Below are the special guests for 7th annual MECCAcon 2020 #MECCAcon2020! SATURDAY, Sept 19th!! ONLINE via Streamyard, Facebook, and Youtube!
Keep checking this page for added bios to come!
N Steven Harris
Greg A. Elysée
Nikki Porcher/ Buy from a Black Woman
Sebastian A. Jones
Chuck DragonBlack Collins
Dorphise Jean/ Diana Lee
The Microphone Misfitz‘ D-Nick The Microphone Misfit
Dewunmi Roye Okupe
Ezra Claytan Daniels
Games on Krack‘s Krack & Slapz
Corey Goowatitdew Paul
David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, publisher and founder of Solid Comix, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. His writing career started in the 1990s with the self-published ‘zine, BadAzz MoFo. In 1997 he produced and directed Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered, and Shafted, a feature length documentary on the history of #blaxploitation films.
Walker is best known for his work in graphic novels and comics, which includes The Life of Frederick Douglass (Ten Speed Press), the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards-nominated series Bitter Root (Image Comics) w/ Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene, and the critically acclaimed and also Eisner Award nominated series Naomi (DC Comics). He has written for Marvel (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Occupy Avengers, Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk, Fury, Deadpool), DC Comics (Cyborg, Young Justice), Dynamite Entertainment (Shaft), and Dark Horse Comics (Number 13).
David Walker also teaches part time at Portland State University.
Author Nicole Givens Kurtz is a weird writer, publisher and educator. She works to amplify marginalized voices in speculative fiction and writes stories that explore race, sexism, and the weird. Her works have appeared in Stoker Finalist Sycorax’s Daughters, Baen’s Straight Outta Tombstone, and her Cybil Lewis SF Mystery Series.
Find out more at http://www.nicolegivenskurtz.net.
Boston born and Brooklyn based, Khary Randolph graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2000 with a BFA in Cartooning & Illustration. In the years since, he has won multiple awards and worked on properties from some of the biggest media companies in the world, such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, 20th Century Fox, ABC, ESPN, Cartoon Network, Upper Deck, Coca-Cola, M&Ms/Mars, & Sony.
Khary got his start in the comic book industry in 2003 on Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider-Clan. Since then he has had several multi-issue runs on books such as New Mutants, Starborn, Charismagic, Tech Jacket, We Are Robin, and Mosaic. He has also been a prolific cover illustrator, having provided covers for every major publisher on books such as Static Shock, Batman Beyond, Spider-man, Harley Quinn, Black Panther, G.I. Joe, and Teen Titans.
In animation, Khary got his start doing turnarounds for The Boondocks. He then graduated to doing design and story boarding work for such shows such as Wolverine & The X-Men, Hellboy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron and Chaotic.
In 2007 Khary worked on Upper Deck’s All-Star Vinyl line, designing toys based on sports superstars such as Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, David Ortiz and Michael Jordan. In 2015, in conjunction with Brooklyn Brewery and Reed Exhibitions, he created and designed a character called the Brooklyn Defender as the official beer and mascot of New York Comic Con. The beer was highly successful and sold all over the world.
Khary Randolph is currently the co-creator and artist of EXCELLENCE (along with writer Brandon Thomas), published monthly from Image Comics/ Skybound Entertainment), as well as the cover artist for the award winning (and soon to be a motion picture) series BLACK and its forthcoming sequel WHITE, from Black Mask Studio.
“Hudlin is a modern-day Gordon Parks, a true monster in the game who totally re-did the blueprint: what some people used to call a renaissance man. I dig him because he made me think outside of the box. Hudlin writes and directs movies, pens a comic book, and he was running BET. That’s multi-tasking for your ass.” (cultural critic, Jimi Izrael)
Reginald Hudlin is a writer, producer, director, and executive, born and raised in economically poor but culturally rich town of East St. Louis Illinois. Reginald grew up two doors down from the childhood home of Tina Turner, and two doors down on the other side from Brother Joe May, a famous gospel singer, placing him two doors away from heaven and hell. Warrington Hudlin Sr., Reginald’s father, ran his own insurance agency and was involved in a wide array of civic charities. He was the founding president of the local State Community College. Helen Hudlin, Reginald’s mother, worked in special education her whole life, from running a mental health center to designing and implementing teaching programs for gifted and learning disabled children. She worked full time while raising three boys and earning a PhD.
Hudlin graduated from Harvard with a magna cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies. His senior thesis was a 20 minute short called HOUSE PARTY! That short film lead to a deal with New Line Cinema to write and direct a feature film version of HOUSE PARTY, which starred Kid and Play, Martin Lawrence and Robin Harris. The film won the prestigious Filmmakers Trophy and the Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival and also received the Clarence Muse Youth Award and a New Visions, New Voices Award from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. HOUSE PARTY is one of the most profitable films of its decade and was critically acclaimed, receiving reviews from film critic Roger Ebert, the New York Times, Time, Newsweek and USA Today. The film launched a franchise, inspiring three sequels; a Saturday morning animated series and a comic book. When New Line Pictures successfully raised 100 million dollars in a public stock offering, HOUSE PARTY was the only film touted in their advertising campaign to the financial markets.
Reginald then directed BOOMERANG, a romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Chris Rock, Robin Givens, Grace Jones and Eartha Kitt. BOOMERANG made 130 million dollars worldwide, and the soundtrack by LA Reid and Babyface went double platinum, spawning one of longest running #1 songs in Billboard history, Boyz II Men singing END OF THE ROAD. That soundtrack also introduced the world to multi platinum singer Toni Braxton.
While directing BOOMERANG, Reginald also wrote and produced BEBE’S KIDS, the first African American animated film. BEBE’S KIDS was based on the comic routines of the late Robin Harris, who played “Pop” in HOUSE PARTY. Hudlin then created COSMIC SLOP, a Twilight Zone style anthology hosted by George Clinton for HBO. The special went on to win two CableAce Awards and is still taught in universities across the country.
Sean Hannity referenced Cosmic Slop during Obama’s re-election campaign. Since one of the stories, SPACE TRADERS, was written by former Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell, who was one of Barack Obama’s mentors, Hannity then researched Hudlin’s donations to the Obama campaign and saw a wide range conspiracy at work. Hudlin views this accusation with pride.
Expanding into new genres, Hudlin directed THE GREAT WHITE HYPE, a boxing satire starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx and Jon Lovitz. That film was followed by THE LADIES MAN with Tim Meadows, Will Farrell and Julianne Moore and SERVING SARA with Matthew Perry, Elizabeth Hurley and Cedric The Entertainer.
Hudlin produced Quentin Tarantino’s film DJANGO UNCHAINED, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Don Johnson. The film has won numerous awards, including two Golden Globe Awards and two Oscars, and it has become one of the top grossing Westerns of all time. Hudlin adapted Quentin Tarantino’s original screenplay for DJANGO UNCHAINED into a graphic novel. He is the executive editor of the direct to comic book sequel, DJANGO/ZORRO.
The next film Hudlin produced was Gerard McMurray’s BURNING SANDS, starring Trevor Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris and Trevante Rhodes for Netflix. It’s a powerful drama that digs deep into the world of Black Greek life that people could not stop talking or tweeting about. Reactions to the film had Twitter going crazy. Critics agreed, the film garnered tons of praise and is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
During his more than three year tenure as the first President of Entertainment for Black Entertainment Television, Hudlin created some of the highest rated shows in the history of the network including the award-winning KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS; AMERICAN GANGSTER; and SUNDAY BEST. Under Hudlin’s stewardship, BET had its first ever telethon, which supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. He created the BET HIP HOP AWARDS and the BET HONORS – two successful network franchises. He created a profitable home entertainment division for the network and completely rebuilt the news division, which went on to win 13 awards in two years.
Hudlin was a producer and director of THE BERNIE MAC SHOW and directed the pilot of EVERBODY HATES CHRIS. Hudlin has also directed episodes of sitcoms like MODERN FAMILY, MARRY ME, THE OFFICE, THE MIDDLE, WEIRD LONERS, BAD JUDGE, OUTSOURCED, SONS OF TUCSON, BETTER OFF TED, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS and ARE WE THERE YET?, as well as dramas like BONES, MURDER IN THE FIRST, PSYCH, RAISING THE BAR and CITY OF ANGELS.
