Our Favorite Indie Artists in Artists’ Alley at SDCC 2022

When you hear about San Diego Comic-Con, you usually hear about the blockbuster franchises: Marvel, Star Wars, DC, and the major streaming platforms. All that stuff is amazing, but the SDCC exhibitor hall also has lots of hidden treasures, from small presses to funky vendors to rare comics. One of the best parts of the exhibitor hall is Artists’ Alley, where indie artists and illustrators sell their work. Now that SDCC 2022 has wrapped up, here are some of the best indie artists we encountered!

If you didn’t attend Comic-Con, or you missed these artists’ tables when you were strolling the exhibitor hall, never fear—you’ll find links to their websites below.

Celine Chapus

Artist Celine Chapus makes a victory sign surrounded by her artwork.
Celine Chapus

Celine Chapus’s ethereal watercolor paintings explores the worlds of fantasy and fandom, with mermaids and other mythical creatures hobknobbing with Marvel and Star Wars characters.

Briana Garcia

Artist Briana Garcia poses in her booth at SDCC 2022.
Brianna Garcia

Full disclosure: I’m a Brianna Garcia fangirl. In fact, I included her hilarious Sylkie art in this Loki Season 2 update! Garcia’s cartoon-inspired drawing style is fun and energetic, and she’s worked professionally on properties like Mon petit Poney and Disney Princesses.

Harmony Gong

Artist Harmony Gong poses with her art at SDCC 2022.
Harmony Gong

Harmony Gong’s style combines anime with art nouveau to create breathtakingly lush portraits. Her Sailor Moon art captures the beauty of Naoko Takeuchi’s original drawing style while making the character her own, and her original art focuses fairies, witches, and other fantastical women.

Karen Hallion

Artist Karen Hallion poses at her SDCC 2022 booth.

If you’ve seen inspiring portraits of historical figures and fictional characters floating around the internet, each one with a single word that sums up why that character is awesome, then you’ve encountered Karen Hallion’s work. In fact, her “She” series has been made into a middle-grade book that’s coming out soon! But the “She” series isn’t just inspirational. Hallion has fun with it, too.

Derek Knierim

Artist Derek Knierim smiles from his booth at SDCC.
Derek Knierim

Derek Knierim’s work includes lots of desert landscapes, filled with androids, bounty hunters, superheroes, and other fantastical beings. His art is vast in scope with saturated color palettes that pop.

Joseph Michael

Artist Joseph Michael poses with his partner at SDCC 2022.
Joseph Michael (right)

Joseph Michael’s intricate art brings to mind vintage screenprints or woodcuts. Each image is astonishingly detailed, and his process reals on Instagram are mesmerizing.

Melissa Pagluica

Artist Melissa Pagluica smiles in her booth at SDCC 2022.
Melissa Pagluica

Another art nouveau-inspired artist (her table was right next to Harmony Gong’s, which made for some serious eye candy for any art nouveau lover), Melissa Pagluica is the creator of the graphic novel Above the Clouds and the webcomic Monster Heart. I was particularly taken by her tea-themed stickers, which depicted adorable vintage ladies representing Earl Gray and other flavors.

Tom Vagner

Artist Toma Vagner waves from her table at SDCC 2022.
Tom Vagner

Toma Vagner’s hallucinatory drawings explores themes of mental health, addiction, and more. If you feel like you’ve seen her work before, her clients include Harry Styles and The New Yorker.

(image: San Diego Comic-Con International)

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