Confirmed guests for FanCon 2017
JOHN LAYMAN is the creator, writer and letterer of CHEW, the New York Times best-selling, Harvey Award and multi-Eisner Award winning cannibal cop comedy series from Image Comics. Layman began his career as an editor for DC imprint, Wildstorm Productions and has written or lettered for every major publisher in comics for the last decade and a half. A talented and versatile writer, Layman works comfortably in both mainstream and independent comics. His credits include Gen13 and Thundercats for Wildstorm; Cyclops, Gambit, and Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness for Marvel; Xena Warrior Princess for Dynamite; Scarface, Godzilla, and Mars Attacks for IDW; the Aliens Inhuman Condition graphic novel for Dark Horse; Batman Eternal and a solid run on the New 52 Detective Comics for DC. Layman shot to fame in 2009, when he and artist Rob Guillory launched the highly original Chew series for Image Comics. Chew has garnered both popular and critical acclaim, and has been the recipient of multiple awards over the last few years. The series has just recently concluded with the 12th collected edition. Layman’s current projects include Funko Judge Dredd, Judge Dredd vs Aliens vs Predator, and Eleanor & the Egret, the upcoming surrealist fantasy series for new independent publisher, Aftershock Comics. Written by Layman, with art by veteran Sam Keith, the first issue of Eleanor & the Egret will launch in April. John Layman lives in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
Awards for CHEW : Eisner Award Best New series 2010
Eisner Award Best Continuing Series 2011
2 Harvey Awards
and listed on the New York Times best-selling list.
Website : www.chewcomic.com
Twitter : @themightylayman
Calssara (aka Bell) is a well-known international cosplayer from Germany who has to date attended over 40 conventions and events in 33 countries across 3 continents, and will now add a 4th continent with her upcoming appearance at FanCon ! She has been an invited cosplay guest, judge, panelist and host at conventions in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. Calssara has been cosplaying since 2004, and focuses mainly on creating costumes from anime, manga, and gaming. She makes all her own costumes, which are known for their skilled craftsmanship and intricate detail, and uses mostly her own camera equipment for her photographs, and edits them herself. She also does reviews of costumes and wigs for various cosplay websites. Awards : she was Germany’s representative for the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in 2009 and 2011; represented her country in the European Cosplay Gathering (ECG), one of the biggest European cosplay competitions that takes place in Paris on Japan Expo; and won the champion title in 2012 for her country with her Saber costume from the Fate/Stay Night visual novel and anime. In real life Calssara is a librarian, event manager, and passionate tea drinker. She lives in south-west Germany.
Twitter : @Calssara
Photographer : ButterflyDreams
ERIC POWELL is a multiple award-winning comic book writer and artist from Nashville Tennessee who has done work for nearly every major publisher in the comics industry, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and IDW. In 1999 Eric launched his critically acclaimed creator owned series The Goon, which quickly became an indy hit and picked up a diehard cult following. The Goon soon found a home and a wider audience with Dark Horse Comics. Eric continues working on various Goon related projects, and has worked on a variety of series, including Big Trouble in Little China for Boom Studios, Godzilla for IDW, Big Man Plans for Image Comics (with co-writer Tim Wiesch) and Chimichanga with artist Stephanie Buscema for Dark Horse. He has also worked on the acclaimed Superman story arc, Escape From Bizarro World. In 2016 Eric rededicated himself to his own publishing company, Albatross Funnybooks, and recently launched his new ongoing fantasy series, Hillbilly and a kid’s horror comic Spook House. Eric has spent his career creating and promoting the validity and importance of creator owned comics through Albatross and other publishers such as Dark Horse and Image Comics.
International Horror Guild: 2004 Best Illustrated Narrative .
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: 2004 Best Single Issue (Goon #1) .
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: 2005 Best Humor Publication .
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: 2005 Best Continuing Series .
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: 2008 Best Writer/Artist-Humor .
