Kristen McGuire is a future famous artist and voice actress with an itchy drawing hand and an overactive imagination. Armed with a Wacom tablet and a degree in Visual Art and Communication, Kristen has managed to self-publish six different comic books since 2008 and has plagued many conventions where she has convinced unsuspecting teenagers to buy her comics and art.
Her comic titles include Enchanted (chapters 1-5), A Day in the Life of a Cat Girl, and her newest weekly web comic is Chibi Zombie Slayer.
Along with her comics, she has also self-published a children’s book on amazon.com titled I Wish I Were Blue which is a charming story about a little brown bear who wishes he could change his color to something more interesting.
Kristen has also recently jumped into the role of voice actress and is now working for FUNimation doing voice overs for anime.
Currently she is planning her next comic book series and can be seen around the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex teaching teenagers how to draw manga and anime at various libraries.
J. Michael Tatum will be at A-Kon 25
Nurtured on anime classics from the tender age of Star Blazers, this reclusive fanboy-turned-voice actor/writer/ADR director/flake extraordinaire spent more years than he cares to remember in what might charitably be described as freefall before landing, mostly by accident, smack dab on the industry of his dreams. To this day, some believe the small crater made by the impact remains the source of his power.
Discovered by ADR director Christopher Bevins, who cast him as Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7, Tatum’s inexplicable luck has held long enough to see his flag hoisted on a slew of dream roles, most notably Kyoya Otori in the hit English language dub of Ouran High School Host Club, suave, demonic Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, equal parts maniacal/vulnerable Okarin Rintarou from Steins;Gate and foppish cyborg Sir Hammerlock in the videogame juggernautBorderlands 2.
Other characters the man still can’t believe he’s had the crazy good fortune to play include: Doumeki inXXXHolic, Jiro Mochizuki in Black Blood Brothers, Isaac Dian in Baccano!, Both God Eneru and Dalton in the new dub of One Piece, Komui Lee in D-Gray Man, Dororo in Sgt. Frog, the titular loveable savage ofHeroic Age, Ryosuke Takahashi in Initial D, Lawrence Kraft in Spice and Wolf, Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z Kai, Scar in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Sir Hammerlock in the videogame juggernautBorderlands 2. His vocal “stylings,” much to the chagrin of drama teachers everywhere, he’s sure, have also been featured in Romeo X Juliet, Speed Grapher, Trinity Blood, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple,Black Cat, Nabari no Ou, Ghost Hunt, School Rumble, The Tower of Druaga, Aquarion, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, Shuffle, Shigurui, Glass Fleet, Mushishi, Soul Eater, along with feature-length films such as Vexille, Summer Wars, and Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, among many others.
And as if being involved with so many awesome shows wasn’t enough, in late 2007 the fluky so-and-so tempted fate by officially branching out into ADR directing and adaptive scriptwriting for Funimation as well. His ADR directing credits to date include Aquarion, Jyu-oh-Sei, Romeo X Juliet, Big Windup, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne and Shikabane Hime (Corpse Princess), while his writing credits include substantial work on Ouran High School Host Club, Heroic Age, Initial D, Blassreiter, Ga Rei: Zero, Hero Tales, Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Fractale, Deadman Wonderland, Future Diaries, Steins;Gateand Dragon Ball Z Kai.
In early 2010 he teamed up with Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff to launch That Anime Show, a web-based chat show centered on colorful, often diabolically unhinged interviews with friends and colleagues within the dubbing industry, all episodes of which can be downloaded for free at thatanimeshow.com/
Ever the workaholic, Tatum is currently burning the midnight oil on a number of exciting projects due for release later this year. And before you ask, the “J” stands for… Well, it stands for whatever you’d like it to.
Steve Bennett returns to A-Kon 25
Steve first honed his artistic chops when he was just a teenager living in Tokyo. He landed a part-time gig with Noburu Furusei (New Dominion Tank Police, Lupin III, etc.) at Studio Aoehyma and was lucky enough to work on series like Only You and Yamamoto.
Later he was able to turn this experience into an actual job in the States—from 1997 until 2004 Steve was Artistic Director and part owner of Studio Ironcat, which published several manga titles in English. Then, in 2008, Steve and his wife Nikki moved back to Japan and he spent three years as a production artist for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
But what Steve really loves is interacting with other cartoon geeks like himself! In 1994 he attended his first US convention–Katsucon 1. Since then, he’s become a regular at conventions all across the States, as well as doing guest speaker gigs at institutions such as the Iowa Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Loyola University. Even though he still currently lives in Japan, he gets back as much as he can to teach, inspire, draw for folks and generally have a good time at various conventions throughout the year.
Steve is currently revamping his website and, after taking a couple of years’ hiatus, is now busy with commissions, comics and other cartoony endeavors! Check out his Facebook page at “Steve Bennett Art – Everything Cartoony With Good Ol’ Steve Bennett” and his webpage at www.stevebennettart.com for upcoming projects and convention dates!