Like ants on some sort of rancid sausage or maybe a spilled fruit salad or something Con on the Cob is veritably INFESTED with awesome guests. INFESTED, I tells ya!
Let’s take a look, shall we? We shall…
Every year at Con on the Cob we offer the opportunity to meet some of the geek world’s most iconic creators. Artists, game designers, musicians, and a motley assortment of interesting characters are there for your hanging-out-with enjoyment. We are exceedingly proud to present Con on the Cob’s guests for 2015!
Gaming Guest of Honor – George Vasilakos & Eden Studios
George Vasilakos is the President and Art Director of Eden Studios. He has worked as Art Director and Creative Director of licensed games for his company and for Last Unicorn Games, Decipher and Wizards of the Coast including properties as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Army of Darkness, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Dune. George Vasilakos helped graphic artist Francis Hogan develop the kid-friendly RPG Adventure Maximus, which Eden Studios publishes.
Special gaming Guest – Eloy Lasanta
Eloy Lasanta is a game designer, writer, publisher, and gamer from Tampa, FL and owner of Third Eye Games (thirdeyegames.net). With his innovative and ever-expanding systems, DGS (Dynamic Gaming System) and Pip System, he has produced several RPG settings (so far): Apocalypse Prevention, Inc 2nd Edition, Part-Time Gods, Mermaid Adventures and AMP: Year One, with plenty more in the works. He works hard on his own projects, as well as freelancing to help other designers bring their worlds to life, and is known as “The hardest working man in RPGs”. Though, he’s never too busy for a quick chat or game. It’s his second year at Con On The Cob, so just walk up and start talking.
Artist Guest of Honor – Jolly Blackburn
Knights of the Dinner Table™ was accidentally created by Jolly R. Blackburn way back in 1990 as ‘filler’ for his small press magazine, Shadis. It was something of a ‘creative burp’ and Jolly really didn’t give it much thought. Perhaps that’s why he was just as surprised as anyone that soon KODT was overshadowing everything else he’d ever done and that the created was now controlling thecreator. Fortunately, writing and drawing KODT strips isn’t the lonely job it was in the past. Hundreds of fans have contributed to the beast over the years and, since joining the ranks of Kenzer and Company and the formation of the KODT Development-Team (Jolly, Steve Johansson, David S. Kenzer and Brian Jelke), the Knights have gone far beyond anything Jolly or Kenzer and Company ever imagined. In 2006, Jolly was inducted into the Origins/GAMA Hall of Fame.
Cosplay Guest of Honor – Katie Starr
Wait, what? Con on the Cob has a cosplay guest of honor this year?
We most certainly do. Along with our new digs comes more room for cosplaying and cosplay related panels and activities. To celebrate such things, we invited cosplay legend Katie Starr to share her awesomeness.
Do you have some sort of biography, perhaps written in her own words?
Indeed I do. Read on…
Raised in a family full of creative types, Katie Starr has been in costume for a very long time between dance recitals and some amazing Halloween costumes made by her mother.
Katie attended the University of Akron and earned a degree in Art Education as well as a Master’s degree in Secondary Education. She began making historical costumes in 2003 and many years later began cosplaying. Though Katie makes the majority of her costumes and props from scratch from self-taught techniques, she believes strongly in helping those wishing to pursue costuming by not only providing detailed tutorials on her blog as well as encouraging everyone to costume in whatever way possible and comfortable.
Katie works out of Akron, Ohio and also works full time as an art teacher. She attends conventions all over the country to share her love of costuming and all things nerdy. She lives with her two cats, Olive and Rory, who work endlessly to make all cosplay plans more difficult than they need to be and receive free room and board for it.
That sounds amazing. Katie seems like quite a catch. Do you think she might talk to me in person, or is she too cool for that sort of thing?
Absolutely! Katie is amazingly awesome. She’s super talented and cute to boot. She’s all about sharing her cosplay stories and experiences with the peeps (that’s you. You’re the peeps).
I am so there! How do I sign up?
Simplicity itself, my friend. Just mosey on over to the Con on the Cob website (www.cononthecob.com) and click the registration tab. If you make your hotel reservation by March 1 you get to save a lot of money and also you get a very special, amazingly amazing, exclusive reward that we’ll be announcing very soon.
Ok. I’m convinced. See you in October.
Cool. See you then.