Reginald has produced the 44th, 45th, 46th and 47th NAACP IMAGE AWARDS for TV One. The live broadcast and the red carpet pre show (which he also produced) for the 44th and 45th were the two highest rated shows in the history of the network. Reginald continued that streak by producing the 48th NAACP IMAGE AWARDS for TV One in 2017. Winners included such stars as Denzel Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Here’s an inside look at the red carpet and show.
One of Reginald’s bucket list items was fulfilled when he produced THE BLACK MOVIE SOUNDTRACK in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Hollywood Bowl. Hosted by Craig Robinson and featuring an all-star musical line up, it was a critical and commercial success. It has become an event that happens every other year. That achievement led to Hudlin producing the 6th Governor’s Awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honoring Maureen O’Hara, Jean-Claude Carriere, Hideo Misayaki and Harry Belafonte. He didn’t stop there. He went on to complete a crowning achievement in his third collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, executive producing The 88th Academy Awards.
Later that same year, Hudlin executive produced the revival of SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO. The special featured elements of the Apollo’s weekly Amateur Night competition, which has been running for 82 years and helped launch the careers of artists such as James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five and D’Angelo. The show was hosted by Steve Harvey.
Another one of Reginald’s dreams came true when he was commissioned to write THE BLACK PANTHER comic book series for Marvel Comics. THE BLACK PANTHER is the most successful black superhero series ever, and Hudlin went on to adapt a six episode animated series, which became the top selling DVD in the Marvel Knights home video line. Hudlin also wrote an award-winning run of SPIDER MAN, Marvel’s flagship character.
Hudlin met Aaron McGruder when he was still an undergraduate writing and drawing THE BOONDOCKS for his college paper. Hudlin helped develop the strip as it went national, then was executive producer of the animated series (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim). Hudlin also co-authored the graphic novel BIRTH OF A NATION with McGruder, with art by Kyle Baker. BIRTH is a comic novel about Hudlin’s hometown of East St. Louis seceding from the United States. The Random House publication received glowing reviews in Time, Entertainment Weekly and Publisher’s Weekly, among others.
Hudlin is now a partner in Milestone Media, a comic book company that develops and produces properties for a wide range of media. Hudlin is also a founding partner of New Nation Networks, a joint venture with Google to create premium content for the web. Reginald has directed television commercials for McDonalds, Burger King, AT&T and the Illinois State Lottery. He’s also directed videos for George Clinton, Heavy D and The Boyz and other artists.
Reginald has been a featured speaker at Vermont Law School; the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; Yale University; the Montclair Art Museum; The Directors Guild; the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; the American Bible Society; the San Diego Comic Con; and more. Hudlin sits on the Board of Governors for the Motion Picture Academy and the board of UCLA Film, Television and Theatre Department. He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
Kadiatou Tubman is the Manager of Education Programs and Outreach at the Schomburg Center. Kadiatou is the director of the Schomburg Center’s renowned Junior Scholars Program, founder/executive producer of the NY Black Lives Matter Teen Conference and the lead producer of the annual Black Comic Book Festival.
Kadiatou has been working as an educator for as long as she can remember. In her work, Kadiatou’s pedagogy centralizes historical literacy, social justice, and critical race and gender theory. She is a host of the Schomburg Center’s Live Conversations, which have featured scholars like Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., Dr. Imani Perry, activist & author Ilyasah Shabazz, and Superbowl athlete/activist Michael Bennett. When she is not teaching or organizing, Kadiatou can be found attempting to learn choreography via youtube or reenacting scenes from her favorite films.
Since 2013, Lynne Marie’s passion has been cosplaying. She has attended many East Coast comic conventions as her favorite comic or original character such as Wonder Woman, Storm, Misty Knight, She-Ra, and other historic women of genre. This and her charitable endeavors have made Lynne a role model for young girls everywhere looking to embrace their geekiness and be comfortable with who they are. In her leisure time, Lynne also enjoys reading and crocheting.
Lynne Finley, a native of the DC/MD/VA area, holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from HBCU Johnson C. Smith University and a Master’s of Science degree in Information Systems from Strayer University. For the past 20 years, she’s served as an Information Analyst in the Maryland Hospital system.
