Comic Authors | Artists | Game Room | Hands on Workshops | Fun & Creative Crafts | Popular Cosplayers | Board Game Library | Comic Books | Music | Panels | Awesome Vendors | Costume Contest | and More!
Authors, Comic Illustrators, Artists, and Comic Creators
Alex Fajardo – Kid Beowulf – Eisner Award winning editor and cartoonist of the graphic novel series Kid Beowulf. Senior Editor at the Charles M. Schulz Studio.
Nichole Forti Wong – Nichole was born in San Francisco, CA. Immersed in pop culture at a young age, she grew up watching Walter Lantz animation like Woody Woodpecker and listening to Michael Jackson. Nichole has memories of tracing her favorite Saturday morning cartoons from the SF Chronicle. She published Ambrosia and What do Scientists Actually Do? while in college and graduate school at The University of California Los Angeles.
After pursuing her MFA in Animation at UCLA, she quickly found herself working for studios like NBC Universal, The Orphanage VFX Studio and PDI DreamWorks in production. Working closely with inspiring artists, Nichole soon realized she needed to pursue her own passion of storytelling through illustration.
Nichole was given the opportunity to create production art work on short films like, Merry Madagascar and features like, The Penguins of Madagascar. This launched her into following her passion full time. Nichole is currently working as a freelance artist. Email her to find out more about her work!
Chunky Girl Comics – Chunky Girl Comics is breaking down barriers and introducing the world of comics to Rosie, Sage, Sweet Pea and Candy, a group of ladies with curves in all of the right places that are determined to break the standards of what a typical superhero should look like.
Latino Comic Expo –LCE is the first convention dedicated to highlighting the work of comic book creators, illustrators and others in the literary and visual arts whose work reflects the influence and celebration of Latino culture. The Expo is a place to celebrate creativity, to educate, inform and learn, and to be able to share the richness of our various Latino cultures.
Chrystal Gonzales – Born in Reno, NV, Gonzalez graduated from the University of Nevada with her BA in 2006 and her MFA from The California College of the Arts in 2010. She currently resides in San Francisco and has been professionally painting for more than 10 yrs. She also self-publishes a graphic novel entitled “In The Dark”, which is a humorous and satirical story that looks at religions and customs through the eyes of the demons in Hell. Her current projects in production include paintings that explore and comment on modern society and its cultural mores, part three of her graphic novel, and animation-based installations including a series of animated shorts based on “In The Dark”.
Liz Mayorga – Liz Mayorga is a working class artist from Southeast LA. She was raised in her parent’s restaurant, where a strong demand for tacos and burritos taught her how to hustle, but where art didn’t seem to have a place. But luckily, she also grew up in the 90s, LA’s Punk and Hip Hop movements shaped her ambitions in DIY art. Liz moved to the Bay Area for college. She has since become an organizer of the San Francisco Zine Fest, and has self-published her stories and comics as zines. He stories are often about class and identity, popular culture, and horror. Some of her zines include: “Outgrowing Plastic Dolls,” “A Caxcan Guerilla takes over the Awkward Girl,” “Inked,” and “Monstrous Love Stories.” Her work has been featured in Tayo Literary Magazine, Apuentes Literary Journal, Atom Magazine, and Razorcake. She enjoys working with Youth and leading zine workshops.
Tragic Hero Comics –Ray Zepeda is a local Salinas-based comic creator and artists who, in collaboration with two other local comic artists, Ryan Scales (Iron Lion Studios) and Alexis Villanueva (House of Doodle) created Tragic Hero Comics. This “comic-verse” is based on anti-hero characters and blurs the lines between good and evil.
Alex Schumacher – Alex Schumacher is a comic artist who writes and illustrates Underground comix & graphic novels. His work is featured in Antix Press and Drunk Monkeys.
Web: Decades of (in)Experience @antixpress
Web: MR. BUTTERCHIPS @drunkmonkeysweb
Dustin Garcia –An Oakland based cartoonist, illustrator, animator, and art educator. Dustin draws inspiration from the early era of animation, giant robots, and underground comix.
Matt Loisel –Comic book writer for MURDER, a horror series following farm animals linking telepathically.
X – Brushes of Doom –X is a painter, tattoo artist, podcaster, and nerd. He worked for the Wave Street Collective in Monterey and is soon transitioning to a full time position in Bend, Oregon.
The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation’s Makers Club –The NPS Makers’ Club is aligned with the maker movement (google it). The Makers Club facilitates collaboration and networking, skill-building, and innovation. It is intended to link like-minded interests on projects, bridge skills gaps through education and collaboration, and reduce barriers to entry for producing prototypes to solve real world problems. Demos, tech, gadgets.
CSUMB Anime Club – The CSUMB Anime Club has been around since 2002. We hold weekly meetings where members can get out of their dorms and come together to enjoy watching Japanese animation (Anime), in its original language (generally Japanese with English subtitles), in a social setting where they can share their love of Anime and Japanese culture.
The purpose of the CSUMB Anime Club is to share the Japanese culture and language through the viewing of Japanese Animation (Anime). In addition, we go on day trips to Japan Town in San Francisco as well as various other cultural sites and events in the Monterey Bay area to experience Japanese culture in the United States.
