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Presenters & Authors 2019

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NISD Nerdvana Con Presents Special Guest Kazu Kibuishi

 author & illustrator of the acclaimed ongoing

Amulet series!


Kazuhiro "Kazu" Kibuishi is an American graphic novel author and illustrator. He is best known for being the author and illustrator of the ongoing Amulet series. He is also the creator and editor of the comic anthology Flight and  the webcomic Copper.


NISD Nerdvana Con Presents Special Guest

Lainie Frasier

 film, television, and video-game actress, known primarily for voice acting!

Lainie Frasier is an American film, television and video-game actress, known primarily for voice acting. She is known for her work in

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.

Presenting on Voice Acting for Animation and Gaming

Nice voice! You should do something with it! How many times have you heard that before? ​ Nearly all voices can be developed into a marketable talent. Actually, it's not the voice that's important, but how good your delivery is and how well you take direction. ​ At Nerdvana Con, Lainie will share the techniques professionals use to make money with their voices.

You may not have heard of me, but you probably have heard me on the radio, on television, in a narration, an animation, or on a video game. I've voiced thousands of audio productions and am currently heard on Ballet Austin's commercials, KingsIsle Entertainment's Wizard101and Pirate101, Nintendo's Metroid Prime 3 and Daybreak Games DC Universe Online. My favorite character is Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. That's why I love this business; one day I can be the spokesperson for a major arts organization and the next day be a super hero sidekick, or a wise, all-knowing computer, or a professor of wizards or an evil grandma who kicks butt!

Xavier Garza Presenting his art and storytelling creativity!

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Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, author and Lucha libre aficionado Xavier Garza is a prolific author, artist, and storyteller whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small border town of Rio Grande City. Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona and the state of Washington. 

PJ Hoover Presenting Move Over Percy Jackson!


P.J. (Tricia) Hoover wanted to be a Jedi, but when that didn't work out, she became an electrical engineer instead. After a fifteen year bout designing computer chips for a living, P.J. started creating worlds of her own. She's the award-winning author of "Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life," featuring a fourteen-year-old King Tut who's stuck in middle school, and "Solstice," a super-hot twist on the Hades/Persephone myth. When not writing, P.J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. For more info, visit her website at

Think you're pretty good at solving puzzles? See if you can solve this escape room and UNLOCK THE HIDDEN CODE!  Based on Hoover's new book, The Hidden Code.


MrCreepyPasta's Storytime


Creepy Pastas are the modern day Urban Legends. MrCreepyPasta has taken these stories and turned them into online Radio Dramas! Over 1 million subscribers and counting, MrCreepyPasta has put his tentacles into nightmares across the globe.


Gather round the campfire boils and ghouls and MrCreepyPasta will tell you stories that will give you nightmares for years to come. Taken from stories around the internet and some of your favorites from YouTube, listen as the one and only blue man retells them in the iconic voice you've come to know and love.

Lorena Koppel Presenting Write Away!


Lorena Koppel is a 15-year-old fantasy writer who started her first full-length novel five years ago in response to the lack of smart female protagonists, interesting plots, and high-quality writing in the middle-grade genre. After receiving a positive response from agents at WD's Pitch Slam, she is now working to get her book, The Shadow in Her Pocket, published. Learn more at


This presentation will inspire young artists to pursue their passions no matter their age or abilities. Taking lessons from her own experience writing, this presentation will cover where to draw inspiration, making creativity a habit, and being fearless with creating and growing with your art.

Freddy Lopez

Presenting on TBA 

colorist on titles from Image, Markosia, Ape Entertainment and many more. As a colorist, he was able to collaborate with many legendary names in the industry and helped build his reputation.

His concept and illustration work can be found in RPG game titles such as 'TALOC: Mayan' , 'Dwarven Epics'and the upcoming 'Dungeon Crusade'!

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He is also a licensed artist for TOPPS and UpperDeck with properties ranging from MARVEL to Star Wars. He has worked on trading card sets for Star Wars: Last Jedi, Rogue One, Force Awakens, AMC's The Walking Dead, MARVEL's Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Firefly, Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming and many, many more. Freddy has even had his work appear on the Bob's Burgers TV show!

