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SPEAKERS & MODERATORS

Joel Paauwe is best known as "The Voice of the Laker Marching Band" At GVSU, where you'll hear him announce the pregame and halftime shows at football games. He has been involved with Grand Rapids Comic Con since 2021 as a Panel Moderator, Cosplay Contest Host, and "The Voice" of the  commercials. When he's not behind the mic at GVSU or Grand Rapids Comic Con, you'll find him hosting Karaoke night at BroadLeaf Brewery & Spirits in Kentwood! 

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 comic characters and publications.

 

Roger Scholz is a local artist and horror movie aficionado who currently is instrumental in Frankenfest, a celebration of all things Frankenstein and Universal Monsters. Roger is also an accomplished artist who has designed the Grand Rapids Comic-Con badges in the past as well as the logo for our Frankenstein museum back in 2019. Roger will be handling our horror panels.

Randy Zimmerman has been working in comics, in one way or another, for most of his life. An award winning commercial and graphic artist, Randy began his professional comics career with the publication Tales From The Aniverse for Arrow Comics. After that he spent decades in the alternative and independent comics market, freelancing and self-publishing, creating such properties as War Of The Worlds: Infestation, The Fool, Spank the Monkey and The Unforgiven.

Abby Benedict A comic book and pop culture nerd since childhood, Abby has been attending and working comic conventions for 18 years!  She is store manager at Tardy's Collector's Corner in Grand Rapids and is excited to be moderating her first panels.  When not convention hopping and comic slinging, Abby enjoys reading, traveling with her family and friends, good coffee and wine tasting.

 

Joe Swietlik (Creative Director - Have Camera, Will Cosplay) has had his thumb on the pulse of cosplay since he was a young teen. Attending Gen-Con in 1998, Joe knew he had found his tribe. He ran into a group of hobbyists creating their own stormtrooper armor. Since utilizing their knowledge, Joe has become a master foamsmith and created many revolutionary ways of fabricating props and greeblies for cosplayers around the world.

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