I mentioned in my last article that a girl drove all the way down from New Jersey to North Carolina to Ichibancon meet Vic Mignogna, the star of Fullmetal Alchemist (he voices the main character, Edward Elric). This time, Anthony Aycock and I went to New Jersey from North Carolina to meet Aaron Dismuke, where Vic was also present. Aaron voices Edward Elric’s iron giant little brother, Alphonse. Aaron doesn’t do many conventions–mainly due to not being invited, he said–so I thought I would see him while I had the chance.
It was called Anime Fan Fest. With both Vic and Aaron as guests, plus other actors from Fullmetal Alchemist, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, I expected it to be pretty big. However, it never seemed terribly crowded, even on Saturday afternoon. Then one of the dealers told me that this was the convention’s first year. I was immediately impressed.
The convention was held in one massive room at the Garden State Exhibition Center. Dealers (about 30), artist alley (about 10), cosplay registration, autograph sessions, and panels all took place in that one room. This layout had pros and cons. Everything was easy to find, but not everything was easy to hear. During Aaron’s Q&A, noise from the dealer area kept hitting me like Izumi Curtis’s fists.
I did hear a couple of things, though. One was Aaron talking about how his voice cracked during filming of the movie Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa. He asked to do the scene again, but director Mike McFarland told him, “No, we’ll keep that one. It shows the emotion of the character”–probably while stifling a laugh. I also heard Aaron talk about being recognized in public. Once was by a cashier at Kroger, who took a selfie with Aaron and his groceries. Another was someone who kept calling for Aaron at his parents’ house (he says he now lives off the grid). Still another was the guy in college who waited at a men’s room for Aaron to emerge and shake his hand. “You know my hands are wet,” Aaron said he told the guy. “You watched me wash them.” (Not creepy at all.)
After the Q&A, we had the pleasure of getting an interview with Aaron..
I have heard Vic talk about you falling in the booth a few times during Fullmetal Alchemist. Can you tell the story in your perspective?
Yeah, sure. Okay I was eleven whenever I started and so I was very absent minded and kind of
ADD acting, like I actually had been diagnosed. So I would like move around a lot, I had a stool and so I’d be in the booth, leaning back and picking at the walls because there’s soft soundproofing material. I destroyed those walls honestly. Like who am I kidding? It was bad. I might have even written on them at one point.
“Aaron was here”?
Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I wrote, honestly! Anyway, so yeah I was a little turd. And so I was leaning back and what I got into was this mode where I’d be leaning back and I would hear the beeps. You have three beeps and on the fourth imaginary beep is when you’d start recording your line. I was leaning back, and Mike said [Mike McFarland, director of Fullmetal Alchemist], “Alright let’s do this line.” It would go beep beep beep, and I’d go up real fast and I’d be like “Brother.” ‘Kay. And so this time I was leaning back and beep beep and I tried to lean forward but the stool like gives out. It goes the wrong way. It goes forward instead of backwards and I go backwards and it pushes me against the wall and the stool props up in the front of the booth. And so like I just end up with my legs sandwiched against my chest. And the stool like pinning me there. And the only way for me to get out myself would have been to like twist out and fall straight to the ground. And so I didn’t want to do that but I also didn’t want to admit what had happened and they had heard the sound of the stool and all the crash. That’s recorded somewhere. And so there’s this pause where Mike says “Aaron?” He looks up trying to see me but he can’t because I’m too far down. And I was just like – all I could think of – I finally realized I was going to need help. So I asked for it. A little “Help me.” He had to pull me out.
And they’ve never let you live it down.
You have mentioned before that you got into voice acting because you were related to someone who was a voice actor. Could you talk a little bit more about that?
Yeah, okay. Justin Cook is currently a director of production at Funimation, but at the time he was acting and directing a bit and he basically got the impression that I was a good reader because I was reading Lord of the Rings. I wasn’t really understanding it all, but I was reading it. And you know, I was like in third grade, I was like nine. So I was a bit above my reading level, and as a result he decided, “Why don’t I try using an actual boy who I know who I have a rapport with so he won’t be nervous for this little part of a little boy instead of using a woman. It’ll sound more authentic.” And so he did, and it ended up turning out pretty good. I felt pretty good about it. And he felt pretty good about it and so he had me do a larger part from the same show and then ultimately I started auditioning for other stuff and Alphonse was the first or second character I landed actually. And I think part of the reason they gave me that part was because there were no flaps [mouth movements for animated characters] so I didn’t have to focus too much on the mouth movements and they were able to do what they needed to to adjust. So I just had to do the acting. And I think that’s a big part of what allowed me to do that at such a young age. It wasn’t as hard as what all the other actors were having to do. So it was nice. It was like having training wheels on for my first part.
What sort of shows do you like that aren’t anime?
I like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones. I read Game of Thrones before the series came out so I was super excited about it. I’m a big fan of Peaky Blinders, it’s a British crime show. It’s on Netflix right now. I also like westerns: Bonanza. I’m also a big fan of M*A*S*H which is so good. It has some of the best comedy ever. I have almost every episode memorized, I’ve watched it so many times. That’s what I grew up on.
Which actors would you actually ‘fangirl’ over?
Alan Alda. He plays Hawkeye [in M*A*S*H]. I forget her name, but I recently started watching Jessica Jones, and that actress is fantastic.
I love Jessica Jones. I’ve actually met David Tennant.
