We welcome pop culture author Caseen Gaines to Retro Con 2015!
Caseen is author of the book We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy, which was published this June to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the popular film franchise, as well as the year Marty travels to in Back to the Future Part II!
The book has received praise from New York Times bestselling author Ernest Cline (Ready Player One and Armada), and has been featured by NPR, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, and other national publications!
His first book, Inside Pee-wee’s Playhouse, received the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal winner in the Popular Culture / Leisure category. Playhouse, and it’s follow up, A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, which includes a foreword from Wil Wheaton, has received positive reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and journalists from The Village Voice, In Touch Weekly, VH1, and The TV Guide Network.
Caseen will have a table at the show for attendees to purchase his books and have them signed by the author. The themes of his books are perfectly in line with what Retro Con is all about, so we thank him for reaching out to us to be part of the show this year!
We welcome our good friend Eric Moran to our 2015 guest list!
“Well… HELLO There!
This Gary Gnu
And The No Gnews IS Good Gnews Show!
The Only TV Program Guaranteed To Contain No Gnews Whatsoever!”
But if you were a kid in the 80’s, you most likely remember a little TV program called The Great Space Coaster. The show with the super-catchy theme song and eclectic cast of characters ran for 250 episodes from 1981 to 1986 and is still widely revered to this day. Well, Jim had the distinction of puppeteering and voicing fan-favorite “No Gnewscaster” Gary Gnu on the series!
With a tendency to add a hard “G” sound to words such as “g-naturally” and “g-nice”, in his segments Gary would introduce film clips of weird sporting events, people in silly situations, bizarre inventions, etc., and would give his own insightful commentary on them. Things would be punctuated by Gary’s “film crew” that would often heckle him and toss items into frame.
A few years ago, Jim bought the rights to The Great Space Coaster and is working hard to digitize the 2 inch reel-to-reel video tapes that contain the last remaining copies of the original series. Since TGSC is a time capsule of the 80’s, including iconic music and celebrity appearances, it is definitely worth preserving!!
We’d like to welcome the venerable Michael Bell to Retro Con 2015!
With nearly 60 years of professional acting experience (over 40 of them as a voice actor), Michael is a true legend in the industry! Though widely known for his voice work, you may also have seen Michael in character parts in such classic TV shows as Get Smart, The Monkees, CHiPs, Three’s Company, Charlie’s Angels, and Star Trek. Michael also ran his own voice acting workshop, which he used to train well-known voice actors such as Cam Clarke and Corey Burton, and he also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Screen Actors Guild. He is married to actress Victoria Carroll, and you may also know of their daughter, actress Ashley Bell!
Michael’s most notable role for retro fans is probably that of First Sergeant Conrad “Duke” Hauser in the Sunbow GI Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon series! He voiced the confident field leader of the Joe team in the two original miniseries, both seasons of the syndicated tv show, and in the GI Joe animated movie (1987). Though originally written to be killed off in the movie, a severe backlash over the death of Optimus Prime in the Transformers movie spurred producers to spare the character of Duke. So in lieu of dying in a battle with Serpentor, Duke would slip into a coma and later reawaken.
Mr. Bell is also popular for his work on G1 Transformers, with his most prominent role arguably being military strategist Prowl! A highly capable Autobot, Prowl was known for his straight-laced and logical personality. He also stood out with his unique police-themed robot and car design. Unfortunately, Prowl met his demise in the 1986 Transformers movie at the hands of a Decepticon raiding party while co-piloting an Autobot shuttle on its way to Earth. ☠
And just like GI Joe, Michael also provided voices for many other characters on Transformers as well! Among them were Dinobot Swoop, warrior Sideswipe, Insecticon Bombshell, and Constructicon leader Scrapper.
Other highlights in Mr. Bell’s voice acting career include: Zan of the Wonder Twins (along with space monkey Gleek), Lance and Sven on Voltron, Chas Finster on Rugrats, Handy, Grouchy, and Lazy Smurf, and Plastic Man!
