Hypericon | Nashville, Tennessee

A weekend popular arts conference; festively uniting creators, makers, and performers with those who appreciate and aspire to their craft.

Month: January 2017

Master of Ceremonies, Big Daddy Cool Johnny Delarocca

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“Big Daddy Cool” Johnny Dellarocca is a walking talking reminder of a time long past. He is a tough as nails ex-gangster turned entertainer and Chicago night club impresario supreme.

Step back in time to the swing-era, and swing hard, baby! “Big Daddy Cool” Johnny Dellarocca is the performance persona of award-winning actor, singer and magician John B. Pyka. He is a lifelong comic reader and collector, a Star Wars “freakasaurus”, pro wrestling personality, and movie fanatic, but is best known for his work onstage as a new vintage variety artist, fusing music and magic with comedy and dance in a 1920s – 1940s style in what is described as “Dieselpunk.” He can be seen performing in theaters, at festivals and cons around the country. He has been seen previously as an official guest/performer at Geekonomicon, Midsouth Con, Indy Pop Con, Nashville Comic Festival, River City Comic Expo, Fandom Fest Louisville, GMX and many more!

“Big Daddy Cool” is also the subject of the Dieselpunk pulp adventure series, Tales From the Flip-Side from Pro Se Press and the star of the upcoming web series Big Daddy Cool in the 21st Century! In addition, he is a manager personality with NWA Wrestling and can be heard on the Diesel Powered Podcast, THE Voice of Dieselpunk on iTunes and Stitcher, which consistently is ranked in the top 10 performing arts podcasts!

Cosplay Guest of Honor, Nicole Marie Jean

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Nicole Marie Jean is a cosplayer, artist, sculptor and designer from San Diego, California. Nicole began her journey into the cosplay and convention world in 2011. It was the previous year that she discovered what cosplay was. Nicole fell in love with the idea of being able to combine her love of comics and art to bring her favorite characters to life. As Nicole’s profile has risen in the cosplay community, she has traveled around the world for numerous events and conventions as both an attendee and a guest. She has judged a number of contests and been a part of many panels. Nicole has also won numerous awards for her costumes both at conventions and online.

Nicole has created 0ver 100 costumes in the past five years and all are inspired by her favorite characters from comics, movies, books, video games and soon, anime. Nicole is most well known for her take on Bane from the Dark Knight Rises film, which has given her the nickname throughout the cosplay community as “Lady Bane.”

 When Nicole isn’t creating or debuting new costumes, she sculpts and makes items for her online store. She hopes to continue this journey for many years to come while meeting new people, teaching and inspiring others, entertaining those who follow her work and becoming better at her craft along the way.

Today, over 2.5 million fans follow Nicole across her social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube.

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Artist Guest of Honor, Bob Hepner

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Bob Hepner, AKA “Tattoo Bob,” joined the Navy after high school, serving in the Panama War and the first Iraq War. After coming back home, he decided to learn the art of tattooing and tattooed from 1991 to 2014 professionally. Bob tattooed such notables as Mike Starr from Alice in Chains, Dennis Rodman, Kiss drummer Eric Singer and rock goddess Lita Ford – to name a few.

After retiring from tattooing, Bob submitted his portfolio to many celebrities,  gaining  attention of many of them at conventions such as Linda Blair and Danny Trejo. Shortly after, they were ordering personal commissions from Bob, and within three years he had amassed 400 clients worldwide. Many of them are well-known rock stars and actors, with works in Bob’s personal commission portfolio for Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, Don Dokken, and recently a sketch for Ozzy Osbourne and his family, featuring Jack’s wedding.

Bob set the Guinness World Record in Nashville doing a large sketch of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein. After conquering the horror and sci-fi business, Bob decided to submit his portfolio to the Topps and Upper Deck company to produce artwork for Marvel and Star Wars. Hepner was selected to create the Joe Jusko honorary set for Marvel, hundreds of cards for the new Rogue One Star Wars series for Topps, The Walking Dead, and Bowman Cards by Topps for their 1951-styled sets.

To date, you can see Bob at many of the top conventions as a licensed artist for Marvel and Star Wars, representing Topps and Upper Deck. Hepner is a licensed artist for many of the top horror and sci-fi movies, has done more than 10,000 drawings, and his tattoos can be seen sold in many of the top tattoo catalogs, and more than 2000 drawings and paintings for clients to get signed for shows and conventions.

Author Guest of Honor, Alethea Kontis

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Alethea Kontis is a princess, author, fairy godmother, and geek. Author of over fifteen books and contributor to over twenty-five more, her award-winning writing has been published for multiple age groups across all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, humor, contemporary and paranormal romance, poetry, graphic novels, Twitter serials, and non-fiction.

