Featured Guests for 2014

Jon attended The Kubert School for two years to pursue his passion for drawing comics.  He got his start illustrating classic fairy tales, which never saw the light of day, but he was glad for the experience and ability to pay his bills. He got his start in comics working for IDW Publishing a few years later and has done penciling, inking and coloring work for the company. Jon currently works under the Hi-Fi umbrella as a color artist on books for DC and Marvel/Disney Worldwide Publishing.

Jon Alderink @ GrandCon 2013

Publisher, editor, writer, illustrator, colorist and letterer Gary Scott Beatty read his first comic, a beat up Tin Tin hardcover, in grade school. His first indie (They were called "underground" then) was printed on his high school's ditto machine without permission. His current Aazurn Publishing book is The One, 50 years of comic book history through the life of one comic shop owner. Gary’s Indie Comics Magazine publishes independent creators. http://garyscottbeatty.comhttp://indiecomicsmagazine.com

Gary Scott Beatty GrandCon

A Grand Rapids local, Seth Damoose is currently working on Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon through Devil's Due Ent. He has worked on Image Comics such as; I HATE Gallant Girl, Fractured Fables, Xenoholics, and Bomb Queen.  Seth was also one half of the creative team of the webcomics Brat-Halla and Spook'd. 

Jeff Dee has worked in the gaming industry for over 25 years.  His artwork appeared in numerous games and magazines, including TSR's Deities and Demigods (as well as many AD&D modules and other early TSR products), Villains & Vigilantes, adventures for the Star Wars RPG from West End Games, and others. He co-designed Villains & Vigilantes, TWERPS (The World's Easiest Role-Playing System) from Gamescience, and Pocket Universe from UNIgames. Jeff has also worked in the computer games industry on games such as Ultima VI, Master of Orion, Master of Magic, and Wing Commander.

Dave Dorman is a world-renowned comic and magazine cover artist, toy designer, movie production artist and character/creature concept artist who won his Eisner Award (the comic book industry’s Oscar Award) in 1993 for his groundbreaking graphic novel, Aliens: Tribes, as well as a Bram Stoker Award.  He collaborated on the book with his fellow Joe Kubert school alumni and friend Stephen Bissette. In 1996, Dave Dorman was honored with being voted the #1 Star Wars Artist of All Time by his fans; His 1997 book, Star Wars: The Art

Dave Dorman GrandCon

Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989. He has twenty-seven novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals and Vegas Knights.

Matt Forbeck GrandCon 2014

Rob Garcia is a freelance artist from Kalamazoo, MI where he lives with his beautiful
wife, Sara.  He has been a working artist for nearly a decade, focusing on sequential art.  His current project is working as a series artist for Paradise Prison.  Paradise Prison is being produced by Capstan Comics, another wonderful guest of GrandCon 2014.  Rob is also affiliated with the Michigan Comic Collective, Art-On!

Rob Garcia GrandCon

ED GREENWOOD is an amiable, bearded Canadian writer, game designer, and librarian best known as the creator of The Forgotten Realms® fantasy world. He sold his first fiction at age six, and in the forty-some years since has published more than 200 books, that have sold millions of copies worldwide in over two dozen languages. The most recent of these include the bestselling Sage of Shadowdale trilogy from Wizards of the Coast.

Ed Greenwood @ GrandCon

Jeff Grubb is an award-winning game designer and best-selling author. He has had a long and tawdry career in creating, caring for, and explaining worlds of his own and others design, including the Al-Qadim and Spelljammer campaign settings for AD&D and the original Marvel Super Heroes game. He is also the Eternal Sidekick, having been both a co-founder of the Forgotten Realms (with Ed) and Dragonlance (with Tracy) campaign settings.

Kurt J. Kolka is an award-winning journalist and creator of THE CARDINAL comic strip, which has appeared online, in newspapers, comic books and trade paperbacks since 1990. His comic strip is known for dealing with real-life issues in his stories, including runaways, human trafficking, homelessness, vengeance, blackmail and more.

I spent the majority of my professional career working in various executive positions within the AT&T Advertising & Publishing line of business, retiring as an Executive Director - Information Technology after 32 years of service. Since retirement, I have been designing games full time through my company King Richard LLC.

Richard Launius GrandCon

Trico us an author, editor, and entrepreneur, as well as the founder of Source Point Press. He’s written the popular poem collection “Delightfully Wicked Poetic Tales” and also writes the “Jack of Spades” comic book series. His short Jack of Spades story “Lonely Tower Lives” can also be found in the anthology “Alter Egos Volume 1” and he currently has multiple comic book scripts, short stories, and poems in the works for numerous titles. You can find his books and comics at sourcepointpress.storenvy.com. 