Kenesha Williams is an author, screenwriter, speaker, and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Girl Magic Lit Mag a speculative fiction literary magazine. As an, essayist she has written for, Time Magazine’s, Motto and Fireside Fiction. She is also a screenwriter currently in pre-production on a horror web series and a short film. Kenesha has been a panelist and speaker at StokerCon, the Horror Writers of America convention; Boskone, ECBACC, the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention; the 2017 African Americans Expo, and MECCACon.
Kenesha took to heart the advice, “If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself,” and created a Speculative Fiction Literary Magazine featuring characters that were representative of herself and other women she identified with. She has happily parlayed her love for the weird and the macabre into Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine, finding the best in undiscovered talent in Speculative Fiction.
She has been interviewed by Black Nerd Problems, and several podcasts: Katara’s Café, Cinema After Dark, Talking with Authors, SORMAG’s Writers Café, Minister Faust’s Galaxy, and RCR Reviews.
From high school drop out to university professor, native Detroiter Ka’ramuu (pronounced kah-rah-moo) earned his reputation as a self-taught creator of independent short form cinema before earning top honors at AFI Conservatory. His graduating class was ranked #1 film school in the world by HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. His AFI thesis film SALVATION ROAD was acquired for distribution by HBO in addition to garnering a bevy of awards, inclusive of the DGA JURY PRIZE. At heart, he is a guerrilla filmmaker with roots in NYC theatre, evidenced by the dramaturgical core and classic precepts of character and conflict in all of his work. Kush flows seamlessly between the worlds of theatre and film by maintaining work in both. His award-winning work as an actor and/or director has screened to millions, touring internationally in film festivals including CANNES, SUNDANCE, HAMPTONS, TRIBECA, PAFF, ABFF, LA FILM FEST, HBFF and on the CBS, BET, HBO and CINEMAX networks.
Ka’ is a LINCOLN CENTER THEATRE Director’s Lab Alum, NEW FEDERAL THEATRE Artistic Associate, 2ND STAGE THEATRE Van Lier Directing Fellow, NBC Directing Fellow and ABC/DGA Directing Fellow finalist. Current work includes numerous writing/directing projects and acting when the spirit moves him. He teaches as a Lecturer / Professor at HOWARD UNIVERSITY and CAL STATE LA, and is an avid practitioner of Vipassana Meditation http://www.dhamma.org/
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the Consumer Marketing Editor for PREVIEWSworld.com and Diamond’s pop culture network of sites. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, and the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for ComicBookBin.com, OfNote Magazine, and ForcesOfGeek.com. Troy’s work in comics also includes the action-adventure series Frontiersmen and the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics. His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post.
Nick Allen (AKA Jon Jebus AKA The guy who wants to be your new favorite author) is a writer, letterer, and proud patriarch from Baltimore, Maryland. He has helped to produce, create, and/or self-publish several comic books including The C-Listers and the Kickstarter-funded projects: Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew, Deadland’s Raven Graphic Novel and Fight Of The Century. Jon is a huge fan of comics, martial arts, martial art movies and science fiction. He’s also a student of traditional Wing Chun, and lover of puns. After gaining his nerd street cred by earning a physics degree, he double-downed and got a second B.S. in simulation and digital entertainment (bka video games).
If you see a Black woman business owner, you can bet Nikki Porcher is somewhere cheering her on. In 2016, Buy from a Black Woman, an organization whose mission is to spread awareness while lending support to Black woman business owners, was founded when Porcher asked the universe for instructions on how she should use her gifts and talents to help empower her community.
Both an Air Force Veteran and former public school teacher with an extensive history of working with and for non-profits, she uses these skills along with her other wealth of knowledge and experiences to support as well as provide tools and resources for Black women. Porcher is a member of the Atlanta NAACP Chapter, The Womens Chamber of Commerce, and an active advocate for a number of other causes. She shelves outer vision with community based classes, online workshops, webinars, and also serves as a mentor.
Nikki Porcher has an academic background in business, marketing & advertising design. Porcher also has certifications in non-profit management, yoga and mediation. She does all of this community work that comes so easily to her with a quintessential Jersey Girl flare.
Michael Flood is a writer, cosplayer, actor, and activist who always wants to fight for the little person and be a voice for the voiceless. His two favorite cosplays are Superman and Captain Benjamin Sisko from Staten Trek: Deep a Space Nine. Some of his favorite hobbies at a con are attending panels and dressing as a civilian while buying lots of merch!