Oh cool, yeah! He plays Kilgrave [in Jessica Jones]. That guy’s awesome.
You said you did some directing for Funimation. What sort of skillset do you need to be a successful director?
I think that the acting and writing are both important because there comes a point where you have to know whether an actor could give you the read for a certain line or whether between the way the line was written and the flaps and their personal cadence, whether they’re capable of doing that line or whether or not it needs to be rewritten. And once you know it needs to be rewritten, it needs to be able to. So you need the writing skill to alter the line if need be. And you also need the acting experience and also the ability to describe how you need a certain read. So I found I was able to mostly harness my acting experience and be able to like use – and also my acting experience with like hearing the different directors and the way that they would direct me. So you can either give someone the read you want and see how they respond to that and you can say “No, say it like this” and then say it. Like I was a good parrot when I was an early actor. As Al I could easily say something back exactly how you had said it to me. That was a good training wheels thing. And then slowly I was able to predict what it was they were going to want and do it in the first round. Other than that, sometimes I use like little analogies. I’d say something like “Could you say that as more of a languid predator? You know, a leopard stalking its prey?” Or “Make it sound more like you dipped your hand in what you thought was a crate of berries, but instead it was acid.” Things like that. Colorful things. That sort of idea that they were pretending that happened and then get a little more of the nuance of what the line is than from just hearing where the character is coming from.
What do you do if the actor just can’t get the line right?
You either settle for what they can do or you say “Okay good, thanks,” and then you get someone else to do it. I have never had to do that. But I’ve also never had the authority to do that even on the show that I was directing. That was always Tyler’s call. He was my producer. He did the casting for me because it was my first show. So he took care of the hard parts.
How did you get started on doing conventions?
My first convention was before – okay so Anizona, which was a first year con, had me and the entire cast of – It was me, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Vic Mignogna, I think Caitlin Glass – everybody was there. It was a tiny con, maybe like eight hundred people. That was my first real con. I don’t know if it’s even going anymore but I did it and I was super nervous and I was like “What am I supposed to say?” Because we were going through opening ceremonies and we were going through and everyone was like “Hey! I’m really glad to be here! My name is Travis Willingham and I play Roy Mustang.” And I didn’t even know what to say. They were all popping jokes and they were all like “What, you’re nervous?” And I was like “Yeah I’m nervous!” “Just tell them you’re nervous.” So I was like “Hey I’m Aaron, I play Al and I’m really nervous and there was a chorus of “Awwww” and uproarious applause. And I was like “That’s weird.”
Okay, one last question. What was your first experience with fangirls?
I ran from the first girl that tried to glomp [to pounce on and hug aggressively, often with a running start] me. I actually ran. She was a titan. She was really tall and she was wearing a Sailor Moon costume and I wasn’t familiar with Sailor Moon. I was only thirteen probably. Fourteen? Her friends met me first, and Vic said, “Do you know who this is? This guy is going to play Al.” And this was before Anizona. I was going to this con to get adjusted to it. It was a con in Fort Worth, my hometown. So I just went there for kicks to check out the scene and Vic happened to be there as a guest and he happened to recognize me and he told some other fans who I was and they were like, “We have to call our friend.” They called their friend and it was the 6’7 Amazon woman in a Sailor Moon outfit. She was like [bellows like a screaming fangirl]. People are like spilling to either side and it was an anime moment. I ran to the bathroom and then I slowly came back and hugged her calmly.
After the interview, Anthony and I went around the dealer room one last time when I noticed something very familiar. I am a yaoi fangirl, so I would recognize fan art from a fandom I am deeply involved in–in this case, Durarara!! What I saw was a wall scroll depicting the show’s most popular characters, Shizuo Heiwajima and Izaya Orihara, as they appeared in high school. They were embracing aggressively. The image was a popular piece of fan art. Someone had ripped it off, altered it slightly, and stuck it on a wall scroll that was now for sale.
I spoke to a very close friend, Kawaiikisshu, who is also an artist. This particular image she had seen on Zerochan.net, and I found it in other places such as tumblr. She said there are a lot of these on eBay and it is sad that work gets robbed and turned into merchandise for money. I heard the same sentiment from Irene Y. Lee, who draws the Li’l Deadpool for Marvel Comics. We saw a picture at her booth of Li’l Deadpool looking through a box of comics, which I totally do not have a T-shirt of. No one obtained Irene’s permission to make the shirt, and she receives no payment from it. I wish now I had told some of the staff what I saw because I knew it was illegal. Artists deserve all the credit and the money their art is worth. I know how I would feel if someone copied and pasted this article into their own web site and pretended that they were me. If they were me, they can buy food for my eight cats. (Disclaimer: I am not a crazy cat lady.)
Aside from copyright infringement and the need for more than one room, Anime Fan Fest was a spectacular experience. It was organized, the guests were terrific, and the staff was superb. When I interviewed Vic at Ichibancon, the staff member who was supposed to handle his schedule told me to ask him myself. Aaron’s handler, however, worked with me to create a seamless interview process.
I guess the worst part about Anime Fan Fest was the drive. In North Carolina, it had already been raining for about a week, and it did not stop until we left New Jersey, which, by the way, is the capital of RUDE. In our 24 hours in the state, we were honked at fourteen times. I haven’t been honked at fourteen times in North Carolina in my nineteen years of living.
Just kidding. I HEART New Jersey.