Miniatures Guest of Honor – Sandra Garrity
Legendary miniature sculptor (she sculpts miniatures, she’s not miniature herself) for companies such as Reaper Miniatures Inc., Ral Partha, Lance & Laser Models Inc., Leading Edge Games, Game Lords Ltd., Alderic Entertainment Group (AEG), Thanes Games, Black Orc, Discount Hobby/Dark Ages Miniatures, Aspen Modeling Company, Talon Games(HAVIC), Guardians of Order, Rafm/Silver Fox, Dwarven Forge/Master Maze, Fantasy West, Franklin Mint, Danbury Mint, Rawcliffe Pewter/a division of Encore Group Inc., Fortress Figures Inc., Hasbro Toy Group, Spirit of the Empire, and private commisions – Sandra Garrity is just too great to describe in the space I have here. I refer you instead to this wonderful interview with her over at Witchhunter.net.
Music Guest of Honor – Worm Quartet
Worm Quartet is a comedy rock band from Rochester, NY known for spewing hyperspeed lyrical lunacy over catchy synthesized punky music-type stuff. Worm Quartet is a regular on the legendary Dr. Demento radio show, and had the most requested song of 2004 with the ex-girlfriend ode “Great Idea For A Song” and the second most requested song of 2002 with the anti-drummer anthem “Frank’s Not In The Band Anymore,” as well as collaborating with Sudden Death on the most requested song of 2005, “Inner Voice.” Their celtic-twinged vasectomy tale “The Ballad of Dr. Stopp” won them the Logan award for outstanding original comedy song in 2011. They have collaborated with MC Lars on several occasions, they are card-carrying core members of The Funny Music Project (www.thefump.com) and they have previously shared the stage with such other artists as MC Lars, the great Luke Ski, The Voodoo Glow Skulls, Marc Gunn, Devo Spice, Tom Smith, Ookla the Mok, The Pietasters, MC Frontalot, Rob Balder, Joe Giaccoio, Carla Ulbrich, The Vibrators, and Dr. Demento himself. They insist on referring to themselves in the plural despite the fact that the sole member of Worm Quartet is a 6’4” long-haired maniac who insists on being called “Shoebox.” He isn’t as fat as he used to be, and sometimes he plays a keytar. Deal with it.
In addition to all of this, Shoebox is also the writer of the syndicated “PartiallyClips” comic strip ( http://www.partiallyclips.com,) he is ¼ of the “Cirque du So What” sketch comedy group, he was half of the “Baldbox” musical project (along with Rob Balder of Erfworld fame) and he has had short stories and essays published in various zines and podcasts. In 2004 he appeared on CBS’s “The Early Show” and VH-1′s “Totally Obsessed” as “The Pac-Man Guy,” which was hideously embarrassing but lowered his degree of separation from Kevin Bacon to 3. He has a degree in Engineering, but then, so does Gallagher. By day he ties back his hair and writes printer interfaces in a cubicle. He has a wonderful wife and an amazing son who are gracious enough to tolerate all of this.
Worm Quartet’s new album “Songs of the Maniacs” is available now at http://www.wormquartet.com as well as from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, CDBaby, and probably The Pirate Bay. Did he mention he has a wife and son?
Music Guest of Honor – Devo Spice
|Devo Spice is a comedy/nerdcore Hip Hop artist from New Jersey who has become one of the most popular artists on the Dr. Demento Show. He was the founding member of Sudden Death, the comedy rap group that had the #1, #2, and #4 most requested songs of 2007 on the Dr. Demento Show. (“Cellular Degeneration”, “Getting Old Sucks” and “Pillagers”, respectively.)Devo Spice performs regularly across the country at music clubs, comedy clubs, and science fiction conventions. He has shared the stage with Dr. Demento, MC Lars, MC Frontalot, Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm, and many others. The live show features videos and animations synchronized with the music resulting in a hilarious show that goes over very well with a variety of audiences.|
Musical Guest – Dan the Bard
Dan the Bard sets fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and anime lyrics to Renaissance, Medieval, Celtic and original music. He performs on period instruments at conventions and Renaissance Faires.
Musical Guest – Tom Smith
There’s every other singer out there… and then there’s Tom Smith.
Tom is NOT your ordinary comedy musician. With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, the only thing he won’t do is be boring.
The only recording artist to be featured on both NPR’s Sound and Spirit and The Dr. Demento Show, and writer of the official chantey for Talk Like A Pirate Day, Tom has been praised by such diverse folk as singer-songwriter Christine Lavin, author Larry Niven, and web cartoonist Randy Milholland. He has sixteen albums so far, blending comedy, tragedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, popular culture, technology, politics, religion, and the occasional recipe with virtually every genre of music you can imagine.
