Guests of Honor
Carl Gustav Horn is a manga editor at Portland’s own Dark Horse Comics including such works as CLAMP’s Clover, Kosuke Fujishima’s Oh My Goddess! and Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. A former editor at Animerica and Pulp magazines, he has worked in the U.S. anime and manga industry since 1993, and was a co-author with Patrick Macias on Japan Edge, the first book on otaku culture to be reviewed in the mainstream media. He has contributed to the U.S. DVD releases of Appleseed: Ex Machina, Gunbuster, Gunbuster 2, Royal Space Force, Patlabor 2, and Jin-Roh, and has provided commentary on the field to Weekly Comic Morning, Square Jump, Newsweek Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, AERA, Clarín, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, NPR, and Wired.
Toshi has spent half his life reading comic books and watching cartoons for a living. During those two decades, he has worked on an anime magazine called ANIMAG, spent 12 years producing anime at Viz Media and, most recently, has worked as a producer at Bandai Entertainment. Of course, he’s also been translating manga along the while.
Toshi’s past credits include producing the English-language versions of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha, as well as numerous amounts of manga translations such as Negima! for Del Rey, Eureka Seven for Bandai Entertainment, and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service for Dark Horse. His recent projects include the English-language versions of Gurren Lagann, Freedom, Ghost Slayers Ayashi, and Kurokami, The Animation (which was the first anime to air simultaneously in Japan, Korea, and the United States dubbed into the local language).
Toshi has been to Kumoricon several times and each time he’s been able to come, he had a great time. He looks forward to hanging out again with everyone this year. As usual, if you’re looking for Toshi, try looking for him in the “office” (a.k.a. hotel bar) first.
The Anime Hunters
The Anime Hunters return for another year at Kumoricon. Hailing from the city in the desert, they bring with them entertainment for the anime community. What kind of entertainment is that exactly? Anything from live performances to online episodes about the life and times of cosplayers. But you should go and find out firsthand. The group consists of four primary members: Zach (Yatta Cloud), Dane (Yatta Dante), Cassie (Chibiroth), and Jeremy (Random Dancing Kid), all of whom have attended and hosted panels at previous Kumoricons, as well as performed award-winning skits in the Cosplay Competition. You will ROFL, LOL, and BBQ! Barbeque? Wait a minute…
Cynthia was first introduced to anime when ADV cast her in her first acting/voice acting role ever as the dragon slayer sorceress Lina Inverse in Slayers. Since then she has voiced a variety of roles such as Sora in Kaleido Star, Hermes in Kino’s Journey, Poemy in Puni Puni Poemy, Hiroko in RahXephon, Mikako in Voices of a Distant Star, Yuna in Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, Hikaru in Princess Nine, Hikaru Amano in Nadesico, Harue in Super Gals, Mint in BASTof Syndrome, Meek in Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, Pike in Princess Tutu, Kaho in Sister Princess, Hikari in This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Mayu in Elfen Lied, Laetitia in Madlax, and Akina in UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie. Other titles include Pani Poni Dash, Red Garden, Shattered Angels, Godannar, Gravion, Aura Battler Dunbine, All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku, Azumanga Daioh, Excel Saga, Najica Blitz Tactics, Neo Ranga, Noir, Nurse Witch Komugi, and Those Who Hunt Elves. Currently she is working on a music demo as well as being a mom to three kids and a boxer named Oscar.
Jason Thompson is the author of the Eisner-nominated encyclopedia Manga: The Complete Guide and author of the graphic novel King of RPGs (kingofrpgs.com), coming in January 2010. As a manga editor for VIZ and Del Rey, he has worked on the English editions of titles such as Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball Z, Hana-Kimi, One Piece, Shaman King, Uzumaki, The Drifting Classroom, and Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei. His work has appeared in WIRED, The Comics Journal, and every issue of Otaku USA magazine. He is the author/artist of several fantasy and horror comics including H.P. Lovecraft’s The Strange High House in the Mist, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Hyperborea, and The Stiff, all on mockman.com. He is “khyungbird” on Twitter.
Kirk Thornton can’t get enough of Kumoricon. In fact, if a fan wants to meet Kirk, he has to come to Kumoricon, as this is the only convention he attends (kind of an exclusive deal). He grew up down the road in Beaverton, and scratched and clawed his way into the profession, studying acting at University of Washington, then moved on to The Oregon Shakespearean Festival, New York off Broadway and regional theatre, and Los Angeles film and television before landing in voice-over. 20 years in the trenches and some of the roles he has to show for it are Jin (Samurai Champloo), Kisame and Tazuna (Naruto), Narrator and Saidoh (Bleach), Gabumon and Mummymon (Digimon), and Don Patch (Bobobo). Several of the projects he can currently be heard on are Code Geass as Oghi, Monster as Baby, RoboDz as Gran Robodz for Disney and Blue Dragon as Minator. Other credits inclide Planates (Hachirota), Ghost In the Shell (Kuze), Gungrave (Brandon Heat), Blackjack (Blackjack), Kikaider (Hattori), Dual (Dr. Sanada), Duel Masters, Last Exile, Stellvia, Vandread, Heat Guy J, Love Hina, Stellvia, Wolf’s Rain, Akira, The Mysterious Play, and Kenshin.