A few years ago, when I was still in high school, a person who liked anime was made fun of for it. My school had a manga/book club, and the entire group was often ridiculed by jocks who wouldn’t know good writing if it were mixed in their protein shakes. Despite this, I grew to love the art form, and when I learned that there were whole conventions devoted to it, I begged my dad to take me to one. Surprisingly, he agreed.
Anime conventions were smaller then, including my first, Ichibancon 2012, which was held at a tiny hotel in Charlotte, NC. I originally went with two friends to meet none other than Vic Mignogna, who was–and remains to this day–my favorite voice actor. We stood in his autograph line for about 30 minutes, and when I finally got to his table, I said “Hi” in a talking-to-your-crush-for-the-first-time voice.
Now, five years later, I’m still going to that same convention. It was held this year over New Year’s Day weekend at Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord. Comparing this year’s Ichibancon to the one in 2012 is like comparing the inside of the TARDIS to the inside of my closet. Over 5,000 attendees pre-registered this year, which doesn’t include those who bought a badge on-site. I don’t think 5,000 people even knew about it in in 2012. The cosplayers were awesome. I saw anime, Marvel, and DC characters, plus assorted Pokemon and pop culture figures (the guy dressed as John Cena was meme-tastic). One group of cosplayers was from Undertale, a video game that just came out, which was impressive in its immediacy and quality. Dozens of panels were scheduled on just about any nerdy topic you could imagine, even for Homestuck, the webcomic created in 2009 by Andrew Hussie. The gamers had their own room: dozens of PlayStations and Nintendos (and I don’t mean Nintendogs) projected onto the walls. There was even a TARDIS bouncy house for all the children. I didn’t see the cosplay contest, but I’m sure it was fabulous, especially since, for the first year, a $500 prize was available for first place (this would probably cover the cost of half an automail leg).
Speaking of automail, I got a chance to talk to my five-years-ago idol, Vic Mignogna. Vic is the Johnny Depp of anime. Other voice actors were there, including several members of the cast of Durarara!! (Saki Mikajima, Kasuka Heiwajima, Seiji Yagiri, and Saburo Togusa), whom you don’t see often. But Vic was clearly the biggest draw: one girl came all the way from New Jersey to meet him.
After seeing him a dozen or more times over the years, I felt more relaxed than that initial time. Here is what we discussed.
Me: As Edward Elric, you’re very emotional and over the top. Then you recently switched to playing Kasuka on Durarara!! who is emotionless with a very emotional brother. What was that like?
Vic: You know, I have to tell you, I’m kind of naturally emotional and expressive with my voice. Then, when I was doing Durarara!!, started, and they asked me, can you take the emotion out of it? Can you make it flatter? I’m thinking, it’s pretty flat already. So, yeah, that was a big change.
Me: How long have you been doing conventions?
Vic: Wow. Honestly, maybe a total of thirteen years.
Me: How did you get started?
Vic: Well, I got started in voice acting sixteen or seventeen years ago, and I didn’t know anything about conventions. In fact, there weren’t any at the time. Then, a few years into my career, I saw Monica Rial, and she said to me, “Hey, do you want to go to an anime convention?” I was like, “A what? They have conventions?” I went to Star Trek conventions when I was a little boy, but I had never been to an anime convention. So I went as a guest to one in Ohio, in Columbus, and I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe that there were these wall scrolls with my characters on it and pencil boards and plushies. I had no idea this stuff existed. That was the first one I went to, and of course it ramped up since then.
Me: I’ve also seen you at conventions like DragonCon that are not strictly anime conventions. Talk about the difference between those.
Vic: Anime conventions are very special in and of themselves. There is a real strong sense of community because everybody is there because they love this one specific genre of entertainment. Multicultural, pop culture conventions are more of something for everyone. It’s nice to have an anime presence there, but they don’t typically have the same feeling, a sense of family that you get at an anime convention. I suppose it would probably be the same for any convention that pertains to one thing. If you went to a Supernatural convention, it’s a little more focused. But I enjoy pop culture conventions, mostly because I’m a big sci-fi fan myself, so it’s a real pleasure to get to meet other sci-fi actors that I’m a fan of.
Me: Who is your favorite celebrity you’ve ever met?
Vic: Oh, Bill Shatner, of course. I’ve loved Captain Kirk since I was a little boy. [Want to see Vic as a little boy? Click here.] And you know, when I was young, I used to go to Star Trek conventions, and he is the only one of the original cast I never got to meet. Now, to literally be represented by the same manager who represents Bill, we get booked into conventions together, and we’ve gotten to have dinner together and travel a little bit and hang out, so it’s a real privilege.
Me: Have you had to suppress the urge to squeal like a fangirl?
Vic: All the time. All the time. [Laughs.] I want to respect him and not turn into one of those fanboys he’s dealt with for forty years.
Me: I read on your Wikipedia page that you were once a law enforcement officer.
Vic: I was. Right after college, my mom, who lives on the eastern shore of Maryland, was very good friends with the chief of police in the city where she lived. She always used to brag to him about her son who was a moral, ethical, upstanding member of the community. And so he said, well, I’d like to have someone like that on the police force. I didn’t have any plans right after college, so I went back there and went through the police training and became a cop for two years. It was never a career move. I enjoyed it a lot, but it isn’t something I want to do forever.
Me: It takes a special person to do that job.
