Media Guest of Honor
Alexis Cruz has a distinguished acting career, making his first television appearance with a guest-starring role on, "The Cosby Show" during it's first hit season.
His feature film career began with roles in films such as, "The Pick-Up Artist" with Robert Downey Jr. and "Rooftops". Cruz achieved international fame after starring in Roland Emmerich's box-office hit, "Stargate" in which he played the young Egyptian rebel leader, Skaara. After going on to study Acting and Directing at the Boston University School of Fine Arts Conservatory, Alexis starred in HBO's Emmy-nominated true story, "P.O.W.E.R.: The Eddie Matos Story" in the title role and in CBS' acclaimed mini-series, "The Streets of Laredo" as the homicidal villain, Joey Garza.
Cruz has since starred in the films "Bug" with Brian Cox, "Almost A Woman" based on the novel by Esmeralda Santiago and, "Stand Up For Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story".
In perhaps the most ground-breaking role of his career, Alexis has found world-wide acclaim for his pioneering role as the angel, Raphael, on CBS' flagship prime-time drama, "Touched By An Angel" and while recurring on the Emmy award-winning series, Alexis reprised his popular role as, Skaara, on one of prime-time cable's most successful sci-fi programs, "Stargate SG-1" with Richard Dean Anderson. He has also recurred as Sgt. Joaquin Garcia in Gregory Nava's critically acclaimed series, "American Family" on PBS, starred in the independent feature film, "Tortilla Heaven" and starred with James Woods in the hit CBS TV series “Shark”. Recent credits include Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell", the upcoming paranormal thriller "Sighting", and Eagleheart Season 2. In addition to his film and television credits, Alexis Cruz is the Creative Director for The Mythmaker Group; co-creating, developing, and producing a series of graphic novels including "The Unprofessionals" by Colin Rankine, and James Ward's "Metamorphosis Alpha".
Musical Guest of Honor
Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy folk rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 23 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area based act release fifteen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,000 gigs. It's also enjoyed an evolving line-up that's enabled its musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member-something highlighted by the group's current roster.Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. California fiddler Michael Mullen, a favorite with the fans, is the original fiddler for the group. His high energy stage performance and versatile style combined with his love for Scottish and Irish traditional music makes him a perfect fit for Tempest. Newcomer, bassist Brian Fox, is a dual citizen of the US and Ireland. With an advanced degree in Ethnomusicology and years of touring and recording experience, he is Editor in Chief at Bass Player magazine. Born in Colorado and brought up in small town Missouri, Gregory Jones is the latest in a long line of Tempest guitar greats! His fiery licks and hard-rocking approach to the instrument, combined with his experience and understanding of Celtic music is fast winning over new fans! Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band's sound with inventive rhythms, and rock-steady drumming. Signed to WEA-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest's releases are acclaimed worldwide. The group's latest studio CD, Another Dawn, finds the band in peak form as it showcases inventive original and traditional material. Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals including The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Denmark's Skagen Festival, Britain's Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is also a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals.
Artist Guest of Honor Jim Pavelec has been a full time freelance illustrator in the gaming industry for the past fifteen years. He has worked on such properties as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, and Star Wars. He has also written and illustrated three how-to art books entitled Hell Beasts, Wreaking Havoc, and Ink Bloom.
Writer Guest of Honor
I've wanted to work with words and stories for almost as long as I can remember. I wrote my first story, a fanfic based on Creature From the Black Lagoon, when I was a 'tween. While I dabbled in journalism, I didn't find any success as a writer until late in life, when I sold my first Vampire Earth book, Way of the Wolf, to an experimental ebook/POD publisher run by the old AOL/Time Warner Book Group in 2001. "iPublish" folded in the dotcom bust, but Wolf had done well enough to attract the interest of both an agent and a publisher and appeared on store shelves in 2003. I've been with my agent, John Silbersack of Trident Media Group, ever since, and Penguin's Roc imprint has been kind enough to let me write for them. My second series, a family saga about a group of dragons called the Age of Fire, began to appear in 2005 with Dragon Champion. I was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin and grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota. Currently, I reside with my bellydancing librarian wife and toddler in Oak Park, Illinois -- it's a suburb of Chicago mostly known for Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway.
Other than writing, I enjoy gaming (both tabletop and console), reading, travel, music, and movies. I teach every now and then and am always happy to speak at genre conventions and libraries.
Editor Guest of Honor
I started out in Lovecraft country, Ipswich, Mass., the setting for /The Devil's Footprints,/ my first original comic series I wrote for Dark Horse Comics. One of my ancestors was killed as a witch, and another was the blacksmith who put the irons on the accused. Twenty years ago this month, I moved to Portland, Oregon, the setting for my second original graphic novel, /Exurbia/, where I live with my son. I've spent most of this time writing and editing comics and stories for Dark Horse and Glimmer Train Press. I've dedicated much of my time to horror books, like the award-winning series /Hellboy/, /Buffy the Vampire Slayer/, and /The Goon/, which I've mostly edited, but have also racked up some writing credits. I've brought the series /The Umbrella Academy/, /Beasts of Burden/, and /The Guild/ to Dark Horse, as well as most of Joss Whedon's original creations, and I oversaw the 2003 relaunch of /Conan/ to comics. The closest I get to sci fi is /Star Wars/, and I spent Orycon 32 writing the first issue of a series about Qui-Gon Jinn, which led to a young Jedi named Orykan.