His voice has also appeared in video games, such as Kingdom Hearts II and III (Saïx), Resident Evil Outbreak, Call of Duty, Kane & Lynch, Silent Hill, Dragon Age, Guild Wars, DC Universe, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Red Faction Guerrila, Mission Impossible, .hack, Scaler, Company of Heroes, Tales of the Abyss, and Dynasty Warriors.
Kirk has directed the English dubs of S-CRY-ed, Gad Guard, Cosmo Warrior Zero, Tsukihime, Mars Daybreak, Otogi Zoshi, and Destiny of Shrine Maiden, holding the lead script adapter and story editor positions for all of them. He is currently directing Blue Dragon, co-directing on Naruto, and script adapting and co-directing Bleach.
Video games that he has directed include WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, 2009, and 2010, Tom Clancy’s HAWX, Red Faction: Guerilla, Dirt 2, Hotel For Dogs, Operation Flashpoint, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Arcade Zone, Enchanted Arms, Rogue Galaxy, Samurai Champloo, and Time Crisis 4.
He loves the work, but the real treasures in his life are his wife, son, and daughter. He plays softball every week, has a decent arm and loves hitting the ball to right field.
Kaja and Phil Foglio
Kaja Foglio is a Seattle-based writer, artist and publisher. She founded Studio Foglio, LLC in 1993 as a venue for her Magic: The Gathering art prints, but quickly expanded into publishing. She co-writes the comic series Girl Genius with her husband Phil, and is the chief graphic designer and web mistress for Studio Foglio and Airship Entertainment, and masterminded their stunningly successful transition to webcomic form. You can read Girl Genius comics online at www.girlgenius.net.
Phil Foglio won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist back in 1977, and is still waiting for the wealth and unlimited power he was told this would bring. In the meantime he has made a career as a writer and artist because he liked the idea of commuting fifty feet to his office. Over the years he has worked in the fields of science fiction, comics and gaming. His current project is the comic book series Girl Genius, which he works on with his wife, Kaja. His hobbies include travel, gardening and waiting.
Soul Candy is an “otaku rock” band consisting of talented musicians who are also otaku—big anime fans. As such, they specialize in playing songs and music from your favorite anime series, new and old.
Hailing from the Seattle/King County area in Washington, USA, Soul Candy (Christabelle, Josh, Carlos and Isaac) is quickly being recognized as a formidable performer in various conventions, rock shows, and festivals.
They formed in July 2008 to perform for a local Filipino festival called Pista Sa Nayon. They then decided to try their hand at getting gigs at anime conventions. Since then they performed at Aki-Con, the new convention in Everett, Washington, and at the famous Sakura-Con in Seattle earlier this year. They then had their first club gig at the Club Motor in Seattle, then followed up recently with an appearance at Anime Evolution in Vancouver, Canada, where they received a warm reception.
The band also likes to cosplay for their shows in the true spirit of otakudom, and looks forward to get chances to play for fans of similar interests at events such as Anime Evolution.
Last Stop Tokyo
Last Stop Tokyo was founded by current members of The Slants, who also happened to be former members of San Diego pop punk heroes The Rockaway Teens: Simon Young and Johnny Sars. Joined by AC Slayer (of The Gentry and also formerly of The Slants) and Aaron Sixxx (of Stranger’s Six fame), they are Last Stop Tokyo, a straight up punk rock & roll machine with catchy hooks, driving guitar riffs, and an in-your-face attitude.
Paying homage to The Ramones and all of their inspired offspring, Last Stop Tokyo captures the pure rock spirit, where music is still about having a good time and the live show a place where boundaries, nationality, race, and gender cease to exist.
Svetlana Chmakova was born and raised on a small settler colony on the moon, where she first discovered her love of comics when reading contraband issues of ElfQuest.
When she was 16, she snuck on a berillium transport* to Earth and landed in Canada, of all places. Slightly irradiated and woozy, she somehow ended up in an animation school which led to all sorts of trouble including a sudden career in comics-making. Svetlana’s first full-length OEL manga series Dramacon was published by TOKYOPOP and met with much critical approval and offers of Pocky. It is now published in 12 languages and its hardcover collected edition can be used as an excellent self-defense weapon.
Currently Svetlana is busy shirking deadlines for her new series Nightschool, serialized in the monthly anthology Yen Plus. It’s hard work! So if you see her napping, Just Let Her Be.
(*NOTE: Svetlana’s family and friends may dispute the story of Svetlana’s arrival to Canada, and claim that she was actually born and raised in Russia, flew across the ocean in a normal plane with her family, and that she was never irradiated at all. So just, uh, tune it out.)
Svet’s website: www.svetlania.com