Guests of Honor
Greg Ayres can usually be found rockin’ out somewhere, whether animated or not. From the loud-mouthed Hideki in Nerima Daikon Brothers, to Koyuki, singing with the the band in Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad, he’s always glad to shake things up a bit. He is thrilled to be able to add the roles of Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, and Abe in Big Windup to his list of new roles. He can also be head as Son Goku in Saiyuki, Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories , Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Negi Springfield in Negima, Heihachi in Samurai 7, Jr. in Xenosaga:The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Nowy in Glass Fleet, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention. FUNimation recently announced Greg as Nagisa in Free!
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, Greg has really enjoyed the opportunity of doing something else that he truly loves at conventions. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), Greg never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.
Brooklyn born and raised singer/songwriter Eric Stuart is a special blend of talent. He has successfully combined the world of music, voice acting and directing for many years. Besides starring in hit shows including Pokémon (Brock, James) and Yu-Gi-Oh! (Seto Kaiba), Eric has toured with such rock legends as Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Hall & Oates, Dave Mason, Julian Cope, Dave Davies, The Alarm, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, and Jeffrey Gaines.
The Eric Stuart Band released their latest album, Lipstick and Barbed Wire, in June 2013. This is their sixth full-length release on the indie label Widow’s Peak Records and it features Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton.
In the summer of 1997, Eric’s classic rock and roll style was noticed by Ringo Starr who invited him to open the Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band tour, featuring Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce (Cream), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) and Simon Kirke (Bad Company). That exposure served as a springboard for Eric to open for the Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Paul Rodgers tour that same summer. Since then, Eric Stuart has been touring on a regular basis including two U.S. tours with Peter Frampton. In 2000, Frampton produced Eric’s next album, Blue, Dressed In Black, along with John Regan and Harvey Jay Goldberg.
Now living in Nashville, Eric’s songwriting talents have given him the opportunity to begin co-writing with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters. The band’s great live show of all original, guitar-driven rock/pop has made the Eric Stuart Band a must-see in the area. Other projects in Eric's impressive career are Viva Piñata, Ultimate Muscle, Dinosaur King, Kirby, Slayers, Chaotic, Sonic X, TMNT, GoGoRiki, One Piece, F-Zero, Magical DoReMi, Fighting Foodons, Shaman King, Descendants Of Darkness, Labyrinth Of Flames, Valkyrie Profile, Tama And Friends, and voicing many national radio and TV commercials and audiobook narrations.
Chuck Huber started acting in Anime in the roles of Garlic Jr. and Android 17 in DBZ. Since then he has voiced hundreds of characters including Hiei in YuYu Hakusho, Stein in Soul Eater, Kululu in Sgt. Frog, Mohji in One Piece, Shou Tucker in Full Metal Alchemist, Han in Blue Gender, Hiro in Shin Chan, Ashe in Black Butler, Reever in D. Gray Man, Hector in Glass Fleet, Yuichi in Initial D., Akai in Oh Edo Rocket, Melt in The Tower of Druaga, Adashino in Mushishi, Eric Nishijima in Darker Than Black, Havel in Trinity Blood, Austria in Hetalia and many more. He has been a writer on Hetalia, Sgt. Frog, Baccano, Spice and Wolf and others. As a filmmaker Chuck has acted, produced, written or directed for Arbor Day - The Musical, The Troubadoors, The Fragility of Seconds, The Mechanical Grave, Odd Man Out among others. He began acting in Chicago at the Goodman Theater, Court Theater, Steppenwolf Theater after graduating from DePaul University and continues to work on stages in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Most recently he played Hugh Jameison in the movie Parkland, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti.
Emily Neves is a Voice Actor and ADR Director for Sentai Filmworks and Funimation. She has voiced over 75 roles in anime, including Kanade "Angel" Tachibana in Angel Beats, Kotomi Ichinose in Clannad, Uryuu Minene (9th) in Future Diary, Saki Watanabe in From the New World, Princess Lenessia in Log Horizon, Yuu. Naruse in Watamote, Mimay in Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and many more. She directed the English dubs of Watamote, Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen, Maid-Sama, Dog and Scissors, and Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions. She won Best. Lead Performance by a female VA in Anime Movie/Special for her role as Inga in Un-go in 2012, and was nominated for the same award in 2013 for Yuuko in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. She was nominated for Female VA of the year for 2012 and 2013. Emily is also an accomplished actor of the Regional Stage.
