For the past decade, the Artists’ Alley at San Diego Comic-Con International has gotten noticeably smaller each year. DeviantArt stepped up as a sponsor for SDCC’s Artists’ Alley in the last few years, but that won’t be the case this year.
The Beat is reporting that DeviantArt has suddenly pulled out of this year’s Artists’ Alley Comic-Con, which means that the convention is scrambling to find a new sponsor for it.
Comic-Con Public Relations Director David Glanzer issued the following statement to The Beat: “Deviant Art informed us, just recently, that they would be unable to sponsor AA this year. We were very sorry to hear this as that sponsorship helped to defray some of the hard dollar costs for Artists Alley. As you know AA has long been an integral part of our event and will continue to be so and we hope to find another sponsor. But with such a short time frame I don’t know that this will be possible. Regardless, we have long been, and continue to be, committed to Artists Alley so it will continue regardless of whether or not there is a sponsor.”
For the non-comic book fans, an Artists’ Alley is the area of the convention set aside for comic book artists to sell their original artwork or prints directly to fans. It has long been a popular feature of the best comic conventions, but several big name artists have stayed away from Comic-Con International’s Artists’ Alley as it began to contract. Now, several artists purchase booth space on the convention floor rather than return to the Artists’ Alley.
Glanzer’s remarks about using the DA sponsorship to “defray some of the hard dollar costs” of Artists’ Alley are a little disingenuous. Comic-Con is a mega-moneymaker, and floor space is at a premium. The reason that Artists’ Alley has been shrinking is that Comic-Con has been able to sell that floor space to vendors who pay a much higher rate than the attending comic book artists.
In the end, it always comes down to money. It’s long been a theory that Comic-Con would either move Artists’ Alley out of the main showroom or slowly phase it out. Time will tell how it plays out in years to come.
What do you think about San Diego Comic-Con’s Artists’ Alley? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!