalusi in which he not only forgot how to draw his own character Jimmy the Idiot Boy, he also forgot how to sign his own name! Talk about having a bad day.
Here’s an interesting drawing by Friz Freleng unit animator Virgil Ross. It makes sense when you remember that Ross was a real jokester and often liked to pretend that he had no drawing skills when he drew. This gem, from Ross’s “incompetent period”, already sold for a cool $45 on eBay.
Here’s a classic drawing by Ward Kimball currently selling for $150 on eBay. Be forewarned, Tony says that, “Left edge is choppy due to pull from sketch book. Does not effect image in any way!”
Some lucky person on eBay already snatched this Bill Hanna drawing of Yogi. This appears to be from the days when Hanna would attend comic conventions and draw characters blindfolded to entertain his fans.