Starting out at sf/fantasy conventions, Tom has been branching out to house concerts and regular gigs the past couple of years. He arranges and records at home, using MIDI, loops, and all manner of software gadgetry… but in performance, it’s just him and his guitar, in a high-energy, family-friendly show filled with laughter, shtick, and really, really bad puns.
If you’re looking for something decidedly different in musical entertainment, you have never heard anyone like Tom Smith.
Musical Guest – Derwood Bowen III
Derwood Paul Bowen III was born on March 11, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. He and his parents moved around a little while until finally settling into where he lives now in Westerville, Ohio, where he has lived since second grade.
His first exposure to comedy/novelty music came about somewhere around 1st Grade, when his dad first played him the 45 of “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen, and it instantly became his favorite song at that time! Later on, in 3rd Grade, his music teacher started playing the Food Album by “Weird Al” Yankovic, which is how he first heard of him. Then, while he was in 7th grade, his father bought the Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection and introduced him to the show, of which he started becoming an avid listener. It was a weekly radio show (it is now online only) with 2 hours of comedy/novelty music, with a very enthusiastic DJ. This inspired him to try to write his own songs, which he started trying to do as early as 7th and 8th grade, although he never actually made anything that got recorded until junior year of high school, when he got a keyboard and computer microphone headset for what little he could afford back then. Since then, he has been improving at a steady rate, and found a couple small followings. First, he started off by performing a song here and there whenever possible at Capital University’s open mic nights, which has gained him fans and entertained many people. His second following started with an online project called the Funny Music Project (or The FuMP) where a core group of comedy musicians would release a free song every Tuesday and Friday. Since so many people wanted to get involved, they created the FuMP Sideshow where anyone could upload something, and being able to share his music there, along with performing at conventions such as Con on the Cob, Derwood has picked up a following among other comedy music artists and listeners, with airplay on the online streaming radio station Dementia Radio. – See more at: http://www.derwoodbowen.com/bio/#sthash.D72cY6k9.dpuf
Special Musical Guest – Max DeGroot
Born in November of 1952, Max DeGroot (not his real name) spent his first year drinking milk and pooping, much to the initial delight and later disgust of his parents.
He wasted his youth listening to Tom Lehrer and Allan Sherman, but not exclusively, as he really got into the Beatles and the Four Seasons.
He attended college and majored in Astronomy…no, wait, it was Mathematics…hold on…no…Computer Science, yes that was it…um…well…maybe Music…
His father got disgusted with his indecision and cut him off after four years of this crap.
He then spent the next twenty years or so doing volunteer work, and encountering music and comedy put out by Monty Python, Weird Al Yankovic, and Doctor Demento.
He recorded his first parody, The Ferret National Anthem, in 2004, and there it sat until 2008, when he recorded his second parody, Campaign News. This was followed by a flurry of parodies until he had enough to record a CD. Since then, he has recorded more parodies and funny music, creating a backlog of sorts.
Anyway, his first public performance of his work occurred in October of 2009, and he has since rocketed to obscurity. He did manage to hit Dr. Demento’s Top Ten for March, April, and May 2010 with “Census” and it managed to end up as the #3 song of the year for 2010.
For more information on Max DeGroot please visit the artist’s web site at: http://www.maxdegroot.com
Special Musical Guest – 2D6
In the year 20XX, two being come together to form the ultimate rap duo: Cliff B and DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft. Together,they rock the nerdcore hip-hop genre with their rhymes about video games, tabletop roleplaying, fatty foods, Jerry Seinfeld, public radio, weekdays, diseases, bleeps, bloops, etc.
Special Gaming Guest – Sean Patrick Fannon
Sean Patrick Fannon is a famous game designer, born in Tennessee, raised in Georgia, and now lives somewhere in Colorado. As his nickname implies, ‘The Big Irish Gamer,’ he is a big guy, a big gamer, and an even bigger in the RPG industry with working for FASA Games, DriveThruRPG, and RealityBlur. With 20+ years of publications, he has written for Magazines (Dragon Magazine, Shadis Magazine, Adventurer’s Club Magazine, and more), Game systems (Shatterzone RPG and Star Wars RPG from West End Games, Source books for Champion RPG from Hero Games, Shards of the Stone:Core from Fuzion, and Shaintar: Immortal Legends setting for Savage Worlds system from Pinnacle Entertainment Group), and written an intro book to fantasy gaming called The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer’s Bible. For his most recent projects, he has been working on two beta projects, Star Wars RPG by Fantasy Flight Games and Shaintar: Legends Arise at Reality Blurs. Maybe he’ll send me an updated bio once he reads this and sees how incomplete and out of date it is.
