By Jason S. Yadao
One of the things I love about Kawaii Kon is that it's a venue where artists inspired by the anime and manga that the convention promotes all weekend can show off their work. Heck, there's an entire room dedicated to that purpose -- Artist Alley -- and for pretty much its entire nine-year existence, Kawaii Kon has posted on a certain date that tables are available for sale, and they'll promptly sell out faster than it'll take for you to read this sentence. Next year, Artist Alley's moving downstairs to one of the convention center's larger Kamehameha rooms ... where tables will probably sell out faster than it takes for you to read this sentence when they go on sale.
This post is dedicated to all the pretty artwork that I saw during this year's convention. It's art so nice that I knew I wouldn't be leaving the convention without a few pieces in tow. This year, in fact, actually marked a first for me: I came out of Kawaii Kon 2013 having bought more original artwork than anime-related toys. Granted, I've managed to cut down my toy purchases over the years to an occasional Nendoroid figure or stuff from my favorite series (get me anything related to Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Yotsuba&! or Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and I'll love you for life). But still ... quite unusual.
I was also fortunate enough to be the recipient of some gift art pieces. The first was this drawing of Akemi Homura and Madoka Kaname, two characters from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, by Audra Furuichi.
Yes, this is the same picture that you can see in the "10 Memorable Moments" post up on Honolulu Pulse. She threw it in with the trio of pretty art pieces I was already buying — Botcha Duck and Anpan, Kana and Nemu, and Yotsuba from the "Going Green" trio — because there was a minor flaw: A small piece of tape accidentally landed on Madoka's cheek as Audra was drawing it. I showed it to several people, and no one noticed the small tear until I pointed it out. It's still a really nice, clean piece.
There was also this cartoon card that Comic Jam Hawaii coordinator Michael Cannon whipped up while he was hanging out with cartoonist Jon Murakami at his table.
There may be a picture of me with this card floating around on the Internet somewhere. But here's Michael, Jon and Jon's lovely assistant Gwen with it in Artist Alley. (Jon's also holding a copy of his new comic, The Ara-Rangers issue 1, now on sale online!)
It's been a while since I last embedded a Flickr gallery within a post, so here's a refresher course on how this works: To start the slideshow, just press the "play" button in the middle of the frame below. Pause and restart using the button on the lower left. If you want a larger view, click on the icon on the lower right; in that full-screen view, you can also see the captions I've written for each picture (using the "Show Info" link) or slow down the automatic scrolling (using the "Options" link). Finally, if you're viewing this blog on an iOS device (iPad/iPod Touch) and can't view Flash plug-ins, or if you just want to skip all the slideshow fiddling and go straight to the gallery, here's the direct gallery link: www.flickr.com/photos/sumiyoshi/sets/72157633093007134/
Oh yes. In case you're wondering about where the pretty art from con guest Noizi Ito fits in to all this, there's a whole other post in me that'll talk about that. She deserves her own post. Because she came up with the character designs for Haruhi Suzumiya. So she's awesome like that.