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Independent Comic Con Artists

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Earlier this month, I asked you guys for suggestions about what I should cover at Comic Con. An overwhelming number of you voted to see coverage of the independent artists at the event. I loved the suggestion and here is the result—a post highlighting some of the coolest artists seen at the convention.

These days the convention is no longer limited to just comic books and even the artists are scattered between comics, fine art, video game design, crafts and more. I tried to cover a little of all these areas to give you a chance to see the variety and the talent of the many artists displaying their works at the 2010 Comic Con. I hope you enjoy!


Frank Kozik is one of the biggest artists at Comic Con. After gaining notoriety through his Labbit series with Kid Robot, he started his own booth at Comic Con, which features a number of awesome art toys, in both plush and vinyl.

Alex Pardee

Alex Pardee is another fairly big artist who has a booth at the convention every year. I actually met him at the 2005 convention (when he still had a tiny booth in the Artist's Alley) and talked to him about his work for a bit. My favorite of his projects are the Bunnywith comics, but you may know him better for his Team Conan shirt or his Chadam series.

Mitch O'Connell

If you've ever picked up a tattoo magazine, then you've probably seen the classic, flash-inspired artwork of Mitch O'Connell.

Peter Kuper

You may not recognize the name, but I'm sure most of you _flossers recognize the icon art of Peter Kuper, who is the most recent of the many Mad Magazine artists to have worked on the Spy Vs. Spy comics.

Crystal Chesney-Thompson

Here's another artist whose name may not ring a bell, but I'm sure you're familiar with a little show called Futurama and thus, have seen Mrs. Chesney-Thompson's work before. For years, she has been attending Comic Con selling books and plush toys for her own project, Haminal, but now that Futurama is back, she's also attending panels for the show.

As for Haminal, the basic idea is that this adorable little fellow is the result of genetic engineering a pig, a hamster and a guinea pig for the purposes of creating an animal that is tasty and built for the can. Over the years, he has gained some new friends, including the Deviled Haminal and the KiTuna Fish (seen in the photo before this one).

Battle Bears

Battle Bears is the first iPhone game slated to become a movie. Oliver (the brown bear) and his military unit crash land on a planet filled with huggables (the pink one), and find they must destroy all the adorable pink enemies in order to survive.

Battle Bears was created by a nine-man team that was headed up by Benjamin Vu (seen above) who previously worked on Coraline.

Alejandro Garza

Alejandro Garza is a comic book artist that has worked on titles such as the Teen Titans, Batgirl and Supergirl. At the convention, he seemed to be selling his own artwork, along with quick sketches.

Rosita Y Conchita

This booth had a great set-up, as it really looked like a little Dia De Los Muertos altar featuring the book Rosita y Conchita, a rhyming storybook in English and Spanish. The artwork in the book was adorable and the story was cute, too.

Devon Devereaux

Speaking of children's books, here one that's not actually for children: The Littlest Bitch by David Quinn and Michael Davis. It was illustrated by Devon Dereveaux, seen above, who uses a playful retro style in all of his works.

Laurie B

Laurie B's artwork depicts classic characters in a unique and distinct style that is completely irresistible.

Here's her take on Princess Leia:

Kirby Krackle

There are all kinds of artists at Comic Con, but Kirby Krackle is the first band I've ever seen to set up a booth. They fit in well because all of their songs are inspired by geek culture, particularly comic books.

Lark Pien

There isn't much to say about Lark Pien other than the fact that her paintings that generally feature a cute critter are simply adorable. Her clean style is visually stimulating and it was one of the booths I kept coming back to throughout the convention.

Mike Sosonowski

Mike Sosnowski is another artist that recognized the value of the convention years ago and has been coming back ever since. His pieces tend to focus on monsters and what they do with their free time.

Misty Benson

Do you like skulls with big deep eyes and creepy, yet cuddly animals? If so, Misty Benson's Morbidly Adorable Creations are sure to make you smile. She even makes mini prints of her paintings into necklaces so you can carry them around with you.

Geof Darrow

Geof Darrow is another comic artist who was there to sell his prints. His most famous work has been on the book Shaolin Cowboy, which is where the artwork above is from.

John Van Fleet

John Van Fleet has worked on a number of projects with major entertainment companies, but his pet projects are simply amazing, featuring dark mechanical imagery.

Paul Guinan

Paul Guinan and his cut out of Boiler Plate attracted quite a crowd throughout the convention. Boiler Plate is the star of a book by Guinan that was named as the third-best book by Amazon last year.

Denise Vasquez

Denise Vasquez was one of my favorite discoveries in the Artist's Alley area this year. She is quite the artist, experimenting with a variety of mediums, including music, drawings and toys. I wasn't the only one impressed with her talents. Apparently Stan Lee saw her toy version of him and told her he wanted to buy it after the convention.