Michael will be on hand all weekend to sign autographs for retro fanatics, so bring along your cartoon memorabilia! Michael is also a huge animal rights activist, so we will be donating part of the totals of the Retro Con 2015 charity auction to an animal foundation of his choice!
We are pleased to announce the return of two Retro Con alumni for this year’s show: Doug Walker, aka The Nostalgia Critic, and James Rolfe, aka The Angry Video Game Nerd!
Though at one time they shared a faux rivalry, they’ve always remained good friends and now often collaborate on videos together. One of the more recent being an extended review of the 2014 TMNT movie!
“I remember it so you don’t have to!”
Doug Walker is best known for his video reviews as ‘The Nostalgia Critic’. The show involves the title character looking back at movies and tv shows from the 80’s and 90’s, and pointing out why they may not be quite as classic as we remember them. He also reviews newer movies, along with oddities from the past such as this crazy animated Titanic movie featuring a rapping canine! With humorous insights and a frenetic style, the show has been a huge hit since 2008 and is still going strong. You can check out his team’s work over at Channel Awesome!
“What were they thinking?!”
James is best known for his hilarious reviews of classic video games as the character ‘The Angry Video Game Nerd’, which mix together insightful commentary, over-the-top language, physical comedy, and various theatrical elements. In addition he’s made videos reviewing retro movies, toys, board games, and more. Last year he also released a feature-length movie based around his AVGN character. Check out his team’s huge body of work over at Cinemassacre.com!
Doug will be available at the show both Saturday and Sunday for autographs and pictures. He will also be hosting a Q&A panel on Sunday afternoon.
James will be at the show for autographs and pictures on **SUNDAY ONLY**, but will be part of the same Q&A panel as Doug. All times to be determined later.
We are excited to announce the addition of Michael McConnohie to our 2015 guest list!
A veteran in the voice acting industry for over 30 years and still going strong, Michael has been part of hundreds of projects in the field, ranging from dubbing anime, to recording for western animation, to voicing characters in video games. In addition Michael also works as a voice director and writer.
Michael’s most popular role in the retro realm is arguably that of Autobot Tracks on the original G1 Transformers cartoon!
Introduced in season 2, Tracks with his sleek (flying!) car mode, warrior skills, and flamboyant and narcissistic personality, quickly made him a favorite among Transformer fans!
Michael was also voice of the quirky UFO character Cosmos on the show! Being one of the few Autobots able to fly into space, Cosmos would sometimes lament his lonely function on the team.
Michael also voiced Cross-Country on the original Marvel/Sunbow GI Joe cartoon. Usually a polite and jovial soldier, but don’t steal his tape deck or else you’ll see his angry side!!
Some of Michael’s notable roles in dubbing include D and Left Hand in Vampire Hunter D, the lead role in Captain Harlock and the Queen From a Thousand Years, General Rolf Emerson in Robotech, Ryuken Ishida on Bleach, as well as providing the voice for Tatsu in the first two live-action TMNT movies!
Michael has several popular roles in video games as well. In the World of Warcraft series, he can be heard as the voice of Kel’Thuzad, Uther the Lightbringer, and the Lich King!
He also voiced Zhanh Liao and Zhou Tai in installments of the Dynasty Warriors series!
And he can most recently be heard in the brand new Mortal Kombat X, where he provides the voices for both Kano and Ermac!
Michael will be at the show all weekend and will be signing for attendees free of charge! We politely request that you limit your free items signed to two. We thank Mr. McConnohie for agreeing to come to the show this year!!
We welcome fan-favorite Larry Kenney back for Retro Con 2015!
A veteran in the world of radio and voice acting for over 40 years, Larry is of course best known to us as voice of the heroic leader of the ThunderCats, Lion-O! The popular show by Rankin/Bass Productions ran for 130 episodes across four seasons (from 1985 to 1989) and still has a staunch fan base to this day!