Guests of Honor
SpoCon is proud to be welcoming these amazing and talented
Guests of Honor in 2018!
Check the schedule to find out when you can see them.
Artist Guest of Honor
I was born ... let's just say a while ago in Virginia. I moved early in my life to Colorado where I've spent most of my time and currently reside. Since childhood I have drawn or sculpted anything that I could imagine or see. Wildlife and Mythology more than anything else shape my art, most of my characters are at least partially based on some basic reality mixed with a healthy dose of imagination. Add in monster movies, Conan, Tolkien, Lovecraft, the great Frank Frazetta, and 3 years in Germany and Europe (where my love of art was really intensified), and in my case, you end up with fierce dragons, twisted gargoyles, fuzzy kittens and Lovecraftian horrors. Sometimes all at once!
Early in my career I did Renaissance Fairs and outdoor art shows. Those shows really helped my skills, as I had to sculpt and paint constantly to keep the booth full. I have since moved on from those venues and now focus mainly on art shows at Science Fiction/Fantasy Conventions and private commissions and I have won numerous awards for both sculpture and paintings over the years both nationally and internationally. I've been pursuing my vision and passion to create professionally now for more than 30 years.
I'm constantly striving to adapt novel and unexpected techniques with unusual media to produce fine art. Currently, I sculpt one of a kind sculptures in addition to cast reproductions. I paint traditionally (oils and acrylics) and digitally.
Fan Guest of Honor
"Vader's Fist" 501st Legion
So here is my history with the 501st.
I will start with my service in the Army. In the 90's one of the units I served in was the 1st Battalion Alpha Company of the 501st Airborne Infantry Regiment. I was a Paratrooper stationed at Ft Richardson , Alaska.
I have always been very proud and passionate of my time as a member of the Airborne Infantry. Another one of my passions is Star Wars.
Like many fans I enjoyed the movies and I was excited when the re-releases of the originals started to happen in the later 90's. With the release of the newest movie a Prequel in 99 my love and passion started all over again.
In 2001 I was living in Raleigh NC. We had this amazing mall there and in it was a store, Sharper Image. In it's display window was a life size Stormtrooper and Boba Fett. I couldn't believe how awesome they looked. That was not the only thing amazing about it, it's price was just as incredible.
That Stormtrooper got me thinking about getting one for my very own. So I started to look around the Internet. Back then it was not like the net is now. But I found a site named DH2. It was a site that helped you to build your own set of armor. Now I'm not even sure how that would work and it looked super complicated. But at the bottom of one of the pages they had an add for a set for sale.
The armor they had for sell was a biker scout. I wanted regular stormtrooper armor, so I sent them an email asking if they had the one I wanted. That response lead to a person that did and so I arranged to get my set.
I had no idea that there where so many people with the same level of passion for Star Wars. The person I got my armor from told me about a group called the 501st. He put me in contact with the local group.
I was a little worried about contacting the group. I had seen other costume groups on TV and at comic conventions and the people involved could be a little off putting, if you get what I mean. The name of the group "The 501st Stormtrooper Legion, Vader's Fist" sounded really cool and I was hoping the people in the group would be too.
The people in that Garrison (The Carolina Garrison)and the Legion at large were amazing. I took to the legion like it had always been a part of my life. I meet people there that today are still my closest friends.
In 2002 there was a fan film being filmed in Wilmington NC "Sins of the Jedi". Most of the garrison was going there for the event. That was the day I met Albin Johnson.
I knew who he was because well he's the guy that started it all. I will never forget the first thing Al ever said to me. I was with Sean Dudley(1st CO of the newly formed Carolina Garrison) and he asked if I wanted to meet Al. I was like "Yes please" and so we walked over to where he was standing.
Now remember I am a Prior service Army Officer and proud member of the US Army's original 501st so I had this mental picture of what Albin Johnson would look like and be like. So there he was. I was about to meet the man. I was was SO wrong.