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: 2008 BestPainter or Multimedia Artist
Website : www.thegoon.com
Twitter : @goonguy
VORTEX INC. is a creative content company from the heart of Africa, Nigeria, and is keen on exporting African culture through comics, cartoons, and animation. The company was founded in 2013 by Somtochukwu Ajuluchukwu and publishes popular Nigerian titles such as Mumu Juju, June XII, and Strike Guard, amongst others. Vortex stands as one of the leading comic brands from Nigeria’s growing and emerging entertainment industry. The company has secured multiple partnerships across the entertainment and technology space, giving African comics and stories more visibility, with projects and features on NBC NEWS, VICE, Okay Africa and others. Vortex has also published 3 animated short films, 2 of which are currently in production for a seasonal short episode series. The company was granted STUDIO OF THE YEAR, a Lagos Comic Con Panel Awards 2016, as well as additional awards for Vortex talent and titles.
SOMTO AJULUCHUKWU is the Founder, Creative Director & CEO of Vortex Inc. and Dream Network. Somto, or Capt. V as he is most referred to by Vortex followers, is passionate about African stories and has led the company to tremendous growth in the past 2 years. Vortex has published 48 comics to date, with a growing catalog, and boasts over 100k readers.
MIKE KAYODE is the Head of Operations & Animation at Vortex Inc. and the Head of Production at Dream Network. Mike is a force in the Vortex production process and ideas factory and is a passionate fan of animation. He has directed three animated short films, with two featured on various international blogs.
Website : www.vortex247.com
Twitter : @vortexdaily
RON MARZ is an industry veteran of over 25 years, and has worked as a writer for virtually every major publisher since the early 1990s. He started his career with a lengthy run ( 1990-1995 ) on Silver Surfer for Marvel, and went on to write a celebrated run on Green Lantern for DC Comics from 1994-2004, including the controversial “Emerald Twilight” storyline in which Hal Jordan became the villain Parallax and created the new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. Marz worked for Top Cow/Image from 2004, and became the series writer on the then flagship title, Witchblade, for an unbroken run of 70 issues. He ultimately became the architect of the Top Cow Universe as a result of his extensive time on Witchblade, and long runs on other Top Cow titles, Angelus, Artifacts, Broken Trinity, and Cyberforce. Over the last two and a half decades, Ron Marz enjoyed stints on a variety of titles for multiple publishers, including Green Lantern, Ion, Superboy, and Voodoo for DC Comics; Silver Surfer, Thor, Secret Defenders, and various issues of What If? for Marvel; Star Wars Darth Maul and a run on Star Wars Empire for Dark Horse; lengthy runs on Mystic, Sojourn, The Path, and Scion for Crossgen; the recent John Carter series for Dynamite; the game-based Skylanders series for IDW; plus creator-owned projects, Dragon Prince (Top Cow), Shinku (Image), Pantheon City and Samurai: Heaven & Earth (Dark Horse), and Ravine with Stjepan Sejic for Top Cow. Most notable in his career is his writing of a wide range of intercompany crossovers : Batman/Aliens, Batman/Tarzan, Darkness/Superman, Green Lantern vs Aliens, Green Lantern/Silver Surfer, Cyberforce/X-Men, and co-writer on the historic DC vs Marvel limited series. In addition to his writing credits, Marz was also the editor for Indian publishers, Virgin Comics and Liquid Comics, as well as upcoming Indian comics ventures. Currently, he is serving as Editor-in-Chief and Lead Writer for the revived Ominous Press, which just launched earlier this year. Ron Marz lives in upstate New York with five horses, three children, three dogs and one wife.
Website : www.ronmarz.com
Twitter : @ronmarz
MATT HAWKINS is a veteran of the initial Image Comics launch in 1992, and started his career in comic book publishing in 1993 and has been working with Image as a creator, writer and executive for over 20 years. An Image sister company and imprint, Top Cow Productions is renowned for fan favourite series Witchblade, Darkness, and Aphrodite IX, and currently produces a slew of edgier titles and series, including Stjepan Sejic’s popular webcomic, Sunstone. President and Chief Operating Officer of Top Cow since 1998, Matt has created and written over 30 new franchises for Top Cow and Image including Cyberforce, Necromancer, VICE, Lady Pendragon, Aphrodite IX and Tales of Honor. He currently writes many of the new crop of titles, such as Eden’s Fall, Symmetry, and the Tithe, as well as handling the company’s business affairs. As a qualified scientist and physicist, Matt aims to shine a light on science in much of his writing. Upcoming Top Cow projects include a new volume of Think Tank and a relaunch of Magdalena. Matt Hawkins lives in Los Angeles, USA.
