Welcome the Guests of Katsucon 20!
From artists to writers, musicians to voice actors, Katsucon 20 has guests of every type and more!
Information about more guests will be coming soon! Stay tuned to this page for updates.
The Symphonic Anime Orchestra is back at KatsuCon and we need YOU! Now looking for musicians who play an instrument and would like to participate in a fan orchestra playing Japanese pop and video game music. This years program: Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Little Ponys, HomeStuck, Sword Art Online and more! Apply at AnimeOrchestra.org or find us on FB.
Lolita Dark is an Epic Rock band with roots in Southern California and Japan, who formed in 2011. Their sound weaves together crunching guitar riffs, progressive bass lines, lush harmonies, and complex melodic structures in songs that reflect both angst and optimism in an increasingly interconnected world of disconnected residents.Fronted by Shibuya-born singer/songwriter Rayko, Lolita Dark provides the soundtrack and visuals of a world where light intersects dark, east meets west, and the past overlaps the present, depicting the, seemingly, redundant circles of our lives and universe.
The core of Lolita Dark is formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Rayko (Ray), Bassist Rain Balen, and Drummer Joey Felix who are also members of the Los Angeles rock band “Dig Jelly”. After months of writing, recording, and self producing Lolita Dark enlisted Okinawan vocalist and keyboardist Machiko (May), and guitarist Patrick Cabrera of prog metal band False Empire.
Their first album, “Tokyo Status” was released in 2012 and featured a wide range of intensely personal, yet universal meditations on love, addiction, promise, and despair. It blazed new territory with a sonic landscape that fused Shibuya glam, European symphonic-rock, and American metal. Lolita Dark’s debut CD explored the themes of Salvation, Redemption, Sanctuary, and displayed some of Rayko’s internal anguish after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami ravaged her homeland.
Lolita Dark has performed at various venues including Bar Sinister, House of Blues, J-Pop events hosted by “Tune in Tokyo”, and Rayko’s on going event “Tokyo Status” .Lolita Dark has also performed at Anime Expo, Nan Desu Kan, Anime Los Angeles, and Pacific Media Expo, where they opened for Japanese artists BACK-ON (Avex) and D (Avex, Universal Music).
“Mad Times”, from the “Tokyo Status” album, has been chosen for the in-production Steampunk web series “Tinker”. “Wounded Angel”, the recently released song by Lolita Dark, has become the official theme song for Anime California 2014. Lolita Dark’s second album, “Queen’s Decade”, will be released in the spring of 2014, shortly before they perform at Zenkaikon 2014 as well as open for Gacharic Spin (Universal Music) at Tekko 2014
Ellyn began acting at the age of 12. She is a classically trained actress known for both her dramatic and comedic roles. Her career spans from film to television to stage. Her voice acting career started 30 years ago.
Ellyn is both a director and actress. Among the animated projects she has directed are: Samurai X, Jade Cocoon, Super Magnetic Neo, Aerowings 1 and 2, Galerians.
Ellyn’s live action directorial films are: Star Wars Episode lV- A New Hope (dubbed into the Navajo language) , Farewell My Queen, Delicacy, to name a few recent ones. See ellynstern.com for more complete list.
Her career in anime began with the original ‘Robotech’ series in which she played several characters.
Most recently she can be heard as Rosario in ‘Wrinkles, Martha in True Crimes, Hong Kong, Gundaham Unicorn,‘Yu’s Mom’ in ‘Noein’ ,‘Jack’s Mom’ in Mar, and Ichigo’s mom, Masaki Kurosaki in Bleach. She voiced ‘Haraway’ in ‘Ghost in the Shell 2-Innocence’. She played ‘Rosalind’ in ‘Armitage III’, ‘Himeno’ in ‘Fight!! Spirit of the Sword’, ‘Sayaka’ in ‘Mental Fighter Miku’, ‘Moru’ in ‘ Vampire Princess Miyu’ ‘Hiroshi’s Mom’ in “Zenki’,‘Zentrix’, ‘Mini Pato’, ‘Digimon’, ‘Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo’, Samurai X, ‘Parome’ in ‘Genma Wars’, numerous roles in ‘Mobile Suit Gundam-The Movie Trilogy’, ‘Bushido Blade 2’, ‘Lupin the 3rd’, ‘Patlabor 3’, and ‘Fighting Spirit’, Abby, and Inherit the Wind, to name just a few.
You’ve heard her on ‘Shadow Hearts II’ as Veronica Vera and other characters.
Other cartoons include Rosalind in “Wings of Honnesmise”, ‘Samurai X’. all the female characters in ‘The Little Punk’,
Honey Bee Hutch’, ‘Wisdom of the Gnomes’, ‘Macross I, II, III’, Aunt Polly in Tom Sawyer, the cunning frog in Captain Schnauzer’, Gigi’ and many others.
She has voiced lead voices in many live action feature films that have been adapted into English including Academy Award winners ‘Cinema Paradiso’, ‘Belle Epoque’, ‘Eat, Drink, Man, Woman’, ‘Kika’, ‘Mostly Martha’,‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, ‘Fencing Master’, ‘Widow of St. Pierre’, ‘Amores Perros’, ‘Mission Kashmir’, ‘Iron Monkey’, ‘The Emperor and the Assassin’, ‘Onmyoji-Ying-Yang Masters’, ‘Le Femme Nikita’,‘Tae Guk Gi’, ‘Babbette’s Feast’ and ‘Shiri’, to name a few.
