Special Guests for 2017!
Adrian Ludens is the author of the brand new story collection, Ant Farm Necropolis, (published by A Murder of Storytellers) which will debut at SoDak Con 2017!
He is one of only two members living in South Dakota to have achieved Active status within the Horror Writers Association. Recent publication appearances include the extreme horror anthology, D.O.A. III (Blood Bound Books), The 4th Spectral Book of Horror Stories (Tickety Boo Press), the Lovecraftian sci-fi anthology Dark Horizons (Elder Signs Press), and the weird western e-book novelette "Bottled Spirits" (Grinning Skull Press). Adrian is a fan of hockey, music of all varieties, reading and writing dark fiction, and exploring abandoned buildings around the Black Hills.
Adrian lives in Rapid City. Visit him at www.adrianludens.com.
A graduate of the lighting design program from Emerson College, Kevin McKeever been working in the entertainment industry for nearly 15 years. He has worked in theater production at world class venues such as the Goodspeed Opera House, the Emerson Majestic Theater, Foxwoods Casino, and the Mohegan Sun Resort which he helped open in 1996.
His television production credits include Jackass, Kids Say the Darnedest Things, Guinness Book of World Records, Krypton Factor, Farmclub.com, The 60’s as well as various television commercials. His film credits include Mystery Men, For Love of the Game, and Billy Frankenstein. Kevin has also served as Assistant VP of Production for feature film producer and New York Times best-selling author Lynda Obst.
Kevin’s first official assignment in the Robotech universe was as an audit of Robotech’s television ratings and viewer demographics during its original run in the 1980s. Kevin’s analysis of the ratings in a cost effective manner along with his years of production experience made him a natural candidate for the Robotech team.
Diana first entered the cosplay scene in 2006 with her Dartz cosplay from Yugioh: Waking the Dragons. She had heard about a little cosplay event at Walden Books in the mall - the very same event that bloomed into SoDak Con. She'd do one more cosplay for that event the next year, then dropped out for several years. When she came back to cosplay, she returned with a vengeance, winning Best in Intermediate with her Ichigo Kurosaki cosplay at SoDak Con's 2013 Competition.
After that she earned various other awards, including Master of Ceremonies Choice, Judge's Choice, and Best in Show for the last two years here at SoDak Con, to name a few. She has also been featured in Ger Tysk's book, "Breaking All The Rules: Cosplay and the Art of Self-Expression". Her experience with Worbla and attention to very intricate detail has grown with each costume and she has plans to begin dabbling in electronics and lighting to add to her future cosplays.
When she's not making epic costumes, she can be found making beautiful wire-wrapped jewelry for her future business, Dimensional Rift Crystals, spending quality time with friends as a Demon Hunter tank in World of Warcraft or exploring the galaxy in Elite: Dangerous. Her cat, Zhaan, makes sure she's always 'helping' with any activity her human mom may be doing. Diana is super excited for this opportunity as one of SoDak's Cosplay Judges for this year and can't wait to see what everyone brings to the stage!
Christina Marzano Haystead
Christina Marzano Haystead is a full time musician and theatre coach, having worked in the United States, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Not surprisingly, she is particularly interested in how cosplayers embody the characters they portray.
She believes that each cosplayer can bring unique merit his or her character, regardless of skill level or previous competition experience.
We are excited tohave these three amazing craftsmanship judges this year and we just can't wait to see what amazing cosplays you have lined up for our 20th Anniversary!
Dropping out of high school at 16 and getting his GED and attending college at 17, Bailey has always had an avid interest in writing from a young age, writing many stories for papers and school magazines.
Bailey grew up mainly around Michigan, eventually settling in the Upper Peninsula. He began writing his first novel "Blackout" right after dropping out of high school and continued writing it while attending college. It was released at the end of his first semester, 2 days before his 18th birthday.
Bailey left college to peruse a career in the military and was unfortunately medically discharged shortly afterwords. Bailey continues to write books, but has since started an entertainment review blog, baileybee.me, that has gained a following. He now lives in South Dakota where he is building a life.
Video games make great musicals -- just ask Random Encounters, the YouTube team behind some of the Internet's catchiest (and dorkiest) musical numbers! They've been goofing around with gaming music since 2011 and have attracted a lot of attention over the years -- from corporate eyes at Sega and Nintendo, to over 500,000 fans and followers online.
Their recent work -- a full 'Phoenix Wright' case and a FNAF Musical with Markiplier -- are just a taste of what lies in store for their fervent fan base this year. Random Encounters is based in Los Angeles, California and is run by AJ Pinkerton and Peter Srinivasan, two nerds who should never have gotten this popular.
Teca is an award-winning cosplayer who has been cosplaying for over a decade. She's worked in official industry events as Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon for VizMedia, America from Hetalia for FUNimation, Kyouko Sakura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica for Aniplex, Marida Cruz from Gundam Unicorn for Bandai, as well as with bands such as Kalafina and CHEMISTRY. She has attended several cosplay events in Japan, including Comic Market (Comiket) and Osaka's Comic Event.
After studying gender-psychology at Kansai Gaidai University near Osaka, she continues to keep an active interest in Japanese pop culture and geo-political relations.