Alfredo ”Freddy” Lopez Jr. is a professional illustrator from San Antonio.  He currently works as an illustrator in Games, comics, and cards.

Freddy began his career pursuing his love of comics. He brought his gritty painting style to projects eventually landing work as a cover

Rick Brooks Presenting Make Your Own Comics


Rick Brooks is a classroom teacher in our very own Northside ISD and a freelance cartoonist. Over the years he has drawn comic books and cartoons for a wide variety of national and local publications. He created the comic strip Mr. Morris and began self syndicating it two years ago. It appears in several weekly newspapers, in comic book collections, and on this website. Brooks lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and their two daughters. He will be presenting on how to create your own mini-comic at Nerdvana Con.

After a demonstration and instruction, the participants of this session will be given an opportunity to create their own mini-comic books.

Sherry and Rob Mabry Presenting on Hands-On Cosplay Armor with Foam

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Sherry and Rob Mabry are avid cosplayers who specialize in creating costumes based on popular video games like Halo, Mass Effect, Fallout, Borderlands and more. They have competed in cosplay costume contests all across Texas, recently winning "Best in Show" at the 2018 Wizard World Con in Austin.

Learn how to craft EVA foam armor using basic and affordable materials and tools. In this session, we'll cover using and creating patterns, cutting and shaping foam, and methods for strapping armor to your body. Participants will build their own wearable piece of armor (a gauntlet) during this hands-on session.

Brian & Selah Douglas Presenting on Character Creation

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Bryan and Selah are a married couple: He’s a self-taught “underground” cartoonist, while she is the daughter of an art teacher versed in many types of art. Combining their skills they work to bring back the long-neglected art form of the all-ages superhero comic book. They and their two young children live in Austin, Texas.

Want to create a character like nothing anyone has seen before? Bryan and Selah will teach you a technique to harness the power of opposites and open up worlds of possibilities!

Matthew Garrett Presenting Become a Sketch Nation Citizen

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Matthew Garrett works in Notrthside ISD's Academic Technology department, where they continually try to move learning forward through new teaching strategies and tools.

Learn how to use Sketch Nation to create your own video game! There are a variety of game types such as action, adventure and puzzles.

C.M. Bratton Presenting on Shamble! A Guide to Writing Zombie Comedy and What's in a                                                Name? How to Get to Know Your Characters

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C.M. Bratton is a multi-award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author of books and screenplays. She teaches creative writing & screenwriting, and has an MFA in Creative Writing for Media Arts, an MA in Drama, and BAs in Theatre Arts & Spanish.

Traditionally, zombies have been scary and suspenseful creatures, but in recent years, a new trend has emerged: the zom-com! That's right, zombies are not just the walking dead, they're comedians! Learn how to write not only comedy, but from the perspective of the zombie who has moved beyond a one-dimensional character into the realm of dreams - and endless hunger, of course! Sure, zombies love brains, but so do nerds! With analysis of C.M. Bratton's award-winning zombie series along with genres of comedy, writers of all ages will enjoy this dive into an unconventional take on writing - and loving - monsters.


Getting to know your characters often starts with a simple premise: what will you call your character? But this is often a more complicated question as you dive into where this name came from and what it means in the larger story. Character-driven plots work because the audience/reader connects with the emotions. Learn how to get started with the basics and use them to dive deep into the psychology of your characters and build a nuance, complicated, conflicted, wounded person/monster/creature whose journey is ultimately rewarding and worth discovering

Kathryn Taylor Presenting on Digital Art - How Do I Start?


Kathryn Taylor is a college student who loves digital art and has spent years managing it on a budget. From selling prints and stickers online to making short videos, Kathryn manages an Etsy store and wants to help others find a way to share their art with the world.

Everyone knows Photoshop, and more importantly how expensive it is. But have you ever heard of Fire Alpaca? What about Medibang Paint? If you're interested in starting digital art, or would just like some tips about the best free software and tools, come to this presentation to learn about the medium more artists and animators are using than ever. You don't need Photoshop to make high quality images worthy of selling or posting online- and Kathryn is here to prove it to you.