Current work on camera:
MILK AND HONEY (series) series regular with Debbie Allen and Idris Elba. Trailer : milkandhoneyseries.com
BLOOD ON CANVAS, feature, lead…coming out later this year.
On camera, her past films include:
Eldad / co star
The Other Way/ co-star
‘Jessie’s Girls’ (lead)
‘Duchess and The Dirtwater Fox’ (co-star)
‘Fatal Charm’ (co-star
‘Prisoner in the Middle’ aka ‘Warhead’ (co-star)
A few of her television shows include, ‘American Carrott’, ‘Charlie’s Angels’, and recurring characters on ‘General Hospital’,
‘Santa Barbara’ and ‘Days Of Our Lives’.
Ellyn’s recent plays: EXIT THE KING/ Queen Marguerite, APPLE/ Evelyn, MRS. WARREN’’S PROFESSION/ Mrs..Warren
Ellyn is also a children’s book writer.
For a more complete look at Ellyn’s work, go to ellynstern.com. or Ellyn Stern@IMDB
Richard Epcar – one of the hardest working men in show business, has voiced over 300 characters in Games, Animation and Anime.
Starting out in ROBOTECH and best known for voicing Batou in GHOST IN THE SHELL. You’ve heard him in LEGEND OF KORRA, LUPIN THE THIRD, MONSTER, NARUTO, BOBOBO-BOBOBO, TRANSFORMERS, BLEACH, KENSHIN, GTO, GUNDAM, MACROSS, CYBER SOLIDER 009, LUCKY STAR, DIGIMON, X-MEN, GUNDAM UNICORN, BABYLON 5, and POWER RANGERS to name a few.
He’s also in many games including:
KINGDOM HEARTS as Ansem, SKYRIM: ELDER SCROLLS V, INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US as the Joker, MK vs D.C. UNIVERSE as the Joker and Raiden, STARGATE SG-1 as Gen. Hammond, CALL OF DUTY-BLACK OPS, STAR WARS, TRANSFORMERS, COMMAND & CONQUER, MORTAL KOMBAT as Raiden, DEAD OR ALIVE 3-D, STARCRAFT as Dark Templar, DEAD SPACE, XENOSAGA as Ziggy, WORLD OF WAR CRAFT, LEAGUE OF LEGENDS as Xin Zhao, NARUTO, COWBOY BEBOP, SAMURAI WARRIORS, BLUE DRAGON, STAR OCEAN, SPLINTER CELL, GUILTY GEARS, .HACK, STREET FIGHTER, MEDAL OF HONOR, GHOST RECON, BATON KAITOS ORIGINS, SPACE SEIGE, SPEC-OPS, BAYONETTA, TEKKEN, ACE COMBAT, and he mo-capped The President in RESIDENT EVIL 6.
Richard has voice directed many games including:
DEAD ISLAND: RIPTIDE, BLUE DRAGON, SHADOW HEARTS II, STAR OCEAN 2, 3, ENEMY TERRITORY QUAKE WARS, UNREAL TOURNAMENT 3, JACKASS THE GAME, SMACKDOWN VS. RAW, and DEAD HEAD FRED and voice directed GHOST IN THE SHELL 2, ROBOTECH: SHADOW CHRONICLES , THE REEF, NOEIN, DIGIMON, LUPIN THE III, FIGHTING SPIRIT, PATLABOR 3, ZENTRIX, AZUMI I & II, FEARLESS, BETTY BLUE, IRON MONKEY, VR TROOPERS, POWER RANGERS, UGLY BETTY WEBISODES and OLD BOY to name a few.
On Camera Richard has appeared in WAREHOUSE 13, MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN, COLUMBO, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, MATLOCK, CHEERS AND GENERAL HOSPITAL, and soon to be released BROKEN SPIRITS. And he’s very busy doing OPERATOR 5, his series of audio books.