For over 4 decades, John Stocker has been a recognized force in the acting industry. He began his career as an on-camera performer, working with the likes of John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis, Gilda Radner, William Shatner and Mark Wahlberg, before settling solely, but comfortably into the off-camera world, where he has voiced many thousands of commercials and hundreds of animated characters. A lot of you will recognize some of his classic roles – ‘Beastly’ in Care Bears, ‘Longarm’ in COPS, ‘Toad’ in Super Mario Brothers, ‘Newton Gimmick’ in Teddy Ruxpin, ‘Creed’ in X-Men, ‘Basil’ in Babar, ‘Bugsy’ in Dog City, ‘Ultron’ in The Avengers and both ‘Naga’ and ‘King Zenoheld’ in Bakugan. Still busy today, John is the voice of ‘Mr. Owl’ in Franklin, ‘Mission Control’ in Rob the Robot , ‘Mayor Swift’ in Sidekick and ‘Einstein’ in Peg + Cat. Over the years, John diversified his career to include voice casting, voice coaching, (both commercial & animation), demo production, and the discipline that keeps him busiest, voice directing. He’s been at the helm for many dozens of productions, including Totally Spies, Caillou, Fugget About It, Redakai, Mike the Knight, (the original) Beyblade, Medabots, Ella the Elephant and of course, the one that started his voice directing career, the one and only ‘Sailor Moon’. If you’d like more information, please visit John’s website (johnstocker.ca), or look him up on I.M.D.B.
Steam Powered Giraffe
The robots of Steam Powered Giraffe are like nothing you've ever seen. The malfunctioning joke-spewing metal men play a collection of original Vaudeville inspired tunes fused with modern flare and executed in a super-sleek, one-of-a-kind performance. More than just a band, Steam Powered Giraffe is an experience that must be seen and heard by the entire family.
The artists behind the robots started street busking as these quirky characters in January 2008 at Balboa Park, California, and instantly drew the attention of Southern California. Since then they've performed at such venues as The San Diego Fair, The San Diego Zoo, The Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Ontario Mills, and numerous Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Steampunk Conventions.
The act combines the visual of robot pantomime with sketches, pop culture references, improvised comedic dialogue, and of course, original music. From their heartwarming nostalgic melodies to their funky cabaret rock, Steam Powered Giraffe's songs are memorable, infectious, and as unique as the robots themselves.
Greg "Greggo" Wicker
Greg Wicker (or “Greggo” as he’s fondly known) has been producing and hosting game shows at anime conventions since 1999, when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. Since then, Greggo has done anime-themed versions of several classic game shows, created a few games of his own, and even had an original project that very nearly turned into an actual television show on Anime Network. These days Greggo is concentrating on perfecting his craft and making game shows available for conventions everywhere, bringing his rapier wit and friendly personality with him wherever he goes. You can see some of Greggo’s past game show efforts on his YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/gregdasgo or visit his website at http://www.facebook.com/greggosgameshows.
YTCracker is a rapper, former cracker, and Internet entrepreneur. YTCracker began producing rap music in 1998 in the genre that has since become known as nerdcore hip hop. YTCracker is a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades”, also making a name for himself as a professional disc jockey, computer programmer, graphics designer and webmaster.
With cerebral (often snarky) lyrics and a very straightforward "garage rock" aesthetic, Fuzzy Machete is a staple of the nascent "nerdpunk" scene in the Twin Cities. Fuzzy Machete consists of Tara on Guitar, Krissandra on Bass, and Robin on drums. Believing that great music and nerd culture pair like Langres and a fine champagne, these four brew an auditory frisson of AC/DC, The Cure, Bowie, and Rush with Dr. Who, Star Trek, Firefly, and MS3TK. Merciless and gritty like the writings of George R.R. Martin and sweet as Nana, this all girl powerhouse has performed at Twin Cities Pride Festival, The Zombie Pub Crawl, Warped Tour Send off with Sick of Sarah, Girls Rock and Roll Retreat, Convergence, and AniMinneapolis!
See past guests: 2014, 2013, 2012