Guests of Honor

Karin Weekes is Lead Editor at Bioware’s Edmonton, Alberta studio. She is married to Dragon Age writer Patrick Weekes. She was an editor on Dragon Age II as well as Mass Effect 2 and 3. She was the lead editor for Dragon Age: Inquisition.

She also contributed to the writing of Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 and Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2.

Cody Melcher is a witwanton gentleman who weaves a tapestry of obscure observations and personal proclivities.

A Texpatriate based in Chicago, Cody is the producer of The Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival, 100 Proof Comedy at CSz Chicago, half of the celebrated sketch duo Melcher & Hauser, and host of the critically-acclaimed podcast Tomefoolery. He has performed at SF Sketchfest, The Comedy Exposition, Arch City Comedy Festival, PrideFest Milwaukee, the Sounds Like Chicago podcast festival, and more. He moderated panels for the 2015 Space City Comic Con, and was a Finalist in The Advocate’s National Queer Comedy Search and the 2016 Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.

The Chicago Tribune has called him “ridiculously zesty”.

He was once given the title “Best Comedian With an Encyclopedic Point Of Reference That Also Includes The Facts Behind the Cottingley Fairies Hoax” by @midnight & Nerd Poker’s Dan Telfer.

“…brought gales of laughter from the audience…the likable Melcher endeared himself to an audience that clearly appreciate his quirkiness.” – examiner.com

His podcast Tomefoolery was named in Queerty.com’s “10 Things We’re Thankful For This Thanksgiving” in 2014 between Stephen Fry and Gay Fantasy.

Howdy!  I’m Phil Jimenez, and  I’m a storyteller by trade and by passion. I write and draw comic books for a living — think Astonishing X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Infinite Crisis, Otherworld, and Teen Titans —  but I’ve spent my whole life telling stories of some fashion with words, pictures, or both. (I’ve also done design work for film, TV, magazines, museums, and public spaces).

I believe in the profound ability of story to transform and entertain us, and make us rethink the world as we live in it.  I’m also a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and a damn good teacher at that.

I’m from L.A. but I live in NYC, and have a decidedly “coastal” view of the world.

Oh, yeah — and I think Wonder Woman is the most awesome super-hero, ever. 🙂

You can follow me at Philjmeneznyc@twitter.com.

Back in the distance land of 2001, Briana Lawrence (Brichibi Cosplays) and Jessica Walsh (SnowCosplays) were two fanfiction writing ladies who geeked out over Gundam Wing boys and Resident Evil. Now? They’re still geeks and still have their fandoms, but they’re also a cosplaying couple who write books, make crafts, and are generally nerdy women. Snow is the seamstress of the couple, meanwhile, Brichibi talks about issues in the cosplay community and how the most important thing about cosplay is to love yourself and have fun.
As writers, they’re writing “The Hunters Series,” an urban fantasy tale that revolves around a creature called the Storyteller who can read anyone’s life like a book and change it anyway he wants. Along with that series, Briana is working on a book series called “magnifiqueNOIR,” which features black, queer, magical girls who save the day with glamorous hair and plenty of sparkles. Along with those series, each woman has individual works that range from books, to novellas and anthology features for Dreamspinner Press, and freelance writings for places like Apex Magazine, xoJane, WatchMojo.com, The Curvy Fashionista, Twin Cities Geek, and more.
When going to conventions they always bring their best so that they can promote their work.  You can enjoy their crafts, get lost in their urban fantasy series, or heck, you can come by for a hug and fun conversations about cosplay, anime, or video games.  Always promoting positivity and always supporting one another, Brichibi and Snow are smiling their way through the geek scene.

Support their Kickstarter today and help them create their first book!

magnifiqueNOIR Book One: I Am Magical

The website for Briana’s upcoming book series “magnifiqueNOIR”: http://www.magnifiquenoir.com/
Brichibi Cosplays on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brichibicosplays
SnowCosplays on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snowcosplays
Brichibi Cosplays on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrichibiTweets

About James Reese:
James Reese is an accomplished world medalist Irish dancer and vocalist recently seen in the role of Dr. Frank-N-Futer with the cast of Rocky Horror New Mexico and has also performed in hit show such as CHICAGO the Musical, Hairspray and Grease. He is the first male from New Mexico to compete both nationally and internationally bringing home the only World Medal won by a male from NM at the World Irish Dance Championships. Along with Irish dance James is also proficient in and teaches Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Ballroom, Belly Dancing, and Hip Hop. Being an actor and a HUGE geek, James recently starting on his journey as a professional cosplayer and suit actor. Making a name for himself in the world of fitness, you can catch James and his company Muscle Geek Physique at comic expos and cons in top notch cosplay while thriving to bring health and fitness into the cosplay and geek world. His passions for fitness, health and all things geek shines and James is truly honored to be attending Haven Con with fiancé Anthony. The duo can not wait to meet all the attendees of this epic convention!