Special Gaming Guest – Lisa Steenson
Lisa Steenson is the Grand Pooh Bah of Gut Bustin’ Games®. She created and designed Redneck Life®, Redneck Life Expansion: Bustin’ a Gut®, Trailer Park Wars!®, and ‘Oh Gnome You Don’t!® board games and is currently working on Cheap Shot and Flea Marketeers.
Lisa grew up in Sweet Home, Oregon, and has a B.S. in Physical Education from OSU. Battle Ground, Washington is her current home town. Lisa grew up playing board and card games, and loves the challenge of seeing an idea-turn into a game-turn into an evergreen best seller in the stores.
With no adult supervision, Lisa has turned this love of games into a business. Lisa would much rather just play and develop games and go to fun game conventions than actually run a business and have to do math and have “business meetings” while pretending to be an adult. She also feels awkward writing about herself in third person.
The Web site is www.GutBustinGames.com.
Special Gaming Guest – Matthew McFarland
Matthew McFarland, also known as BlackHat Matt, has been writing and developing roleplaying games professionally since 1998. Most of the work he has done has been for White Wolf Game Studio (now Onyx Path Publishing), where he contributed to almost all of their game lines (including both incarnations of the World of Darkness). He and he wife Michelle Lyons-McFarland co-own Growling Door Games, Inc., and, in October 2014, will be Kickstarting a new edition of the Chill roleplaying game. Learn more at growlingdoorgames.com!
Special Children of the Cob Guest – Santa Claus
I’m sorry, did you say “Santa Claus”? Yes, yes I did. The real, actual, genuine Santa Claus will be at Con on the Cob. He’ll be playing games with the kids, telling his fantastic stories, and hosting a pajama party! Yep, the real Santa…
Special Gaming Guest – Jamie Chambers
Jamie Chambers was born in Atlanta and grew up running around barefoot in the pine forests and kudzu fields of north Georgia. The son of a Trekkie and an early D&D player, Jamie was doomed early to a life of geeky pursuits. He began playing roleplaying games at the age of seven and writing his own fiction at eight.
Special Artist Guest – Tony Steele
Tony Steele. Physician, scientist. Searching for the key to unlock man’s potential. When an accidental overdose of gamma radiation….no wait that was other kids. With 15+ years as a professional artist for screen printing industry and 10+ years as a freelance artist for board and card game companies doing illustration in many genres such as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Humor, Horror, Concept Art, our lad is a one to watch. Also he’s recently stepped into the world of 3d modeling and prototyping with Scott Frank and Kay Steele in the guise of Frank & Steele. And I or he is a really nice guy, be not afraid of my or rather his hugeness and beard. Both are friendly.
Special Artist Guest – Heather Kreiter
Heather has been working professionally in the Gaming industry since July 2000. She was first introduced to the world of Fantasy at the age of 14, when a friend gave her the book, “The Sleeping Dragon” by Joel Rosenberg. Just two years later, her life would be forever changed. She picked up the book, “Dragons of Spring Dawning” by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. This was the first time she had ever seen the artwork of Larry Elmore. Soon thereafter she was in awe of other Dragonlance artists, Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley and Fred Fields.
After spending about 4 years gathering a lovely collection of rejection notices she finally received her first freelance project for the CCG Doomtown by AEG. Heather continues to work for AEG today on their CCG Legend of the Five Rings. She has also done work for Vampire the Eternal Struggle and World of Darkness (White Wolf Inc./ CCP NA), Bella Sara (Hidden City Games) and many others. Heather works exclusively in traditional mediums. All of her CCG artwork is produced in oils on gessoed watercolor paper, while her interiors are created using Prismacolor markers & colored pencils, graphite and white charcoal on watercolor paper.
When Heather has time to create work for herself it tends to have a softer subject matter than her usual freelance work. She often creates works with erotic faeries, faerie mothers and children, or angel mothers/fathers and children. She also enjoys creating items that draw from her Native American Spirituality whether it’s an elaborate oil painting or an authentic Dreamcatcher, Rattle or Spirit Chaser.
Heather currently resides in Hermitage, PA with her husband Chuck, son Chal, daughter Jaela and three feline minions, Banshee, Lucifer and Thor. She also runs the art show at Con on the Cob.