In front of me stood an average sized man wearing a t-shirt, shorts and a baseball cap. It took me a minute to even realize he had only one leg. I had envisioned this giant of a man with an equal sized ego as my mental image of Al. I could not have been more wrong.
As I was introduced to him I said "Nice to meet you Sir" and here are the first words he ever said to me "Don't call me Sir, and nice to meet you too" Here was a regular man just hanging out with other fans and just as happy to a part of the group as he was to be the guy that had started it all.
From that day on and still today, I serve in a wonderful group of fans that make me proud everyday I am a member.
My adventures around the world with Albin have been some of the best of my life. With him and his family living close by( 6 hrs away) we grew to be friends and celebrated many happy and sad moments together. It didn't hurt that we both loved comics and RPGs and that we could talk about this and that for hours and not even have the topic be about the Legion.
Our families have always been a part of each others lives as our children grew up and new children join our geeky nerd loving families.
No matter the distance between where we lived (I have moved 3 times to distant states) we still get together to do amazing things every couple of years. The best example of this would ZOE Con and the filming of "The hands of Fate".
Here is what Al posted on his Star Wars.com Blog:
I have served as The Carolina Garrison XO (2X), GML(2X) and I was the Legion Club Ambassador for 2016 and now as Deputy Legion Captain of the Guard with the current Command. And so I end this with saying how proud I am of all the work we do as legion to make our lives and that of other people more enjoyable and fun with Star Wars.
Now there are many other adventures that we would have together in far off places, but those are stories for another time....
"Vader's Fist" 501st Legion
Writing guest of honor
William c. dietz
New York Times bestselling author William C. Dietz has sold over two-million books, some of which have been translated into German, French, Russian, Korean and Japanese.
Dietz also penned three STAR WARS novels for Lucas Films, two RESISTANCE novels for SONY, and a StarCraft book for Blizzard Entertainment.
Dietz co-wrote the script for SONY's Resistance: Burning Skies video game, and wrote the script for the Legion of the Damned™ iOS game based on his original work.
Dietz grew up in Seattle, served as a medic with the Navy and Marine Corps, graduated from the University of Washington, and travels widely.
Dietz has been employed as a surgical technician, college instructor, news writer, and television director.
Here’s what reviewers have to say about Dietz’s fiction:
Publisher’s Weekly: Legion of the Damned. “The humanity of the characters mixes well with the action to give this space drama real punch.”
RT Book Review: Andromeda’s Choice. “Andromeda McKee is one hell of a heroine. Dietz is a rarity among male science fiction authors: He can write a steely, badass female protagonist without making her seem unreasonably stoic. He allows McKee a bit (but just a bit) of softness and vulnerability, making this debutante-turned-army sergeant into a completely engaging three-dimensional character. Fans of military sci-fi will especially appreciate McKee’s head for strategy and the cleverness she shows in dealing with nemeses…and allies alike. If you don’t root for ‘the Steel Bitch,’ I just don’t know what to do with you.”
Pulp Fiction Reviews: “Into the Guns doesn’t waste a second getting going right out of the gate...By the time you get to the last page, you’re out of breath. But things are only getting started.”
Dietz is a member of the Writer’s Guild and the International Association of Media Tie-In writers.
science guest of honor
dr. james c. glass
Jim is a retired physics professor and dean with eighty publications in the areas of molecular biophysics and superconductivity, nuclear and solid state physics in a career that spanned 37 years. He began publishing short science fiction in 1987 and novels in 1999, and in 1991 won the grand prize of Writers of the Future. He now has ten novels and over sixty stories published in magazines such as ANALOG, ABORIGINAL and TALEBONES.
He began painting in earnest in 1999, concentrating on mountain and desert scenics in oils, pastels and watercolors, has shown work in Spokane and Palm Springs, where he winters with wife Gail, a healing dancer and costumer. He and Gail have been active in the Northwest con scene since 1988, and have participated in many other cons nationwide.
media guest of honor
the grammar club
Join nerdcore rappers The Grammar Club as they reside under one roof for this historic occasion!