San Diego Comic-Con Offers Fine Art, Too

Robert Burden, Optimus Prime

Robert Burden, Optimus Prime, an oil painting for sale at the San Diego Comic-Con International.
Photo: Robert Burden.

The San Diego Comic-Con International, which took place over the weekend at the San Diego Convention Center, is known for its incredible comic-themed cosplay, sneak peaks at footage from upcoming movies and television shows, and for giving fans the chance to attend exclusive panel events featuring their favorite actors, directors, and writers. The annual event appeals to more than nerds and fan boys, however, thanks to its Art Show section, which offers a surprisingly rich slate of fine art.

As reported by the Orange Country Register, this year's event included a broad array of works, including painting, sculpture, drawings, and jewelry from a large number of artists (including Larime Taylor, who suffers from Arthrogryposis and draws with his mouth), in addition to the expected comics, action figures, and graphic T-shirts.

Brittney Lee in her booth at the San Diego Comic-Con International. Photo: Miguel Vasconcellos, <em>Orange County Register</em>.

Brittney Lee in her booth at the San Diego Comic-Con International.
Photo: Miguel Vasconcellos, Orange County Register.

“I would say if you like art then this is a place to see basically every form it can take, all in one place," artist and Comic-Con exhibitor Craig Elliott told the Register. “From fine art, very sophisticated, to simpler works that are almost child-like. It's all here."

Elliot, who described his work as “a combination of 19th century Art Nouveau and early American illustrators like Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth," began attending the Con in 1991, and got his own booth 10 years later. In addition to his personal work, Elliot  has helped develop the artwork for Disney films such as Mulan and The Princess and the Frog.

Mark Englert, <em>Jurassic World</em> limited addition art print available at the San Diego Comic-Con International. Photo: Mark Englert.

Mark Englert, Jurassic World limited addition art print available at the San Diego Comic-Con International.
Photo: Mark Englert.

While not all of the work for sale is related to comics or other cultural properties, a great deal is, such as Amy Mebberson's Disney-themed Pocket Princesses artwork, or the numerous paintings of various superheroes. Limited edition licensed art prints from Mark Englert promoted the upcoming Jurassic World film, while Transformers fans had the chance to pick up a heraldry-inspired Optimus Prime oil painting by Robert Xavier Burden, who often uses comic book characters as subject matter in his work.

More artwork spotted at the Con? io9 reports that DC Comics provided an artsier take on the Batsuit, with colorfully painted versions of the iconic costume marking Batman's 75th anniversary (which, as artnet News reported last week, was also recognized at the Worcester Art Museum).

Watch a timelapse video of Robert Xavier Burden creating his enormous Optimus Prime painting: