Guests for AnimeIowa 2015 have not yet been announced. A special thanks to our 2014 Guests
Robert Axelrod has carved a career in show business that runs the gamut. Born and raised in New York City, he did commercials and theater as a child and teen, eventually ending up in the Soho Avant-garde Theater scene in a show called “Little Trips”, then Off-Broadway in a play called “The Destroyers”. Axelrod left acting for the world of music. He spent eight years as a working rock musician playing electric bass and singing in folk, rock, and soul bands. Music brought him to Los Angeles where he decided to return to acting, a decision he never regrets.
Since then, Mr. Axelrod has appeared in over thirty feature films including four with Charles Bronson, the Sci-Fi hit remake “The Blob” with Kevin Dillon and many others. Television appearances include guest star roles on “Amazing Stories”, “Star Trek Voyager”, “Tim And Eric’s Awesome Show”, and “The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He also starred in the Michael Jackson music video “Stranger in Moscow”, and the horror dark comedy, “The Revenant”. His performance in the short film THE GOLDFISH is garnering rave reviews.
Mr. Axelrod is also a busy voice over artist. He is the voice of Lord Zedd and Finster on the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”. The Lord Zedd voice is one of the most recognizable character voices around. He voiced Armadillomon and Wizardmon on “Digimon, Microchip, The Punisher’s sidekick, on “Spiderman”, Rico on “Robotech”, and has voiced countless Anime features including “Akira”, “The Big O”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Brain Scratch”, et al. As Lord Zedd, he starred in both the first Power Rangers feature film and the wildly popular live show that toured the country. He was a regular character on Saban Entertainment’s “Wowser” series (as Ratso Catso), “Journey To The Heart of the World” (as Scarface), “Hallo Spencer” (as Elmer), and more. He just finished narrating the mockumentary “Safety First: The Rise of Women and voicing four Anime series, “Gaiking”, “Danguard Ace”, “Captain Horlock”, “The Adventures of Nadja”, and “Fist of the North Star”.
Greg Ayres has spent the last eleven years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to get to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami re-launch last summer, in the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland, and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7, and even more thrill to follow that up the following summer’s thriller Another as Kouichi Sakakibara. His most recent roles include Satoru Asahina in From the New World, Kenji Nakanishi in Say I Love You, Sion in No. 6, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Tommyrod in Toriko, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai, in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken, in the Book of Bantorra. Some of his all-time favorite roles include Son Goku in Saiyuki, Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Youhei Sunohara in Clannad, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories, Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Negi Springfield in Negima. He can also be heard as Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, Hiro Hirono in ef: A Tale of Memories, Abe in Big Windup, Jr. in Xenosaga: The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention
When he’s not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones of another variety behind “the decks”. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, he jumped at the opportunity to play music and organize late night dances at many of the conventions he attends. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), he never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.
Mr. Popo and Tien Shinhan in “Dragonball Z”, Holy Roman Empire in “Hetalia”, Gluttony in “Fullmetal Alchemist”, Face McShooty and Mal in “Borderlands 2″, Jack the Ripper in “Soul Eater”, Miyamoto and M1 in “Yu Yu Hakusho”, Taruru in “Sgt. Frog”, Boo and Whitey in “Shin Chan”, Hanai in “School Rumble”, Ukyo in “Ouran High School Host Club”, Chamo in “Negima”, Babbit in “Kodocha”, Siegfried in “Kenichi”, and Hanbei in “Sengoku Basara” represent some of Chris’s favorite and best known roles.
You may have also heard him in: Attack on Titan, Gunslinger Girl, Basilisk, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, Black Cat, Darker Than Black, Bamboo Blade, Kaze no Stigma, Aquarion, One Piece, Big Windup!, D. Gray-Man, Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, RIN, Speed Grapher, Oh! Edo Rocket, Summer Wars, Initial D, Deadman Wonderland, Michiko & Hatchin, Fairy Tail, Case Closed, and Space Dandy
As an ADR Director, Chris has had the pleasure of casting/directing/asst. directing such titles as: Dragonball Z Uncut, Dragonball, Dragonball GT, Yu Yu Hakusho, Negima, Kodocha, Galaxy Railways, Baki the Grappler, School Rumble, Hell Girl, Kaze no Stigma, Bamboo Blade, Birdy the Mighty: Decode, Initial D, and Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations.
He has also had the opportunity to be a part of many popular video games. Some of his favorites were: voicing random ghouls and specters for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, as a contributing guitarist in Guitar Hero 3, and as Mega Man in Street Fighter X Tekken.
For additional information, visit “Chris Cason’s Anime Chuckle Hut” on Facebook and @Casonworld on Twitter.
Samurai Dan and Jill
Dan Coglan, a.k.a. “Samurai Dan” and his wife, Jillian are the acknowledged masters of marital… er, MARTIAL mayhem. This dynamic duo travels the civilized portions of the U.S., bringing their unique show to curious and horrified audiences alike.
In addition to their high-energy, mostly safe stage shows (where razor sharp blades and barbs fly) the couple teaches historical and hysterical panels on the way of the warrior. Offering a wide range of lectures and interactive workshops, Dan and his lethal love Jillian are guaranteed to provide con attendees fun and fulfillment.
Due to a supreme lack of filter, Dan also performs standup comedy, and lives to embarrass his wife onstage, in censored and uncensored settings.
A storyteller at heart, Dan is finishing his third horror novel, and offers insights into the creative process with panels for the aspiring writer as well.