Vic: It does. And to deal with the darker side of humanity so much of your life, always having to enforce the laws and deal with people breaking the rules can make a person very cynical and depressed.
Me: I have a copy of your Gospel of John CD. What was the genesis [see what I did there?] of that project?
Vic: Actually, it’s kind of interesting. I was at a convention, and a mother came up to me and said, “My daughter loves your work. She could sit and listen to you for hours. She loves your voice. You could read the phone book and she would listen to it.” I thought, what a nice thing to say. Then I thought, maybe not the phone book, but what if I were to record something of more importance and give it away. So I went home and recorded the Gospel of John and used a contemporary translation and played the piano underneath it to make it easy to listen to. I put a lot of money into it myself to get all the discs pressed, and now I give it away at conventions because what better thing to give to fans of my work than something that is very precious to me?
Me: Do you have plans to do more books?
Vic: I would love to, but it takes a lot of time, and to be honest, I don’t know what book I would do. There aren’t a lot of books of the Bible that stand by themselves, that tell the whole story. If you’re gonna get one chance to tell someone the story of Jesus, why he came, what he did, his ministry, his rising again, all of that, it’s all pretty self-contained in the Gospel of John. So I don’t know what book I would do, and it’s very time-consuming. I don’t have a lot of time, especially now with the Star Trek series I’m doing.
Me: So the Star Trek series is still going well?
Vic: Oh yeah. Bigger than ever. We just finished shooting episode six. Popularity is growing, and viewership is growing. At the risk of sounding partial, it’s fantastic. It looks and feels and sounds exactly like the original series. We have managed to continue the original series in every way, so you feel like you’re watching episodes that were never broadcast.
Me: But they’re all original stories.
Vic: Oh yes. From the recreation of the sets to the lighting, costumes, make-up, story, music, editing, characters—everything. No amount of description can prepare you for the quality. And it’s free. Just go to startrekcontinues.com. The first episode is wonderful, and the second is better than the first, and the third is better than the second. They just get better and better
Me: Last question. What is it like dealing with all the fangirls who are much younger than you?
Vic: Well, it’s kind of funny because, if I were half my age, I would be flattered. But I really look at it more like a father looking at younger people and going, Man, if I can give some joy to this person, if I can make them feel special about themselves, because so many of these kids are struggling with who they are and their place in the world and their security and self-esteem. I feel as if I have been given an opportunity to be an encouragement, somebody that they look up to and notices them and compliments them and puts his arms around them and gives them a big hug and engages with them. I think that’s very important. I didn’t used to realize how important that is, and over the years, with all the emails and letters I’ve gotten and interactions I’ve had at conventions, I’ve come to realize that God has put me here for a very specific purpose, and that is to bring encouragement and love and kindness and support to a lot of people who are at a very sensitive crossroads in their lives.
Of course, everyone has their criticisms no matter how much they enjoy something, and Ichibancon was not without flaws. For one thing, it needs a larger venue. There were lines to get into the dealer room and artist alley, and some of the panels were standing room only. Parking was ridiculous. I squeezed my car in next to a dumpster, and I saw people walking over from car dealerships and other hotels. According to one staff member, however, the only place large enough to expand to is the Charlotte Convention Center, whose surrounding hotels are much more expensive–$240 a night or more. Anime conventions are largely attended by teenagers, who don’t have much money (and spend what they do have on Call of Duty).
It was clear from artist alley and the dealer room that neither of them was “juried.” Some conventions judge vendors’ merchandise ahead of time and then make decisions on who gets a slot. This is done to make sure there is enough variety and quality in the room. Ichibancon, it seems, didn’t do this because there was a lot of repetition in both areas. Merchandise was mostly plushies, posters, and wall scrolls. There was no manga, and I saw only one dealer selling comic-related stuff (usually, there are more).
Even with all these negative things going on in the convention, that is no reason for the muggles to boycott this convention (I saw a picketer in the parking lot). In fact, I believe that this convention is the perfect one for any anime convention newbies.
Boston Comic Con is happy to welcome actor Vic Mignogna, best known for his voice acting work on the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, to the media guest lineup this year as part of our Star Trek 50th Anniversary Celebration! Vic plays Captain Kirk in the webseries Star Trek Continues, which is a direct continuation of the Enterprise’s five-year mission. He joins a guest list that includes Karl Urban, Dr. McCoy in the new series of Star Trek films including this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, and the original Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner! Check out the full list of celebrity guests at the link!
Victor Mignogna is an American actor known for his prolific voice-over work in the English dubs of Japanese anime shows and for his role as Captain Kirk in the immensely popular fan-created sci fi series Star Trek Continues. Vic’s most notable voice role is that of Edward Elric for the Fullmetal Alchemist series, for which he earned the American Anime Award for Best Actor in 2007. Other notable roles in anime include his work in the Dragon Ball Z films, Ouran High School Host Club, Tubas: Reservoir Chronicle, D.N. Angel, and Vampire Knight. His video game credits include Sonic the Hedgehog series and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3.
Victor will be appearing all three days of the event.
About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 12th, Saturday August 13th, and Sunday August 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!
|RocCon! Rochester’s ComicCon & Pop Culture Convention|
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|RocCon is a multi Genre Con featuring Comic Books, Sci Fi, Anime, Gaming and some Horror.