Fans of animation will recognize Richard Horvitz as the voice of many iconic characters, including INVADER ZIM, Billy from THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY, Daggett from THE ANGRY BEAVERS and Alpha 5 from the original MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS. In addition to Richard’s animation work, gamers will recognize him from his many video game roles in such classics as PSYCHONAUTS (RAZ), RATCHET AND CLANK series (Zoni, Pollyx ,Zurgo) DESTROY ALL HUMANS (Orthopox) and SKYLANDERS(Kaos) to name a few. Richard continues to work on screen as well. Most recently he was seen in THE INFORMANT with Matt Damon and CRAZY, STUPID LOVE along side Steve Carell. Many will remember Richard as the nerdy Alan Eakian in Paramount Pictures 1980’s cult classic SUMMER SCHOOL. www.richardhorvitz.com
Rikki Simons is a voice actor, writer, and artist. He is most famous for being the voice of the robot in a dog suit, GIR from Invader ZIM. As writer he is known for science fiction and fantasy novels such as Hitherto a Lion, Ranklechick and His Three Legged Cat, Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!, The Sad Circus by the Sea, and the six volume ShutterBox fantasy series, which he co-created with his wife, Tavisha-Wolfgarth-Simons. He is also a background painter in animation, most noted for his color design on Invader ZIM. The comics and books he creates with Tavisha can be read and purchased at www.tavicat.com
Christopher Ayres has been working professionally in theatre, television and film since the age of 6. His work has been seen Regionally, Nationally and on Broadway. He currently works as a A.D.R. director at Sentai Film Works and as a voice actor has worked for Sentai Film Works, ADV films, Amusement park Media, New Gen Pictures Okratron 5000 and FUNimation Entertainment. As an A.D.R. Director his credits include: MARIAH HOLIC, AKB0048 SECOND STAGE, KOKORO CONNECT series and o.v.a., MARIA HOLIC ALIVE, LITTLE BUSTERS, SAY I LOVEYOU AKB-0048, SHINING HEARTS, ANOTHER, MYSTERIOUS GIRLFRIEND X, DUSK MAIDEN OF AMNESIA, BATTLE GIRLS, BODACIOUS SPACE PIRATES, MAJIKO: OH SAMURAI GIRL, All three of the HAKUOKI series and the o.v.a, INTRIGUE IN THE BAKUMATSU, BOOK OF BANTORRA, PLANZET, EF~A TALE OF MEMORIES, EF~ A TALE OF MELODIES, NIGHT RAID 1931, THE NERIMA DAIKON BROTHERS, XENOSAGA: The Animation, MAGIKANO, MERMAID MELODY PITCHI PITCHI PITCH and assistant director for THE WALL FLOWER and TSURITAMA Some of the roles as a voice actor Chris is best known for are Kei Kourono in Gants, Frieza in Dragon Ball Z Kai, Arthur in Tears to Tiara, Suitengu in Speed Grapher, The Covenant Commander in Halo: Legends, Von Kampfer in Trinity Blood, Hayashimizu in Full Metal Panic? Fummofu, Prince Soma in Black Butler, Yaminami in Peacmaker, Takada Shingin in Sengoku Basara, DJ Plugman in Air Gear and Sid in Devil May Cry. His voice can also be heard in Elfin Lied, Golgo 13, Phi-Brain, B-Toom, Diamond Daydreams and Fairy Tale to name a few. Chris also works as a professional fight director and has enjoyed bringing his workshop “Mock Combat for Cosplay” to many conventions. You can learn more about Chris by visiting his website www.christopherayres-va.com.
Greg Ayres has spent the last several years working in an industry he had admired for many more as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami return last summer summer, voicing the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland, and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7. He was also thrilled to reprise his role of Son Goku in the Saiyuki Gaiden OVA, and also voiced the roles of Makoto Kobayashi in the award winning animated film Colorful, and Kouichi Sakakibara in this summers chiller title Another.
Some of his other recent roles include Sion in No. 6, Taichi Yaegeshi in Kokoro Connect, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken in The Book of Bantorra. Other favorite roles include Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Youhei Sunohara in Clannad, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories, Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in The Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Negi Springfield in Negima. He can also be heard as Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, Hiro Hirono in ef: A Tale of Memories, Abe in Big Windup, Jr. in Xenosaga: The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention.
When he’s not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones of another variety behind “the decks”. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, he jumped at the opportunity to play music at conventions. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), he never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.
Since his debut in “Assemble Insert” back in 2001, Bill has been providing voices to some of your favorite characters in some of your favorite shows. If you’ve watched “Ikki Tousen”, “The Third”, “Shingu”, “KO Beast”, “His and Her Circumstances”, “Magical Witch Punie-Chan”, “Joe vs. Joe”, “Madara, “To Heart”, “Kujibiki Unbalance”, “Queen’s Blade”, “Gokudo”, or “Comic Party” you’ve probably heard his voice. But he is best known for his work in “Gravitation” (Touma Seguchi), “Boogiepop Phantom” (Yamamoto), and “Genshiken” (Tanaka Souichiro). He can also be heard on Saturday mornings as the voice of Brock in “Pokémon”, (as well as over 40 creatures that appear in the show).
In the world of video games, Bill has lent his voice to the X-Box game “Bullet Witch”. On the Wii console he voiced cartoon legend Heathcliff in “Heathcliff: Fast and the Furriest” as well as supplying the voices for Red, Yellow and other fun characters in the “m&m Adventure” and “m&m Kart Racing”. On mobile devices he can be heard in “Dungeon Hunter 4” and “Gangstar: Vegas” by Gameloft. He has also voiced various Pokémon in the game “Poképark” and it’s sequel “Poképark: Wonders Beyond”. But fans best know him as the legendary Lucario in the smash hit “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”.
Outside of the anime & video game field, Bill has worked with English dubbing groups for live action and animated programs from Italy, Korea, India and Turkey. He has also been seen on stage in various theatre productions and has worked on numerous independent films. He can also be heard in audiobooks “The Privilege of thSword” and “The Fall of the Kings” available on audible.com.
You can follow Bills adventures by searching for “billsvoice” on facebook and @billsvoice on Twitter.
Greg joined the voice acting ranks through his background in IT and Engineering (no, seriously). Earning advanced degrees from Pennsylvania State University and studying drama with the Walnut St. Theatre, the Wilma Theatre, and the People’s Improv Theatre.
Greg has been performing behind the mic for over 12 years providing vocal talent for companies such as AstraZenica, DuPont, Lockheed Martin, CBS, Honda of America, and the NBA, among others. In the anime world, he’s provided voices for titles such as “Evangelion”, “Ikki Tousen”, “One Piece”, “Shiki”, and “Tales of Vesperia”.