Check them out at www.Facebook.com/SamuraiDanAndJillian
By day, Russell Lissau is a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago. By night, he battles evil writing comic books including THE BATMAN STRIKES! and STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE. He broke into comics in 2005 with the lead story in BATMAN ALLIES SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS. (A lifelong Batman fan who dressed up as the Caped Crusader as a child, he can’t believe his luck.) His most recent projects include short stories in the highly regarded independent series OMEGA COMICS PRESENTS, the self-published western ONE LAST THING and the upcoming graphic novel OLD WOUNDS. To learn more, check out www.facebook.com/russell.lissau.
Trevor Mueller works at an advertising agency by day, and writes comics by night. His latest project is ALBERT THE ALIEN, appearing on Mark Waid’s THRILLBENT site. He has also self-published several other works including the all-ages stories JUNKYARD CHASE. And has contributed stories to several anthologies, including HOPE: THE HERO INITIATIVE from Ronin Studios and READING WITH PICTURESfrom the non-profit of the same name.
He is also the writer / artist / creator of several award-winning webcomic series (www.trevoramueller.com), and regularly reviews movies, video games, and comics.
Trevor gives lectures and presentations throughout the country at conventions and schools on several topics, including the power of combining creativity and literacy.
Trevor currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Beth, and his cat, Waffles.
Cosplayer, graphic designer, costume designer, artist, aspiring actress and Japanese dancer, Mimiru has been in the hobby since she was 12. Now, she wishes to further her skills and experience and join the industry, fabricating costumes and going further into acting. She loves to entertain audiences and has been doing so since she was seven, starting out in ballet and tap and moving into Tae Kwon Do and Nihon Buyou. It is Mimi’s passion
She loves to help guide cosplayers through their journey all the while putting on entertaining and fantastical events. She loves the cosplay community and even dedicated her senior thesis to researching controversies in the community and how to help prevent controversies and arguments from putting a gap in the community. She believes that cosplay is for everyone and strives to create a more inclusive community for cosplayers. Cosplay is about fun and passion and no one get’s left behind!
Her cosplays include anime (Vampire Knight, Kuroshitsuji, Barajou no Kiss, and more), video games (such as Final Fantasy and Skyrim), and comic characters such as Loki and Harley Quinn, faeries, steam punk and Celtic Mythology (The Dagda).
On top of acting and costuming, Mimiru has a deep love for Japanese culture and language, and conducted research in Japan, traveling to Nagasaki, Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. A couple of months later, she once again returned to Osaka to study for a year until June 2012.
What else can be said of this marvel, this paragon of our time?
Truth, Beauty and Goodness! Covered in Righteousness! Sprinkled with Love!
But enough about the Taco Bell Beefy 5-Layer Burrito…
Lucas is a Chicago-based voice actor heard in animation, videogames and audiobooks. In 2013, he voiced his first anime: as Vice-Admiral Onigumo in the film“One Piece: Strong World” and went on to voice the same character in the fifth season of “One Piece”. In the videogame world, Lucas has voiced nearly 100 different characters in more than 30 titles to-date for companies like LEGO, Square-Enix, Eidos, Atlus USA & S2 Games. Several noteworthy titles include “LEGO Ultra Agents”, “Deus Ex: The Fall”, “Heroes Of Newerth”, “Strife”, “Tropico 4” and “Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures”.
When he’s not coming up with new ways to sound unlike himself, Lucas enjoys gaming, watching MST3K and teaching voiceover skills and techniques to up-and-comers! He’s very proud to be attending AnimeIowa 2014 as an official guest, and hopes all attendees have a great time! (but be on the look out for a voice acting ninja lurking the hallways)
From Otakon to Anime Expo, Karl “Uncle Yo” Custer teleports to anime, comic book and video game conventions performing his unique brand of geek-specific stand-up comedy. Panel leader, Cosplay Masquerade MC, playwright and dedicated podcaster, Yo goes where he is needed to celebrate fandoms, welcome newcomers, and promote equality. You can also hear him voice every dog and trainer in the Android game “Top Dog: Lucky’s Charm.” He is the self-published author of “The Anime Convention Survival Guide” as a single on Amazon as well as the roast of the 1996 Doctor Who movie starring the 8th Doctor on iTunes, “Doctor Whom?”
Every Monday his podcast, “We are the Geek” tackles current issues, reviews shows and features up-and-coming convention guests, or fan-lebrities as Yo puts it. His two latest albums, Ecto-Kitt-Lorean and Matching Hair Clips are ready for download at Amazon and iTunes for your enjoyment.
His web work can be viewed with cameo on several Nostalgia Critic reviews, including starring in the 5th Anniversary short for Thatguywiththeglasses.com, DragonBored. Yo was also featured on SchnozMan and Hole Punch at Stayballsy.com as florist sociopath and super-villain, Jeff Regean. Earlier, he was featured on the Youtube series Doujinopolis alongside producer Mario Bueno and Fakku’s Jerk-it Jenny.
Greg Wicker (or “Greggo” as he’s fondly known) has been producing and hosting game shows at anime conventions since 1999, when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. Since then, Greggo has done anime-themed versions of several classic game shows, created a few games of his own, and even had an original project that very nearly turned into an actual television show on Anime Network. These days Greggo is concentrating on perfecting his craft and making game shows available for conventions everywhere, bringing his rapier wit and friendly personality with him wherever he goes. You can see some of Greggo’s past game show efforts on his YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/gregdasgo or visit his website at http://www.facebook.com/greggosgameshows.