Fan Expo Canada – Artists Alley

Chris Barnes Chris Barnes
September 5th, 2015

I'm a 35 year old Canadian living in Ontario. I read comics, I love to draw and I collect comic art. I also teach karate, play hockey, and am a dad to 3 girls! My comic book passion lies with Batman and his pals with Nightwing taking a very close #2 favourite position. I began collecting comic art in 2013 and I have several commissions done by Ken Lashley and an amazing Francis Manapul Batman. As well I have sold a few of my own creations!

Fan Expo Canada – Artists Alley

If you have ever felt overwhelmed in your day to day life, all you need to do to relieve yourself of that notion is visit an Artists Alley at a comic book convention.  Words that are powerful enough have not been crafted yet to explain the abundance of things to take in upon entrance to the show floor at a large convention such as the one at Fan Expo Canada.

I was trolling the isles of artists alley looking for a few certain pieces for a friend, to stake out where a couple of my favourite professionals are and to try and find amateur artists that would fit with my style to get some commissions on the cheap.  It was during this exploration that I came upon the Studio Comix booth and artist Alfonso Espinos.


Alfonso is a super nice guy even beyond the sort of personality that is required to run a table at a convention.  Where many of the booths I passed had their minders hiding behind their phones, Alfonso was outgoing and engaging.  I could tell he was pumped to be at Fan Expo and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious.  With Studio Comix he wears many hats being the Chief Editor, Creator and Illustrator.  The company is based in Kitchener, Ontario and is working toward "Building a new generation of Canadian comics".  If Alfonso is the face of the business I have little doubt that he'll be met with success while working toward that goal.

After chatting for a while, I picked up one of Alfonso's prints and took his cards and went about searching the show floor for my next find.

What I ended up coming across is a booth staffed by the amazingly talented Amanda Martin. what caught my eye particularly was her rendition of Harley, Ivy and Catwoman since two out of three of my children's middle names are Harley and Selina.  Amanda's art is not the typical comic book fare, but has a bit of an anime or manga style to it that really suits the way she portrays her subjects.


The long and short of it is that there actually is something for everyone at Fan Expo and Artists Alley, in fact there may be too much for everyone!  But rest assured that no matter what your personal style or taste or favourite subject or character, you can either find a print of it to buy or find just the right artist to make you dream come to reality right in front of your eyes!

All that being said I did scope out a couple of things for my friend, a Superman ring and a travel mug that she'll love.  I also found some hand made, felt Christmas ornaments for my family that were simply adorable and got my name on Francis Manapul's commission list, tentatively, if he has time, to get a painting of The Flash.

With day one, and a short day at that, of Fan Expo in my rear view  mirror, I have to say it was a success and I can't wait to see what day two brings!  Will I be less awestruck?  Will I have had more than 3 hours of sleep?  We will have to find that out tomorrow dear readers!  I actually do have an itinerary plan at least that takes me to several sketch duels and a few workshops, I can hardly wait for those types of events!

Were you at Fan Expo?  What did you think of day one?

What are you most looking forward to on day two?


Chris Barnes is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Chrispy47


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