Hypericon | Nashville, Tennessee

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DJ Swag Commander

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Time-Traveling DJ, DJ SWAG COMMANDER

Time-Traveling DJ, DJ SWAG COMMANDER

DJ Swag Commander (Eugene Bolton) is a time traveler, born in the early 1950s, but passing through this world via an assortment of time portals from the Victorian age, to the Edwardian Age, to the Swing era, and to this modern era. Finding that, while he enjoys the conveniences and much of the technology of the modern era, he prefers the style, the looks, and the music of the past (The Vintage.) As a DJ he specializes in vintage and neo-vintage (swing and electro swing) music – although he plays more as well – for weddings, cons, and other events.

He is a man of style, who dresses not according to the fashion of the day, but in styles of The Vintage, always trying to put forth the best swag. As a result he was nicknamed Swag Commander by someone at work and he adopted that as his DJ name.

Living in a world he does not fully identify with, he dabbles in alternate history/retro-futuristic realities of Steampunk and Dieselpunk, promotes and promulgates Electro Swing music, DJs vintage and neo-vintage music and also unites souls as an ordained minister/wedding officiant (d.b.a. Swag Weddings.)

Professionally he is a civil servant, working for the State of Tennessee. His hobby is clock collecting. He is also Founder/Director of Music City Steampunk Consortium. He is what you might call a Renaissance man.

He is not a man of means. He is not a man of looks. He is a man of some fair education and intelligence. But he is a humble man, proud of his humility and of his very own swag.

Michael Whittaker

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Composer, MICHAEL WHITTAKER

Composer, MICHAEL WHITTAKER

Michael Whittaker is a unique hybrid of his diverse upbringing. Growing up in Los Angeles California, he grew up listening to a diverse culture of music. At a young age, his training on piano began in both jazz and classical music. By his early twenties, he had already begun to mold his own identifiable sound and was one of Los Angeles’ most sought after sidemen.

After attending UCLA’s school of music and majoring in film scoring, Michael has utilized his classical training and knowledge of orchestration to compose over 300 television episodes and TV movies including the popular Power Rangers. Currently Michael is independently scoring and producing for companies like Disney, Sony, NBC and Lions Gate Films. In 2011 his theme was chosen as the main theme of the new Disney Family Movies channel. His orchestration and keyboard skill have won many awards such as the Telly award for his score to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Bank of America Musical Achievement award, International Association of Jazz Educators player excellence award, and the Clarence Brown Memorial scholarship for jazz.

Michael’s experience in many styles, has allowed him to work with many notable artists including Lionel Richie, Jimmy Kimmel Live house band, Paulina Rubio, Wayman Tisdale, Lionel Richie, 98 Degrees, Cake, Boyd Tinsley from the Dave Mathews Band, Brenda Russell, and many others…

Notable shows Michael’s music is featured in are Americas Next Top Model, Funniest Pets and Animals, A&E Toby Keith Documentary, Battleground Earth Best Damn Sports, Biography of Tiger Woods, Dr 90210, Gene Simmons Family, Leprechaun 6, Modern Marvels, Naruto Movie, Xyber 9 New Dawn, Access Hollywood, X Men Marvel Cartoon, The New Addams Family, The Power Rangers, The Ninja Turtles, Americas Most Wanted, Action Man and Nobel Peace Awards 2000 theme.

Now home in Nashville TN, Michael works both as composer/producer and Music Director at the Oasis Church, in Nashville. His newest project to be released soon is called “Southern Exposure”. It is a humanitarian effort from some of the top musicians in Nashville to raise money to bring clean water to impoverished areas of Africa.