Michael is a Los Angeles based classically-trained artist. Notable projects and roles he’s worked on include: African Company Presents Richard III as James Hewlett, Macbeth as Banquo, Angels in America as Belize, and The Mountaintop as Martin Luther King Jr. As a current student at the Groundlings Theatre for Improv he always tries to find the humor, intention and true purpose in everything tragic, comical or tragicomical.
Joseph Illidge is the Co-Managing Editor for Heavy Metal, the seminal illustrated magazine and company for science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and a freelance comic book and graphic novel editor for various clients, working with writers and artists from around the globe to develop books celebrating heroism and inclusion.
A worldbuilder with experience in high-profile characters and universe development, Joseph was featured in the 2017 History Channel documentary series, “Superheroes Decoded”, discussing popular heroes from Batman to Luke Cage.
In his career, Joseph served as the first Editor of color on the “Batman” line of comic books for DC Entertainment, Executive Editor for the Valiant Entertainment Universe and line of monthly comic books, and Senior Editor for Lion Forge Comics where he spearheaded “Catalyst Prime”, the multicultural superhero comic book imprint.
Joseph’s first job in the comic book industry was at Milestone Media, Inc., the groundbreaking comic book publisher of inclusive superhero stories and creators of the award-winning animated series “Static Shock” from Warner Bros.
Joseph is the co-writer on the upcoming graphic novel MPLS SOUND, the story of a fictional Eighties Minneapolis funk band that is the prototype for The Revolution, the band created by Prince. The book will be published by Humanoids.
Elgin-Bokari T. Smith, aka Kari the Illustrator or L O Kari, is a Chicago based DJ, visual and performing artist, social activist, and educator who grew up in Saint Louis Missouri. Elgin has performed domestically and abroad – ranging from New York, St. Louis, Ohio, Seattle, South Korea, Japan, and all over the Chicago land area. He has shared stages with the likes of Bone Thugs and Harmony, Ruby Ibarra, The Terra Godz, Saba, Da Brat, Clark Airlines, Mega Ran, Bop Alloy, No Name Gypsy, DJ Esco, Young Chop, Lil Crazed, Rebel Diaz, Twista, and Ching, just to name a few.
Discovering a passion for art in elementary school while drawing his favorite cartoon characters on his homework, his 6th grade teacher encouraged Elgin toward the arts, where he moved onto comics and public murals. He then attended Central Visual and Performing Arts High School where he studied visual arts, ceramics, and piano. In 2009, Elgin received a BFA in Graphic Illustration and Sculpture. Elgin began work as an artist assistant for Chicago ceramic artist and Whitney Bi-Annual artist-in-residence Theaster Gates.
Elgin has collaborated with Hull House and the Northwestern University School of Law to produce zines such as I Know My Rights, I Want a Lawyer, a kid’s guide to the Juvenile Justice System in Illinois, and taught drawing and graphic design to incarcerated young people. He’s worked as a teaching artist for various organizations such as the Gary Comer Youth Center, Changing Worlds, Columbia College, and Kuumba Lynx. Elgin is currently the Program Director for Free Write Arts & Literacy.
Born and raised in the exotic town of Frenchtown NJ, David Crownson grew up with a passion for storytelling which started with comics and film. This has served him as an actor and writer. His next comic after Harriet Tubman Demon Slayer is Nightmare In Newark. He loves his mom, Red Lobster biscuits, long walks, petting your dog and can be seen on the YouTube series Bubbly Brown Sugar.
Damon Young is a writer, critic, humorist, satirist, and professional Black person. He’s a co-founder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas—coined “the blackest thing that ever happened to the internet” by The Washington Post and recently acquired by Univision and Gizmodo Media Group to be a vertical of The Root—and a columnist for GQ. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, LitHub, Time Magazine, Slate, LongReads, Salon, The Guardian, New York Magazine, EBONY, Jezebel, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Damon’s writing—which vacillates from anthropological satire and absurdist racial insights to razor sharp cultural critique and unflinching indictments of privilege and bias—has often generated praise from from his peers. Ava DuVernay called his voice “clear and critical.” Micheal Eric Dyson said he’s “one of the most important young voices in humor writing today.” And Kiese Laymon called his work “the best of American twenty-first century writing.”
