Anime Ushi took a different route this year at Phoenix Comic Con. Instead of going to see the big stars like Billie Piper and Sean Astin, or even go to the big events, we instead went to see the artists. The artists are what “comic” cons were founded on, to get to meet and greet their fans and see them work on their craft right in front of you. PCC had a vast array of artists attending too from the little guy from down the street to creators that have been in the industry for over 30 years.

John Layman, creator of “Chew,” Ben Templesmith, “30 Days of Night,” and Dan Wickline “God is Dead” were three huge indie comic book guests that attended. Fans eagerly crowded their tables constantly, asking questions, getting signatures, and buying up unique art pieces. These men were all incredibly kind and genuine with their fans and seemed to shine every time a giddy fan came up to tell them how much they loved their works.

K Lynn Smith, creator of “Plume,” had a shy presence about her, but every time someone came to her booth she greeted them with a kind smile and patience to either explain her book to someone new or sign for an adoring fan.

Even the small local artists got the hookup from fans old and new. Jim Hanna, creator of “Pugly,” was almost sold out of his comic by Saturday afternoon. Small vendors like Cake Shop Couture had only a few dresses left by Sunday and were ecstatic to see such a huge increase of sales going to the little guys. The artist alley was in the dealer’s hall this year, but as much as people were spending their dollars on Pop! Vinyls and lightsabers, the crowds were also swarming the local artisanal fare.

Every artists we had the chance to talk to (after the dust would clear from the fans) was overjoyed to be a part of the con. PCC has grown to become one of the largest cons Arizona has with an attendance of 80,000 on Saturday this year, but even with this huge audience, it still has the small con feel. Fans still get to come see their favourite artists, and the artists  themselves love that. Each artist told us how overjoyed they were because they had so many interactions with their fan base and got see how their hard work affects people personally.

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