The Artists, Engineers, and Creators of Smash Bros: GOML 2022 Artist Alley
Aamir Ali, Contributor, Radio FWD
Some fans of Super Smash Bros. are not just talented with a controller in their hand, but can make amazing things happen with paintbrushes and electronic capacitors as well. GOML’s Artist Alley featured a number of these dedicated individuals who set up booths where tournament attendees could purchase posters, keychains, and even modified controllers that they had made themselves. We had the opportunity to interview eight of these individuals and tell you all about them and their craft.
While Camilla Khau’s eye-popping keychains can’t help you play better, looking at the game characters rendered in acrylic is sure to brighten your day. Hailing from Alberta, Camilla’s first tournament was Canada Cup where she participated in the Street Fighter bracket. Noticing a dearth of artists selling their wares at tournaments, she took the plunge with trinkets players could attach to their lanyards. Since then, she has expanded to keychains and stickers. You can find Camilla’s booth at tournaments and conventions like Fan Expo all around Toronto and Alberta.
Cross Slash Controllers could be found in GOML’s artist alley proudly showing off their case of colorful skittles-like custom buttons that you could get for your controller to truly make it your own. Modifying controllers since 2018, CSC specializes in beautiful and intricate shell designs that can turn your controller from bland and monotone into a picture of the night sky, cotton candy, or anything else that speaks to you. Additionally, not only do CSC support legacy smash players accustomed to the GameCube controller, they will help you personalize your Switch Pro controllers as well.
A true fan’s artist, Richard “FakeLem0n” Zhuang got his start by making rotoscope art of famous scenes from Smash tournament history and posting them to Reddit. Since then, he has gone on to represent the Toronto Smash scene in numerous ways, including by making the trailer for GOML 2017. At this year’s tournament, FakeLem0n was back with eye-catching prints that included in-jokes from the Smash community, and other beautiful images that everyone could appreciate.
Hailing originally from the zine scene, Lina Wu is a multi-talented artist and storyteller who combines her passion for storytelling, fine art and video games to create amazing prints of characters and scenes depicting characters from all over pop culture. In addition to her prints, Lina also brought some of her zines to GOML which tell very personal stories about her life and how games have punctuated its highs and helped her through its lows. This was Lina’s first Smash Major since getting hooked on the game after finding videos by professional player Marss, and she attended it while also having her work on display at an exhibition in the Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto.
With prints, bookmarks, pin-badges, stickers and more on sale, Rebecca Whitten had one of the most diverse collections of items at her booth, inspired by both Super Smash Bros and anime in general. As a professional artist who has worked in both the US and Canada, she was introduced to the Smash community through friends who played Project Melee and Project Plus, fan-made mods of the Super Smash Bros. games, and is an enthusiastic representative of Zelda.
Chris “Takkun” Botterill’s booth at the GOML artist alley was probably one of the most colorful, being plastered from top-to-bottom in gorgeous prints and stickers of both anime and video game characters. Takkun got his start after getting inspired by manga, and has himself published a series, and subsequently discovered the video game tournament and convention scene where he can share his interests through his artwork. Since then, he has also gone on to work for Marvel and produce art for Avengers: Endgame.
Primarily a comic book artist, Yves’ booth was unique in the artist’s alley as its background was draped in giant playing cards of his design featuring a character from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate each, with normal-sized card decks available. A veteran of over a decade in the art industry, Yves also had pin badges, stickers and most notably, prints depicting scenes from Kaizo Mario, a subgenre of speed running extremely difficult fan-made levels from the Mario Bros. games.
Sometimes, it really isn’t your skill, but your controller that’s holding you back. For those occasions, Solanum Customs are who you can call with such distinguished clientele as Super Smash Bros. Melee professionals aMSa, Zain and Mang0. James Hudson started modifying his controllers out of necessity after finding that they just weren’t keeping up with his improvements in skill level. After seeing his success, fellow competitors in the Newfoundland Smash Scene started commissioning him for notches, button replacements, snapback capacitors and countless other modifications. This went on to spawn Solanum Customs, a website where people can purchase his creations to level up their own gameplay.