About Anthony Grillo:
Starting as a successful, freelance makeup artist and graduate of Sephora University, Anthony Grillo knew his calling had not yet been fulfilled. After completing his education at Empire Beauty School, Anthony worked amongst other passionate stylists and professionals at a renowned name in the salon world, Modern Salon and Spa Metropolitan, in Charlotte, North Carolina, an Aveda Lifestyle Salon with multiple recognitions by Salon 200 and many other industry publications . There, he had the opportunity to further his education and honed his skills in a wide array of classes taught by industry greats such as Lupe Voss, Jon Reyman and Geno Chapman.

Using all of the knowledge he had attained, Anthony found his place taking the lead in the education of Male Hair Cutting and Styling, Creative Formulations and Color Techniques. Anthony’s true passions lie in the transformation and appreciation of men’s hair and the redefinition of color, creating more natural, yet edgy and advanced looks for women, especially the blonde bombshells. Recognized for his mastery, he has worked his magic with many private clients and celebrities and his talents have been showcased in a plethora of professional photoshoots.

Always seeking growth and excitement, Anthony ventured to the hub of style and fashion in the North East, Boston, Massachusetts; preaching the values of teamwork and creating and building individual identities for each and every guest that sits in his chair.

His time behind the chair has allowed him the ability to advance and grow as he transitions in a new role, based out of Dallas, Texas, as the Regional Hair Color Educator for the West Region of Neill Corporation and Aveda.

Growing up as an only child, he met a lot of pushback from family and friends about his personal life. Without siblings to turn to, Anthony found refuge in the superhero universe and an attachment to the American version of Super Sentai – knowing that one day he had to become a power ranger! Over the past year, Anthony has expressed a strong devotion the cosplay world. As a member of the Muscle Geek Physique Cosplay Team, Anthony uses the alias of Workout Buddy Cosplay to be a proud superhero and cosplayer as one of today’s rolemodels.

“It’s the fun and joy that I love the most about cosplay! For the day, I get to be an actual superhero. I get the ability to walk around with others who love the superhero universe and portray some that impacted my life and made me into the man I am today. The happiness I get from it makes it all worth the time and energy spent putting together an epic cosplay!”

Come with François le Foutre, the Most Fearsome Fruit in All of France, as he conquers and dominates his enemies and lovers alike. Banned by the Texas Renaissance Festival, it’s the gay, pirate romance adventure you’ve always secretly wanted!

Dezzy began her cosplay journey in 2008 at the young age of 14. She had no wig, no makeup, and it was my it was her time sewing anything other than Christmas pageant angels. Fast forward to present and she now has multiple awards (in Texas and Colorado) for sewing and cosplay and several features in various forms of media. In almost 10 years of costuming, Dezzy fabricated about 70 costumes and is constantly expanding her knowledge in the craft. She hosts many introductory cosplay panels in wigs, costumes, and pattern making to encourage and foster the talents of new costumers.

Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not ranting on her blog. Her first novel, The Pyramid Waltz, was one of Tor.com’s Reviewer’s Choice books of 2012, was a Foreword Review Book of the Year Award Finalist and a Goldie finalist, and won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Fantasy. It also made Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels By Female Authors. You should probably go buy it or any of her entertaining novels, all of which have oodles of LGBT characters.

Benjamin Bon Temps, aka Bigheadben, 39, is the founder of The Rough Trade Gaming Community, the

oldest and largest community for LGBTQ gamers and allies. Originally hailing from the deep dirty South,

Benjamin has returned to New Orleans after a long stint in sexy San Francisco. A therapist professionally,

Benjamin enjoys managing virtual communities, cosplay, drag, a good Rough Trader kiki, and a decent

glass of red wine.

Benjamin, 39, and RTGC, 14, have been interviewed and featured in Gamespot, IGN, The Advocate, and

other media outlets. By invitation, Benjamin has addressed GLAAD’s panel on homophobia in virtual

social spaces, and he is available for related panels, BBQs, bat mitzvahs, and quinceañeras.

Connect with Benjamin Bon Temps on Facebook and/or his drag alter ego Dawn Bon Temps on

Instagram. Join RTGC’s 3000+ member shenanigans on Facebook.

