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SPEAKERS & MODERATORS

Eric Mockerman

Eric Mockerman has been a nerd his whole life — spanning back to his love of G.I. Joe and Voltron. When he’s not spending time with his family, you can find him reading comic books and playing video games. This is Eric’s first year as a moderator for Grand Rapids Comic-Con but he brings with him a knowledge and passion for all things nerdy!

 

Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson is a Grand Rapids local who has been in The Michigan comics scene For several years and has been involved in Grand Rapids Comic Con since year one.  His main specialty is his work in the History and merit of the Saturday morning cartoon genre.

 

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.

 

Gavin Willard

Gavin is the Co-Owner of Tardy's Collectors Corner in Grand Rapids and Tardy's Underground in Allegan. He'll talk your ear off on just about anything pop culture related, wind him up and watch him go!

 

Shane Bower

Shane is a podcaster/streamer/musician/vlogger out of Muskegon MI. He and his hosts run a podcast called “The Geekly Gab & Nerdical Nonsense Show.” The podcast has covered Grand Rapids Comic Con since 2016 and is a huge fan of the convention. Shane vlogs and edits video for the YouTube Channel “Half5end” and also makes intro/outro song commissions for streamers occasionally. He is a fanatic of anything MMPR, TMNT, Dragon Ball, and/or Kevin Smith.

 

Joel Paauwe 

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. Joel is also “The Voice” and co-host of SequelMen: The Podcast, a show that talks about your favorite (or not so favorite) film franchises! Grand Rapids Comic Con 2022 is Joel’s fourth show as a Stage Host & Panel Moderator, and he has previously lent his voiceover talents for the online commercials for Grand Rapids Comic Con.

Joe Swietlik 

Joe (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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