Trico Lutkins GrandCon

DIRK MANNING is best known as the writer/creator of the comic series Nightmare World and Love Stories to Die For (Image Comics/Shadowline) as well as Tales of Mr. Rhee (Devil’s Due). Dirk is also the author of the ongoing inspirational column/book collection Write or Wrong: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics (www.BleedingCool.com/Caliber).

Dirk Manning GrandCon

Kait is a freelance illustrator based out of Watervliet, Michigan. She enjoys creating work that combines digital painting with photo-manipulation techniques. When Kait is not hovering over her computer, she horses around--literally! She has been a competitive horseback rider for 16 years and competes in dressage events with her horse, Staccato.

Mick McArt was raised in Tawas, Michigan and was a young man when he gave his heart to the Lord. After high school he became an assembler in an automotive plant. Inspired to pursue more, he applied for college at 22 years old. He delivered pizza to help pay his way through college. After graduating, he started a professional career in multimedia design at a large manufacturing facility, where he is currently employed.

Jim McClain is the creator of Solution Squad, an all-ages educational comic featuring teen superheroes whose powers are based on math concepts. In his secret identity, he is a middle school math teacher in Elkhart, Indiana and has been teaching for 27 years. His most recent work is included in Andrews McMeel Publishing's Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter, for which he was the designer as well as the designer and co-editor of the Teacher Guide.

Jim McClain GrandCon

Bradley K. McDevitt is a twenty-five year veteran of the gaming industry, and has worked for numerous companies such as WoTC/TSR, Goodman Games, Catalyst Games Lab, Atlas Games and many more. This is not even counting his stints as a staff artist for GDW and as an Art Director for Dark Skull Studios.

At last count, he had over 455 published credits, with over a twenty more in process as of this writing, including art for Age of Cthulhu and Maximum XCrawl(Goodman Games), Ripples From Carcosa (Chaosium), and cover artist for several modules for Four Dollar Dungeons

Mark McKenna is a 28 year veteran of the comic book industry. In that time he has worked on Batman, Wolverine, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and more recently on Star Wars, counting over 450 comics in all.

Pop Mhan is currently the artist of DC’s He-man and the Masters of the Universe comic book as well as the cover artist for Marvel.  Pop was born in Bangkok, Thailand and lives in the metro Washington, DC area.  Past work includes runs of Ghost Rider, The Flash, Batgirl, Ender's Game, World of Warcraft, and Gears of War comic books.  Pop loves dirty line dancing, drawing comic books and long walks on the beach with his wife and son - well, his son has never been to a beach and he has just started to walk.

Talzhemir "Talzy" Mrr is the artist and co-creator of FURCADIA, a multiplayer online game for the PC featuring anthropomorphic animals. She is also the co-designer of TWERPS (The World's Easiest Role-Playing System) from Gamescience, and co-designer of Quicksilver, the fantasy rpg from UNIgames. Her career began as an artist and writer on Ultima VI. She worked for Apogee (now known as 3D Realms) and Optigon (now known as TEN, Total Entertainment Network).

Nolan N. Nasser, a freelance illustrator and concept artist from Grand Rapids. He began working in the gaming industry roughly one year ago as the artist for TCGplayer's MaxPoint Author Tokens. Reveling in the idea of creating characters and developing worlds his passion for gaming fuels his passion for art. Although enjoying the life of a freelance artist at the moment he also hopes to one day launch his own personal project. 

You can view more of his work at his website - www.n3art.com

My artistic journey has allowed me to research everything from the prehistoric to contemporary symbols and images from cultures around the world. It has also focused on our relationships with animals, their stories and fables and how they differ from culture to culture. The salamander during Medieval times was thought, “to be born of fire”, an amphibian phoenix. For many cultures, insects are the signs of rebirth and growth, but also the harbingers of death and pestilence. So, if I have to classify myself, it would be as an image-maker.

Mark Nelson GrandCon 2013

Michael L. Peters is a Michigan based artist.  Since 1996, he’s drawn comics,  with work appearing in Unbound (Image), Legends of Camelot (Caliber), Heavy Metal Magazine,  Negative Burn (Desperado) and others.  He frequently paints covers and draws pen & ink illustrations for REH (Robert E. Howard): Two-gun Raconteur and recently designed the 2012 T-shirt, for the Robert E. Howard Museum, of Cross Plains, Texas.  He is the portrait artist for Ferris State University, of Big Rapids, Michigan and self-publishes fantasy art prints.