Sketch MacQuinor

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Performer & Animator, SKETCH MACQUINOR

Performer & Animator, SKETCH MACQUINOR

Sketch MacQuinor is known for his work on Squidbillies (2005), The Jules Verne Project(2012) and Doctor Who: The Forgotten Doctor (2013). Sketch is an Atlanta-based performer and professional animator who does a little of everything. When not performing improv comedy, acting in plays, narrating audiobooks, illustrating children’s books, winning puppet slams, or attending conventions, Sketch likes to perform burlesque as a comedian, an emcee, and occasional boylesque performer.  His wit, energy, and lack of shame have often earned him the title of “Best worst dancer I’ve ever seen.” You’ll be facebook friends within a year’s time.

John Lasiter

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Actor and Activist, JOHN LASITER

Actor and Activist, JOHN LASITER

With nearly 15 major theatre production lead/supporting roles, featured tv roles in hit shows like Dexter, True Blood, How I Met Your Mother to name a few, John Lasiter has also performed in a guest role on ABC’s Nashville, on-stage appearances with legendary actors like Martin Sheen, and music royalty like Ricky Skaggs, Wynonna Judd, and Sitcom star Joyce Dewitt. John was hand-picked by director James Burrows to be featured in a pilot starring Richard Dreyfus, Mary Stienbergen, and Jason Biggs.

Lasiter played the role of the flamboyant personal assistant to Hannah Montana’s arch enemy in the feature film, spent 14 days working on Iron Man 2, several more days on Angels & Demons and featured background roles in the Backup Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. John played a recurring role as a featured triage nurse in Hawthorne, starring Jada Pickett, and spent 8 hours on set as a VIP club kid for a drunk-driving PSA produced by E! where he became acquainted with Kim Kardashian, Cloe and Courtney Kardashian, Flo Rida, and Ryan Secrest.

Born in Brunswick, Maine to a single mother with little income, John was put up for adoption and three months later was flown to Modesto, California to meet his new family. Growing up in a Seventh Day Adventist home, he attended Modesto Adventist Academy from kindergarten through high school graduation. Quickly after graduation John jumped head first into life. John began working at The State Theatre made famous by fellow Modestan George Lucas in American Graffiti. He started out making popcorn and serving sodas, but was quickly promoted to a member of the senior management team. He helped produce countless live events including Merle Haggard, Sheryl Crow, Avril Lavigne and George Jones, who told Lasiter if he ever moved to Nashville, he would never be able to leave. Working with so many Nashville based artists and legends gave John the idea that Tennessee may be the next step in his career.

John moved to Nashville and his love for this great city began. He worked as a prevention educator at Nashville CARES, Middle Tennessee’s largest HIV/AIDS organization. In October 2012 his passion for helping those in need was elevated to another level. He traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to work in an orphanage serving children who lost their parents to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. His trip inspired him to start a nonprofit called Planet|Nashville. His goal is to send those who may want to make a difference in Africa, but like many, are overwhelmed by the extreme task of traveling to a developing country. In 2013 his organization successfully sent their first two Nashvillians to Nairobi and fall 2016 Planet|Nashville sent 4 to Nairobi and 2 to India to begin establishing a base for future missions. 3 months after returning from his 2012 trip to Kenya, John announced his bid for an at-large position on Nashville Metro Council. Though ultimately coming up short in the election, John has remained involved in city government recently receiving a Mayoral appointment to the board of NECAT (public access television). Most recently the Celebrate Nashville Cultural festival and Metro Human Relations Commission have tapped Lasiter to produce World Music Night at the Ryman auditorium. This one of kind live event will involve the many forms of cultural art and artists in Davidson County. John currently works as Communications Director for Vanderbilt University’s Barnes & Noble where he has found the perfect balance of art, production, and community involvement he loves.

Robert J. Krog

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Author, ROBERT KROG

Author, ROBERT KROG

Robert J. Krog is a native of Memphis, TN, where he still resides with his family. He has been a climber for his father’s professional arborist company, a grocery store clerk, a waiter, an order out delivery guy, a legal runner, a substitute teacher, and a high school History teacher. He has a master’s degree in Ancient History. He is a devout Catholic, and this influences all of his writing.

