November 2nd - 5th 2017 in Downtown Detroit
Cobo Center & Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
In 2007, SAWA made her debut as a singer and lyricist with the release of the game “The World Ends with You,” produced by Square Enix. A few years later, she worked on the Japanese animation soundtrack for “K-ON! the Movie”. Her work is not limited to anime and games. In 2013, she succeeded in experimenting with traditional folk songs. As a member of the WA-League, she toured in Peru and Ecuador to celebrate the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Junichi Hayama, born December 19, is a Japanese animator with over 30 years of animation experience after starting his career in 1983. He trained with animator Masami Suda while they worked together on “Fist of the North Star.” Hayama is credited for his work as director, character director and chief animation director for the OVA “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood.” Some highlights from Hayama’s extensive career include animation director for “Fist of the North Star,” “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,” and key animation for “Gundam Build Fighters,” “Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story,” “Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias” and “Yu-Gi-Oh: The Dark Side of Dimensions.”
Tawny is an award winning creator of large scale puppetry, impressionistic creatures, pop-culture costumes, sci-fi/fantasy armor, and historically accurate costume reproductions. She is also a fine artist in oils, sculpting and textiles. Fluent in metal fabrication/painting, she specializes in the production of unique, lightweight, large scale creatures with elaborate costuming; bringing animated creatures to life.
She has been a master musician and educator for over 20 years with degrees in instrumental music education, music theory, music history, and curriculum and teaching. Tawny has successfully taught and conducted wind, string, and marching ensembles. Her ensembles have earned multiple 1st place titles, consistent top ratings at performance festivals and individual student accolades. She also mentors teacher candidates.
Tawny has been recognized locally, state-wide and nationally for teaching and continues to run a large instrumental music program while donating her time to teach costuming, cosplaying and special effects classes for local youth and communities.
Her continued vision is to provide and expand the accessibility of quality education in artistry and performance for students of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Mamoru Yokota, born February 18, is a Japanese animator. While in junior high, he attended Comiket, which sparked his interest in animation. Eventually Yokota moved on to many careers in media such as illustration, genre development, designing, card game producer, animation producer, game director and live-action drama advisor. Works of Yokota’s include producer for “Kanon” and “Air;” character design for “Rune Soldier” and “Magical Kanan;” assistant animation director for “Death Note” and “Naruto;” and animation director for the video game “BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II.”
G. D. Falksen is an author, lecturer, public speaker, and actor. He also studies history and has consulted for Disney. He is the author of The Ouroboros Cycle series, The Transatlantic Conspiracy, and several other works of fiction. He is a voice actor for and co-writer of the animated film Hullabaloo and an accompanying educational series titled Ask The Professor.
We're happy to announce that Sekai Project, the leading visual novel publisher in the U.S., to Youmacon! They're dedicated to bringing the best from the East to the West. Started in 2013, they were a small group of fans who wanted to bring over their favorite visual novels from Japan to the rest of the world. Since then, they've expanded to multiple areas of media such as English visual novels, bullet hell games, strategy games, puzzle games, animation, manga, doujin and more! Sekai Project loves to work with big budget production studios looking to break out in the West and small indie circles just looking to get more eyes on their projects. With monthly releases of your favorite titles, they bring your favorites to Steam and some of your steamy favorites to Denpasoft! Sekai Project's booth can be found in the Video Game room where they'll be demoing some of their unreleased titles.
