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Kumoricon 2019

Guests of Honor

NUEZZZ
Fashion Guest of Honor
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Using the hyper-colorful, street-ready designs of the 80s as a motif, graphic designer and fashion designer moji8fresh has his eyes set on a new era of streetwear with the launch of his ambitious new brand NUEZZZ. Based out of Japan, NUEZZZ is set to totally flip the conventions and perceptions of Tokyo's broadening fashion scene by utilizing moji8fresh's massively diverse color palette and design sensibility.

With a special focus on an international audience, NUEZZZ has already announced plans to bring the brand overseas with international shipping.

Tia Ballard
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Tia Ballard is a Texas gal born in the briar patch of Paris, Texas. She began her career in the industry while still in college, and has worked professionally as an actor, writer, and director. She graduated with a double Bachelors in Speech & Communication and Theatre Arts from Texas A&M, and also has both an Associates and a teaching degree.

Along with over 200 others, her roles include Zero Two in Darling in the Franxx, Happy in Fairy Tail, Rinko in My Love Story!!, Nanami in Kamisama Kiss, Kagura in Fruits Basket 2019, Rea in Sankarea, Beast in Black Butler: Book of Circus, Marron in Dragon Ball Z, Megumi in Shiki, Amira in Rage of Bahamut, Haruka in Harukana Receive, Ragdoll in My Hero Academia, Eris in Cat Planet Cuties, Rin in Rideback, Mizore in Rosario + Vampire, and Shao May in Fullmetal Alchemist. A few of her video game credits include Velvet in Them's Fightin' Herds, Jianyu in Street Fighter V, Ms Marlowe in Street Fighter V, and Riyu in Akiba's Beat.

In addition, Tia has directed The Royal Tutor, SEGA's Chain Chronicle, Zombieland, Kono Oto Tomare, and both wrote and directed the English adaptation of Kiss Him, Not Me. She is an artist and writer as well. She is currently working on a children's book, an audio drama, and many other personal projects in various stages of production. During her free time, Tia is a master gardener and enjoys laying in the grass. She loves spending time with her family, friends, and dog, Tom Hanx.

Morgan Berry
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Morgan Berry is a voice actor best known for her work in various anime shows, movies, video games, and web series; many appearing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and Disney XD. Some of her most notable roles being in Dragon Ball Super, My Hero Academia, Miraculous Ladybug, One Piece, Cells At Work!, The Rising of the Shield Hero, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Free!, Tokyo Ghoul, Beyblade Burst Turbo, KanColle, Touken Ranbu, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Overlord, Riddle Story of Devil, ēlDLIVE, and the award winning film The Boy and the Beast. Morgan is also in many major titles including Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Her most notable video game titles include Marvel Avengers Academy, Smite, and Freedom Planet 2. In addition, she voices for a variety of web series including Team Four Star's Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged, ScrewAttack's DEATH BATTLE! as the Yellow Power Ranger, and the main protagonist Eris in Gods' School. On top of voice acting, Morgan is a professional recording artist and YouTube personality under the name "The Unknown Songbird" with over 7 million views in total. As a professional singer, she has performed at many prolific arenas including the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Toyota Center, the American Airlines Center, and Bass Hall.

MINORI
Shironuri Artist Guest of Honor
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MINORI: Shironuri Artist a.k.a. Japanese alternative fashion icon

MINORI first became involved in shironuri art in 2009. After appearing on the fashion snap page on TokyoFashion.com in Harajuku, her art became popular on the internet, and her Instagram currently has a total of around 71,000 followers. Her YouTube video "Shironuri Makeup Tutorial by Minori" has been played almost 800,000 times.

Her work is strongly inspired by nature. Starting with her first original work "Ajisai (hydrangea)" in 2011, she has showcased series of work including a "language of flowers" collection and a "nature" collection.

Her first appearance at overseas events was in 2014. She has been featured in the International Business Times in the UK, and her original costume and photos are in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art. In 2016, she appeared on Joanna Lumley's Japan (iTV) and Chelsea Handler (Netflix). In 2017, she was featured on BBC News, attracting attention not only in the UK but also around the world. She was also invited as one of the special guests of Japan Expo Thailand and Malaysia in 2017.