This year’s Guests: Naomi Grossman/Pepper in American Horror Story, Ming Chen & Michael Zapcic From “The Comic Book Men”!, Vic Mignogna/Dragon Ball Z/Full Metal Alchemist/ Star Trek Continues, Veronica Taylor the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokemon & April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 and Susan Gibney/Dr. Leah Abrams Star Trek Next Generation! Many other Stars to be announced!
Guest artists include(But are not limited to): Ken Lashley (Extrodinary XMen, Superman, He-Man, Justice League and more!, Mark Sparacio (Wolverine,XMen & More), Ken Hunt (Batman & Many others), Laura Inglis (Comic Artist who’s work has appeared on over 40 popular trading card sets) and Dan Curto (Star Wars Topps Collector Card Series Artist!)
Fun for ages 6 and Up
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|Kodak Event Center/Theatre on the Ridge
200 West Ridge Rd
Rochester, NY 14615
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|Naomi Grossman/Pepper in American Horror Story, Ming Chen & Michael Zapcic From “The Comic Book Men”!, Vic Mignogna/Dragon Ball Z/Full Metal Alchemist/ Star Trek Continues, Veronica Taylor the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokemon & April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 and Susan Gibney/Dr. Leah Abrams Star Trek Next Generation! Many other Stars to be announced! Guest artists include(But are not limited to): Ken Lashley (Extrodinary XMen, Superman, He-Man, Justice League and more!, Mark Sparacio (Wolverine,XMen & More), Ken Hunt (Batman & Many others), Laura Inglis (Comic Artist who’s work has appeared on over 40 popular trading card sets) and Dan Curto (Star Wars Topps Collector Card Series Artist!)|
|Shock Pop Comiccon|
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|Get ready! The 1st Annual Shock Pop Comiccon launches February 13-15, 2015 at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Shock Pop Comiccon is the newest pop culture experience celebrating your favorite movies, television shows, music, comics & animation, and toys & collectibles. The event will feature an interactive 100,000 square foot show of Celebrities, Comic Artists & Writers, Cosplay, Animation, Music, Anime, Art Exhibits, Vendors, Panels & Autograph sessions, The Karate Kid Reunion, The Stars of Star Trek Continues Web Series, Friday the 13th 35th Anniversary Reunion, Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge 30th Anniversary Reunion, Demons 30th Anniversary Reunion, Fire & Ice Reunion, Geek Film Fest, and an Independent Film Maker Contest.
Highlights include (as of August 29, 2014):
New announcements posted regularly on shockpopcc.com, @shockpopcc, instagram.com/shockpopcc# and facebook.com/shockpopcc
Celebrities & Special Guests – Movies/TV/Animation
John Waters – Performing “This Filthy World”
Robert Englund – Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Steven Bauer – Ray Donovan, Scarface
David Anders – Once Upon A Time, Alias, I Zombies
Boobo Stewart – X-Men: Days of Future Past, Twilight Saga
Caity Lotz – Arrow, The Machine
Kristin Bauer – True Blood
Julie Benz – Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dexter
Giancarlo Esposito – Gus Fring from Breaking Bad
Sylvester Mccoy– Dr. Who, The Hobbitt
Ralph Macchio – Karate kid, The Outsiders, My Cousin Vinny
C. Thomas Howell – The Outsiders, The Amazing Spiderman, Southland
Danny Trejo – Machete, Machete Kills, Sons of Anarchy
Daniel Cudmore – Colossus in X Men, Voltuir Felix in Twilight Saga
J August Richards – Angel, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Michael Rosenbaum – Lex Luther in Smallville
Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen, Barry Williams – The Brady Bunch
Martin Kove – The Karate Kid, Rambo
Billy Zabka – The Karate Kid
Mark Ryan – Transformers voice of Lockdown
Jovanka Vuckovic – Clive Barker’s Jacqueline ESS, XX:The First All-Female Horror Anthology
Holly Frazetta – Frazetta Girls
Rytanya Alda – The Deer Hunter, Mommie Dearest
Man of Action – Founders Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle – Creators of Ben 10 and Big Hero 6, producers/writers of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble
H G Lewis – The Godfather of Gore -his films paved the way for modern horror and exploitation – Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania film debuting in 2015.
Ani-mia Leeanna Vamp Nicole Marie Jean
Veron The Ghouligans V is for Villians
219th Umbrella Brain Surgeons Star Wars – 501 Everglades Squad
1701st Fleet Buurenaar Verda Clan – Mandalorian Mercs(FL)
Comic Artists & Writers
Steve Niles – Author, Novelist, and Screenwriter – 30 Days of Night, Cal Mcdonald, Army of Darkness, Bad Planet
Mark Alan Miller – Seraphim Films – writes, produces, and directs original content alongside master of horror Clive Barker.
Jimmy Palmiotti – writer of comic books, tv, video games and film- Thrill Seeker and Painkiller Jane, All-Star Western, GI Combat, Ame-Comi Girls, video game Injustice: Gods Among U
Amanda Conner – illustrator – Power Girl
Whilce Portacio – writer and artist-The Punisher/X-Men/Iron Man, etc.
