Most of the press coverage coming from Comic-Con has to do with all of booths that cause center aisle crowding or the panels that require six hours, patience, and your right arm to attend. No one will argue against this. When Steven Spielberg comes to a panel he confirmed he wasn’t coming to (via moviefone) or Darren’s Timeless Memories leads you to the new Paranormal Activity 3 trailer , who would resist? The lure of Comic-Con to the head honcho is too strong to ignore. Fan opinions are vital to the success of the entertainment industry with the most astute observers made free to ask the vital questions during panel Q&A’s. While wounds are licked in recovery of not making it to a particular Fallen Skies panel, what is one to do with the time?
The answer: go to the Exhibit Hall and make your way through the luminaries of the industry who shine on the strip off Big Press City. All along the back walls, are those who may be well known to the fans that follow them, but not to the Con goer looking for a specific list set of established large ticket items.
When perusing the never ending city of goods, one of the first items to catch my eye was Anime Link. Located at Booth #400, the usual collectable figurines were bypassed when the Silent Auction sign caught my eyes. On close investigation one could see that the character art present on the wall were hand drawn originals. Asking the confirmed this assumption, but asking after how he obtained them was the real pleasure.
Not only were they obtained from overseas partners, but the booth’s keeper had himself traveled to Japan in order to obtain the ones on the wall directly. If you knew about Anime Link, no doubt you knew about the Silent Auction that occurred with these. Yet if not, the chance to look on authenticated hand work passed you by. Their specialty is original, production cells from Japan.
Not far, perhaps a stone’s throw, were the Van Eaton Galleries. Disney, Hanna -Barbera, and Warner Brothers hand painted cells were hanging on portable walls. Those who knew the true priceless treasures they looked at engaged in discussions of a time before hand painting faded away. Story boards drew out gasps of admiration. Speech slipped away before pieces of modern American art history from bygone decades.
While not under the fanciest of signs, it can be said that often the sweetest treasures are those you have to search for to begin with.