Karen Strassman
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Karen Strassman is an actress, voice-over artist, and dialect coach, known the world over for hundreds of characters she has created in many forms. She delights in crafting characters that touch the brilliant human spirit and entertain the child within all of us.

She has created hundreds of voice-over characters of all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and species, from classic Disney princesses, to iconic villainesses, to talking jellyfish and shy tadpoles. Karen stars as Jinja in the new Nicktoons series Monsuno, and she also voices every other female character in the show (over 24 at last count).

An extensive list of Karen's credits can be found on IMDb or her website, but some of her favorite VO projects include: League of Legends, LEGO Friends, Monster High, Winx Club, Monster, Monsuno, Rugrats: All Growed Up, Bleach, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, EndWar, Final Fantasy, Fallout, EverQuest, Red Faction: Armageddon, Persona, BioShock 2, Castlevania, Rumble Roses, Mortal Kombat, Saboteur, Silent Hill, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Tony Hawk, Valkyria, Street Fighter X Tekken, Van Helsing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dead or Alive, Resident Evil, and more.

Ciarán Strange
Musician and Writer Guest of Honor
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You may have heard him as foul-mouthed, under-caffeinated NPC Lorelei (Borderlands 3) or the sweet but sassy Luca Esposito (Astra: Lost In Space)—but I.R.L. he's Ciarán Strange, an eccentric LGBTQ+ voice actor, Twitch affiliate, mental health advocate, urban fantasy author, and indie performing artist. At the tender age of seventeen, he left his family, friends, and little English fishing village behind in order to chase his dreams across the Atlantic!

The bed-headed redhead has become a familiar face throughout the American geek scene, in most parts due to his music. After touring multiple countries (including the US, UK, Canada, and Japan) and performing at hundreds of shows, conventions, and festivals, Ciarán joined forces with kindred artistic spirit Dave Kitsberg (Spoony Bards, Time Crash). The two are now delving into the world of geeky covers and parodies, as well as writing fresh original concept material in all sub-genres of pop-rock influenced by many of their fandom inspirations. This cache of new music is set to be released in 2019/20 under the project name We Are The Chaos. The band's debut single, LEGACY, is available on all music streaming services, along with some of Ciarán's older solo tunes.*

Musical ventures aside, this multi-media artist has been swept up in the launch of multiple book series, all of which take place on different sides of the same earth in the #Flareborne universe. His main (and favourite) project, "Black Tie" by Ciarán Strange, is a M/M paranormal romance series of action thriller novels he's pitched as "gay James Bond in a world of superheroes", and has an impending sequel due out in fall 2019.

* Ciarán's previous music can be found under his old artist name: Kieran Strange.

Enayla Cosplay
Cosplay Guest of Honor
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Enayla is a cosplayer, armorsmith, and propmaker based in Washington state. Inspired by the lavish costumes at a local comic con, she bought a garage-sale sewing machine and taught herself the basics. Twelve years later, she actively works with fabric, foam, feathers, thermoplastics, resin, and a host of other materials (whatever will get the job done!). In that time, she has been featured by a wide variety of publications, hosted panels on various aspects of cosplay, and judged competitions both locally and internationally. Specializing in costumes with meticulous detail, massive scale, and complex engineering, she is always looking for ways to expand her skills and challenge reality. When not working on a project, she is active in sharing techniques and encouragement with the cosplay community. She is constantly inspired by the work of others, and is excited to see what attendees bring to Kumoricon 2019!

KionCloud
Cosplay Guest of Honor
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With a love for creativity and a passion for hands-on crafts, KionCloud found themself intrigued with the idea of cosplay when it was first introduced into their life. Kion began their own cosplay journey in the autumn of 2013 about a year after discovering the exciting new hobby. They enjoy honing their skills in the many artistic aspects of cosplay encompassing making costumes, creating YouTube videos, as well as in-person performances in front of audiences. While attending several cosplay and Japanese cultural conventions throughout Washington and Oregon, Kion has participated in many live events including cosplay chess and several in-character panels. In addition to enjoying the various facets of cosplay they also strive to be a positive influence in the cosplay community and enjoy the interactions they have with their followers on social media platforms such as Instagram. KionCloud loves meeting and seeing new faces so don't hesitate to say hello!