Top Cow will have a booth at FanCon 2017 with Matt Hawkins representing.
Website : www.topcow.com
Twitter : @topcowmatt
LAURA BRAGA UNFORTUNATELY HAD TO CANCEL HER FANCON 2017 APPEARANCE
LAURA BRAGA is an Italian comic artist and illustrator who has worked for a variety of European publishers as well as American publishers such as DC, Marvel, and Top Cow. Her professional work dates to 1999, when she was just 17 years old, as a storyboard artist for TV commercials. She attended the International School of Comics in Florence, the Disney Academy in Milan, and the schools of Comic-Animation at Montemages in Bassens and La Salle. Laura started working as a comic book artist, illustrator, and colourist for some of the main Italian, French-Belgian and Spanish publishers. In 2005 she met and collaborated with legendary Italian comics maestro, Milo Manara, whose influence led Laura to a more realistic style, as opposed to her earlier Disney influenced cartoon style. From 2012 to 2014 she was the regular artist on Top Cow’s flagship title, Witchblade, on which she collaborated with writer Ron Marz. She also worked on Top Cow’s Cyberforce and Darkness, Sensation Comics Wonder Woman for DC Comics, as well as a variety of Marvel series, including Captain Marvel, Superior Iron Man, Secret Wars, and The Punisher. Currently she is one of the main contributing artists on the DC Comics Bombshells series. Laura Braga lives in Alghero, Sardinia, off the Italian mainland.
Winner of Cartoomics Women Award 2008 as a cartoonist, illustrator and colourist.
Website : www.laurabraga.com
Twitter : @LauraBraga_rt
LOYISO MKIZE was born in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and is now based in Cape Town. He is a fine artist, designer, and illustrator, and received his start in comics as an illustrator for the long-running local Super Strikas soccer comic series. Mkize is the founder of his own visual arts company, Loyiso Mkize Art, which publishes the South African superhero comic series, Kwezi ( which means “star” in Xhosa and Zulu ). Mkize describes Kwezi as “a coming of age story about finding one’s heritage”, and follows a teenage boy named Kwezi as he discovers his superhuman abilities in the fictional Gold City, a modern metropolis inspired by Johannesburg. In addition to his comic book projects, Mkize is also an established painter with a distinctly African theme to his work. His career spans seven years, with four solo exhibitions and six group exhibitions to date, and has a keen following both locally and internationally. He has been commissioned to do portraits of legendary South Africans such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Loyiso Mkize lives in Cape Town, SA.
KINPATSU COSPLAY (Tayla Barter) is South Africa’s most well-known cosplayer, with a massive following on her social media platforms, and is recognized worldwide for her incredible talent and craftsmanship. Tayla has been cosplaying since 2012 and has cosplayed over 57 characters to date. She specializes in armoured costumes and her cosplays ranges across various genres, including gaming, anime, and western films & TV. She was an invited guest at conventions in Turkey and the Netherlands, has recently attended a cosplay workshop in Los Angeles, and has hosted cosplay workshops at various events across South Africa. Tayla also shares her extensive cosplay knowledge through her YouTube videos, where she runs tutorials and reviews her costumes. Kinpatsu Cosplay has garnered an impressive array of milestones : 1st place Anime Category and 1st place Craftmanship Category ( rAge 2016 ), 1st place Costume Construction Category and 3rd place Games Category ( rAge 2015 ), 1st place Geek Fest Cosplay Competition ( 2015 ), 2nd place Gaming Category ( rAge 2014 ), and 2nd place Kin Con Cosplay Competition ( 2014 ). Tayla Barter lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
SEAN IZAAKSE has been working as a freelance illustrator and comic artist for the last 7 years. An artist on Pathfinder comics for Dynamite Entertainment and contributed artwork to various RPG's like Mutants & Masterminds by Green Ronin Publishing. He has contributed creator-owned work to local publications, Insurrection Studio's Clockworx comic and was featured in the Comic Brew Outline comic, as well as work for companies doing corporate comics. Izaakse is the artist and co-creator, along with writer Vito Delsante, of the creator-owned series Stray from Action Lab Entertainment. Izaakse is has recently added MARVEL Comics to his list of work, including books like Thunderbolts, Avengers and Deadpool.In his free time he roleplays with his friends and shows off his roleplaying skills, or lack thereof, on a youtube channel called Bacon Battalion RPG and fills his instagram with pictures of his dog. He lives in Johannesburg, SA.