Damon’s debut memoir—What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays (Ecco / HarperCollins) —is a 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and is a tragicomic exploration of the angsts, anxieties, and absurdities of existing while black in America. NPR called it an “outstanding collection of nonfiction” and The Washington Post “hilarious” and “unflinching.”
A native Pittsburgher who attended Canisius College on a basketball scholarship, Damon is also a member of ACLU Pennsylvania’s State Board. He currently resides in Pittsburgh’s Northside, with his wife, two children, and his faithful bottles of Nexium and Lisinopril.
Yolonda Ross (Actress, Writer, Director, Producer) is a two-time Film Independent Spirit Award nominee and Gotham Award winner for her feature film debut as a leading actress in HBO’s Stranger Inside and John Sayles’s Go For Sisters. Ross, a native of Omaha, Nebraska is recognized from her wide range of work including: the Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez film Lila & Eve, Angela Bassett’s Whitney, and Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher Story. In Television, she’s worked on 24, Law and Order, and Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet’s, The Unit, in which Mr. Mamet wrote the part for her himself. The two teamed up again on HBO’s Phil Spector. Ross has recurred as “Claudia” on How To Get Away With Murder, portrayed the memorable “Ms. Green”, in the Baz Luhrmann/ Netflix series, The Get Down, and played a documentary filmmaker in HBO’s Treme which inspired her to step behind the camera for her directorial debut, Breaking Night, which aired on VH1 Classics. Yolonda is also a member of New York’s famed Labyrinth Theater Company.
She can currently be seen opposite Rob Morgan in the Samuel Goldwyn release, BULL. Yolonda is cast regular, “Jada Washington” in the critically-acclaimed Lena Waithe Showtime drama, The Chi premiering Season 3, June 21, 2020. She will be making her feature film directorial debut with her romantic drama, Scenes From Our Marriage, which was chosen for Film Independent’s, Fast Track & Directors’ Lab, along with the Cannes Marche’ du Film Producers Workshop.
A self-published author and cosplayer whose cosplay has been featured in the New York Times and on NBC, TaLynn Kel is a multi-media content creator and curator located in Atlanta, Georgia. An avid cultural critic, TaLynn has published numerous essays on her intersectional identity as a fat, Black, femme geek. In addition to writing, TaLynn conducts educational panels at conventions throughout the U.S., co-hosts the podcast New Wakanda, and co-created Black Girl Geek Out, an event that centers Black womxn creatives in the Atlanta area. She is currently working on her first graphic short story for the Kamikaze comic anthology, Short Circuits, and planning surviving while Black during the 2020 multi-phase apocalypse.
TaLynn has published two books, Breaking Normal: Essays about My Fat, Black, Geek Life and Still Breaking Normal: A Fat, Black, Femme, Geek Navigating an Anti-Black World, available on Amazon andyou can find her work at www.talynnkel.com. She is also TaLynnKel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Bobby is a second-generation Chinese American director & writer from New York City. He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans and holds a Masters degree from NYU in Visual Effects. A six-time Emmy Award winner for Sports television, he has directed and edited over one hundred music videos and commercials. With five narrative shorts under his belt, Bobby was recently chosen to be a part of the ABC Disney Directing Program as well as Ryan Murphy’s HALF Initiative Mentorship program.
Preparing to transition into episodic directing, he has shadowed on Marvel’s Agents of Shield on ABC, Black Lighting on the CW, The Chi on Showtime, and Ryan Murphy’s The Politician on Netflix.
Bobby is currently in development of his first feature film inspired by his own life story, an Asian American coming of age comedy-drama that fuses culture and music together.
Larry Stroman is an Boston born artist who has honed his craft in New York City, Berkley, Chicago, and Detroit. After first gaining attention illustrating Epic’ Alien Legion, he went on to illustrate various comics books such as The Uncanny X-Men, Ghost Rider, Punisher, Cloak and Dagger, Wolverine, Bishop, Black Panther, and the most popular run of X-Factor. He worked on Dark Horse’ The Mark and cocreated DC Comics Darkstars.
In 1993, along with writer Todd Johnson, he published a creator-owned series called The Tribe with Image Comics. With over one million sold, Tribe still holds the title of the largest selling African American comic of all time. His 35 year long career has spanned three decades and he still remains a sought after artist.