Caleb Hyles
Musical Guest of Honor
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Disney, anime, Broadway, top 40: Caleb Hyles has done it all when it comes to cover songs! With his big heart and an even bigger voice, Caleb has wowed millions across the globe with a multitude of musical styling and an infectious, positive attitude. Caleb Hyles has a history in musical theatre, having grown up in a family of musicians and thespians. There was no doubt that Caleb was born to be an entertainer of some kind! Caleb has been recognized by the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Tyler Oakley, DeeDee Magno Hall, and many others for his musical prowess. Ever since his viral hit, "Let It Go", dropped in 2014, Caleb has not stopped growing his YouTube channel which has grown over 1 million subscribers. By holding live Q&As, and hosting a private Discord server with fans, Caleb has nurtured a growing community centered around one-on-one interaction and a common love for all things music and fanatic nerdom. No other performer or YouTube personality does as much for his fans as Caleb does.

He continues to produce new content on a weekly basis and is expanding his reach onto other platforms, such as Twitch! This endeavor, along with this YouTube Gaming channel of the same name, Peace Love and Gaming, it is evident that big things are happening with Caleb. He hopes that anyone and everyone will join him for the ride. As Caleb says at the end of every video, "Peace, love, and metal!!"

Joel McDonald
Voice Acting and Directing Guest of Honor
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Joel McDonald has been acting for over thirty years and directing voiceover for twelve. Most of his directing career so far was spent at Funimation, where he directed shows like One Piece, Space Dandy, Sgt. Frog, Big Windup, and many more. He's also appeared as Aoyama in My Hero Academia, Phichit Chulanont in Yuri!!! on Ice, Ronald Knox in Black Butler, Takumi in Initial D, Zeref in Fairy Tail, Meow in Space Dandy, and others. Joel made the move to video games in February of 2018 and is now working as Gearbox Software's very first Overlord, where he runs auditions, oversees casting, and directs voiceover for all in-house Gearbox properties.

Uptown Cosplay
Cosplay Guest of Honor
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Uptown is a cosplayer who has been creating their own costumes and styling wigs by hand since they began in 2012, gaining recognition for their highly successful in-character panels and lip sync performances on their YouTube channel. They host many events at conventions primarily around the Pacific Northwest and share their panels, tutorials, and reviews with their broad audience as a social media personality. Some of their most beloved cosplays include Chat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug and Lotor from Voltron: Legendary Defender. Uptown loves meeting new people and encourages you to never be afraid to say hello!

Photo credit: Kictor Cosplay

STARMARIE
Musical Guest of Honor
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STARMARIE is a five-member girl band formed in 2008. Their songs and choreography express fantasy tales of life and death.

The girls invite spectators into their mysterious fantasy world with their various songs consisting of unique titles and story-like lyrics, fierce-yet-delicate choreographies and expressions, and theatrical stage presence.

On February 2nd, 2018, they played at the Nakano Sun Plaza Hall (seating capacity: 2,200) without any supporting acts.

In addition, they are active not only in Japan, but abroad as well. As of now they have performed more than 100 shows overseas, focusing particularly on the Asian market with solo shows in Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

Their song "Natsu ni nare!" was selected as the ending theme of the anime Cardfight!! Vanguard G: NEXT (TV Tokyo). Previously, their song "Hime wa Rankiryuu☆Goikkou-sama" was used as the opening theme of the anime Onigiri (TOKYO MX, BS Fuji), in which two of the members also made their debut as voice actresses. Furthermore, "Mekurumeku Yuuki!" serves as the ending theme of Cardfight!! Vanguard G (TV Tokyo).

Brittney Karbowski
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Brittney Karbowski has been voice acting for 14 years. Some of her notable roles include Pride in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Ikaros in Heaven's Lost Property, Migi in Parasyte: The Maxim, Yuri in Angel Beats, Hisako in Food Wars, Karen in Gamers, Papi in Monster Musume, Papika in Flip Flappers, Hitoka in Haikyuu!!, Apis and The Going Merry in One Piece, Yamada in B Gata H Kei, young Hide in Tokyo Ghoul, Melinda in Nomad of Nowhere, Hitch in Attack on Titan, Kusu in Dragon Ball Super, Mikoto Misaka in the Railgun and Index series, Nanachi in Made in Abyss, Popuko in Pop Team Epic, Karen in Revue Starlight, Kotoha in Mitsuboshi Colors, Black Star in Soul Eater, Camie in My Hero Academia, Wendy in Fairy Tail, Rimuru in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, and the list just keeps going! Check out a more extensive list of her many roles at Anime News Network.