To learn more about Greg, visit www.gregoryhouser.com or @ghouser on Twitter.
(b. January 12, 1970) American artist. A Seattle, Washington-based writer, artist and publisher, Kaja Foglio (pronounced Kaiya Foh-Leeo) was born Kaja Murphy in Bellevue, Washington, and reared in Kirkland, Washington. She graduated from Juanita High School in Kirkland, in 1988 and attended the University of Washington (UWA), where she was heavily involved with the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a group devoted to the study and recreation of mainly Medieval European cultures. After graduating from UWA, 1993 she married Phil Foglio – whom she had met through the SCA – and together they founded Studio Foglio, LLC in 1995.
Foglio’s first professional commissions were from Wizards of the Coast, 1993, for their new collector card game Magic: the Gathering. She provided the art for over fifty cards, some in collaboration with her husband, and both contributed to The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002) and the revived comic strip “What’s New?” for Wizard of the Coast’s Duelist magazine. She is credited by many with “integrating” gaming art, and her card, ‘Spirit Link’, became one of the iconic symbols of Magic; The Gathering, appearing on mugs, posters, statues and other merchandise.
She also provided cards for Shadowfist (Daedalus Games 1995), Jyhad AKA Vampire: The Eternal Struggle ( WoTC 1994), Netrunner (WoTC 1996) Lord of the Rings (Decipher, Inc. 2001), Battlelords of the 23rd Century (New Millenium 1995), Legend of the Five Rings (Five Rings Publishing 1995), Clout (Hidden City Games 2005), and XXXenophile (Slag–Blah Entertainment 1996).
Described by her husband as the embodiment of the “Dixie Null” character from his original ”What’s New” series, she contributed to the second compilation of “What’s New with Phil & Dixie,” strips in the 1990s, as well as the third collection What’s New with Phil & Dixie; The Magic Years (Studio Foglio 2000) which collected the strips from Duelist Magazine.
Studio Foglio was originally a venue for her Magic: The Gathering art prints, but studio activities quickly expanded into the broader publishing field.
Foglio also produced original artwork for science fiction and fantasy convention programs and posters, and illustrated the omnibus edition of The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox (The Stars Our Destination Books, BCE/BOMC edition, 1998). She is also the chief graphic designer and Webmaster for the Studio Foglio and Airship Entertainment web sites.
With Phil, she co-illustrated GURPS IOU (SJG 1995). She also did the graphic design and layout for Empyrion (Versal Entertainment 2004), Sucession (Your Move Games 2004), and Space Station Assault (Your Move Games 2004).
In recent years Foglio has become best known for co-writing the successful retro-fantasy comic book series Girl Genius with her husband, Phil. In an interview, she coined the term ‘Gaslamp Fantasy’ to describe Girl Genius and it has since become an accepted sub-genre in Steampunk.
In 2005, the Foglios stopped issuing periodical editions of the comic and began publishing Girl Genius online as a free webcomic, updated three times a week, then publishing yearly collections.
The Foglios jointly won the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, 2009 for co-writing ‘Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones,’ and won the same award in 2010 for ‘Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm’. And then won a third time in 2011 ‘Girl Genius, Volume 10; Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse’.
They novelized the first three volumes of their popular comic as Agatha H. and the Airship City in 2011 by Night Shade Books. The second volume Agatha H & the Clockwork Princess came out in 2012, and other volumes are planned.
Foglio and her husband live in Seattle and have two children, a son Victor and daughter Alex.
(b. May 1, 1956) American artist and cartoonist Philip P. Foglio (pronounced Foh-Leeo) was born in Mt. Vernon, and grew up in Hartsdale, New York. He attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in cartooning (1978). Foglio was an enthusiastic science fiction fan artist. Nominated for Best Fan Artist Hugo Awards in 1976, 1977 and 1978, winning the Award in 1977 and 1978. He was also nominated the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo along with Robert Asprin for the slide show The Capture. Foglio’s first professionally published art was for “Taking the Fifth” in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, (1978).
In college, Foglio helped found Moebius Theatre, a science-fiction improv comedy troupe that performed at science-fiction conventions for over fifteen years.
Foglio did several covers for Dragon from 1979 to 1982, but came to most gamers’ attention in 1980, when he began the comic strip “What’s New with Phil & Dixie” for Dragon. The series’ ran until issue #84 (April, 1984). Each month covered a different angle of role-playing, poking fun at the world of tabletop RPG characters and games.
In 1982 he began illustrating Robert Asprin’s MythAdventures series for Donning/Starblaze; doing covers and interior illustrations for the next fourteen books in the series. In1985 he adapted the first novel, Another Fine Myth, into a comic series for WaRP Graphics. Illustrated by Foglio, with inks by Tim Sale, it was collected into graphic novels by Starblaze Graphics(1987), and reprinted in a single volume by the Foglio’s company Airship Entertainment, (2007). He also illustrated the Myth Fortunes Board Game (Mayfair Games, 1989).
In the 1980s, Foglio created a comedy/science fiction/detective comics series Buck Godot, collected in two volumes: Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire (Donning, 1986) and Buck Godot: PSmIth (Walsworth, 1987). Buck Godot was later serialized as a webcomic (2007-2009).