PLAY FULL GROUND – An artist run business where products are designed and made by creative individuals and sold in the workshop space. PFG also hosts fun events and workshops to bring community together around creative activities in Monterey, CA. PLAY FULL GROUND is where artful designs and products in printmaking and sewing are created by local artists. At PFG, you can find fun & colorful handmade home décor, clothing, and prints inspired by life on the Monterey Peninsula. In addition, we collaborate with clients for custom made projects.
PFG also hosts art exhibits, other fun events, and creative workshops to bring community together with everyone’s creativity.
Mai Ryuno is a visual, installation, and performance artist whose artworks are concept-driven, process-oriented, and playful. She uses printmaking, drawing, sewing and painting as well as food, saltwater, rain, and various textiles in her artwork. Her abstract and subtle, or sometimes colorful imageries are often resulting of her interest in spontaneous ideas and acts of making.
Mai is the founder of PLAY FULL GROUND in Monterey, CA. This space is for the Social Practice of Art and a personal business to bring the community together around creative activities. PLAY FULL GROUND is a retail space for Mai’s fun and original artsy merchandise inspired by Monterey and offers workshops and special events to explore and celebrate one’s own creativity.
Mai moved to California from Fukuoka, Japan in 2002, earned M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute in 2008, and has taught studio art and creativity at SFAI and UC Berkeley. Mai is currently an art professor at Monterey Peninsula College and Hartnell College.
Masters of Sound
DJ Manie – local DJ and MC
Salinas Underground – A local podcast duo that covers all things Salinas, lead man Osbaldo Lucero
Nerd Rage Podcast
Your best source for up to the minute Nerd News and Podcasts!
Santa Cruz Gamers –Santa Cruz Gamers owner Vaden Pascal founded Santa Cruz Gamers in 2015 in order to curate a video game console museum through the decades and to educate gamers. His philosophy is that games and playing can be all inclusive, with direct interaction between competitors and a commitment to sportsmanship while giving back to the communityGame room, panel, speaker
Gamers/Consoles: Commodore 64, Apple II, Atar, NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, GameCube, Wii, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Mythic Gaming – Competitive board game library and games for sale
Super Super 8 Bit Rafa – Super8bitRafa is a game developer and visual artist based in the Monterey California area. Born and raised in the culturally rich Salinas Valley, Rafa (a Mexican-American with a great fashion-sense, devilishly good looks, and a charm that has the ladies swooning) has thrived in his artistic endeavors and has always aimed to explore the human subconscious through imagination and aesthetic design with practices inspired by the early surrealist movements. Constantly striving to explore new avenues of art and modern culture, 8bit shifts his focus to interactive mediums.
His most recent self-imposed challenge consists of striving for an ambitious goal of 50 games in about a years time (about a game a week in 2018). Most of his games are drawn and programmed himself and many include original sound design and musical composition of his own as well. For all his latest games check back here weekly.
Michelle Stone –Caged Bat Cosplay, is local to Salinas and has been professionally cosplaying for 3 years. Her first convention was Salinas Comic Con in 2015 and now she is back to her roots as a guest at the same convention that inspired her to start cosplaying professionally. She is a costume designer and has been making every aspect of her costumes for 17 years. She specializes in sewing and makeup/wig styling. She is also the owner and manager of Story Book Character Events, a costuming company that specializes in appearances at parties and events as classic princess characters. Say hi if you see her and feel free to take pictures with her and ask her questions about cosplay and costume design!
Instagram: @cagedbatcosplay & @storybookcharacterevents
Dominique De Leon –Cosplayer specializing in foam armor fabrication of video game characters. She will be a judge in the Costume Contest and running a helmet making workshop. Visit her at the convention to see her amazing costumes in real life.
Kevin “The Mighty Thorcules” Jasper –Cosplayer specializing in foam armor fabrication of video game characters. He will be the costume contest MC, taking photos, and being awesome.
Haiphaery Cosplay – Christine Elias is a cosplayer that specializes in making armor as well as an avid roller derby enthusiast. She has been cosplaying for 4 and a half years.
Camislyce Cosplay –Cosplaying is a fun passion of Cammie’s, she enjoys sharing her various adventures crafting and modeling. Cammie is also a fitness fanatic and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She will be leading workshops, hosting a booth, be a costume contest judge, and take photos.
Fiesty Vee – Norcal cosplayer
SparkleStache – SparkleStache is a Northern California Cosplayer & Actress. She has a passion for creative work and spreading positivity.
Workshops & Ongoing Activities
Danskbog Bindery, Santa Cruz –Beth Thomas is owner and operator of Danskbog Bindery which is a book binding story in Santa Cruz. She will be running book binding workshops where you can make your own comic book or journal from scratch.
Rebecca Stansell, from Illusive Comics – MFA graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Rebecca is an art tutor and teacher at Illusive Comics and Games in Santa Clara. She creates curriculum and teaches two weekly classes focusing on different time periods of art, principles and art elements, and popular art mediums. She will be instructing ongoing art workshops and crafts, illustration instruction.
Schedule & Map