Evelyn Kriete is an editor, blogger, artist, film producer, social media strategist, and new media coordinator. She is the producer of the animated film Hullabaloo and has worked with films such as Repo! the Genetic Opera and War of the Worlds: Goliath, as well as television media including the Game Show Network. She has worked on the staff of several literary magazines, including the Hugo Award-winning Weird Tales and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. She writes for Comicmix, Dark Beauty Magazine, and a number of other blogs and publications. She is also a crowdfunding consultant for Indiegogo. Jaborwhalky.net
Joel McDonald is a voice actor, Oreo enthusiast, and ADR director with Funimation Entertainment. He’s directed Space Dandy, Assassination Classroom, One Piece, Initial D, Sgt. Frog, Deadman Wonderland, One Piece: Film Z, and a dozen or so more. As an adaptive scriptwriter, Joel has worked with Funimation on projects like DBZ: Kai, Claymore, and Linebarrels of Iron, and with Bang Zoom! on Seven Deadly Sins and Fate/Stay Night. But wait! He acts, too! He’s Meow in Space Dandy, Brief in Panty and Stocking, Minato in Sekirei, Poland in Hetalia, Jacuzzi Splot in Baccano!, and Takumi in Initial D. But the gamers among you may have heard him in Borderlands 2 as Captain Flynt, Smite as Mercury, Tales of Xillia 2 as Chronos, Walking Dead: Survival Instinct as Deputy Lee, and as Aoi Tokura in the webcomic Rainy Cocoa. He’s nice. Come say hi.
And we're back with more Guest Announcements!
Let's start March off with a BANG! Youmacon would proudly like to welcome Wesley and the Crushers! Our FIRST of MANY musical acts!
Wesley and the Crushers is a modern, one-of-a-kind musical exploration that is both geeky and passionate -- passionate in their admiration and love for all things geeky -- and completely geeked-out in their approach to their number one passion – music!
This high-energy musical super-group was first conceptualized in the summer of 2013 and soon afterward exploded onto the Michigan geek scene. Combining the classic elements of rock music with the contemporary sounds of electronics based dub-step, house and hip-hop, Wesley and the Crushers crafts an epic journey with their show, a musical extravaganza of infectious original tunes mixed with the most memorable geek themes of all time. Each show is a full multi-media experience, complete with video, dynamic lighting, breath-taking effects and a high-energy performance that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Wesley and the Crushers has performed at numerous events this past year, including Grand Rapids Comic Con, Megga-XP, Space Dive and Nonsense Night. They were also fortunate enough to make an appearance on this past season of America’s Got Talent.
Now they are playing soon in a galaxy near you…
D. Brad Talton Jr. founded Level 99 Games over 6 years ago with the release of BattleCON. Since then, Level 99 Games has released many well-known titles including Millennium Blades, the Exceed Fighting Card Game, Pixel Tactics, and Argent: the Consortium. With a focus on replayability and modularity, Level 99 Games strives to create innovative games that change each time they are played, and which become deeper on each play-through. https://www.level99games.com/ Try some of their games yourself in Tabletop Gaming at this year's Youmacon!
Erica Lindbeck is a Los Angeles actor and North Carolina native who holds her undergraduate degree from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television (TFT). She has spent the last decade training in theatre, film, improvisation, and, most recently, voice-acting. At UCLA she was cast in multiple department shows, and received training from many notable professors and industry mentors. Following graduation, she delved immediately into the medium of Voice-over, and has been steadily recording for an array of different projects, including Video games, Animation, and Commercials. She is best known for her roles in Love Live! School Idol Project (Eli Ayase), Your Lie in April (Kaori Miyazono), Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Celica), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 (Futaba Sakura), and many more! For news and announcements, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
A Robot Named Fight is developed solely by Matt Bitner. A self-taught programmer and pixel artist, he learned to make games between shifts at a major pet supply company. He used this knowledge at a local mobile game studio for four years before dedicating himself to creating A Robot Named Fight full-time. He is responsible for the game's code, design, music, and art. He enjoys Super Metroid speed running, Dungeons & Dragons, and noise music.
If you like dying over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, getting to almost the end of your speedrun and dying again, check out "A Robot Named Fight!"'s booth in the Video Game room. http://www.arobotnamedfight.com/
"...And Sewing Is Half The Battle!" is a competitive cosplay team based in central Indiana. They have garnered more than 40 awards for their costumes and performances at events around the country, and have provided costuming and SFX makeup work for film, television, live theatre, and museums. As self-taught costumers themselves, they enjoy teaching workshops to help other cosplayers improve their craftsmanship skills and stage presentation. ASIHTB also partners with museums, theatres and public libraries to provide educational programming for all ages.