In 1989 he published the adult comic XXXenophile, which ran for eleven issues, regarded by many as the “most literary adult comic ever”. He also created the first adult-themed CCG, XXXenophile (Slag-Blah, 1996), based on the comic book series of the same name.
In 1990 Foglio moved to Seattle, Washington, and in 1991 was hired by Garfield Games (Wizards of the Coast) to illustrate and design characters for the board game Robo-Rally.
He married Kaja Foglio in1993, and they founded Studio Foglio in 1995. Foglio produced card art for Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering collector card game beginning with the expansion set Antiquities (1994). His first cards were the series of four “Mishra’s Factory” cards, and were collaborations with his wife, Kaja – already a freelancer for the game. His last contributions were to Unglued (1998), a parody set uniquely suited to his humorous, cartoon style. On the cards for Unglued he used the pseudonym Claymore J. Flapdoodle. Both Phil and Kaja contributed art to The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002).
The 1980-84 Dragon Magazine run of What’s New? was reprinted in two compilations What’s New? (Palliard Press, 1991) and What’s New with Phil & Dixie, Volume 2: Sex & Gamers… No Really. In 2000, a second edition with a new cover and annotations added by Kaja Foglio, plus the segment “Sex and D&D” was published by Studio Foglio (2000).
The strip was resurrected in the 1990s in Duelist magazine, with the satire now aimed at collectable card games, and lasting for the magazine’s entire run. These strips were collected in a third ‘What’s New?’ collection What’s New With Phil & Dixie; The Magic Years (Studio Foglio, 2000). It then returned to Dragon in issue #265 (November 1999), running to issue #311 (September 2003). A final “farewell” installment was published in Dragon #350 (December, 2006).
In 1989 he co–wrote the comedic science fiction novel Illegal Aliens with Nick Pollotta.
During the 1990s -2000s, Foglio provided numerous illustrations for computer games, boardgames and card games for publishers such as Steve Jackson Games.
In 2001 Phil & Kaja released the first issue of Girl Genius as a quarterly comic book series. In 2005, they were the first publisher to take an existing commercial comics property and put it online for free. Within a year of becoming a free webcomic, sales had tripled, and their readership had climbed over 100,000. As Phil has put it, “Giving our stuff away for free was the best business decision we ever made.”
Foglio was a professional artist Hugo nominee in 2008, and in 2009. He and Kaja won the first Graphic Story Hugo Award for Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones. They won the category again in 2010 for Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm, and 2011 for Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse. At this point, they announced that they would take a one-year hiatus from the category.
Night Shade Books published a prose novel version of the first three Girl Genius volumes, Agatha H. and the Airship City, in 2011. Followed in 2012 by, Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess. Other volumes are planned.
The Foglios continue to live in Seattle and have two children. They enjoy travel, video games and old books.
SUPER ART FIGHT
With nearly 100 shows under their championship belt, it’s easy to forget that the “Greatest Live Art Competition in the Known Universe” is a Katsucon-original. Birthed from the Iron Artist Competition in 2008, Super Art Fight has been entertaining fans all over the country with their unique mixture of live drawing, pro-wrestling style characters, and over the top improvised commentary. Returning for Katsucon XX, they bring along both their big main event show, and their infamous 18+ “SAF Unleashed” event, making for a weekend of entertainment you won’t be able to forget – no matter how much therapy you endure! For the latest details on this crazy crew of creatives, visit them online at SuperArtFight.com
Tavisha produces her art and stories under the studio name of Tavicat (and sometimes “WiredPsyche”) along with her husband, Rikki Simons. After a decade of publishing manga-influenced comics in the American market, Tavisha has had the opportunity to work with a variety of properties, attaching her much loved spin to them. Tavisha has designed manga versions of established western cartoon characters for Nickelodeon Magazine, she has designed characters and fashions from the ground up for companies such as Tokyopop and Digital Manga, and she has co-created original titles such as Ranklechick and his Three-Legged Cat, Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!, The Sad Circus by the Sea, and ShutterBox. The comics and books she creates with Rikki, including @Tavicat (a comic about her cats) can be read and purchased at www.tavicat.com.
Kate A. Lebherz-Gelinas
Kate A. Lebherz-Gelinas is a self-taught illustrator, artist, and craftsman who began working professionally in 1984. She’s done work in advertising, game magazines, game supplements, comics, web cartooning, historic reenactment, and has works in museums and private collections all over the world.
While she has an extensive and diverse set of skills and talents, when she’s not putting pencil to paper, she spends her time carving crochet hooks, needle felting a variety of fiber, carving gemstones, building scale model terrains, creating dolls, building objects from cardboard, and the list keeps going.
Kate resides with her husband “Geo” and their daughter, Sarah amid an extensive collection of books, fossils, mineral specimens, artifacts, computers, and raw materials for her many projects in an old brick house in Fort Valley, GA, that is in and of itself an art project.
Steve Bennett (International)
Steve first honed his artistic chops when he was just a teenager living in Tokyo. He landed a part-time gig with Noburu Furusei (New Dominion Tank Police, Lupin III, etc.) at Studio Aoehyma and was lucky enough to work on series like Only You and Yamamoto.