Paul Peterson started his game design career at Wizards of the Coast working on Magic: the Gathering, Pokemon, and his card game, Guillotine.  Since then he moved between the worlds of electronic and tabletops games designing everything from a massively multiplayer roleplaying game to a virtual world for girls to a collectible poker chip game.  His recent titles include Smash Up and Unexploded Cow, and he is a developer on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

Keith Pollard is an American comic book artist. Originally from the Detroit area, Pollard is best known for his simultaneous work on the Marvel Comics titles Fantastic Four, Thor, and The Amazing Spider-Man in the late 1970s-early 1980s.

Boyan Radakovich is a producer for Geek & Sundry's wildly popular show “TableTop,” hosted by Wil Wheaton and the creator of the gaming holiday International TableTop Day. Bo is also an Origins Award-finalist game designer, the creative director for Gamesmith, sought after creative consultant, the former marketing director of one of the largest games distributors, valued community organizer, and an outspoken advocate for the cognitive and social benefits of tabletop gaming.

Corinne Roberts is a local illustrator from Grand Haven. She graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design through the Illustration program and has taught a variety of drawing/painting workshops and classes throughout West Michigan. In 2012 she released her first self published written and illustrated children’s number book, Imaginary Sea 1,2,3! Along with her next book Out and About, she also self publishes children, anime, fantasy, and sci-fi prints and cards. Outside of art, she is also an editor for the comic series Rainbow in the Dark. 

Scott Rosema's legendary career in the comic book industry spans over 30 years. He has worked for the Big Two, and his pencils and inks have touched just about every character large and small during his long career. He is a graduate of Kendall College of Art & Design, and he currently resides in Muskegon MI where he and his lovely wife Suzie continue to pursue their love of art and creation. From Scooby Doo artist to major publication illustrator, this is Scott Rosema. A Renaissance Man of printed entertainment.

Scott Rosema

Steven’s professional life began in February of 1990 as a games editor at TSR, Inc. Since then, Steven has worked on dozens of fictional worlds as a freelance or full-time editor, developer, game designer, fiction writer, or assistant manager for numerous publishers including Wizards of the Coast; Bastion Press; Green Ronin; Paizo Publishing; and Rite Publishing. He’s published two Forgotten Realms novels with Wizards of the Coast and seven short stories with DAW Books and other publishers.

Steve Smith is an author and publisher and 20-year business partner of Dave Dorman. He studied art under Mark Nelson before giving art up for words. Steve's 1990s horror film magazine, Monsterscene, was considered the unofficial successor to the classic Famous Monsters of Filmland by FM's own editor, Forrest J Ackerman, who dubbed the publication, "Famous Monsters for Grown-ups."

Steve Smith GrandCon

Sara Sowles is a painter, comic book colorist, and designer.  She graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2007 with a BFA in illustration.  Sara owns Killustration Studios LLC, a professional art business, with her husband Tyler.  She has much experience in deadline oriented jobs including newspaper, feature film, and comic industries. (Sara's Website)

Sara Sowles @ GrandCon

Tyler Sowles is a painter, illustrator and comic book artist. He graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2008 with a BFA in illustration. Tyler owns Killustration Studios LLC, a professional art business, with his wife Sara. He is currently working on 2 trade graphic novels, The Numbered for Arcana Comics and Deadman's Land. (Tyler's Website)

Tyler Sowles @ GrandCon

Stan! has been writing and drawing professionally since 1982. In that time, his fiction, cartooning, and game designs have all been nominated for major awards—and even won a few.

His career has included times on staff at Wizards of the Coast, TSR Inc., Upper Deck Entertainment, and West End Games. Currently, Stan! is a Producer at Monte Cook Games and a freelance writer & cartoonist. He is the author of 2 novels, 5 children's books, 16 short stories, and countless comics. 

Stan!

Ryan Stegman is a comic book artist from Michigan with a steady hand. His credits include Amazing Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, Inhuman, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, and Incredible Hulk. He currently resides in Grand Blanc with his wife and two sons.

You can find Ryan's blog information or works of art at:  

http://ryanstegmanart.blogspot.com/ or http://ryanstegman.deviantart.com/

Ryan Stegman GrandCon 2014

Josh is an illustrator, graphic designer, published author, and actor. He does artwork for bands, movies, books, comics, and more through his freelance design company As Fall Leaves Illustration. He is the artist for the ongoing comic book series “Jack of Spades” from Source Point Press.

Josh Werner GrandCon

J.K. Woodward started his professional comics career in 2003 and went on to work on several titles for IDW, BOOM! Studios, Archaia and Marvel. He’s worked on such titles as X-Men Origins:Beast, Star Trek,Peter David’s Fallen Angel, Mars Attacks and more. He currently illustrates Peter David's Fallen Angel as a reoccurring miniseries for IDW as well as various cover and sequential work for multiple publications. His latest project is the Star Trek/Doctor Who, 8-issue mini series, Assimilation2.