Cupcake the Dinosaur is a cinematic-style velociraptor who would love to eat-- er, meet you! At nearly 14 feet long, Cupcake can look intimidating, but she loves to make new friends and pose for photos. When she is not making public appearances or raising money for charity, Cupcake enjoys playing with her canine siblings and hunting dinosaur experts in the jungles of Costa Rica.
Chad Evett graduated from Santa Fe University of Art and design with a degree in technical theater, with an emphasis on Costumes. He has designed numerous short films, and has worked as a theater director and production designer. His work has been seen on The View, and he has designed shoes for actress Whoopi Goldberg, and Writer/Producer Bryan Fuller. His most recent work has been designing literary costumes and promotional material for New York Times bestselling author Frank Beddor. He lives in Los Angeles and works as a designer and Consulting storyteller.
He is joined by Igor Pinski, Roberto Parades, and Brandon Hillcock, and together, they are all known as Team Epic, here to bring their cosplay to Youmacon! Be sure to follow them on Instagram: @teamepiccosplay.
Kevin Bolk is a freelance cartoonist, illustrator, and proud alumnus of Awesome University (his favorite imaginary alma mater). Although he's done work for Nickelodeon, Tokyopop, Udon Entertainment, Blind Ferret Entertainment, and Voices For, he's best known for his his 1,700+ comic strips hosted on InterrobangStudios.com, including parody webcomics "It Sucks to be Weegie" and "Ensign Sue Must Die!" Bolk’s by-lines shine on works published via Nickelodeon, Udon Entertainment, Oxford University Press, & Interrobang Studios. He performs design duties for numerous conventions across the United States, while online entertainment hubs like MTV.com, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cracked, Cosmo, Buzzfeed, I09 & Comics Alliance celebrate his humorous & insightful works. He likes to teach and encourage new creators, so feel free to check any of his workshops or visit him in the artist alley for a chat and some friendly advice.
The Ring of Steel Action Theatre and Stunt Troupe is a theatrical combat organization based out of Ringstar Studio in Ann Arbor, MI, and dedicated to the art of physical storytelling and entertainment. Established in 1989, we work to develop and promote the art of stunt work and the portrayal of staged violence through classes, workshops, training, custom fight choreography and direction, theatrical special effects, and weapons and props rentals. Our members have been featured in Hollywood movies, professional Equity theatres, renaissance faires, summer festivals, popular culture and anime cons, and parties (birthdays, weddings, we just like to have fun).
As a community-based academy,, dedicated members can study 500+ hours a year (or casually for a few hours a month) in a wide variety of Eastern and Western martial arts and movement styles including swords (our specialty), staves, lightsabers, parkour, firearms, tactical combat, hand-to-hand, and everything in between. Ring of Steel brings to Youmacon a series of hands-on workshops and engaging panels designed to let attendees move and fight like their favorite superheroes, so come join us for a weekend of geeky fun!
41st level, 20th level Bard, 12th Level Monk, 9th level Cleric
Strengths: Party hosting, DJ skills, freestyle poetry, afterparties
Weaknesses: Catgirls, Samus cosplays, afterparties, Fanservice episodes
Special Abilities: Mass suggestion, Inspire heroics, Song of Freedom, Inspire Greatness, Suggestion, Inspire Competence, Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong, Fascinate, Inspire Courage, Turn Undead
Random, aka Mega Ran, aka RandomBeats... Teacher, Rapper, Hero.
When LA Weekly said that Ran’s “fanbase and niche audiences are growing at a rate not seen since Tech N9ne,” they meant it. A former middle school teacher, Mega Ran (formerly Random) blends education, hip-hop and gaming in amazing new ways, penetrating the farthest reaches of the galaxy with his unique rhyme style and electric performances. Ran cut his teeth in the city of Philadelphia as a moonlighting emcee and producer, performing, freestyle rapping, producing and later engineering at a studio. After relocating to Phoenix, competing in the Scribble Jam emcee battle championships and taking an early exit, Ran almost quit before he was even started, when a creative lightning bolt struck, and a fire was lit.
