Every year, ConBravo! plays host to an amazing fleet of guests and 2013 is no different. Reviewers, critics, artists, actors, performers, and much more will be at the show signing autographs, hosting panels, and running all kinds of events. Over the next little while we’ll be revealing them one by one, so stand ready and keep your ear to the ground!
Guests of Honour
Mark Meer is best known for his work on the Mass Effect trilogy, voicing the male version of Commander Shepard, all of the Vorcha, the Hannar Spectre Blasto, the Biotic God Niftu Cal, and more. He also appears in many other Bioware games, including the Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights series, Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakening, and Dragon Age II. Most recently, he returned to the Forgotten Realms for the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition from Overhaul Games, playing a number of roles including new NPC monk Rasaad yn Bashir and the Lord of the Black Pits, Baeloth the Entertainer.
Mark is a writer and performer on CBC Radio’s hit national sketch comedy program The Irrelevant Show, APTN’s CAUTION: May Contain Nuts (often featured on Dragon*ConTV), and Superchannel’s sketch-sitcom mutant hybrid Tiny Plastic Men. He is a core member of both the Canadian Comedy Award-winning improvised soap opera Die-Nasty and the world-renowned improv company Rapid Fire Theatre, and has performed improv across the world, including multiple appearances at the annual London 50-Hour Improvathon, Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival and Chicago’s Del Close Theater. Mark is always delighted by the opportunity to write about himself in the third person.
James Portnow has written for every major trade publication including Gamasutra, The Escapist, Edge, and more. He is currently the writer on the hit consumer facing series about game design: Extra Credits. He is known for his theories on socially positive design and has been asked to speak at universities and companies around the world.
He is the co-author of a book on Invented Languages being published by Oxford University Press to be released this fall.
Brent “brentalfloss” Black
Brent “brentalfloss” Black is a comedian, musician, and gamer. He first gained notoriety when he added lyrics to the title theme from Mega Man 3 and created the “With Lyrics” series on Youtube.
He has since grown a Youtube subscriber base of over 130,000 and released two full-length albums which have reached the top ten in both the Bandcamp and iTunes comedy charts. He lives in New York City and performs at music venues and gaming conventions all over North America.
Doug Walker is best known for his character The Nostalgia Critic, vitriolic reviewer of bad movies and TV shows from our childhood. He also plays the roles of Chester A. Bum — the hyperactive bum who loves every movie ever made, and Dominic — a bar tender who has talked with the video game world’s biggest stars. He’s also noted for having a long standing “rivalry” with The Angry Video Game Nerd.
He’s appeared on PBS, Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, has worked with the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards in 2010. Often his convention appearances end up turning into comedic videos featured on his site, so don’t miss your chance to possibly be featured in one!
Indie Video Producers
Lewis “Linkara” Lovhaug
Lewis Lovhaug is best known in the online world as “that annoying guy in the hat who makes fun of bad comic books”, and that’s usually why he goes by Linkara instead. On his show, Atop the Fourth Wall, he’s battled against mad scientists, interdimensional conquerors, giant robots, and Lovecraftian abominations. And yet this is still a show about comic book reviews.
He is featured on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com, where his fellow reviewers have been known to say about him: “Dear God, shut up about Cry for Justice already,” as well as remarking about him: “Wait, people still read comic books?”
Leo “That SciFi Guy” Thompson
Best known as That SciFi Guy on thatguywiththeglasses.com and The Idle State, Leo is an actor, writer, producer, editor and animator. He reviews sci-fi movies from all corners, including giant robot war epics, alien horror flicks, and much more.
In addition to his science fictional duties, he also hosts The League of Inebriated Gentlemen. And he has pretty hair.
Justin “JewWario” Carmical
He started working on his internet video game review series ‘You Can Play This’ in December 2008 and its success quickly took off with him being invited to join the That Guy With The Glasses team in April of 2009. Since then he has appeared in the made-for-internet-movies ‘Kickassia’, ‘Suburban Knights’, and the recent ‘To Boldly Flee’. It was in ‘Suburban Knights’ that his impersonation of Jareth from ‘Labyrinth’ gained him a large fanbase and many a ‘squee’ from the internet.
He recently started work on his own tokusatsu (special-effect) hero mini-series known as Kamen Riders and is hard at work to film his own character (the ‘FamiKamen Rider’) which is due to air in March 2013 with a DVD release in May or June that same year. Although he and TGWTG have since parted ways, he has become a part of Retroware and ProjectMillionEntertainment
Lindsay “The Nostalgia Chick” Ellis
Lindsay Ellis is currently quite active as blip.tv’s most viewed lady-producer under the pseudonym of “Nostalgia Chick”, working alongside her colleagues and overlords at Channel Awesome (they pay her in vodka and lolcat photos, which is sad, because she is a dog person).
On the completely un-funny side, Lindsay is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker; her short documentary “The A-Word” has been a selection and won awards at several international film fests and short film fests. She is also the Lord and Mistress of All Destiny at ChezApocalypse.
Todd “in the Shadows” Nathanson
Todd Nathanson, better known as Todd in the Shadows, is the resident music reviewer for the popular review website ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com. With a background in journalism and several awards under his belt, Todd decided that the slapdash world of online criticism was far more rewarding. Details about this mysterious faceless man’s backstory (where he lives, where he actually worked, what his ethnicity is, etc) have been hard to unearth, but here’s what we do know; for the past two years, this mysterious shadowy man has sat in a dark room in front of a piano and explored the deeper meanings of Katy Perry songs without ever once showing his face; when asked why, all he would say is, “If this was what you did for a living you wouldn’t want to show your face either.”
Inspired by the snarky, sarcastic movie reviews of popular Internet personality The Nostalgia Critic, Todd set out to do the same for the maddening pop songs he had heard too many times on the radio. Debuting on Youtube in late 2009, and joining Channel Awesome in mid-2010, he has quickly become a standout among the Internet reviewer crowd for his incisive wit, brilliant insight, musical talent and what can we only presume are stunning good looks (we are assured Todd is, in fact, Channel Awesome’s “hottest guy”.)
Kyle “Oancitizen” Kallgren
Kyle Kallgren spends far too much time seeking out the oddest corners of the world of film festivals, trust fund projects and auteur mayhem that we call “The Arthouse.” His primary series Brows Held High is an overview of arthouse films ranging from the weird (Naked Lunch) to the wild (The Doom Generation) the new (Melancholia) the old (Häxan) the infamous (A Serbian Film) and the just plain silly (Zardoz). Sometimes he sits in revered awe. Sometimes he bursts out into song. Other times, he threatens the director with genocide. He currently lives in Washington D.C. where he is finishing a master’s degree in film and video. He has no dogs.
Paw has been called many things: Music Guru, Super Genius, Pretentious Hipster with some weird mutant goatee thing. He prefers the Guru or Genius options. You can currently find him on the set of “Music Movies“, a bi-weekly rundown of musicals on screens both small and large, on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com.
Eventually noticing that music was not limited to movies, you can also find him extolling the virtues of music in all manner of media. You can also find him often wandering the streets with headphones on creating public disturbance (a complete lie, he seldom leaves the house).
Maven of the Eventide
Elisa Hansen hosts “Vampire Reviews” as mistress of the macabre and Elvira-wannabe, the self-titled Maven of the Eventide. The humorous critique series presents a tongue-in-cheek deconstruction of vampire-related media and products in order to lovingly overanalyze their impact on pop culture. One of the original members of Team NChick, you can find her haunting Channel Awesome/That Guy With The Glasses and Chez Apocalypse, where she also assists with and occasionally appears as various neurotic characters for The Nostalgia Chick show.
By day, she lives in New York City where she serves as treasurer on the local MENSA board of directors and works as studio manager for a neon sign manufacturer. Yes, neon + vampires = trouble, but you’ve gotta admit the irony is at least a little bit amusing.
Rantasmo is a media analyst, writer, comedian and host of Needs More Gay, a video blog tackling all aspects of gay and gay-adjacent pop culture. His videos can be found at NeedsMoreGay.com, AfterElton.com, and Team NChick’s newest conglomerate ChezApocalypse.com.
When not talking about gay media representation or the delights and horrors of queer cinema, Rantasmo enjoys eating cheesecake. That’s it, really. No other hobbies. Just cheesecake and gay stuff.
Dan Olson is a born and raised Albertan maker of stuff and things, graduate of SAIT, and full time digital media producer in the healthcare industry. He loves to talk about anything and everything, a habit that he’s spun into an internet puppet show called Folding Ideas, now in its third season of densely packed critique. He loves old fashioned black and white photography, sugary drinks, and science fiction. His beard is both fabulous and magical.
