Since I don’t have a great track record of finishing giant long entries about my travels in general, I’m planning to write several shorter entries about PAC instead of doing one giant con report. (If you’d like one long con report, feel free to listen to Aaron and me on his podcast, “live” from our hotel room.)
The Artists Alley is a staple at anime conventions. For those readers who haven’t had the privilege of attending a con, the Artists Alley generally consists of talented (and not-so-talented) anime fans, selling either fan art or original art, in almost any media you can imagine. In the past, Aaron and I have bought prints, figurines, hats, boxes, t-shirts, and probably other things, too. Usually, though, we skip past much of the original art and the fan-art bookmarks and buttons.
We were pleasantly surprised to find several artists at PAC with unique and skilled reinterpretations of some of our favorite characters, as well as some really compelling original works. Shelli Paroline was the artist behind the official conference graphics (as far as I know), and was selling and displaying some great ink drawings of Totoro, Star Wars, One Piece, and original creations. I really wanted to buy a print of her interpretation of Luke and R2-D2, but she didn’t have any more on hand to sell. Neither did she have any more copies of her great Ewok print. So, I satisfied myself with the Totoro print.
I also highly enjoyed Stephanie Yue‘s prints; most of the ones that caught my eye were super-cute original drawings of martial arts as done by mice. I bought an 11×17 poster of 24 Posture Mouse Tai Chi Chuan — I haven’t done the 24-form in years, but watching the mousie do it reminded me of how it goes. There was also a great print of two mousies sparring, and one doing a hip-throw on the other. (Poor mousie — I’ve been on the receiving end of a hip-throw myself, and it’s a little scary, IMO.)
Sharing a table with Stephanie was Zack Giallongo, from whom Aaron bought a Megaman poster. It has a great cel-painted look about it, and has an intricate background full of Megaman villains, bosses, and bad guys.
Also in the Artist Alley was Alison Wilgus. Alison is a friend of the Ninja Consultants, and we met her through them at Otakon two years ago. Unfortunately, she didn’t have anything we were interested in buying at the time, but we did enjoy shooting the shit about the con and the panels we attended. Interestingly enough, we seemed to have attended completely opposite panels, but enjoyed the panels we attended equally.
All in all, the Artists Alley at the Providence Anime Conference was small but awesome, from my point of view. I don’t usually buy anything from Artists Alley (excepting the massive Artists Alley at Otakon), so buying two prints (and wishing I could have bought more) is a pretty big deal.
Still to cover: panels, accommodations, and the overall “feel” of the con. Stay tuned…