Artists, Not Celebrities, Were the Real Stars of New York Comic Con

No need to pack into an overcrowded theater at Madison Square Garden to meet real comics legends—they were all at Artist Alley

Welcome to Artist Alley, the OG New York Comic Con.
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Artist Jim Mahfood notably teamed with 'Tank Girl' co-creater Alan C. Martin and Titan Books for the 2011 miniseries 'Everybody Loves Tank Girl'.
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When I caught up with Mahfood, he was busy putting the finishing touches on a new painting with a toothbrush.
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A taste of Mahfood's handiwork.
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David Mack is best known for his series 'Kabuki' with Image Comics, a story about an assassin set in a future Japan, rendered in lush watercolor.
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Mack's booth at NYCC.
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Rebekah Isaacs revived the characters of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' for Season 10 in comic form, pleasing all of us who were crushed to see the series end on the small screen.
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Artist and author Terry Moore is the creator of the cult series 'Strangers in Paradise', as well as 'Echo' and 'Rachel Rising'.
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Only at NYCC will you stumble into people such as Bob Camp, co-creator of Nickelodeon's 'The Ren and Stimpy Show'.
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Amy Reeder is behind Image Comics' 'Rocket Girl' and 'Halloween Eve', and co-writer of Marvel's 'Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur'.
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Look who else I ran into in Artist Alley: Darryl McDaniels of the legendary hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. These days Daniels has returned to his first love, and traded beats for comics. His publishing house DMC (Darryl Makes Comics) just release its second issue, and #3 is due out in 2017.
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Jason Gonzalez (J. Gonzo) showed off new issues of 'La Mano del Destino'.
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A work-in-progress by Gonzalez.
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South Korean artist Kim Jung Gi is an Instagram sensation with 375,000 followers, and is best known for his unique ability to rapidly draw without doing any under drawing first.
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Jung Gi using a pen brush to create a work for a fan.
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Jung Gi at NYCC.
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Let us not forget why we’ve come here: comic books. If you attended New York Comic Con to cosplay, wait in line for celebrity panels, play video games, buy toys, or for any of the other seemingly infinite reasons a fellow nerd may find themself making the annual pilgrimage to the Javits Center, I’m sure you had a fantastic time.

But unless you made it down to Artist Alley, in the far North corner of the convention center, you missed the real reason why NYCC exists in the first place. The heart and soul of this fall gathering is comic books and the artists behind them—always has been and (hopefully) always will be.

And so, when I arrived on the 7 train, accompanied by frenzied zombies and at least six Wonder Women, the first thing I did was make a bee line for Artist Alley, where diehard fans gather to buy original art, watch illustrators and colorists create work onsite and collect the latest issues of hit titles before they head to stores.

While elsewhere at NYCC, costumed Avengers assembled for spontaneous photo ops and the latest VR software transported visitors to the set of HBO’s Westworld, real collectors were at the Alley, where the talented people that bring Batman, Spider-Man and countless others to life on the page appeared in the flesh.

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