Late on Monday, Tyson Hesse, hailed as a community hero for his contributions toward the redesign of Sonic in his upcoming movie debut, announced he will not make the trip to Emerald City Comic Con, an event Hesse has been a part of for most of the 2010s.
I hope I'll be able to make it back to Seattle in the future. But as of right now my capacity to make a showing of original art in an artist alley just isn't there.
— Tyson Hesse (@tyson_hesse) January 28, 2020
Hesse has been busy with not just the Sonic movie, but with directing the recent release of the Chao in Space short through Sega and Sonic’s official social media channels, and the 2019 reboot of Invader Zim.
It is, increasingly, more difficult for artists to justify the cost and effort to attend a blossoming convention scene. Generally, artists have to pay for a spot in an Artists’ Alley, on top of airfare and other accommodations–then hope enough goods and commissions are sold to turn a profit. Other popular artists have cut back on convention appearances for principally that reason. Ian Flynn curtailed his appearances significantly in 2019 to just three, citing family and health concerns.