With over 460 thousand square feet of eye-candy featuring video games on flat screens of massive proportions, tricked out movie displays, costume racks, and superhero getaway vehicles, it is easy to get lost in the chaos of Comic-Con.
But, if you want to strike at the heart of the convention, visit Artists’ Alley.
This is where comic book illustrators display their talents, showcasing their professional and personal artwork. They’ll spill their ink across the pages of empty notebooks, for a price, and they’ll talk to anyone who wants to know about the art at the heart of Comic-Con: the comic book.
Here are a few artists we met this year:
Artist Jay Fosgitt is the illustrator and creator of Bodie Troll, the tale of an adorable troll who aspires to terrorize, but is too cute to be taken seriously. Oh, to be cute in this world, what a curse!
As a kid, Fosgitt had the opportunity to meet Muppets creator Jim Henson. This was a pivotal moment in Fosgitt’s love affair with animation.
“It’s because of him that my work has a very familiar kind of warmth to it. It’s cute, it’s silly. That’s what I strive for,” says Fosgitt.
Today, Fosgitt has illustrated for My Little Pony and Sesame Street comics among others.
Fosgitt’s advise to budding artists?
“Bring your work to Comic-Con. Show it to other creators, show it to editors and publishers and make that one-on-one connection, that’s the best way to make it happen.”
“I try to capture an image, or an emotion, or a scene that nobody really captures as well,” says San Diego native, Daniel Jaimes.
His portfolio is full of iconic figures ranging from Captain America to Elvis, each character seems to be caught in a personal moment. Behind him is an illustration of the enslaved Princess Leia, but Jaimes’ Leia strays from the sexified formula adopted by so many for this scene. Jaimes depicts her staring wistfully out of her prison cell window.
“People always draw her posing, like she’s enjoying it. She’s not enjoying it, she want’s to get the hell out of there. We all have a moment when we’re just being ourselves. That’s what I want to capture,” says Jaimes.
Kaitlin Garza was born into the comic book life. In Artists’ Alley she showcases her wares at a table shared by her dad, Alé Garza, artist for DC’s Supergirl and Top Cow’s Witchblade.
“When I was 8-years-old I watched my dad draw comic books and I decided I wanted to be a comic book artist, just like him,” says Garza.
This is her first Comic-Con.
In New York, Garza studies at Parsons Institute and draws sketch inspiration from people on the subways, “It’s my favorite subject matter. I like to draw people,” she says.
“I’m still figuring it out, but I lean more towards a DC Comics type style, that’s where, eventually, I would like to work,” says Garza.