There is officially too much great stuff to see in Otakon’s Artist Alley. Even I, an experienced (!) con reporter, was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of works and wares vying for my attention. I ended up having to make sweeps of the alley looking for only this or only that in order to focus.
I encountered a good mix of artists I’ve come to recognize and buy from nearly every time I see them with plenty of new talent or those I haven’t yet become acquainted with.
If you want to get my attention, get some dogs in your art. Apparently some people knew I was coming their way. The Iggy in Jotaro’s jacket sticker by Maximo was an easy, no-brainer purchase. I really liked his strong, solid lines, it fits the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure really well.
The doggie bookmark is my third bookmark from Lauren. Every time I see her, she always has something new and delightful. This year she had tons of different animals but of course I went for dogs.
As usual, there was not enough Kuroko’s Basketball stuff but that made the sticker sheet by Hanna a standout.
My first purchases of the convention were JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s Joseph and Caesar buttons by Starry Studios. They had multiple artists and styles in their booth. For these buttons, the squishy-cheeked, super-cute style was too adorable to pass up. I was impressed to see just how many JoJo characters they had, but I was able to muster enough will to stick to my favorites.
I was excited to see all the different organizations/businesses that resubee created buttons for. I picked up Capsule Corp., Dragon Roost Deliveries, and Kiki’s Delivery Service for variety even though she was selling many sets of three that all went together.
Some childhood favorites appeared in the alley this year. I happened upon some Rainbow Brite buttons (of which she had many include other Color Kids!) by Meredith she had a simple and graphic style to all of her work. I also picked up a Grimlock button by Irene who has a highly polished but still very playful style.
The most crafty pin I bought was a Gameboy by Miyuka. It is three-dimensional using different plastics and tiny jewels for the buttons. She also had a Super Nintendo controller made in a similar fashion but I thought the Gameboy was made with a bit more detail and care.
I have been trying to buy this Kate Bishop Hawkeye print by Arielle for a while now. She ran out of them at SENYC and then I didn’t see any at all in her booth at AnimeNEXT. But finally, it is mine!
As much as Fire Emblem has gained a lot of momentum, it is still hard to find much that isn’t just Fire Emblem Awakening so I was delighted by Zearyu’s print feature all the Lords from various games. Similarly, while Cherche is from Awakening, she seems to get overlooked, so the delicate watercolor print by Angela was a happy find.
You will never see me pass up Ghost Trick anything if I can help it. The movement, the color, everything about this print by Blue is fantastic.
To end, my partially nostalgia fueled, artist alley trip was a Secret of Mana print by Mojgon. Again, what a rare treat, which is why I picked it over everything else.
Video games are always a staple at anime con artist alley’s but it seemed more acute this year. And those were some of the most standout items to me this time around.
JoJo’s was certainly more represented than ever before, but it wasn’t overwhelming. And something like Attack on Titan took a serious dip from two years ago. There was plenty of Sailor Moon to still be had, but again not as much as seen previously (thanks a lot Sailor Moon Crystal!). I was told by other that Steven Universe was all over the place, however perhaps because I haven’t watched any yet, I just didn’t notice.
I have been seeing a lot more artists moving into the Dealers Room (that is where the above picture is from) either out of necessity (artist alley tables can sell out fast!) or desire for more traffic. My Joseph and Caesar buttons were actually bought in one of these spill over artist sections instead of the Artist Alley proper.
I bought more prints than usual at this year’s Otakon. I’m not sure if everyone was just that good or whether it is because I’ve finally devised a good way of storing them.
One of my goal’s next year is to try to have a few pieces of art commissioned in the alley. That should give me plenty of time to decide on what character and to put together a little dossier on the character for artists!
More Otakon 2015 posts:
Otakon 2015: Tweets
New Anime for Older Fans 2015
Otakon 2015: 15-minutes with Director Shinji Takamatsu
Otakon 2015: General Impressions
Otakon 2015: 15-minute with Director Seiji Kishi
Crime Scene Investigations #009: Otakon 2015
Otakon 2015: Guests
Otakon 2015: 15-minutes with GARO’s Yuichiro Hayashi and Toru Kubo