Various video game developer co-signs and admiration from the genre’s toughest critics have led to placements in TV, movies, university coursework, and of course, games. Random’s music and story have been shared on stages across the world, on television (ABC/NBC News, ESPN, Portlandia, Tosh.O, WWE Wrestling) and in leading music, gaming and tech publications, print and online. Today, Random is no longer a teacher by title, but maintains a rigorous touring and recording schedule, traveling the world to entertain and educate through the gift of rhyme. With over 3 million YouTube views and a legion of smart art fans he calls “Team Mega” beside him, the future looks brighter than ever.
David Eddings -- nigh-talented voice actor or friendly game industry biz guy? It’s a rhetorical question so no need to answer. But the correct choice is “d) all of the above” (a write-in response of “SpikeTV’s 2012 VGA Character of the Year recipient” is also acceptable).
Known as the voice behind the lovable robot Claptrap and T.K. Baha in the Borderlands franchise, David spent most of the past 19 years in the game industry as a behind-the-scenes player. From publishing games (Max Payne, Tropico, Serious Sam) to producing action figures (Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament) to serving as Vice President at Gearbox Software the last 12 years, David has consistently demonstrated his innate ability to be at the right place at the right time.
Although David is sensitive to sunlight, water, and should never be fed after midnight, he’s mostly harmless so be sure to stop by and say hello!
Austin Tindle is a writer and actor living in Dallas, Texas. He was born in Orlando, Florida, raised in Austin, Texas and attended UTD on academic scholarship, where he almost became an Electrical Engineer. At 19 he was cast as Romeo and changed majors the same day. Maybe you've seen him on stage around Dallas at Kitchendog Theatre, WaterTower Theatre, Theatre Three, Stage West, Shakespeare Dallas, Project X, Second Thought Theatre, Nouveau 47, Upstart Theatre, and many others. But he’s probably most well-known for his work with Funimation Studios, where he has voiced many characters including Ayumu Aikawa in “Is this a Zombie?”, Accelerator in “A Certain Magical Index”, Shu Ouma in “Guilty Crown”, Marco Bodt in "Attack on Titan", Karma in "Assassination Classroom", and Kaneki in "Tokyo Ghoul". And Austin has been a proud member of the Couchsurfing community since 2011. He just really loves couches.
As a multi award winning actor behind the mic, on camera, and on stage- Bryan Massey has had the pleasure of working in a variety of mediums in the entertainment industry. Born in Michigan but raised in Texas he has performed as a nationally ranked cheerleader, a knight at Mideival Times, as well as a stuntman in numerous films & television series.
In the animated world, he voices roles such as Ladd Russo in Baccano!, Zonge in Toriko, Shark in My Bride Is A Mermaid, Oolong in Dragon Ball Z Kai, Notorious in Ninja Slayer, Kain from Fairy Tail, Monkey D. Dragon in One Piece, Issac McDougal in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Cocytus in Overlord, Jerry from D. Gray Man, Dolph from Space Dandy, Bill in Shin Chan, and many others.
As far as video games go, you’d recognize his voice as Wilhelm the Enforcer a playable character in the Borderlands The Pre Sequel. He has also lent his vocal talents in Borderlands 2, Rage, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 1 & 2, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z to name a handful more. His voice makes sure to get its marathon training during his award winning satirical cartoon in his animated series www.VOtheShow.com.
Through the lens, you have probably seen Bryan on your television working in hundred's of commercials. Or his portral as Skeeter in Oliver Stone's "W.," The Biographical feature about President George Bush Starring Josh Brolin: Alongside Jack Black and Micheal Cere in "Year One" as well as in 3-D with Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard in the grind house classic "Drive Angry." On the small screen Bryan has worked on "X-Files," "Prison Break," "Chase," season finale of "Dallas" too name a few. But, ...On a personal note Bryan is happy to be back in his hometown, Detroit!