Later he was able to turn this experience into an actual job in the States—from 1997 until 2004 Steve was Artistic Director and part owner of Studio Ironcat, which published several manga titles in English. Then, in 2008, Steve and his wife Nikki moved back to Japan and he spent three years as a production artist for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
But what Steve really loves is interacting with other cartoon geeks like himself! In 1994 he attended his first US convention–Katsucon 1. Since then, he’s become a regular at conventions all across the States, as well as doing guest speaker gigs at institutions such as the Iowa Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Loyola University. Even though he still currently lives in Japan, he gets back as much as he can to teach, inspire, draw for folks and generally have a good time at various conventions throughout the year.
Steve is currently revamping his website and starting up a line of tattoo art (for those of you who would love to permanently display his art on your person!!) and, after taking a couple of years’ hiatus, is now busy with commissions, comics and other cartoony endeavors! Check out his Facebook page at “Steve Bennett Art – Everything Cartoony With Good Ol’ Steve Bennett” and his webpage at www.stevebennettart.com for upcoming projects and convention dates!
Senno Knife (Japanese Manga artist)
In 1981, Senno’s debut work, Yukihime (Snow Princess), was published through the famous adult manga magazine, Lemon People. This was the start and the root to the current manga genre, bish?jo manga(1). (Lemon People magazine is known to be the father of specifically targeting “male targeted adult manga with beautiful young girls”. Until then, there were only erotic manga portraying adults drawn with a realistic style). A year later, Senno started a new manga series called, Hyaku Mensou (Hundred Face) Circus, which is a gothic twist with a surreal story and illustrated with a strong contrast of black and white. During the same time, Senno worked on other numerous series geared towards sh?nen(2) manga publishing. Such works are:
Kurakunatte Majo (Little Cutie Witch) for weekly Sh?nen Champion at Akita shoten (CBS Sony Publishing), Chizuru’s Mysterious Tales for Princess Gold at Akita shoten (Seirin-Do Publishing), and Silhouette in the Darkness for Princess Gold at Akita shoten Princess Gold comics. Other works consists of dark fantasy sh?jo(3) manga series, Zero at Outer Space, (a Jitsugyo-no Nihon Sha publishing), a series that is a strong homage of the movie Blade Runner called Valkyrie (a Kubo Shoten work, and a test style manga for a new genre, Sh?nen X). Whenever he had a chance or an idea, no matter what genre or target, Senno created new works.
Senno also worked on publishing a young adult manga magazine. Some of the titles were a comedy manga series, Samurai Cop, a science fiction movie parody manga, The Secret Lady, and a series about a young devilish girl that destroys innocent people’s lives called Little Devil. Also another adult manga series that Senno worked on was Ohma-ga Horror Show featuring a transgender main character who was called “Lady Eccentric.” It was especially important for members of the Japanese sexual minorities community (LGBT), and many transgender fans of the manga were inspired to work towards their transition.
There were many female fans of Senno’s sh?jo manga and experimental manga series; by some odd coincidence, these fans would eventually come across Senno’s bish?jo manga series. At first glance, these fans were shocked when seeing such eroticism with these young girls, but for some reason they always had a strong urge to purchase it and hide it in their bookshelf at home.
In the early 90s, a horror manga boom spread across Japan; this soon led Senno’s manga stylings into the genre of horror. During this era, Senno created numerous horror manga and had them published at various horror manga magazines. Senno’s horror manga had a strong dramatic story background and a very traditional horror feel. He often portrayed images of gore and evil with a beautiful girl drenched in blood screaming, which reminded readers of the films of director Dario Argento and the series Hellraiser. Some titles published under “Senno Horror” genre were:
Girl Pandora, The End of Eden and Sister (Akita Publishing), Shi No Megami (Goddess of Death), Meikyu Circus (Circus of Labyrinth) and Kamikiri Onna (Mantis Woman) (Bunka Publishing) and Shi No Bijutsukan (Death Museum) (Kubo Publishing).
Most of his horror manga were a series of short stories. Such works included Shitarou-kun, a story about a boy named Shitarou-kun who was grotesquely deformed and the unfortunate events that occurred to anyone that crossed paths with him. There was the Deguchi sh?nen series about a boy named Deguchi-kun that can’t help but run into mysterious phenomenon. Finally there’s the Alice in Labyrinth series, a story with multiple characters that fall into a horror-like world. In this world, these characters are guided by a mysterious girl named Alice and are faced with multiple different nightmarish events. All of these series are filled with horror and black humor. These short stories are published bundled together: the Shitarou-kun series by Akita Publishing (two volumes), Rumor of Shitarou-kun by Gentosha Comics (two volumes), and Alice in Labyrinth series by Kubo Publishing.
After creating horror-based manga, his next project was doing his own take on the classical fairy tales as well as the biographical stories of master writers. Such works included a story about Sade who was the father image of what we know today as sadism. Venus Im Pelzwhich was written by a story writer named Masoch, whose works became the basis of the word, “masochist”. Senno followed these with Castle of Tragedy, based on the stories of the Grimm Brothers, and Histoire d’O, the biographical stories of Jeanne d’Arc and Gilles de Rais. Such masterpieces depicted a world of gore and violence, taking place during the European Middle Ages. Hidden behind this gore was a beautiful innocent fairy tale-esque atmosphere and a strong sense of sexuality. Sometimes Senno portrayed these images in a horror take and sometimes in an erotic adult manga take. In any case, this manga collection had a cult following with Senno’s bish?jo manga female fans and was said to be an exotic, yet comfortable, bedtime reading material. This series of Senno’s manga were grouped together as an anthology manga and was published under Seirindo Publishing. The book titles were Sade, Sade 2 -Devilishness Princess, Tempest, and Decameron. Another inspired work by Sade and Grimms was a manga called Miss Vampire published by Seirindo Publishing. During the same run of inspiration, Senno worked on his first digital manga release called École de Eden. Both were normal-length manga with story telling that had a sense of watching a movie, taking the reader by surprise.