Antonella “Nella” Inserra, finding her hopes and dreams of a career in Archaeology dead (along with the rest of the economy) turned her pursuits to Office Managing, Writing, Sidekicking, Moonlighting in Vaguely Shady and Morally Ambitious Ventures (or as we like to call it, ‘Acting’), and Serious Geekery.
Nella is a writer and actor for The Nostalgia Chick series and for Chez Apocalypse; her latest co-project is “50 Shades of Green“, where she and Lindsay intend to create and publish the latest gimicky paranormal YA romance abomination with help from viewers like YOU. She is a blogger for Chez Apocalypse, and performs in Ashley Boehm’s Nerd Cabaret every first Sunday of the month at The Way Station, nerd bar mecca extraordinaire. She currently resides in the metro New York area. She is more than happy to make a fool out of herself in a medium that will probably haunt her for the rest of her life. She’s also getting weird-ed out by all of this referring to herself in the 3rd person.
Mike Bennett aka Phil Buni is the creator of The Bunny Perspective! Mike is a Michigan native, illustrator, puppeteer/puppet builder and all around terrible person. He hosts The Bunny PerChannel, a livestream.
The Bunny Perspective! is a review show hosted by a pot smoking, puppet bunny named Phil Buni. It also has a spin off TBP: Music! hosted by Rex Rabit a bro-philosopher, with piercings to spare. The site also hosts GoreGasm, a show that riffs gorey movies, by a dead guy, Barnabus.
Pat “the NES Punk” Contri
Pat Contri is a writer and retro game collector who is best known for his Pat the NES Punk and Flea Market Madness web series. His notoriety could be due to his knowledge/love of Nintendo, his quirky sense of humor, or his bizarre hair. He helps run RetrowareTV and is the founder of thepunkeffect.com.
For the past three years he also helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for Child’s Play Charity via his 24 Hour NES Marathons. He has appeared on Spike TV, the History Channel, and in your NES fever dreams. In his spare time he goes to swap meets and hangs out with an old Jersey hippy named Frank.
The Game Chasers
Billy has been gaming since the Atari 2600 and Intellivision, but “true gaming” for him started his first NES. He fell in love with gaming at that moment and his passion continues to this day. He has been a serious collector since 2004.
His name is Jay, and he is a gameaholic. People say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. But what if you know you have a problem and don’t want to get help? He spends a lot of time collecting anything retro, and more time playing.He has had many interventions over the years, but to no avail. Is he sick? Twisted? Demented? No. He is a gameaholic.
Together they make up the dynamic game collecting team known as the Game Chasers. Their mission: to scour the land far and near to uncover gaming treasures of old. wether it be gaming stores, flea markets, thrift stores, or even peoples attics, they search out retro games and have a blast while doing it. The Game Chasers are into their third season and are proud members of Retrowaretv.com, and have a youtube channel where all their game chasing shenanigans can be viewed.
Joey “Roo” DeSena
Joey “Roo” DeSena is a retro gamer through and through, hosting shows such as 16-Bit Gems and The Way Games Work on RetrowareTV.com, as well as Head Shot on Vsauce3. In addition, he’s the co-founder of Clan of the Gray Wolf and co-hosts the bi-weekly Echo Screen live stream on the same site. He is also Director of Content for RetrowareTV.com.
“16-Bit Gems” looks back at the storied 16-bit era of video games and examines those that were truly exceptional, but overlooked in the hype of the time. “The Way Games Work” is a series that explores the science and technology behind video games, while making it accessible to the layman. “Head Shot” takes some of the more fanciful aspects of video games and uncovers the real life science and history behind them.
Daniel “The Commodore” Cordaro
Daniel “The Commodore” Cordaro (ding-ding) is the co-founder of the Clan of the Gray Wolf which is dedicated to thoughtful discussion of all aspects of geek culture. His Master’s thesis from the University of North Carolina focused on representations of gender in contemporary videogames and is published in the Library of Congress – although if he were to write one today, it would probably just be about Minecraft. He has also instructed college courses in game design and management. When not indulging in his more geeky interests, he’s also a singer, a philosophy buff, and a connoisseur of delicious breakfast cereals.