His published works include the collection, The Stone Maiden and Other Tales, the novella, A Bag Full of Eyes, and numerous short stories in anthologies from various publishers. He edited the anthology A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder for Dark Oak Press, and Potter’s Field Five for Alban Lake Publishing. He is currently working as a freelance editor on Potter’s Field Six for Alban Lake Press. A Bag Full of Eyes won the Darrell Award for Best Midsouth Novella in 2013. His short story, “The One’s Who Remember,” won the Darrell Award for Best Midsouth Short Story in 2016.

Mr. Krog continues to write and has numerous, previously-unpublished works slated for publication in the next year. He is currently working on a pair of novellas, a screenplay, and a couple of novels. He is a regular author guest at science fiction and fantasy conventions in and around the Midsouth.

D. Alan Lewis

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D. Alan Lewis is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee who now resides in Nashville with his children. 

Author, D. ALAN LEWIS

Author, D. ALAN LEWIS

Alan’s debut novel, a fantasy murder mystery, The Blood in Snowflake Garden was a finalist for the 2010 Claymore Award. The novel has been optioned and is currently in development to be a television series.

Alan’s other books include, The Lightning Bolts of Zeus from Dark Oak and The Bishop of Port Victoria. He is editor of the anthologies, Capes & Clockwork vol. 1 & 2,  Luna’s Children: Full Moon Mayhem and Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds.

His novella, Keely and short story, The Celeste Affair won the top spot in the 2015 Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll.

He also has short stories in a number of anthologies, including Pulpology, Tall Pulp, Dreams of Steam 4-Gizmos, Black Pulp, Nashville Noir, Beyond the Skyline, Comfort Foods, and Midnight Movie Creature Feature Vol.2. 

Alan also works as an organizer with the NWMG in Nashville, TN, running occasional writing/critiquing groups and writing/marketing workshops each year.

Glen Cook

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Author, GLEN COOK

Author, GLEN COOK

Cook was born in New York City. His love of writing began in grade school, and in high school he wrote the occasional article for his school’s newspaper. After high school, Cook spent time in the United States Navy and later worked his way through college, leaving little time for his writing endeavors. Cook began to write in earnest while working for General Motors at an auto assembly plant in a job which was “hard to learn, but involved almost no mental effort”, writing as many as three books per year. It was during this time that Cook wrote The Black Company, a novel published by Tor Fantasy in May 1984. It inaugurated a gritty fantasy series of the same name (or Chronicles of the Black Company) that follows an elite mercenary unit through several decades of its history. As of 2014, it comprises 10 novels published in three subseries plus recent short fiction. It has become something of a cult classic, especially among current and former members of the military.

Cook is also well known for his Garrett P.I. series, which tells the haphazard adventures of hardboiled detective Garrett, and his Dread Empire series, which highlights Cook’s earlier published work. Cook is currently retired from his job at GM, living with his wife, Carol, in St. Louis, Missouri. Although he can now devote himself full-time to his writing career, he feels he was actually more productive while he was still employed at his old job.

Melissa Gay

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Artist, MELISSA GAY

Artist, MELISSA GAY

Melissa Gay is a critically-acclaimed, genre-spanning artist of the Imaginative Realism style. Starting her career as a scientific illustrator doing ink drawings for botany manuals, she later used those same skills to do black and white line art for roleplaying games, her true passion. Her award-winning work has since appeared on the covers and interiors of many games, books, magazines, academic publications, and even a tarot deck, while her original paintings are in the hands of private collectors around the world. She loves featuring people of diverse genders, colors, sizes and ages in her illustrations. Whether depicting criminal masterminds, comic book heroes, historical fiction, eldritch horror, child mermaids or sentient bugs, she tries to imbue her scenes or subjects with a sense of dreamlike wonder. She has worked with publishers such as Mythopoeic Press, Llewellyn Worldwide, Hay House, Apex Press, Pelgrane Press, Evil Hat, DOJ, Margaret Weiss Productions, Third Eye Games, Blackwyrm Press, Accessible Games, Immersion Press, Lone Wanderer Productions, and more.