Senno faced his newest challenge when he was approached about doing an adult manga based off of a samurai timeframe manga. The title became Eden the Yoshiwara Yu-Jo Girls and was published in a samurai-based magazine called Ran. It felt like a natural progression in Senno’s career as a manga artist to do this Yoshiwara-themed manga because Yoshiwara is historically Japan’s first and biggest red light district in Edo City.
Senno’s manga genre work is known to be borderless; he doesn’t use any specific genre to base all of his creations. Senno simply uses any genre manga that he feels fit with the theme. From adult to youth, male to female, he sets his bar high against the world, continuing to draw his own Senno style: aesthetic, beauty, delusional, and dark humor manga.
*1: Beautiful young girl
*2: Boy audience
*3: Girl audience
An ex-stage actor and failed Internet shut-in, T Campbell has written eighteen gazintillion pages of comics, won some awards and gotten high-flying writers to praise his work, so if you don’t love his series, it’s probably your own damn fault. Besides Guilded Age, his series include Quiltbag, Penny and Aggie, Fans, Rip and Teri, Widgetitis, Divalicious and Cool Cat Studio, plus about fourteen seconds’ worth of work for Marvel and Archie. He spends his “spare time” designing crosswords, dancing with the stars and seeking the Anti-Life Equation.
A longtime Professional Neckbeard, Phil Kahn has spent a few years writing for various Webcomic, Webcomic Criticism, and Webcomic Enthusiast sites, and is now trying to take his accumulated knowledge and put it all to good use on Guilded Age. While building a daytime career as an IT Support Specialist and Pokémon Trainer, he also spends a great deal of time practicing silly voices/faces in front of a mirror for the inevitable day where the only thing that can save the whole of humanity from certain doom is his impression of Henchman #24. He is also totally that Gnome Warlock who just won’t DIE ALREADY.
Please let us introduce Kevin Bolk, a fifteen-year comics art veteran and contributor to Nickelodeon, Udon, Blind Ferret, TokyoPop, & other industry publishers. He is the creative spine and muscle groups for Interrobang Studios, a web-based publishing house he co-founded in 2005. That year, Kevin teamed up with Sarah Martinez, MIT alumnus and comic shop manager, for her business knowledge, inking abilities, and writing talents. Together, the pair has blazed ahead with over 1500 comic strips published under 16 different series and across 15 printed books. You’ll most likely recognize Kevin’s works from “It Sucks To Be Weegie“, the “Ensign Sue” Trilogy, “I’m My Own Mascot,” and the online news coverage of his Avengers movie parody art, “Avengers Booty Ass-emble.” Though growing in renown for a number of his works, Kevin has garnered the most international attention for his parody art and has been licensed for publication in numerous collegiate-level text books for Women’s Studies. Kevin and Sarah can be found in the Artist Alley at the Interrobang Studios table and would be happy to say hi, take pictures, sign books, admire your costume, or accept artwork commissions for delivery at Katsucon!
Garth & Mookie (Star Power)
Michael Terracciano and Garth Graham spent years working on the fantasy webcomics “Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire” and “Finder’s Keepers” respectively. Having finished their previous projects, they teamed up to start the sci-fi superhero space adventure, “STAR POWER!” It tells the story of the last of the Star Powered Sentinels as she protects and explores a galaxy that is far more dangerous, and more wondrous, than she ever imagined. Michael and Garth hope to make superheroes fun again, and to create a world you want to escape to, not from. Follow their interstellar quest at starpowercomic.com!
Brian Boling is an award winning prop maker in the USA. He has been creating costumes, props and weapon replicas since 1997. After successfully touring the States and winning recognition for his creations at conventions such as Dragoncon and San Diego Comic Con, his focus turned from costume hobbyist to professional manufacturer. Brian became a Business Partner and Production Manager for the manufactured costume accessories line at Yaya Han, LLC. These days, he travels to 25 – 40 conventions world wide as an Exhibitor, runs a rapidly expanding creative business, and is also featured on Syfy Network’s TV show “Heroes of Cosplay”. Brian is also a car enthusiast with a long history of car restoration and fabrication, and a car collector. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experiences with the attendees of Katsucon.
Kamui aka Svetlana Quindt is a talented costume and prop designer from Germany. She is widely known for her impressive armor projects from World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, but moreover because of her passion for sharing her self-taught knowledge with the cosplay community all over the world. With over 10 years of experience, Kamui already created tons of written step by step instructions, video tutorials and lately published a book on how to create armor costumes. Even before she turned her hobby into a fulltime job she already was a popular guest and professional costume creation panelist as well as a well known face at conventions like Montreal Comiccon, Japan Expo, Blizzcon, MCMExpo or Gamescom.