Special Gaming Guest – Silvervine Games
Silvervine Games is a tabletop role-playing game system, designed to give an unparalleled character based role-playing experience.
Character Creation is done through a straightforward point buy system that allows players to make the Armored Mage, Sneaky Paladin Ninja, Gun Toting Dragon Riding Badass, Skilled Street Fighting Pickpocket, Ninja Penguin or any character concept they can imagine.
Players are also given Thematic control over the look and feel of all their character’s powers and equipment. Does using a wrench as a weapon feel better for your mechanic character than a light mace? Want to buy high level armor, but keep the unencumbered look? The final paint job and description is in the player’s hands.
Silvervine is built to foster and encourage Cinematic actions, without making them contingent on a die roll or penalizing players for trying them. It does this by giving the players Narrative control in describing their successes and failures. A die roll determines if the action is successful, but you determine why.
Special Minis Guest – Don Goddard
Don Goddard is a self taught amateur sculptor. Original raised in the untamed Montana wilderness, Don learned to entertain himself at an early age by creating crude cave paintings and making action figure toys out of moose droppings. As he grew into an awkward adulthood, he attempted a college education (twice), and uneventful military tour, and a stint in Information Technology which led him to Ohio. thinking that money wasn’t enough to make him happy, he decided to pursue his life long passion: sculpting moose dropping action figures. As central Ohio is sadly lacking in Mooses, he eventually turned to various epoxy putties and small scale figurative sculpture. He has sculpted miniature gaming figures for Splintered Light Miniatures, Falcon Figures, Black Orc Games, and Crunchy Frog Enterprises. Currently living as a starving artist with a full time day job, Don can frequently be found teaching miniature sculpting classes at gaming conventions as he tries to spread his love of art and moose dropping to others. Well, except for the part about the moose droppings.
Special Minis Guest – Scott Frank
Scott is far too cool to reply to my repeated attempts to wring a bio out of him, so I’ll make one up. As one third of the soon-to-be legendary FrankenSteele Laboratories and a first-rate sculptor, fabricator, and painter of miniatures, props, and various other assorted jazzes he also has orange hair.
Special Gaming Guest – Lester Smith
Lester Smith works by day as a Writer/Technologist for Sebranek Inc., an educational publishing house. By night, he fights crime as President of Popcorn Press–publishing games, poetry, and fiction that is “Genuine, Unique, and Polished.” Les is a four-time Origins-award-winning game designer and a two-term former president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. He also trains a six-pound Chihuahua and dreams of someday being the first Android Poet Laureate on Mars.
Special Artist Guest – Andy Hopp
Is it lame to make yourself a guest at your own convention? Yes. Yes it is. http://www.muthaoithcreations.com
Reformed Canadian and acclaimed author Dawn Toles is co-leader of the Ohio Pirates Paranormal Investigation Squad, an accomplished public speaker, a founding member of the Rubber City Book Posse, and an avid steampunk enthusiast. Her first novel, Awakenings: Defective Device Book 1, was recently (very recently) nominated for the Andy Hopp Distinguished Cultural Achievement Award. She’ll be appearing and signing books at Con on the Cob and Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird.
In 1972 a crack commando unit was sentenced to a military prison for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped, with the help of Kylan Toles, to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Kylan Toles. He’s a super swell guy. I mean, seriously, he’s the beans. Not only that, he’s an internationally known author and creator of Lucas Tate Adventures. His debut novel, On the Downbeat, is really something special. In fact, he has also recently been nominated for the Andy Hopp Distinguished Cultural Achievement Award.
Special Gaming Guest – Lee Garvin
Lee Garvin! Lee. Garvin. Lee Garvin… THE LEE GARVIN!!??
Who the heck is Lee Garvin?
So, his dog is both loyal and psychotic? Interesting…
The two are not mutually exclusive, in my experience.
I guess not. Oh, Lee’s the Tales From the Floating Vagabond guy? Super cool.
We are very happy to have him as a guest. He is a valuable asset to this convention.
What will he be doing at the con?
Playing games, selling stuff, hanging with peeps, participating in panels, going to parties, playing miniature golf… All the normal Con on the Cob jazz (just like you).
What does he look like?
WHAT THE WHAT! Does he really have three eyes?
Well, one of them is basically just a light sensitive proto-eye extension of his pineal gland, but since he hasn’t actually denied having three eyes I am forced to assume he does.