• 07.21.11

Pixar Artists Create Trickster, Their Own Comic-Con Club For The “Real” Fanboys

Tired of watching the Hollywood machine engulf the San Diego Comic-Con, two Pixar artists have taken matters into their own hands and opened Trickster, an enclave for comic book fans, right across the street from the convention center.

Whatever you do, don’t call them Slamdance for Comic-Con.


After years of watching the Hollywood machine slowly engulf the San Diego Comic-Con, Pixar story artists Scott Morse and Ted Mathot this year have staked out a creators’ enclave across the street from the convention center.

Trickster is a combination bar/store/gallery/symposia happening through Sunday at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, offering creator-owned products and a hangout for fans to more intimately engage with comic writers and artists about their craft.

Trickster is offering original art and book sales, daytime workshops on art and storytelling techniques, and evening parties, music, and life-drawing sessions featuring the Gallery Girls, a collective of top Los Angeles art models.

“The idea is to promote work that has a singular vision that doesn’t conform to the rules of a franchise property at a big company,” says Morse. “We’re also focusing on a learning environment, so fans can draw alongside professionals and see how we work. It’s not an event where fans are taking pictures, but taking part in a dialogue on the creative process.”

A Who’s Who of comic luminaries is slated to show throughout the week: Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Bill Sienkiewich (Stray Toasters), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Mike Allred (Madman), and fine artist Kent Williams. Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello, who’s promoting his graphic novel, Orchid (Dark Horse), will perform tonight [Thurs].

Although Morse and Mathot put up the money for the space, they’ve enlisted business sponsors for displays and lectures. Hewlett Packard is promoting printers; Global PSD, a publisher and printer, will give a talk on how to self-publish a book; Brothers Ink, a T-shirt producer, marketer and distributor, is selling T-shirts with Trickster artists’ designs; Cartoon Brew, an animation digital publication, is running a film festival of student animated films; the Criterion Collection, an art-house film distributor, is running a fundraiser for victims of the Japanese tsunami, based on its Akira Kurosawa catalogue.

Morse and Mathot hatched the plan over the past 18 months, after brainstorming with colleagues and scouring and the city for a venue (particularly one with a liquor license).


“It’s hard to find ways to represent ourselves in an event that takes over a city,” says Morse. “We wanted to create our own venue where we could call the shots and make the rules, where fans and professionals could have a beer and talk, not by standing in line, but in a more human connection.”

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.