William Simpson – artist – Batman, Judge Dredd, Hellblazer, now storyboard artist for Game of Thrones
Ben Templesmith – author and artist – 30 Days of Night, Fell, and worked on Star Wars, Doctor Who, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Mike Deodato, Jr. – artist – Malibu’s Santa Claws, Innovation’s Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Avengers, Elektra, Spiderman
Bob Schreck – Legendary Comics- edited Holy Terror, The Tower Chronicles, and Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero/writing and editing for Marvel and DC Comics
Joe Kelly – Man of Action – I Kill Giants
Duncan Rouleau – Man of Action – The Great Unknown
Steven T. Seagle – Man of Action – it’s a bird…
Gerry Conway – illustrator – Fire and Ice, The Punisher
Cully Hamner – artist and writer-Green Lantern: Mosaic, Blue Beetle, Black Lightning: Year One, Detective Comics. graphic novel Red
Kyle Higgins – writer & film director-Batman franchise at DC comics, Deathstroke, Captain America
Paul Jenkins – writer – Hulk, Origin, Spiderman
Scott Kolins – illustrator – The Flash
Scott Lobdell – writer – Red Hood
Laura Martin – digital color artist-JLA/serenity
John Beatty –illustrator – DC Comics, Captain America, The Punisher
Our talented guests at Shock Pop Comiccon are the voices behind some of The Biggest Characters in DC Comics animation & video games!
Richard Epcar – voice actor – Joker in Justice League, Mortal Kombat Vs DCU
Michael Rosenbaum – voice actor – Flash in Justice League Unlimited
Kristin Bauer – voice actor – Mera in Justice League Unlimited
Giancarlo Esposito – voice actor – Ra’s Al Ghul in Son of Batman.
Steven E. Gordon – Character Designer of X-Men: Evolution, The Swan Princess and The Ultimate Avengers, and Animator, Director, Storyboard Artist and Illustrator
Todd Haberkorn – voice actor – Mr. Spock in Star Trek Continues Web Series, Sgt. Frog as Keroro, Suzuka as Yamato, Ghost Hunt as Naru, Sands of Destruction as Kyrie
Sean Hannon – voice actor – Fire and Ice, 3D character animation
Stephen Mendel – film and voice actor- Fire and Ice, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Terminal
Vic Mignogna – anime and video game voice actor – Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Executive Producer and Captain Kirk in Star Trek Continues Web Series
Hal Rayle – voice actor- Transformers, Swat Kids
Maggie Roswell – voice actor- The Simpsons, Fire & Ice
Ellyn Stern – voice actor – Masaki Kurosaki in the hit anime series Bleach
Joe Casey – Man of Action – Sex
Joe Kelly – Man of Action – I Kill Giants
Duncan Rouleau – Man of Action – The Great Unknown
Steven T. Seagle – Man of Action – it’s a bird
Eerie Von – famed musician from Danzig The Misfits
Samhain V is for Villians
Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn – Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock on the Star Trek Continues Web Series.
Richard Epcar –
Ellyn Stern –
Art of Akira Exhibit
Shock Pop Comiccon Presents GeekFest Film Fest
Features, shorts, web series, trailers, fan films, parody music videos and more! 17 Selections are screening at Shock Pop Comiccon and include: Good Game Directed by Mary Ratliff, Posthuman Project Directed by Kyle Roberts, Valiant Directed by Robin G. Phillips and Star Wars: The Holo Experience Directed by Miguel Angel Sánchez and Cogolludo Santiago Hernández.
“The Outlaws of the Underground” – Indy Film Fest
Highlighting independent film makers who create “underground” horror and grindhouse style films. Featuring: Adam Ahlbrandt, Brian Williams, actress Ellie Church, and James Bickert – curator for the Drive in Invasion
Director’s Cut -Albert Pyun’s Captain America and Directors Cut – Albert Pyun’s Cyborg.
“Friday the 13th Shock Night” – February 13
Jack Sholder, Director; David Chaskin, screenwriter; and cast: Robert Englund – Freddy, Mark Patton – Jesse Walsh; Kim Myers – Lisa Webber, and Robert Rusler – Ron Grady
Sean S. Cunningham, Creator and Director, and cast: Ari Lehman – the original Jason Vorhees who will perform with his band First Jason, Adrienne King as Alice, Ron Millkie-Officer Dorf, Harry Manfredini – music score composer, Tom Savini – special effects and makeup legend – creator of original makeup for “Jason”
Lamberto Bava, Director; and cast: Bobby Rhodes, Claudio Simonetti, Geretta Geretta, Sergio Stivaletti
Fire and Ice – Saturday, February 14
Special Skype appearance by Ralph Bakshi, Director; Gerry Conway, Writer; Sean Hannon; The Frazetta Girls representing the work of Frank Frazetta (deceased) co-creator of Fire and Ice.
Artist Alley & Exhibitors
Nightmare Gloves, WerePups, Carnevil zombie make unders, Crimson Mask Studios, Joe the Peacock –largest collection of original art from the Akira animated film, Brian Steward, Gary Niles Pop Art, Krave Art, Last Gasp, Frazetta Girls, 219th Brain Surgeons, Mostly Harmless Pictures, Weekend T.A.R.D.I.S, Adam Ahlbrandt, Big World Pictures, Buurenaar Verda Clan – Mandalorian Mercs(FL), Glasshouse Graphics, Ani-Mia, Eerie Von, Leeanna Vamp, Nicole Marie Jean, Ralph Bakshi Studios. As of 8/29/14.
For exhibitor information, please contact Marc Ferman at email@example.com.