A former child actress, Alethea hosted over 55 episodes of “Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants” on YouTube, and continues to host Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con. She enjoys audiobook and podcast narration, speaking at middle schools across the country (in costume, of course), and one day hopes to make a few more movies with her friends. Alethea currently resides on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie. Find out more about Princess Alethea and the magic, wonderful world in which she lives right here!

Gaming Guest of Honor, Robert Schwalb

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Robert J. Schwalb has worked in tabletop games for over fifteen years as a designer, writer, and developer. Having started work in the heady days of the D20 boom, Schwalb went on to develop Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and design A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying based on George R. R. Martin’s popular book and television series. Schwalb then worked as a contract designer for Wizards of the Coast, contributing to numerous books for the 3rd and 4th editions of that game before joining the design team behind 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. In 2014, Schwalb left Wizards of the Coast and started his own imprint, Schwalb Entertainment, to publish unsettling games for tabletop play. Shadow of the Demon Lord, a wildly popular horror fantasy RPG, appeared first after a successful Kickstarter and has received over one hundred sourcebooks, card decks, and digital accessories since its release in 2015. Schwalb lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he spends far too much time working on the next big thing.

Hypericon 12 Books Marriott Nashville Airport, Launches Infinity Membership, Infinity League

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It’s big news time here at Hypericon!

The venue for our 2017 event – Hypericon 12 – has been selected! The contract is signed and room bookings have come online.  We will be utilizing the beautiful Marriott Nashville Airport, which includes event space and sleeping rooms which have all seen some amazing updates, on a lovely wooded property with plenty of free parking.

Towering over Nashville’s eastern suburbs is the newly remodeled and stunning Marriott Nashville Airport. An ideal fan-convention hotel, this gorgeous venue features loaded rooms, phenomenal event spaces, a perfect outdoor courtyard for nightlife, relaxing pool deck, and easy access to highways heading in every direction. If you need to find our hotel simply look to the horizon for the Marriott – perched on a hilltop next to Interstate 40 and Briley Parkway.

Some fans in the region are familiar with this venue. It has been the frequent home of the Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival, and served as an extended event space for the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention. After our thorough evaluation of the Marriott, we’ve found it to be an ideal fandom convention hotel. We look forward to properly utilizing all the advantages of the venue, and our team has developed a fantastic relationship with the management. There is great excitement within our organization at the notion engaging this fabulous location through the right plans and the right people, along with you – the right fans!

Click here to learn all about the Marriott and book your room today, for our great convention rate of $159! With Nashville hotels often reaching rates of $400/night, we consider this rate to be a refreshing break, and easily affordable with a small group of friends. In fact, a room with four people for two nights costs less than $80 per person.

Our block will fill up fast, so be sure you make your reservation today! You can always make adjustments later, as long as you don’t cancel later than one week out from the convention. (A one-night penalty will then apply.)

Now is the time to make Hypericon a permanent item on your convention calendar with the Infinity Membership!

After 11 years of Nashville’s Convention, we have decided a lifetime membership level should be made available to our extended family. However, the idea of “lifetime” seemed too limited for such a limitless concept as the Hypericon “what if” mantra. We asked ourselves just that: “What if…” What if you could keep your membership forever, passed along to anyone you like? What if they could pass it back, or to someone else?

Many conventions offer a lifetime badge. We wanted to go beyond that – to infinity.

Our Infinity Membership is a fully-transferable, ongoing registration, with premium features such as a laser-etched badge and leather lanyard, special member perks, and various exclusive opportunities. Priced at just $300 for its introduction, this membership will easily pay for itself over the next few years of attendance to Hypericon events.

This year, our awesome new hotel is included in the Infinity fanfare as well! Every night anyone in our room block stays in the Marriott, they will be entered into a drawing for an Infinity Membership. So if you’re coming to Hypericon and stay Friday and Saturday night, that’s two chances to win an Infinity Membership of your own! Stay more nights, and get more chances to win. Best of all, entries are automatically made with your room check-in.

There is one more piece of fantastic news for the new Infinity Membership: the Infinity League. With all the big steps we’re taking this this year, the idea of allowing our fans to invest in the convention was conceived. As this is a fan-run event, the usual boring business investment concepts seemed out of place. Instead, we’re giving fans the gift of infinite membership as a token of our appreciation. Anyone interested in supporting the larger goals of the convention may lend $1000 or more to become part of the Infinity League. Those contributors receive an Infinity Membership as a benefit as well as a premium gift, and are paid back one year after their generous support infusion. The names of these helpful heroes will be listed permanently on a commemorative piece displayed at the convention each year as well as special thank-you spaces online and in print.

More information on the Infinity Membership and the Infinity League will be coming soon to our Registration Page.