As we reported the other day, the art sharing site/social network DeviantArt pulled out of sponsoring Artists’ Alley at the Sn Diego Comic-Con this year. While the con folks are looking for a new sponsor, it’s looking unlikely at this late date. Josh Wattles, DeviantArt’s Advisor in Chief, did release a statement on the situation:
“DeviantArt is having an unusually active year launching our new Mobile App on Apple and Android platforms and introducing an entirely new, modernized branding. While SDCC is extremely important to the comic world, as well as to DeviantArt, our team is currently focused internally on a comprehensive site redesign that will benefit all of our 34 million registered members. We look forward to any sponsorships opportunities with SDCC that may resurface in the future. We are actively looking for a replacement sponsor for Artists Alley this year and we are assured by the SDCC management that it continues to deeply value the artists who attend Artists Alley.”
So there, a busy company with internal matters to attend to. We’ve been assured that the con remains committed to keeping AA open and free to qualifying artists. On FB a few people were fretting that the lack of sponsorship would mean uncomfortable chairs in Artists’ Alley; not sure if that was actually part of the sponsorship.
Another artist pal of ours has said this is the last big show they’ll ever do; we’ve heard that before but the expense of getting to the show may just be too much for some smaller artist types who set up at a table. Unless you’re selling big ticket art items, it’s a big nut to crack.
As we repeated before, DA was an ideal sponsor for Artists’ Alley as their mission fit in nicely with the activity. What really need to happen is some big media company that makes billions of dollars off of comic book properties stepping in the get comfy chairs and so on for the people who make up the stuff. Or maybe an “offsite” comics centric area, like Tr!ckster. I could definitely see this happening with some solid sponsorship and a venue that doesn’t raise its prices unrealistically.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.