Speakers and Moderators

Allen Stewart: Allen Stewart is the curator of The Hall of Heroes Super Hero Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. Hall of Heroes is the only Comic Book and Super Hero Museum in the country. Hall of Heroes covers the 75+ year history of Super Heroes in Comics, Toys, Film and Animation. The Museum displays over 60,000 comics from the Golden Age Era to present including every Marvel Comic and a complete collection of all Super Hero Comics from 1956-present. Allen has also appeared on several television shows including “The Toy Hunter” series from The Travel Channel this past spring, “Stan Lee’s Super Fans” series in 2012, and the F/X “Collectible Show” in 1995. In addition, he was also one of the five finalists to play Robin in Batman Forever before losing the role to actor Chris O Donnell. Allen will be handling panels on Marvel Comics characters and publications.

Randy Zimmerman: Randy has been producing alternative comics, mostly self published, for the last three decades.  After having created such titles as Tales From the Aniverse, War Of the Worlds, The Fool, and Spank The Monkey among others for the direct market, and published under the Arrow and Massive Comics banners, Randy began looking for other outlets to produce and distribute comics.  In 2009 Randy co-founded and edited Flint Comix and Entertainment, a free to readers, advertisement supported,  comics and entertainment newspaper he produced and distributed in the Flint area.  For the last decade Randy has also taught cartooning to students during and after school via the United Way’s Bridges To The Future and YouthQuest programs as well as through the VSA arts program (teaching the arts to challenged students throughout America).

Drew McCarthy is a local radio show host for ESPN 96-1 and 101-3 The Brew, a podcast operator and one helluva beard wearer. Drew has been working with GRCC for many years now and they can’t figure out how to get rid of him. Like a fungus. His favorite kung fu fighting style is drunken boxing and he really enjoys his son Isaac, his girlfriend Amy, hugs, high fives and overall positivity.

Grant Stoye may be familiar to certain Grand Rapidians for his previous work with Mlive and ESPN 961, but more are probably familiar with his obsessive back issue hunting and Tardy’s Collector Corner and Vault of Midnight. One of the co-creators of the Court of Nerds, this will be Grant’s fourth year moderating panels. If you see him wandering the vendor aisle with a thousand-yard-stare muttering, “Superman’s Pal…Superman’s Pal…” you should probably just leave him be.

Kevin Carley: Born and raised in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, Kevin had a typical Midwestern youth: group sports, family potlucks, and sneaking in video games whenever he could. A voracious reader, Kevin rediscovered comic books while attending university, and made some life long friends as a result. After graduate school Kevin somehow found himself in retail management in the gaming industry. While working for Games Workshop back in 2015 a few of his friends, whom he ran a comic blog with years prior, asked him to be on the ground floor of The Court of Nerds… just before he moved out of the Midwest and into New England. Sense then, Kevin has worked remotely for them, interviewing authors for The Court of Nerds, creating and producing a number of podcasts including the tabletop roleplaying podcast Reverse Centaur, and has helped out moderating panels at Grand Rapids Comic Con. He likes his comics irreverent, his beers hoppy, and his games strategic.

Jared Gafford has been a lifelong lover of comic books, sci-fi and overall geekdom. He hosted and produced podcasts The Joe Schmo Comic Show and Comic Book HQ for almost 5 years, where he and his co-hosts talked about all of the latest and greatest in the comic book industry. During that time he was able to interview huge creators like Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Ed Brisson, Kieron Gillen, Jim Zub, Gerry Duggan and many more. He has also moderated panels for celebrities such as Christopher Paolini (The Inheritance Cycle), Ricou Browning (Creature from the Black Lagoon) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars). With a wealth of knowledge and a journalistic background, expect deep and thoughtful conversation during his panels and interviews.\

Aly: I’m Aly from the afternoon show on 104.5 SNX, been in the radio industry for about 10 years. I moved to Grand Rapids almost a year ago from Madison, WI. I’ve covered & attended comic cons since 2016. I had the opportunity to interview; Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kimberly J. Brown (Halloweentown), Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie/Rookie of the Year), and Joey Fatone (NSYNC). Some of my cosplay includes; The 11th Doctor from Doctor Who, Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, and Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. I’ve attended Plant Comic Con, Wizard World Comic-Con, Motor City Comic Con, and C232. On a lazy Sunday I like to throw on my Hufflepuff robe and read The Walking Dead graphic novel or watch a cheesy horror movie. Follow me on Twitter @ shortaly, Instagram @ short.aly, and Facebook @ Aly on the Radio. Allons-y unite!

Biff is a partnered Twitch streamer, member of the Court of Nerds, avid nerd and lover of all. Priding himself on acceptance and positivity he has a well established community on Twitch, providing content for them 5 days a week. Biff resides in West Michigan where he lives with his wife, son and cattle dog Luna.