With well over 150,000 attendees, last weekend’s New York Comic Con is one of the largest comic book and pop culture conventions in the country. The NYCC took over the entirety of the massive NYC Javits Convention Center’s 840,000 square feet of exhibit space and meeting rooms, which occupy a full six city blocks. At over 80,000 square feet and occupied by 450 artists, even the convention’s Artist Alley held in the North Pavilion was massive. As you would expect, it isn’t easy for an artist to stand out in a place that large with a crowd that huge.
But this year three of the independent artists trying to stand out from the pack had a little help thanks to 3D printing. They teamed up with 3D Printing 4 Everyone (3DP4E) and their new comic art-orientated 3D printing service 3DArtGeeks.com to bring their two-dimensional artwork into the third dimension. 3DArtGeeks is a service that offers comic book and other traditional artists the ability to turn their artwork into 3D statues that can be printed in full-color sandstone. Once the statue is printed, 3DArtGeeks will coat it in a material similar to super glue that really draws out the colors and hardens it enough to be just as durable as any traditionally cast statue.
The first of the three artists who signed up to take their art 3D was a relative newcomer to comics, Colin Lawler, who started his career as a freelance graphic designer. But he decided to put all of that aside so he could pursue a career in comic books, and he’s already off to a great start. His first self-published book Spirits: The Soul Collector was funded through Kickstarter and follows the adventures of 12-year-old Will Thompson entering the spirit world to rescue the soul of his younger brother. The 3D printed statue of Will looks like he walked right off of the page, and Lawler even designed a custom base for the statue.
David Wenzel is perhaps best known in the comic world for his graphic novel adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which remains one of the most successful graphic novel adaptations of classic literature ever produced. He also created the classic Kingdom of the Dwarfs where he recreated an entire underground civilization based on the Aegol Barrow archaeological dig, and worked with Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and has illustrated over thirty children’s books. His Dwarf of the Oak Shield looks great as a 3D printed statue and you can really see the Nordic influences of his armor, weapons and clothing.
Finally Katie Cook, writer and artist on her self-published comic Gronk: A Monster’s Story and IDW’s hugely popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic brought a box of cats to the show. No, not real cats (although that would also be a pretty decent way to stand out at a comic convention wouldn’t it? “Why yes, you can pet my cats, but you need to buy a comic first.”). But instead she brought a box of 3D printed cats. Her statue “Free To A Semi-Decent Home” evokes a feeling that every cat owner can sympathize with: ‘you guys sure are cute, but stop being such jerks’.
“Everyday, I am amazed with what we can create. These works of art translate so wonderfully into 3d printed sculptures. The whimsical character of Katie Cook’s cats, the domineering power of Dave Wenzel’s Dwarf of the Oak Shield, and the courage and determination of Will, Colin Lawler’s 12 year old hero, are all enhanced and magnified when transformed into 3D,” said 3DP4E CEO Ron Rose.
By all counts the New York Comic Con was a huge success all around, and Artist Alley saw some huge crowds walking through it. If you are an artist and you’d like to turn some of your artwork into 3D printed statues, then you can submit some of your artwork and get a quote here. And if you want to buy any of the 3D printed statues featured here, or any of the dozens of other great artists that they work with make sure that you visit 3DArtGeeks.com.
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