Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Special Events // Tr!ckster 2011

Tr!ckster merch and our correspondent / photographer Jane Dope
This year artists and fans in town for Comic-Con had and exciting new alternative/supplement to the chaos of the main convention - Tr!ckster 2011 brought a fresh feel to convention vibe, offering a laid back cocktail and sushi patio space filled with creative buzz, a pop-up retail space selling creator-owned comics, graphic novels & art prints, and a list of art symposiums. The event was the perfect place for artists to draw together, take creative workshops, and enjoy a beer while flipping through portfolios.

Limited Edition Shirts sold in the Tr!ckster store
Art merchandise and "Beat Bee" figurines at a meet and greet with Jim Mahfood 
Jim Mahfood's Beat Bee's came in Original (we got the O.G. one) and Custom Special Edition
The 6 day Pop-Up event was hosted at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, directly across the street from the main convention, which was a completely welcoming change of pace from the thousands of people crammed shoulder to shoulder inching their way across the convention floor. The retail space had so many great items, New wishlist: Kent Willimas' Book Eklektikos and this sweet shirt by comic funk-master Jim Mahfood aka FoodOne and (for my daughter) the Yo Gabba Gabba Comic Anthology which features work from new friend Dave Crosland aka King Gum.

Aside from the art store, Tr!ckster is really about good people joining together to enhance the comic arts. Throughout the week, the event featured several symposiums, where fans got a chance to meet, ask questions, get advice, and watch the artists do their thing. Far different from the typical waiting in line for an autograph. There were also live drawing jams, where budding artists can have drinks, listen to killer tunes, and draw alongside the pros. 

Comic inspired models posed for a lively life drawing session 
Artists of all experience levels took advantage of the creative atmosphere
King Gum got in on the live hot chick action ;)
The fab Tr!ckster book featuring all the artists and King Gum hamming it up
We were especially excited to visit Tr!ckster to see with dear friend (and the photographer of many of these photos) Carmen aka Jane Dope, 1/2 of the funky mixtape series - The Beat Bee Sessions podcast she hosts with FoodOne (Jim Mahfood) as they promoted the release of a fresh new Beat Bee Figurine.
Listen to the latest volume of their Beat Bee Mixtape Here
FoodOne and his Beat Bee creations
Poolside drinks at the Marriott - Yes Please! 
17 story view of the harbor curtesy of Jim Mahfood and King Gum's balcony
Relaxing day of poolside commissioned work for Dave Crosland aka King Gum
Best beer and people watching in town (thats me and my giant convention swag bag) 
Friends new and old :)
FoodOne signing our beat bee souvenir
King Gum sharing his work on theYo Gabba Gabba comic with my Ellis Veda (she's still talking about it)
Obviously the first year of Tr!ckster went off without a hitch - everyone involved had a blast and this indie Anti-Convention really did put the "Comic" back in Comic-con. Not being tied to a traditional convention booth for days on end gave the artists the freedom to explore our beautiful home city during the best time of year,  and hopefully this will become an annual event that fosters creativity and camaraderie within the art community for years to come.

Special Events // Comic-Con 2011

Godzilla takes over the San Diego Convention Center
After a whole year of anticipation since the 2010 festivities, Comic-Con 2011 rolled into downtown San Diego much like a freakish freight train, bringing with it a long list of celebrities, artists, and of course there were no shortage of elaborate characters.

All of downtown gets sponsored makeovers, and each year the marketing teams get craftier and craftier. 
Comic-Con robots and superheroes spilling into the streets
Seems like every business, bar and restaurant in the Gaslamp district was decked out to welcome the overflow traffic from the convention. *On a side note: Join us Aug 5th at the top of the Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego for the "Eighth-ply" skateboard inspired art event hosted by We Love Creativity.

The all powerful COCO does some clever marketing near the convention  
Freaks & Geeks all over town
Entering the convention center is like approaching the nebula of the comic book/pop art universe. Some people complain that the convention has become overwhelmingly commercial in the recent years, but anyone who's worked in the graphic arts has got to be a little bit in awe of the grand scale of advertising at Comic-Con. Yes, every major network is there promoting their new show (hence the reference to "popular arts" in the convention's new motto) but i was pleased to find that this years event was not completely taken over by Twihards, and Steampunks... the Comic Arts are alive and well, and the convention is still the greatest event in the country for artists and core fans.

The costumes are my favorite part - The masquerade contest always brings out the best handmade costumes, and the fans never need a reason to dress up as their favorite charachter
Nerding out over Vader & the cast of one of my fav shows "Big Bang Theory"
We had a great time taking pictures of the scenery, meeting artists, and collecting swag in our gigantic Comic-con bags. I even had a chance to connect with a major inspiration of mine Tara McPherson, and the sights when on for days.

Met Tara McPherson - Showed off my Flower Head Girl tattoo & got a personalized print 
"Metal Girl" silkscreen (i scored #54/100)
Kat Dennings in a fun new show? I'm sold.
Cans by Ron English
Cuteness overload for my little Miss Ellis Veda
Hi-Fructose Magazine Booth - a pop art standard 
fun things you wish you could touch
Time Traveling Equipment? There's something for everyone here! 
Character artist Sze Jones and Low-Brow Legend Ron English
An "Alice in Wonderland" print I picked up from Sze Jones for my daughter's room
New release from Ron English - a definite wish list item!
Nickelodeon Favorites Muno and Spongebob 
As the convention came to an end, we gathered out souvenirs and headed home, with our heads spinning with inspiration and dreams 2012... So excited to see how all our new connections work out, and eager to make next year bigger and better!

Achy stumps deserve a ride in a Pedi-Cab!