Jennette Mbewe Presenting on World-building: Mapping out your Story World


Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is a tale-spinning, stargazing, rock collecting, art dabbling Hufflepuff. She loves taking readers on adventures filled with fantastical creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. When she isn't writing, she's an undercover graphic designer at PalaCreative.

Every adventurer needs a map. From gamers to writers, the layout of the land is important part of world-building, even if the map isn't included in the book. Learn the importance of facts in fantasy and how science, geology, and social studies can influence your story world as well as tips on how to create an epic map of your own.

Andrea Stehle Presenting Images of the Greek Underworld from Dante to Disney


Andrea Stehle is a Latin teacher by day and a sci-fi mythology author by night. Her books are set on a future planet controlled by the gods of ancient Greece. She currently works at BASIS Shavano and serves on the Board of Governors of the American Classical League.

The mythical Greek Underworld has been a source of wonder and inspiration to storyteller and artists down through the ages. This presentation begins in the middle ages with Dante's Inferno and ends with Disney's Hercules. It explores all the generations in between who were inspired by the dark realm of the dead and its myriad of monsters.

Stacie Tharp Presenting Learn the art of Amigurumi!


I am a librarian with 25 years of experience in education. I love all things Sci-Fi and crafty!

I will have a display of several Amigurumi characters, crochet hooks, yarn, print-outs of crochet basics/patterns, as well as how-to videos. Attendees will be invited to learn the basics of Amigurumi and hopefully be inspired to create them on their own after the event.

Kara Salinas & Ana Hughes Presenting Zoetrope Animation

Kara Salinas teaches animation and Ana Hughes teaches commercial photography at Communications Arts High School. Kara Salinas has exhibited, Sketching; a video animation from her sketchbook at Brick a Blue Star Contemporary Art gallery in a show titled “Lesson Plan”. A graphic designer by trade; Ana Hughes creates animations with her husband during her free time.

Animation is the illusion of movement. It is like magic. Nothing is real, nothing exists, but we are able to relate to the characters as if they were alive and we can believe in the world where these characters live. All films including live action films are created by joining together a sequence of still photographs with very small changes in-between. These photograph sequences appear to move and to be alive when they are run through a film projector or video recorder. Zoetropes work similarly because of the optical illusion known as persistence of vision. 1.Divide the 54 cm strip into 12 equal frames leaving a gap at one end for gluing the strip into a circle at the end. 2. Draw the 12 cycle Zoetrope frame by frame making a small item change each time to follow the story though from the start to the finish. A Zoetrope works best if the story returns back to start at the end of each cycle. This will make the Zoetrope appear to be endless as it revolves seamlessly through the cycle, time after time. 3. Join the ends of the strip with glue or tape to create a circle with the drawings on the outside. 4. Fit the base of the strip to make a drum. Use adhesive tape if it does not fit snugly around the cardboard. 5. Place the paper drawing reel on a lazy susan in order to spin for the zoetrope. 6. Create a video recording of your zoetrope animation using the iPad.

Vince Valenzuela Presenting Paint with Me!


Vince is a Taft alumni who has been doing art for 7 years and works in the art field. Vince is always excited to engage in art and loves to paint and doodle the hours away!

Come paint a fun and relaxing scenery! Step by step you’ll be guided into how to create a beautiful scenery with acrylic paint!

Maggie Ontiveros & Nick Sanchez Presenting Cosplay 101

Husband and wife who love to cosplay and nerd out together. We both have our own specialties, and put our minds together to create anything we think of.

We will be going over basic information on how to cosplay, or create a costume. We will feature various techniques, as well as different mediums of materials. Not to mention, some motivation to get anyone started on their project...or maybe to finish it!

Uncultured Cosplay Presenting My Hero Academia: Detention with class 1A

Oh no! Class 1A is in detention! What did they get themselves into now? Find out what happened and help pass the time with a hour of fun and games but better be quiet before Mr.Aizawa finds out!

Our cosplay group will be portraying all of the characters of class 1A from my hero academia. Portraying them as if they had gotten detention, “passing the time” we will be playing a bunch of games and handing out prizes and will be including skits!

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