Press Releases

July 16, 2008

News for SITACon 2008:

SITACon 2008 announces first round of guests and opening of pre-registration

UTICA, NY ( 16 July 2008) - SITACon 2008 is pleased to announce it's first round of guests for its 2008 show. Our Guest of Honor will be Steve Bennett, academically representing we have Lawrence Eng, podcasting Guests include Ninja Consultant, Happy House of Hentai and R5 Central, web-comic guest Rob Balder of Erfworld and PartiallyClips fame, comedian Uncle Yo, and musical guest Daniel Brown.

Pre-registration is now open and you can register online at where you can find all the information about the convention including guests, events, reserving dealer space, panel registration, cosplay information, and much more.

SITACon 2008 All Weekend Registration Information
Before September 19th: $30
At Door Registration: $40

One day passes will be available at the convention.

Stephen Robert Bennett IV was born *&#@?! years ago at Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan. Being an Army brat, Steve moved all over the place in his younger days, He spent his early years in Alaska and Colorado, and lived for almost eight years in Germany during elementary and junior high. The family moved back to Japan when Steve was in his teens, and while he was there he was lucky enough to land a job with Studio Aoehyma, and work under the great Japanese animator, Noboru Furusei (New Dominion Tank Police, Lupin III, etc.) During his time at Studio Aoehyma, Steve learned quite a bit about anime, and worked on such titles as Cat's Eye, the Urusei Yatsura TV Series and Only You, as well as others.

But finally, the family moved back to the States and settled in Virginia. In his college years, Steve met his future wife Nikki while working at Kings Dominion amusement park. About the time Steve and Nikki tied the knot (1994), Steve attended his first anime convention as a guest and finally remembered his true calling-that of an artist! He started up Studio Ironcat, a Japanese manga publishing company, in 1997. Although Steve enjoyed his time with Ironcat, the job kept him too busy to focus on his own art. With the close of Ironcat in 2004, Steve was finally free to create his own comics, and get back into the artistic side of the industry.
Today, Steve is busier than ever at conventions, and (along with many side projects) is occupied with two main art projects. He is the chief illustrator for the web comic based on Peter Prellwitz's graphic novel ANGEL OF ST. THOMAS. The web comic is posted biweekly at .

Steve also provided all the artwork for THE LOST KINGDOM, a young adult fantasy novel written by his wife Nikki, and is currently busy illustrating THE LOST KINGDOM's sequel, THE WORLD OF WONDERS.

Over the years, Steve has lent his artistic talents to many other venues, including guest lecturer gigs at Loyola University in Louisiana, the Smithsonian Institution, the Bay City Anime Festival, and the Iowa Gallery of Art.

For more information, check out Steve's website at!

Dr. Lawrence Eng

Lawrence is a social scientist specializing in otaku studies. He received his PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006. Turning his personal love of anime/fandom into a serious academic pursuit, his doctoral research examined the ways in which anime otaku and related subcultures engage and appropriate science and technology. You might also know Lawrence online from his serial experiments lain fansite ("thought experiments lain"), the Anime and Manga Research Circle (which he founded), or his blog ("lainspotting"). Lawrence has prepared a number of panels, so come by to learn something new, have fun, and maybe even win a small prize!

thought experiments lain:
Anime and Manga Research Circle:

Noah Fulmor co-hosts the Ninja Consultant podcast along with his fiancé Erin. He boasts an impressive 24 years (out of 30) in anime fandom, giving him something of a reputation for being an irascible cantankerous grump with no regard for new or fresh trends. Be that as it may, he is pleased to return for his second SITACon and looks forward to shouting at its young attendees, 'hey, you kids get off my lawn!'

Erin Finnegan hosts the Ninja Consultant podcast and writes anime reviews for Otaku USA magazine. She also writes about manga for Publishers Weekly and Erin's career in animation has lead to production work on Codename; Kids Next Door, Car Talk; As the Wrench Turns, and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, season eight, "Back to the Sewer". Erin lives in New York City with her fiancé and cohost Noah. They have elaborate plans to be the first couple to get married in zero gravity. If you'd like to sponsor the wedding, please get in touch with Erin or Noah!

The Happy House of Hentai is a weekly podcast hosted by Lord Kaosu and Hello Kitty that began in 2006. The Triple-H provides news and reviews from the world of hentai as well as Japanese news. Last, but not least, there is the continuing coverage of Hello Kitty's domination on the civilized world and what you can do to accept it. This includes news and reviews for Hello Kitty products and various events.

Best known as the Great Sage-Equal of Heaven, Master of the 72 Divine Transformations, and Hot Blood Everlasting, Mike Dent is the host of the Parsec Award-nominated Japanese Pop Culture podcast, R5 Central, covering the likes of Tokusatsu, Anime, Conventions, and all that fun stuff. When he isn't waging a never ending struggle with Murphy's Law, Mike serves as a regular contributor to Otaku USA Magazine, maintaining his own Tokusatsu-based review column along with the ready stream of reviews and other articles. He has also dabbled the in the realm of voice acting, appearing in such audio drama productions as "A Phil Byrnes Mystery" and the Parsec-nominated "The Falcon Banner".

Rob Balder is a professional cartoonist, singer/songwriter, game designer and web entrepreneur.

Rob is the creator of the clip-art comic strip PartiallyClips (, which is widely read online and has appeared in more than two dozen newspapers and magazines. A book collection of the strip, "Suffering for my Clip Art: the Best of PartiallyClips, volume 1" was published in 2005.

He is the Associate Editor of Nth Degree ( a popular fanzine covering genre fiction, gaming, comics, fandom and more. He writes science fiction and fantasy, including one unpublished novel and many short stories and poems.

Rob also teamed up with Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance ( to create "Get Nifty," ( a stand-alone card game themed around Pete's comic. Get Nifty debuted in stores in 2006, through Blood & Cardstock Games (

His current major project is a full-color Fantasy webcomic called Erfworld, co-created with illustrator Jamie Noguchi ( Erfworld began in December 2006 and runs at (, home of the popular roleplay comic, "The Order of the Stick," by Rich Burlew. Time Magazine named Erfworld one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2007 (,30583,1686204_1686244_1692143,00.html).

For the past year, Karl "Uncle Yo" Custer has traversed many a convention, spreading his unique anime-specific stand-up comedy? Having discovered the horrific alchemy formula behind the average Twinkie, Uncle Yo comes to SITACon ready with original material on Naruto, Death Note, Kingdom Hearts, and anything else under the sun. If you've ever wanted your Fooly Cooled so hard you feel it in your Pokeballs, Uncle Yo is your man for laughs.

Daniel Brown is a university-trained classical pianist who has been playing video game music on piano since 2004. He specializes in playing tracks from various Nintendo games and the Final Fantasy series. Also a gamer, he holds the world record completion time for Ghosts 'N Goblins on NES. He has appeared as a pianist at MAGfest in Virginia and Momocon in Georgia, and has a CD of Final Fantasy VI music available on his website along with other free mp3s, videos, and sheet music at

SITACon was an idea that came from the SUNYIT Anime Club after realizing that there was a lack of anime in the Central New York region. In 2006 they put on their first event which was a huge success for the area. SITACon will return to the State University of New York Institute of Technology this Fall for October 10th through the 12th. We will have a plethora of programming appealing to many people, we look forward to having a fun event supporting anime in the Central New York area. The first anime convention of Central New York returns!