Brittney spends her free time with her husband, daughter, and her three fur babies in Houston, TX.

David Wald
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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David Wald began voice acting for English dubs of anime in 2005 with ADV Films' Shadow Skill. In the years since, David has continued to voice characters for ADV, Sentai Filmworks, Funimation, and others, including Fairy Tail's Gajeel Redfox, Napapa and Hyssop in Dragon Ball Super, Bulat in Akame ga Kill!, Tetsutetsu and Snipe in My Hero Academia, Rei in Love Stage, Attack On Titan's Hannes, Vetto in Black Clover, Keishin Ukai in Haikyuu!!, Gérman Luis in GARO: The Animation, Duke Togo in Golgo 13, Berg Katze in Gatchaman Crowds, Master Chief in Halo Legends, Dr. Ozaki in Shiki, Charlie in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Paulie and Tamago in One Piece, Reiji in Diabolik Lovers, Teppei in Toriko, Yoji Itami in GATE, Welf Crozzo in Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?, Mutsumi in Kiss Him, Not Me!, King Victor in The Royal Tutor, Riki Nendou in The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., and Count Magnus in Vampire Hunter D.

From outside the vocal booth, David has served as ADR Director for titles including Hitorijime My Hero, Love Stage, Bloom Into You, Aura: Koga Maryuin's Last War, Kokkoku, and Tada Never Falls In Love, and has adapted scripts for titles including Diabolik Lovers: More Blood, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Love Stage, and Hitorijime My Hero.

Luci Christian
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Luci Christian is a professional actor living in Houston, Texas. Internationally known for her voice work, her career also spans stage, television, radio, industrial, and anything else she can book. Notable anime roles include Ren in Made in Abyss, Ochaco in My Hero Academia, Honey in Ouran High School Host Club, Kaname in the Full Metal Panic! series (and the new season now being simuldubbed), Psiren and Wrath in Fullmetal Alchemist, Nami in One Piece, Kyuta in The Boy and the Beast, Lenalee in D.Gray-man, Asuna in Negima, Alois in Black Butler, Tenma in School Rumble, Rico in Gunslinger Girl, Ophelia in Claymore, Makina in Shikabane Hime, Birdy in Birdy the Mighty: Decode, the Narrator in Kamisama Kiss, Hungary in Hetalia, Medusa in Soul Eater, Trixie in Blade Runner: Black Out 2022, Cocona in Flip Flappers, Yuki in Food Wars, Chihaya in Chihayafuru, Carmen in Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars, Hestia in DanMachi, Satomi Murano in Parasyte: The Maxim, Deunan in Appleseed, Elsie in The World God Only Knows, Kelly in Halo Legends, Mirai Onozawa in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Nagisa in Clannad, Ringo in Air Gear, Mako in Nerima Daikon Brothers, Milia Fallyna in Macross, Haruko in Air, Risa in D.N.Angel, Tetsu in Peace Maker Kurogane, Duck/Tutu in Princess Tutu, Jinpei in Gatchaman and Paiman in Gatchaman Crowds, Sasshi in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, and Yukari in Azumanga Daioh. You can also let her read you books on Audible! She is @lucilovesmic on Twitter and can be found online at www.lucichristian.com. Ms. Christian holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Louisiana State University, and when she's not working she's usually happily hanging out with her husband and daughters and trying to use her powers for good.

Brina Palencia
Voice Acting Guest of Honor
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Brina Palencia is a Honduran-American actress and musician from Dallas, TX, best known for her voice work in such projects as Black Butler, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, and Snow White with the Red Hair. Brina has also music-directed many shows at Funimation such as Space Dandy, Dragon Ball Super, and Show By Rock. She posts original music and too many cat pics on her Instagram, @brinakins. Find more cat pics and keep up to date with her convention travels on Twitter, @brinapalencia.