Norman Caruso – The Gaming Historian
Norman Caruso is the creator of The Gaming Historian, a documentary series covering the history of video games. The show has been featured on Retroware TV, Capcom, GoNintendo, and ScrewAttack. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Elizabeth City State University. You can follow Norman on Twitter @GamingHistorian
Cast & Crew of Space Janitors
Custodial work in outer space — thrilling right? Not really, but it sure is funny! Space Janitors follows the exploits of the lower-rung workers aboard an intergalactic space station and their day to day troubles. Nominated for the first ever Canadian Screen Awards for a digital series and executive produced by Felicia Day for Geek and Sundry.
Cast and Crew in attendance:
- Helen Johns (“Murdoch Mysteries”, “Cover Affairs”) as Emily, the brutal Imperial officer with a cheery disposition.
- Pat Thornton (“Hotbox”, “Comedy Bar”, “SketchersonsTV”) as Mike, the supportive buddy and realist who tries to keep everyone out of trouble.
- Brendan Halloran (“Comedy Bar”, “SketchersonsTV”) as Darby, the ladder-climbing Janitor whose serendipitously “good” nature holds him back.
- Scott Yamamura (“Covert Affairs”) as Dennis 4862, the “dumb jock” clone soldier with a sweet side.
- Evany Rosen (“Rollertown”, “Picnicface”) as Edith, the shy computer psychologist and staunch supporter of the evil empire.
- Davin T. Lengyel – Series Producer
- Geoff Lapaire – Series Producer
- Andy Hull – Co-Writer, Deck Crewmember
- Glenn Macaulay – Social Media Coordinator, Deck Crewmember
Davin and Geoff have also been extensively involved in the internet phenomenon and hit Showcase series, Pure Pwnage. Many of the cast and crew are also standing or former members of the improv comedy group, the Sketchersons.
Petros L. Ioannou is a writer, actor and producer. He created the online webseries MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME after successfully crowd funding $32,000 through Kickstarter to produce the show.
He is a firm believer in the future of original web content as not the “next” big thing but the big thing thats here and many people don’t even realise it. As such he recently launched his UK based production company, Leon Films, and has plans to launch several other shows and films exclusively for the web.
Since 2009 3killabytes has been a well respected review show on Youtube. 3KB is made up of Jason Hooft, Mike Colangelo and Kat Jovey. Each one of them brings their own charismatic and refreshing personalities together to make each video they release both entertaining and informative.
Over the years they have reviewed nearly 200 video games and nearly 100 films, all with their own unique and lively flare. They’ve developed a strong relationship with both their fans as well as other well respected Youtubers within the game and film community.
Derek the Bard hosts Chasing the Muse, a web series dedicated to reviewing weird books, forgotten films, and the beloved cartoons of your childhood. All while wearing a top hat. Because top hats are awesome. A member of ThisWeekinGeek.net and a participant in the These Warriors Are Terrible podcast, Derek is an actual, factual trained librarian and enthusiast of Japanese tokusatsu, 1980s cartoon shows, and the colour ultra-maroon. His forthcoming documentary, Touring Bus, interviews the cast, crew, and fans of Bus, the greatest movie never made, which no one can quite agree on. Because someone asked him to write his own bio post, he is also a professional tiger wrangler and once successfully sued a warehouse for being neither wearable nor a proper house. You can catch his show Chasing the Muse at Blip.TV, over at This Week in Geek, and weekly on Radio Dead Air.
Tom isn’t an evil genius, he just plays one on the Internet. Best known for his web series Weird Video Games, Tom is an online video producer, writer, musician, video game developer, and Terrible Warrior. Featured on sites such as Blistered Thumbs, ThatGuyWithTheGlasses, and This Week in Geek, Tom makes fun of the inherent strangeness in games and pop culture by probing, analyzing, and asking questions Man Ought Not.
Tom knows Kung Fu, violently loves cheesecake, and the server to his website is powered by unintentional comedy. Yes. Violently.