Tickets are on sale now. VIP Packages coming soon. Special room rates are available at these fine hotels: Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach-bahiamarhotel.com, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel – fortlauderdalemarinahtel.com, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale – Marriott.com. Ask for Shock Pop Comiccon and rates apply through December 10, 2014, or while supplies last. Connect with us: shockpopcc.com, @shockpopcc, instagram.com/shockpopcc# and facebook.com/shockpopcc
Shock Pop Comiccon LLC is an organization dedicated to providing a unique and thrilling experience for all fans of pop culture, especially comic books and animation. The show will feature exhibitors, a huge artist alley, intriguing programming, special guests and tons of cosplay. www.shockpopcc.com.
|Venue Name and Address|
|Broward County Convention Center
1950 Eisenhower Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316
|Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables|
|Please select the Category that best describes the convention|
Comments Off on Look Who’s Coming to MegaCon 2014…Comic Creators and Celebrities Announced
ORLANDO MEGACON – Look What’s Happening
MegaCon, the largest comic book, anime, gaming and multi media event in the southeastern U.S., begins announcing guests for the 2014 show. MegaCon will take place March 21 -23, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center Hall SB in the North/South Building in Orlando, FL.
Confirmed comic book guests include:
J. Scott Campbell, Frank Brunner, Neal Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mark Waid, Ron Marz, Greg Land, Michael Golden, Dennis Calero, George Pérez, Brandon Peterson, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Cully Hamner, Karl Story, Renee Witterstaetter, Billy Tucci (20th anniversary of Shi) and Brian Pulido (15th anniversary of Lady Death), Nick Bradshaw, Adam Kubert, Dan Jurgens, Mike Miller, Joshua Ortega, Digger, Bart Sears, Ethan Van Sciver, Mike McKone, Frank Tieri, Mike Mayhew, Chuck Dixon, Skottie Young
Confirmed media guests include:
Walking Dead – Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun, David Morrissey, Beth Kinney, Sonequa Martin-Green
Torchwood – John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Gareth David-Lloyd
Torchwood animated series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse – Eliza Dushku
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Torchwood – James Marsters
Smallville – Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, John Glover, Laura Vandervoort, Aaron Ashmore
Napolean Dynamite – John Heder
Battlestar Galactica – Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Herbert Jefferson, Anne Lockhart
Star Wars – Peter Mayhew, Tom Kane
Comic Book Men – Mike Zapcic, Ming Chen, Bryan Johnson
Star Trek, Big Bang Theory – Wil Wheaton;
Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Phil LaMarr, Rich Horvitz, Vic Mignogna, Jennifer Hale
You won’t want to miss Comos
First time ever official MegaCon Friday evening Dance for 18+ only
Costume Contest – Drinks – Dancing
Spectacular Laser show & visuals by Empire Visuals
Nelson Flux – Evolv 3
Hosted by Nick Wolfe
$10 – Friday evening from 9pm – 11:30pm
Introducing: The Ghost of the Robot Band with James Marsters – Saturday evening performance $20 in advance $25 at the door.
Other events include: MegaCon video gaming and the Supercon 2K series provided by National Video Gaming Association and Vibras Five.One, RPG, LARP, card and miniature gaming events, children events provided by the Skiffytown Heroes, Speed Dating, anime events, belly dancing, Indy Film Festival, movie trailers screening room, Saturday evening dance, late night adult only dance, and professional panel room.
Thanks to our sponsors: 101.1 WJRR, The am 740 Game, 104.1 Real Radio, Certified Guaranty Company, Central Florida Mensa, Students of the Unusual
The MegaCon guest list is constantly growing. Check www.MegaConvention.com frequently for more updates.
Orange County Convention Center
March 21st – 23rd
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.megaconvention.com
Comments Off on Ichibancon 2014 Report!
Two years ago, my knowledge of anime was limited to three facts: (1) it was made in Japan, (2) the characters had weird hair and eyes, and (3) my daughter was obsessed with it. She would emerge from her room after a weekend binge, hair wild, eyes bloodshot–looking like a character herself, actually–and I would think, “What does she see in those shows?”
Then I watched Fullmetal Alchemist, then Death Note, then Black Butler, and I thought, “OK, these are pretty cool.” So cool, in fact, that I took my daughter to Ichibancon 3, my first anime convention, in 2012. We are now back from Ichibancon 5, held January 9-12 in Concord, NC, a suburb of Charlotte. It has grown a lot since our first year–bigger hotel, more dealers, more fans, and three days instead of two. Last year, for instance, there were 2-3 arcade games in the hallway. This year, a room was devoted to Street Fighter, Technika 3, Versus City, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, Guitar Freaks, and about a dozen Playstations and Xbox 360s.
There were also more guests than before. J. Michael Tatum, Bryce Papenbrook, Cherami Leigh, Jad Sexton, and Chuck Huber all had Q & A sessions following by autograph signings. I sat in on Bryce’s Saturday Q & A, which had about 100 attendees in a ballroom that seated nearly 400. Respectable, but not great. Afterward, five or six people left, and about 300 streamed in. Soon cosplayers were standing against the walls and out the doors, waiting for the weekend’s headliner, Vic Mignogna.
Vic is the Johnny Depp of anime. I had seen him at previous conventions, and each time I was amazed at how good he was with fans. He talks to them like old friends, lets girls hug him, and signs anything you wave in his face. In his Q & A, he showed the energy and improv skills of a young Robin Williams. Someone asked him–they always ask him–for his advice to aspiring voice actors, and it was this: (1) get as much experience as you can acting, (2) move to one of the best cities for voice actors–Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Dallas, or Vancouver–and (3) find a way to feed yourself. (Voice actors don’t exactly make it rain.)