LAUREN BEUKES is an award-winning, internationally bestselling novelist who also writes comics, screenplays, TV shows and journalism. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and have been optioned for film and TV. Beukes made her comics debut with a short story in the DC Vertigo one-shot, Strange Adventures. She then contributed short stories to various Vertigo anthologies, including The Witching Hour and Strange Sports Stories. Her first big break came when she wrote the Hidden Kingdom story arc for the acclaimed Vertigo Fables spin-off series, Fairest. She also wrote a Wonder Woman short story for Sensation Comics, giving the character her own spin with a setting in Soweto. Most recently, she co-wrote, along with Dale Halvorsen, the DC Vertigo series, Survivors' Club. The writing duo of Beukes and Halvorsen’s next project is a short story for the upcoming 2000AD 40th Anniversary Special, along with artist Carlos Ezquerra, to be released in March. Lauren Beukes lives in Cape Town, SA
DALE HALVORSEN, along with his alter-ego name, JOEY HI-FI, is an award-winning book cover designer and illustrator. His distinctive artwork is clearly influenced by comics, especially the black and white art of the British 2000AD comics he grew up on. A frequent collaborator of novelist and comics writer Lauren Beukes, his art and design graces the covers of many of her award-winning books. The duo made their debut as a writing team on a short story "Chum" for the DC Vertigo anthology comic, Strange Sports Stories, and they went on to write the Vertigo series, Survivors' Club, for DC Comics. The writing duo of Beukes and Halvorsen’s next project is a short story for the upcoming 2000AD 40th Anniversary Special, along with artist Carlos Ezquerra, to be released in March. Dale Halvorsen lives in Cape Town, SA.
WARREN LOUW is a freelance illustrator and character designer. He is one of the most celebrated artists from South Africa who is self taught and works in both traditional and digital media. His ability to create images with meticulous detail and imagination has brought his art to various mobile games, publications, advertisements and websites across the globe. Well recognised for his mastery of renditions of beautiful women and a perfectionist in his digital illustrations, his work has been featured in print publications such as ImagineFX Magazine, various UDON Entertainment Capcom tribute art books, Ballistic Publishing's Exotique, Photoshop Essentials, Masters of Anatomy, 21 Draw, as well as UDON's Darkstalkers graphic novel and DC Comics' Power Girl and Harley Quinn covers. He has also done conceptual work for Longship Armoury, Phoenix Age Gaming and Bandai Namco. Warren Louw lives in Johannesburg, SA.
JASON MASTERS UNFORTUNATELY HAD TO CANCEL HIS FANCON 2017 APPEARANCE
JASON MASTERS began his career in commercial advertising and went on to work as a professional comic book artist for DC, Marvel, and Dynamite Comics. Masters got his big break in comics when he met Ethan van Sciver, a prominent artist for DC Comics, at a book signing in Johannesburg a few years ago. Van Sciver passed on his portfolio to his editor at DC, who a few months later, contacted him about working for DC Comics as an artist. Masters' early work includes Human Target and Red, a comic series penned by Warren Ellis, for Wildstorm Studios, an imprint of DC. He went on to work on various Batman titles, including Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman Incorporated, Batwoman, and Nightwing. For Marvel he worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverine, and X-Men. His biggest gig arrived in 2015, when he was handpicked by comics legend, Warrren Ellis, to handle the artwork as ongoing series artist on Dynamite's high-profile relaunch of the James Bond comic book, the first all new 007 comic series in over 20 years. The series, under the helm of Ellis and Masters, has received popular and critical acclaim and is currently one of Dynamite Comics bestselling new series. Jason Masters lives in Johannesburg, SA.
Confirmed guests of the convention may cancel their appearance/attendance at any time due to personal or
professional reasons. The organisers will not be held liable for the cancellation of any guests or other invited participants.
The guest profile will be correct at time of publication and any guest cancellation will be updated on this website asap. !