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Wizard World Ohio Comic Con Art Contest Winner Announced

William Grapes of Cincinnati wasn’t trying to make a political statement with “Sam,” a hybrid digital/drawing depicting two “fat cat” types with full plates flanking a destitute Uncle Sam on a bread line.  Instead, he was inspired by Norman Rockwell and early 20th-century art – and a musical album cover.  Grapes’ work is the winning entry in the 2012 Wizard World Ohio Comic Con Amateur Art Contest, announced today.

Grapes’ piece was the unanimous choice of the blue-ribbon panel of artists who judged the contest, Greg Horn, Tyler Kirkham and Alan Davis.  For his efforts, Grapes will be among those superstars and the dozens of other creators in Artist Alley at the event, Friday through Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“A friend’s band’s last disk had a picture of Uncle Sam sitting on a mound of cash as a cover illustration,” said Grapes, a typesetter for a pharmaceutical journal.  “Someone joked that if they did another release it would have to be Uncle Sam in a bread line.  The picture popped in my head and I knew I had to do this piece because it was too good of an idea to let go.”

Grapes will display “Sam” as well as examples of other work he has done, including a comic book he has been working on.

To qualify, amateur artists were asked to submit original works, in virtually any medium, consistent with the pop culture/comic con theme and

Three additional finalists were selected, with those artists receiving two tickets each to the event.  They included William Black of Columbus, Ohio; Travis Scott John Campbell of Louisville, Ohio; and Blake Wheeler of Sumerco, W. Va.  The work of all four can be seen at