Ichibancon was fun, and I was glad to see it growing. In March, I am headed to Winston-Salem to the Triad Anime Con, which is operated by the same company, Nostalgiaconventions. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Comments Off on Vampire Knight Voice Cast Announced
VAMPIRE KNIGHT animated series is based on the best-selling gothic-romance manga created by Matsuri Hino. The story takes place at The Cross Academy, attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!
Yuki Cross, the adoptive daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, is played by Mela Lee. Veteran anime voice actor Vic Mignogna plays Zero Kiryu, a student who is a year older than Yuki Cross and comes from a family of vampire hunters. Finally, Ethan Murray portrays Kaname Kuran, a pure blooded vampire and the current Head of the Kuran Clan, the president of the Night Class.
Comments Off on EXP Con adds Downes, Mignogna, and Baker
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Augustine, FL – June 26, 2009 – EXP Con adds Steve Downes, voice of Halo’s Master Chief, Vic Mignogna, and Troy Baker to guest list.
EXP Con: North Florida’s Video Game and Japanese Animation Convention
EXP Con has been determined to bring the fans of video games and Japanese animation some of the biggest names from the industry, and so far this year is no exception.
We are proud to announce as a Guest of Honor for EXP Con 2009 Steve Downes, the voice of iconic video game character Master Chief of the Halo series. Fans will get a chance to meet the man behind the mask at EXP Con 2009 for one of his rare convention appearances. He also works as the morning disc jockey for 97.1 WDRV “The Drive” in Chicago, Illinois.
Making his first trip over to the North Florida area is popular voice actor of both anime and video game fame, Vic Mignogna. Vic has been acting for stage and screen since he was 8 years old. But he started his career in anime about ten years ago as Vega in Streetfighter II. Since then Vic has been in more than a hundred shows, known for such roles as Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suou in Ouran High School Host Club, Fai in Tsubasa Chronicle, Dark in DN Angel, Kurz in Full Metal Panic, Broly in Dragonball Z, Kougaijji in Saiyuki, Ikkaku in Bleach, Yukito in Air, Takanaga in Wallflower, Tatsu in Peacemaker, Luciano in Code Geass, Virgil Walsh in Trinity Blood, Hikaru in Macross and many more. Vic has also voiced roles in a large number of video games including Soul Calibur, Disgaea, Persona III, Project Sylpheed, DBZ, Bleach, FMA and more. But even longer than his voice acting, Vic has been a professional music composer / singer / producer who has written and produced hundreds of songs for TV, radio and CD. He sings the themes for shows like One Piece & DBGT, and has produced several CDs of his own original music. And finally, in addition to anime and music, Vic has a degree in film and works regularly writing, producing and directing video and film productions.
Also joining the guest list for his first Florida convention appearance is another popular voice over artist, Troy Baker. A native of Dallas, Texas, Troy first began working as an actor in TV and Radio commercials. He quickly became a mainstay voice actor of the anime community with such roles as “Frank Archer” in Full Metal Alchemist, “Abel Nightroad” in Trinity Blood, “Gennosuke” in Basilisk and “Action Bastard” in Shin Chan. Troy can also be heard in lead roles for blockbuster video game titles like Kanji Tatsumi in Persona 4 (Atlus), Yuri Lowell in Tales of Vesperia (namco), Red Faction: Guerrilla (Volition), the Brothers In Arms Franchise (Ubisoft), Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Atari),Bloodrayne 2 (Majesco), Aeon Flux (Majesco), Resistance 2 (Insomniac), Trauma Center:New Blood (Atlus), and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (FunCom).
Other guests whom will be in attendance are Guest of Honor Terrance Carson, voice of God of War’s Kratos, artists Ashley “AnimeBelle” Clark and Heather Scott of Dragonmun Studios, cosplayer CJ “Kefka” Collins, comedy troupe aniRAGE, and bands The Man Power and Random Encounter. The guest list is in for many more exciting surprises in the near future.
About EXP Con: EXP Convention is a weekend long all ages event to be held at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village’s St. John’s County Convention Center. The main purpose of EXP Con is to celebrate and promote American and Japanese video gaming, Japanese animation also known as anime, manga which are Japanese graphic novels, cosplay which is the act of creating and modeling costumes based on characters from Japanese and American media, and other facets of Japanese culture.
The first EXP Convention which carried the tagline of “North Florida’s Video Game and Anime Convention” was a weekend-long event which occupied all of and took place in World Golf Village’s Renaissance Resort and St. John’s County Convention Center during the weekend of October 17-19 2008. Last year’s participants were given the opportunity to meet popular industry guests such as Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea, and Johnny Yong Bosch, take part in fun and informative industry and fan driven panels related to their interests, free play and compete in tournaments in our 5,000 square foot video game lounge filled with 40 consoles and 40 high definition televisions, view both old and new Japanese media screenings, and attend multiple fan and industry driven events such as stage shows, fashion shows, contests, and live music. In the event’s inaugural year an attendance of close to 1,000 was achieved, which was no small feat for a first time event.
For more information regarding EXP Con
Email – Ryan_Sweat@expcon.org
Check out our website at http://www.expcon.org