Syber is the artist behind company Made Fur You. Creating eye catching artwork, fun crafts and one of a kind costumes. Also known for the multiple variations of her character in fursuit form made by different artists.
 Syber became interested in the furry fandom in 2000, but officially joined the fandom in 2007 by attending local meets and starting her very first fursuit.  After gaining much support from friends and furries alike she decided to offer commissions from those who were interested. Steadily over the years it has built into something amazing. Made Fur You was created in 2010. Creating a way everyone can be their character, perform and make smiles all at the same time.
Not only is Syber an artist, but also a performer as well. She has appeared at over 40 conventions through out the United States. Commonly found in one of her Syber costumes. There are 15 active Syber costumes as of now( maybe be more by this is published). Each one is created by a different artist to see variations in style given artistic freedom. Some have been commissioned and some had be done in fursuit trades.  The artists behind them are Mango Island Creations, Wild-Life, BNCreations, Don’t Hug Cacti, Mixed Candy, Ruffled Designs, One Fur All, Critter Factory, Made Fur You, Phoenix Wolf, That’s Furred up, Kilcodo, Fursuiting, Mischief Makers, and Freak Hound Studios.   Other characters performed as are Harley aussie, Dapper dog , Wyatt cattledog and  Beau dog; each with personalities of their own.
Creator, performer, and all around fun!
More info about Syber and her costumes can be found at www.syberwuff.com or www.madefuryou.com

Robby has been working professionally as an animator for 5 years and currently works at Powerhouse Animation Studios in Austin, TX. Some of the projects he has worked on include Banner Saga, Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger Motion Comic, and Disney Interactive’s It’s a Small World: the animated series.

A big fan of Disney and Marvel, Robby’s playful art style mixes iconic pop culture characters into unique mashps that embrace both the cute and the powerful.

As far as websites, you can direct people to my artist page on Facebook.
www.facebook.com/cartooncookie

Alexa Heart is a transgender cosplayer based out of St. Louis and is the owner and operator of Everyday

Geek, a convention based etched glassware business catering to a wide variety of fandoms.

Growing up in western Kentucky as Richard, Alexa constantly imagined she was in costume, often times

“transforming” into Optimus Prime on the playground and He-Man when she felt bullied for being the

“weird geeky kid”. It wasn’t until about age 20 while she was living in St. Louis that Alexa started

exploring costuming at theaters, comic book stores, and meet ups with others. At the same time she

discovered costuming outside of Halloween, Alexa also started exploring costuming as the female

characters she connected with and dressed as Wonder Woman and pop culture icon Britney Spears and

eventually Josie from Josie and the Pussycats.

It was the Josie costume that was a turning point in Alexa’s love for costuming and the geek community.

While attending a midnight opening at a comic store around 2005, Alexa dressed as Josie and appeared

at the comic store, only to be made fun of for being “a boy dressed as Josie”. After the experience, Alexa

dropped costuming out of fear of being tormented. It wasn’t until the arrival of Catwoman in The Dark

Knight Rises that she found the motivation to return to the costuming world.

While doing her research for Catwoman, Alexa discovered the costuming resource The RPF, the world of

cosplay, and the gigantic community of people that love portraying their favorite characters. She began

researching cons and found a convention would be taking place in early 2013. After being accepted with

open arms at her first convention by the geek community, Alexa set out to attend even more

conventions. It was at this time that she also began to become more and more comfortable as Alexa

than she was as Richard.

After attending over a half dozen conventions in 2013 and becoming extremely comfortable with her

desire to be her female self full-time, Alexa began the journey of transitioning in early 2014.

Overwhelmed by the support of the cosplay, and in general, the geek community, Alexa attended more

and more conventions in 2014. Since that time, she has been asked to appear on several LGBT and body

positivity panels at conventions like New York Comic Con, Stan Lee’s Comikaze, C2E2, Texas’ first LGBT

convention – HavenCon, and many more. She has also been a guest at several conventions in the US and

Canada, representing both the cosplay and LGBT communites.

Since her cosplay debut in 2013, Alexa has created over 30 costumes of the characters that she connects

with and inspire her. Although her career has not been focused on competition, she is a very

competitive spirit that focuses on quality of creation over quantity of costumes produced, constantly

striving to improve her craft and use new techniques and unusual materials in her costumes.

When she’s not busy with her business or creating a new costume, Alexa is a huge dog lover, hockey fan,

and cooks whenever possible.

Megan Kluck is a Creative Director at Powerhouse Animation Studios. She’s directed on web series such as Disney’s It’s A Small World and Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger, as well as the 2D animated cutscenes for Epic Mickey 1 and 2. When she’s not conquering deadlines at work or taking herself on dates to the Alamo Drafthouse, she’s drawing all of her favorite characters from fandoms spread far and wide or comics laughing at her life. Please feel free to talk to her about Steven Universe, Marvel films (specifically “Stucky”), Peggy Carter, The Legend of Korra, and The X-Files. Check out her stylized artwork, as well as fandom-flailing, on her personal tumblr: http://tasteslikekeys.tumblr.com/