Danielle Griffith

Danielle Griffith is a cartoonist and all-around artist. What was most impressive about her art, though, was the fact that she hand-sculpted and cast these toys all on her own, rather than hiring a company to do it for her.

She also had some really fascinating paintings that were some of the only watercolors I saw at the convention.

Will Quilt For Games

Crafts are a little less common at the convention, but they are still present, as you can see by this collection of pixelated gamer pillow cushions available from Will Quilt For Games on Etsy.

Jeff Pidgeon

Jeff Pidgeon and his adorable Happy Beaver have been a constant at the convention over the last few years. And with adorable vinyl toys, sketches, tees and more, they seem to do really well year after year.

Wardell Brown and Wattana Khommarath

While the sign behind these two reads Wild Monkey Works, the booth was actually a collaboration between these two gentlemen and another who wasn't present (the skateboards in the background are by the other person).

Wattana Khommarath (at right) is a 2D animation teacher at the Art Institute of San Diego, but at the convention, he was selling the cool prints above.

Wardell Brown has a cool cartoony style and for the convention, he printed these revisualized versions of a few classic video games.
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Now there were literally hundreds of other artists at the convention, but obviously I couldn't cover them all. If you were there, did you have any favorites?




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LEGO Ideas
Fans of The Office, Rejoice: A Dunder Mifflin LEGO Set Could Someday Become a Reality
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LEGO Ideas

After nine seasons filled with pranks, gags, awkward jokes, and just a few too many “That’s what she said's,” the finale of NBC’s The Office aired on May 16, 2013. While the beloved show probably won’t be getting a reboot anytime soon, LEGO fans may someday be able to recreate the cast’s shenanigans with their very own Dunder Mifflin-inspired set.

Jaijai Lewis, a 36-year-old market researcher from New York City, has submitted a toy recreation of the fictional paper sales company’s Scranton branch to the LEGO Ideas website. It’s a miniature replica of the TV show's titular office, complete with the main shared space (cubicles and desk plants included), a conference room, and separate offices for Michael and Darryl. These rooms are designed to be modular, and can either be connected together or remain separate.

Of course, Lewis made sure to include mini-replicas of the whole gang, including Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight, Angela, Meredith, and more. They come with tiny accessories, like Michael’s Golden Dundie, Meredith’s water bottle, and Pam’s ring. (The last one fits in Jim’s suitcase.)

If 10,000 different fans support a design on the LEGO Ideas blog, it will become eligible for review to become a real-life product. The LEGO Dunder Mifflin has already hit the coveted 10K number, so with any luck, you could eventually see it on the shelves of a toy store near you.

Check out some pictures of Lewis’s design below, or visit the LEGO Ideas site for more details.

LEGO fan Jaijai Lewis's design of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a fictional paper company from NBC's TV show 'The Office.'
LEGO Ideas

LEGO fan Jaijai Lewis's design of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a fictional paper company from NBC's TV show 'The Office.'
LEGO Ideas

LEGO fan Jaijai Lewis's design of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a fictional paper company from NBC's TV show 'The Office.'
LEGO Ideas

LEGO fan Jaijai Lewis's design of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a fictional paper company from NBC's TV show 'The Office.'
LEGO Ideas

LEGO fan Jaijai Lewis's design of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc., a fictional paper company from NBC's TV show 'The Office.'
LEGO Ideas
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Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Live Smarter
Knock-Off Versions of Nerf Ammo Can Cause Serious Eye Injuries
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Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Nerf toy guns and their foam projectiles, as marketed and manufactured by Hasbro, are virtually harmless when used as instructed. But, as reported by CNN, a recent paper in the UK medical journal BMJ Case Reports is providing a reality check when it comes to using the mock weapons and off-brand ammo improperly.

Three unrelated patients were treated at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London with ocular injuries that were sustained as a result of being "shot" with Nerf guns. Two adults had bleeding and inflammation in the eye; one 11-year-old had bleeding, inflammation, and damage to the outer retinal layer. All three suffered what the paper described as "significant ocular trauma." Attending doctors treated their swelling, and all symptoms resolved within a few weeks.

So what happened? In the case of one patient, a Nerf play session went awry as a result of using non-licensed ammo that isn't subject to Hasbro's quality control measures and may be made of harder materials as a result. On their Nerf landing page, Hasbro cautions users to "never modify any Nerf blasters or other Nerf products. Use only the darts, water, rounds, and discs designed for specific Nerf blasters."

Pediatric ophthalmologists interviewed by CNN recommend that protective eyewear be used whenever anyone is playing with Nerf weapons. It's also advisable never to aim for the face when shooting and to avoid attempting to modify the weapons to shoot faster or farther.

[h/t CNN]


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