Press Releases

December 2, 2011

News for Anime-Spark! 2012:

Anime-SPARK! features Greggo's Game Shows and Aegis Swordsmanship Academy

Cedar Rapids, Iowa - November 30, 2011 - Iowa's winter anime convention, Anime-SPARK!, is excited to add new guests and events to the 2012 anime convention. Greg Wicker of Greggo's Game Shows will be hosting several anime-themed game shows at the convention, and the Aegis Academy of Swordsmanship will be giving lessons and demonstrations throughout the weekend. The event will bring together hundreds of fans of all ages along with voice actors and industry professionals to celebrate the best in anime, Japanese pop culture, video games, and the communities surrounding them.

Greg Wicker (or "Greggo" as he's fondly known) has been producing and hosting game shows at anime conventions since 1999, when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. Since then, Greggo has done anime-themed versions of several classic game shows, created a few games of his own, and even had an original project that very nearly turned into an actual television show on Anime Network. These days Greggo is concentrating on perfecting his craft and making game shows available for conventions everywhere, bringing his rapier wit and friendly personality with him wherever he goes. You can see some of Greggo's past game show efforts on his YouTube page at or visit his website at

Aegis essentially started as an IT service and training organization; in short, Geeks with swords. From this beginning Aegis evolved from the vision of founder and pen-y-cat Sal Sanfratello, a native New Yorker who grew up in a swordfighting tradition that has been handed down in his family in Sicily for more than a thousand years. In addition to his skills as a swordsman, Sal's training at the Xavier Academy, an elite military high school in NYC, has made him an expert in the hand-to-hand combat and wilderness survival techniques taught by the US Army.

Aegis is a martial arts academy, but Aegis Academy isn't "just" a martial arts academy because Sal Sanfratello isn't "just" a martial artist. In addition to martial arts lessons, classes feature subject-matter-experts in everything from international relations and history to tactical leadership and management.

Other popular guests scheduled to appear include Quinton Flynn ("Timon" from Timon & Pumba, "Axel" in bestselling videogame Kingdom Hearts) and Chris Rager ("Hercule", "King Yemma" in bestselling anime Dragon Ball Z). All guests will be available for autographs and pictures - and unlike other conventions, they are free for all registered attendees. Registration for attendees is only $30 online through January 20th at

All attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite villain, superhero, anime character, or pop culture personality for the chance to compete and win prizes in convention costume contests. Event-attendees can also shop for anime, video games, and other merchandise in the convention's dealer room, and they can meet several local artists as well.

Anime-SPARK! will be held at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from February 16-19, 2012. Main events are from 1pm to 2am Friday, 10am to 2am Saturday, and 10am to 5pm Sunday. More details, including pictures from previous years, can be found at