Hellog i am HELLO I write fan fictions ron the Internef. I wroted the Doom: Repercussions of Evil which saids “NO JOHN YOU ARE THE DEMONS” and then juhn was a zombie a lot of people liked that one very hard and it was good okay but also i write otehr stuffs as well but to be having wonder readings of the thing that I wrote I WRONTE BOOKS TOO AND YOU CAN BYU THEM FOR PRICES
Wordburglar is a Canadian nerd-inspired hip hop artist from Toronto. His style is best described as energetic and zany with an emphasis on wordplay and humour. He primarily works with his crews Backburner and Props Dept for all aspects of his music creation, and just released his latest album: 3rdBurglar.
Want to win two passes to ConBravo and a Wordburglar prize pack? Check out the Drawings with Words Remix Contest.
The World is Square
The World is Square is a 5 Piece VGM Folk Band from Boston, MA; focusing on the Classic Years of SquareSoft/Enix Games. They perform songs from popular titles like Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and more. Using a variety of traditional, unconventional and modern instruments they create a worldly sound that lends itself perfectly to the classic sounds from the SNES/PS1 era. Having taken the stage at events like PAX East, and MAGFest – Nick, Josh, Lauren, Dave & Joe can’t wait to bring their unique nostalgic brand of VGM jams to ConBravo!.
James Ronald a 10 year veteran of the Toronto based touring band Delinquints takes you on a journey through different eras of musical gaming with hilarious, heartfelt and sometimes thought provoking tributes with his web series and live show Epic Game Music featured most heavily on ScrewAttack and YouTube.
DJ FINISH HIM
DJ FINISH HIM is a man who plays strange musical instruments few people have heard of in addition to more conventional ones to create compositions that remind the listener: This is why you have ears!
Following the August 2012 release of the 54-track THEY BLEED PIXELS ON THE DANCE FLOOR, the soundtrack to the hit indie videogame, “They Bleed Pixels,” DJ FINISH HIM began amassing even more unusual instruments in preparation for future musical opportunities. Consequently, he was the first human being to play a Pianocade Chiptunes Synthesizer in front of a live audience. This practice has now become a staple of his live sets, evoking both a sense of wonder and nostalgia from the crowd.
His music may best be described as a coherent mess of musical destruction, mixing old-school videogame music sensibilities with modern sounds resulting in a familiar but strange and possibly unsettling listening experience.
DJ FINISH HIM’s latest album is called TELESYNTHOLOGY.
In certain social circles, he is also known as Shaun Hatton. He has a mustache and funny hair.
E-Bison is a masked music producer from Montreal who hasn’t been able to overcome his addiction booty shaking game remixes, despite a comprehensive detox program consisting of a decade of higher music education. Known for clever thematic constructions and virtuosic sound design, E-Bison’s villainous beats rampage though video game history like a bison in a china shop.
There’s an old saying in con circles: you sleep at least six hours, you eat at least two meals and you watch as many 404s shows as possible.
The world’s finest Geek Improv Troupe has become a warm fixture in conventions across Canada asking for only the attendance and laughter of those who dare to join their audience (which, they assure us, is not to be used for some kind of ritual).
Providing their infamous shortform improvised comedy set the 404s touch on many subjects such as Han Solo shooting first, The Doctor’s real name, examples of class structure in Super Mario Bros., and many more topics you wish you could get a doctorate in. And, as always, some brave soul gets invited to the stage where they are wrapped up in a web of bizarre lies and betrayal that they label comedy. To say the least it is an unparalleled experience. Mostly because no one dares to parallel it. To that end, all are invited to behold this unyielding juggernaut of funny people with odd habits as you watch the conception of a thousand new internet memes, each too beautiful for this world.
Starpilot is an eclectic musician creating various forms of electronic/alternative music ranging from IDM to electro to synthpop to psychedelic to postpunk to shoegaze to experimental whatever, all with a flair for chipsounds and mind-expanding weirdness. But he doesn’t like genre labels much, doesn’t follow standards and constantly pushes boundaries. He has gained notoriety as an immensely prolific musical astronaut and eccentric performer, traveling the metaphysical universe and popping in and out of space and time to perform, produce music, and spread the love.
Vitaly S. Alexius
Vitaly S Alexius is a renowned digital painter/illustrator who has gained immense recognition for his work in CD and book covers and his immediately recognizable style. In early 2010 he began production of his webcomic Romantically Apocalyptic which has since become his main focus.
Romantically Apocalyptic features a unique, high-detail art style that combines Alexius’ original photography of actors on greenscreen, exploration of abandoned locations around the world, and digital painting.