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Presenters & Authors 2018

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NISD Nerdvana Con Presents Special Guest Jonathan Maberry

 author of the acclaimed 

Rot & Ruin series!

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Mr. Maberry is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning suspense author, editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writers, playwright, content creator, and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today's Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.


NISD Nerdvana Con Presents Special Guest Mari Mancusi

 author of the Scorched series, the Princesses, Inc. series, and the all new Camelot Code series!


Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately, the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she  has won two Emmys.

Come learn about Ms. Mancusi's amazing books and perhaps even get a change to pull the sword from the stone yourself!


Libbi Duncan Presenting SMACK! BAM! POW! How to Write an Effective Fight Scene

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Libbi Duncan is a Young Adult author, Middle School English teacher, and U.S. Army veteran who graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Modern Languages. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys hiking, camping, painting, playing video games, watching movies, cosplaying, and traveling. Her debut novel "The Scorching" follows Madi, a day-dreaming teen from Pax Lunar Colony, as she returns to a post-apocalyptic Earth to find her missing parents.

Come learn how to write a fast-paced, thrilling fight scene that readers can understand and connect with, and catch a reading from the author's second novel, Ashes.

MrCreepyPasta's Storytime


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.

Creepy Pasta is the new Urban Legend. Horror stories and experiences from around the internet are crawling out of the wood work and coming to your ears from one specific voice. MrCreepyPasta, horror story teller of YouTube, is a well known voice for such famous horror characters such as Jeff the Killer, Smile.Dog and Eyeless Jack.

Lorena Koppel Presenting Write Now!


Lorena Koppel is a fourteen year old fantasy author. Ever since she could hold a pencil, she's been writing: creating new stories, new worlds, and new adventures. She 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. She is now working to get her book, "The Shadow in Her Pocket", published.


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. 

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


Looking for story ideas? Have no idea what to write about next? Here's a secret: look to mythology. In this presentation, award-winning author P.J. Hoover recounts some of her favorite myths, and shows how amazing, creative story ideas can be found within. Whether it's gods, monsters, or epic quests and voyages that you love, you can use it to create your perfect story. All you need to do is twist it around a little.

Chinatsu Oku Presenting School Life in Japan, Japanese Folktale Telling, Japanese Food & Culture, and Origami Paper Folding


Chinatsu Oku is the Japan Outreach Coordinator for UTSA. Chinatsu is from Sendai, Japan and graduated from Dokkyo University in Saitama, Japan with a BA in English. After graduating, Chinatsu received a position as the Chief of Planning and Sales in a travel agency at Tokyo, where she worked arranging Japanese historical site visits and traditional hands-on activities for non-Japanese tourists. Chinatsu will be presenting several programs at Nerdvana Con, including School Life in Japan, Japanese Folktale Telling, Japanese Food Culture, and Origami Paper Folding. Chinatsu enjoys traveling the world and has visited Hawaii, Guam, London, Italy, France, Spain, Korea, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, and China.

Come and find out how schools are different in Japan! Enjoy two of Japanese traditional folktales in a special 'kamishibai' way. Come and learn interesting Japanese food culture and let's try chopsticks challenge! Do you know origami? It is paper folding crafts that anybody can do. Let's try making some authentic origami with the Japanese cultural coordinator.

Freddy Lopez

Presenting Comic Book Cover Illustration: Telling a Story with Your Drawing and Portfolio Critiques

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.

In addition to comic work, he is a sketch artist on projects for companies such as Upper Deck, Marvel, Rittenhouse, and others. Freddy has been a licensed sketch card artist on projects which include The

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Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Women of Marvel, Dinosaurs, Firefly and Lady Death. Freddy will be presenting Comic Book Cover Illustration: Telling a Story with Your Drawing and he will be doing individual portfolio critiques at Nerdvana Con this year!

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

Paraic Mulgrew

Presenting How to Make the Most of Your Dungeons and Dragons Game and Career Possibilities in the Gaming Industry


Paraic Mulgrew is owner of Knight Watch Games in San Antonio, TX, an Army veteran, and former high school teacher who now runs games professionally. Knight Watch Games is a nexus for gamers across the city. They provide an atmosphere that encourages guests to feel at home and play the games they love. 

Come hear Mr. Mulgrew speak on methods, tricks and tips on how to elevate your role playing experience to its most immersive engaging levels, as well as the ripe career opportunities within the growing gaming industry.

John Moran Presenting You've Been ScratchED!!


John Moran is and Academic Technology Coordinator for NISD, where he has worked with students for 16 years. John loves camping and being with his two daughters, but he also loves technology! 

Come learn some basic coding skills using Scratch! Once you start, you won't be able to stop!

Ink of Geek Presenting Beyond Wonder Woman: Female Heroes from A to Xena


Beverly Snyder is the owner of the Etsy shop Ink of Geek, where she creates pen and ink pop culture illustrations. 

Everyone knows Wonder Woman, but how many more female icons are out there? This presentation will focus on the many female superheroes and role models in pop culture. It will be presented in and A to Z format, with accompanying slides and a free handout to attendees featuring my character, Bevianna Bones. Come learn about all 26 female icons!

Rick Brooks Presenting Creating Your Own Mini-Comic


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.

Wade Dillon Presenting How to Become an Illustrator


Wade Dillon is a professional illustrator and artist here in San Antonio who is making his mark in the world of children's literature. Born to creative parents in Northeast Florida in 1988, Wade has had a life-long passion for art, film, and history. Inspired by historical

artists, and those in the comic book industry, Wade enjoys creating vivid, dynamic illustrations in the hopes that they will inspire and motivate today's young minds. When he is away from his studio, Wade enjoys watching movies with his lovely wife, Lindsey, eating cheeseburgers with his chubby puppy, Harper, and cosplaying his favorite comic book villains. Wade will be talking about how to become an illustrator at Nerdvana Con.

Gypsies Welcome Presenting on Steampunk


We are RenFair Pirates, Steampunk Explorers, and disorganized organizers of unconventional gatherings.

We also like to babble about nerdy stuff, so yeah...

This will be a crashed airship course on the world(s) of Steampunk, and anything (and everything) Steampunk related that we can think of and work in...

Oh look! A butterfly.

Sherry and Rob Mabry Presenting on Building Epic 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.

Have you ever wished you could jump inside Master Chief's armor to take on the Covenant or wander the Wasteland in a suit of Power Armor from Fallout? "Building Epic Cosplay Armor with Foam" will teach you how to make armor that looks it came straight out of your favorite video game using easy-to-find materials and tools. Learn the process of foam armor making from start to finish and get started on your own set of epic armor.

Sergio Guerra Presenting Zombie FX 

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Sergio Guerra has been creating monsters since he was 5 years old. His love of classic monsters and Halloween has led him to create all types of creatures for feature films, TV, and Haunted Houses. Sergio is mostly known for appearing on the first season of SyFy's make-up competition, "Face Off" and loves to share his passion for Halloween and Special FX with the world at large.

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