Our Art-Sense Is Tingling! 6 Gallery-Worthy Discoveries From the Lovable Alternate Universe of Comic Con

Six of our favorite art discoveries straight from Javitz Center.

Guests at the New York Comic Con in costume as the Joker and Harley Quinn. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Kablooey! New York Comic Con is back. In addition to the slew of panels, screenings, celebrity signings, and, of course, cos-play, the annual celebration of comics offers a vast array of graphic novels, books, paintings, drawings, and other artwork. We’ve scoured the con for the best comic-inspired art, almost all of which is incredibly affordable. We suggest you get out your best cape and head to the Javitz Center, where the con will be on all weekend.


Tony Artiga, Nevertheless She Persisted  

Tony Artiga, <em>Nevertheless She Persisted </em>. Courtesy of Tony Artiga.

Tony Artiga, Nevertheless She Persisted. Courtesy of Tony Artiga.

“I can really relate to someone who really loves fiction,” Tony Artiga told artnet News. He’s always been inspired by his favorite characters, and bringing them to life in his art in unexpected ways—his take on a Golden Girls poster, for instance, replaces the beloved cast’s faces with Deadpool masks.

“I try to time things with what’s popular,” Artiga said, pointing to his Women of Star Wars illustration, which features one of the new women characters in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He’s selling prints of his work, which include a striking Wonder Woman drawing with the phrase “Nevertheless, She Persisted”—infamously uttered by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell after the Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren—for just $15.


Jedidiah DoreSpace Shuttle Astronaut

Jedidiah Dore, <em>Space Shuttle Astronaut</em>. Courtesy of Jedidiah Dore.

Jedidiah Dore, Space Shuttle Astronaut. Courtesy of Jedidiah Dore.

Earlier this year, NASA invited Jedidiah Dore to visit the Goddard Space Flight Center, in Maryland, where he made a new series of watercolor and ink drawings. At the con, Dore is also showing his new “Stellar Science” series of illustrations.

“I did it to promote STEM subjects and bring art into science,” he told artnet News. Dore is selling prints of his work for $20 each and posters for $60–$80.


Ali CantarellaCurlicutes: A Travel-Sized Coloring Book

Ali Cantarella's booth in Artist's Alley at the New York Comic Con, featuring her graphic novels and <em>Curlicutes: A Travel-Sized Coloring Book</em>. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Ali Cantarella’s booth in Artist’s Alley at the New York Comic Con, featuring her graphic novels and Curlicutes: A Travel-Sized Coloring Book. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

In Artist Alley, Ali Cantarella offers a wide range of works, from her independent graphic novels and unique artworks hand-painted with coffee to a rose-gold enamel pin of a deer’s head. For just $15, you can purchase the elegant and adorable Curlicutes coloring book, featuring her precise line work.

She tried her hand at the genre when the adult coloring book craze exploded some years ago. “I’ve seen it taper off, but people still really like them,” Cantarella said at the con. An example of the con’s less superhero-focused fare, her work counters male stereotypes about the world of comics. “More and more women,” she added, “are getting interested in comics and finding it a viable space.”


Al AbbaziaSentinels of Liberty

Al Abbazia, <em>Sentinels of Liberty</em>. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Al Abbazia, Sentinels of Liberty. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

“My mom had Norman Rockwell plates when I was growing up,” Orlando artist Al Abbazia, here for his first NYCC, told artnet News. He’s a full-time history teacher, and often draws on his day job in creating his art, which he describes as “my real passion in life.”

Abbazia incorporates his favorite characters, such as Captain America and his girlfriend, Agent Carter, into period appropriate tableaux: a Rockwell-style cover for the Saturday Evening Post or propaganda posters based on Rosie the Riveter. The artworks, painstakingly created through a combination of studio photography, digital painting, and other techniques, also double as teaching tools when he’s in the classroom.


Tim RogersonMarvel Soup Cans

Tim Rogerson, <em>Marvel's Soup Cans</em>. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Tim Rogerson, Marvel’s Soup Cans. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

In this powerful—pun intended—take on Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup cans, Tim Rogerson, an official Disney artist, added paintings of superheroes like Wolverine and Thor to the Pop-art classic. With faces done in the style of comics great Jack Kirby, the artist distills each character down to a single flavor. (The Hulk’s is, fittingly, “don’t eat while angry.”)

Even after 15 years at Disney, Rogerson told artnet News he never lacks inspiration for new work. “It’s a candy shop of characters,” he said, noting that he was aiming for a vintage look with these new paintings. “The Campbell’s Soup cans are so iconic, and it made sense to do soup as superheroes!”

The original oil paintings, on view at the fair, were already snapped up for a cool $36,000 for the offices of comic-book distributor Diamond Industries, but Rogerson is meeting this week with Marvel in preparation for the release of a series of prints based on the work.

Charles ThurstonWho’s Scumpy Lookin

Charles Thurston, <em>Who's Scumpy Lookin</em>. Courtesy of Charles Thurston.

Charles Thurston, Who’s Scumpy Lookin. Courtesy of Charles Thurston.

For 14 years, Charles Thurston made paper-cut illustrations of his favorite characters without showing them to anyone other than his family and friends. About two years ago, “I started sharing them on Instagram, and it blew up,” he told artnet News. Now, he can focus on what was always his preferred medium for his family-friendly creations, which often feature Disney characters.

Original paper cuts run from $125 to $800, but Thurston also sells more affordable 2-D prints for just $15.

New York Comic Con is on view at the Javitz Center, 655 West 34th St, New York, October 5–8, 2017. 

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