Her game credits include illustrations for the multi-award-winning Dresden Files RPG, HERO 6th edition, Fantasy HERO and its supplement Book of Dragons, Trail of Cthulhu supplements such as Dreamhounds of Paris and Soldiers of Pen and Ink, the Firefly RPG supplement Freedom Flyer, the Crimeworld Fate Core supplement, the ENnie Award nominated Mermaid Adventures and Camp Myth, Part-Time Gods and its supplements, Psi-Punk and its supplements, the Dungeon World supplement Plague of Storms, The Algernon Files NPC superheroes sourcebooks by Blackwyrm Press, The Elves of Uteria and its supplements, and Infestation: A Game of Bugs and Heroes. Her speculative fiction book covers include Sara M. Harvey’s Penemue trilogy (Apex Press), and HebrewPunk (Apex Press) and Jesus and the Eightfold Path (Immersion Press edition) for World Fantasy Award winning author Lavie Tidhar. Recently she has branched into children’s illustration with Cathy Coley’s Felix the Comet.

Allan Gilbreath

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Author, Editor, Radio Personality, ALLAN GILBREATH

Author, Editor, Radio Personality, ALLAN GILBREATH

Allan Gilbreath denies that he was raised by wolves, but still enjoys quiet moonlit evenings. He is an accomplished skeptic, cook, gardener, computer geek, martial artist, and avid student of arcane knowledge. Allan is also a nationally recognized and award-winning author, publisher, speaker, and instructor. He has appeared on television, stage, movies, radio, web/podcast, and tours the country in live appearances. He is the co-host of the geek culture talk radio show The Geek Tank. He enjoys serving on panels and covers a wide range of topics from the serious to the outrageous.

In his adult vampire novels, Galen and Dark Chances, he links sensual fantasy with danger and predation to excellent effect. His exceptional use of plot tension between the various characters sets a wonderful stage for the little details that bring it all to life. Allan’s Jack Lago supernatural mysteries are known for their attention to detail and suspense. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and his collection, Allan Gilbreath: A Short Story Collection covers his three favorite genres; science fiction, dark fantasy, and steampunk. He is currently working on several media projects including paranormal research, comedy shows, and action movies.

Andy Hill

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Architect of the Disney Musical Renaissance and Author, ANDY HILL

Architect of the Disney Musical Renaissance and Author, ANDY HILL

Andy Hill is a thirty-year veteran of the film and television music industry, former vice- president of music production for Walt Disney Studios, Grammy Award-winning music supervisor, founder of the MFA program in Music Composition for the Screen at Columbia College Chicago, and author of Scoring The Screen: The Secret Language Of Film Music (Hal Leonard, June 2017). Films for which he served as executive in charge of music production have earned nine Academy Awards in music categories. Projects for which Andy served as music supervisor include Ed Wood and Message In A Bottle.

In 2012, Andy was engaged to oversee the launch of the international MA in film scoring at Berklee College of Music, Valencia, Spain. While in Europe for three years, he developed a “traveling classroom” for both aspiring media composers and filmmakers eager to learn how to more effectively employ music in cinematic storytelling. He carries with him hundreds of carefully curated clips, tracks, and scores, and his presentations are as much audio-visual experience as lecture. Andy is currently an industry advisor for the masters program in Scoring for Film and Visual Media at Pulse College, Dublin, and has lectured for the University of Edinburgh, HKU, and the University of Austria at Krems. He has been a regular presenter for Krakow’s Film Music Festival and Jan Kaczmarek’s Transatlantyk Festival in Poznan. He is also the author of a trilogy of “metaphysical detective” novels published as the Stephan Raszer Investigations, and with his son, the upcoming YA science-fiction novel, The Switch (Curiosity Quills, April 2017). His original screenplay, TESLA, received top honors in the Northern Lights Screenplay Competition.

Andy lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.