Yaya Han is a costume designer, model and cosplay entertainer with over a decade of experience. After discovering cosplay at Anime Expo in 1999, she quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation. To this day Yaya has made 250+ costumes in the genres of anime/manga, comic books, video games, sci-fi and her own original designs.
Over the years, Yaya has build a successful business in the cosplay community, creating a popular cosplay accessories line that is available online and at conventions, as well as her line of Yaya Han Brand merchandising. Her intricate and lavish creations have won awards and acclaim nationwide, and she has been invited to appear as a Guest, Panelist, Judge, Performer and Host to over 100 conventions and other events all over the world. Yaya’s impact on the world of cosplay has been so great that she has been a Guest Judge on TBS TV Network’s “King of the Nerds” competition show, featured in a documentary about cosplay called: Cosplay – Crafting a Secret Identity, as well as is starring in the new Syfy TV Network Docu-Series “Heroes of Cosplay”. But, no matter where Cosplay has taken her professionally, Yaya strives to stay true to what got her into this field originally – fun and creativity.
Through hard work, unmatched passion and infectious enthusiasm, Yaya has helped Cosplay gain respect and integrity as an artform in the fandom world and art communities, and her decade long campaign for creativity has helped raise Cosplay to the standards we know today. Everyday, Yaya continues to pave the path for the beloved art and lifestyle we know as Costume Play.
GEEK COMEDY TOUR
The Geeks have returned to Katsucon.
And there shall be laughter.
The Geek Comedy Tour is a collective of the funniest stand-up comedians from the Washington DC area. Each one is an experienced comic, having performed at bars, clubs, and colleges all over the East Coast. Telling their normal jokes to normal audiences but all of that was about to change.
There was something amiss. For you see, they were all gigantic dorks, and comedy club crowds don’t fully appreciate jokes about comic books, anime, and video games. So, they’ve decided to let their freak flag fly, form together, and bring their geek jokes to the horde that needs them most. Since their formation, The Geek Comedy Tour has performed at a variety of venues, from anime conventions, college shows, and even the grand opening of a comic shop.
In their triumphant return to Katsucon 20, the Geek Comedy Tour will be bringing awesome live shows, new jokes, amazing guests, weird new road stories, amazing new panels, shiny things, spiffy merch and advice for anyone looking to begin doing stand up on their own. In short, there’s no reason NOT to come out to the shows or panels, swing by their Artist’s Alley table to say hi and/or receive the world’s worst dating advice and it would behoove you to bring everyone you’ve ever known or loved.
Within the world of anime, Tom Stidman is known for his passion and drive within the local scene and for his need to give back to the culture that has given him so much over a decade. Crossing over from comics fandom, Tom was brought into the world of the otaku via Devil Hunter Yohko in 2003.
Eager to be involved with the culture, the following year he began to volunteer at conventions and clubs within the scene, and in the years since, he has been a guiding force at more than a dozen conventions, from Programming to Events and Registration. Additionally, Tom has been a regular panelist on a variety of subjects and currently podcasts on anime and related topics. Besides, his anime passion, he has interests in the comics, sports and gaming scenes as well. A native and resident of Baltimore, he works within the industry, working to improve it within as well. You can follow him on twitter @redneckotaku and through tumblr at rednecko.tumblr.com.
Kevin McKeever – V.P. of Marketing Robotech
A graduate of the lighting design program from Emerson College, Kevin has been working in the entertainment industry for nearly 15 years. He has worked in theater production at world class venues such as the Goodspeed Opera House, the Emerson Majestic Theater, Foxwoods Casino, and the Mohegan Sun Resort which he helped open in 1996.
His television production credits include Jackass, Kids Say the Darnedest Things, Guinness Book of World Records, Krypton Factor,Farmclub.com, The 60′s as well as various television commercials. His film credits include Mystery Men, For Love of the Game, and Billy Frankenstein. Kevin has also served as Assistant VP of Production for feature film producer and New York Times best-selling authorLynda Obst.
Kevin’s first official assignment in the Robotech universe was as an audit of Robotech’s television ratings and viewer demographics during its original run in the 1980s. Kevin’s analysis of the ratings in a cost effective manner along with his years of production experience made him a natural candidate for the Robotech team.
Tainted Reality is the premiere source of sub-culture based entertainment in the United States. They specialize in programing revolving around Japanese Rock (J-Rock), video games, fashion, and web comics. Tainted Reality hosts a variety of video programing on their site ranging from comedic skits, J-Rock album reviews, and event coverage from the biggest anime conventions, gaming conventions, and concerts. Tainted Reality often conducts interviews with some of the biggest musical artists of Japan like Yoshiki of X Japan, Die of Dir en grey, Miyavi and MUCC. They have managed and organized tours for prominent J-Rock bands such as BORN, Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-, and BLOOD. They have also produced entertainment media such as the Darkest Labyrinth Vol.1 DVD, the Darkest Labyrinth artist compilation CD, and the first official music video for Japanese goth band Rose Noire titled “Dual Evil”.
Tainted Reality Links:
Official Website - www.taintedreality.net
Official Facebook - www.facebook.com/taintedreality.net
Official Twitter - www.twitter.com/taintedreality
Official Youtube Channel - www.youtube.com/taintedrealityradio
Rose Noire’s Music Video “Dual Evil” - www.youtube.com/watch?v=PksL8gYlKFE