Press Releases

March 19, 2009

News for Metrocon 2009:

Metrocon 2009 announces guests

TAMPA BAY, FL, March 18, 2009 - METROCON, Florida's largest anime convention, has announced a number of guests for its seventh annual convention scheduled for the weekend of July 19-21, 2009, at the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa. Scheduled to appear are Abney Park, Greg Ayres, Illich Guardiola, Mark Hildreth, Scott McNeil, Kirby Morrow, Doug Smith, David Stanworth, and David Williams. Additional information regarding guests will be released as needed.

Abney Park - This five-piece Seattle based band has taken on steampunk personas as a crew of sky pirates. Elements of dance, industrial, and world music are found in their music. They have performed at a number of festivals and conventions, including DragonCon, Convergence, and the Bay Area Maker Faire. Their most recent album is 2008's Lost Horizons.

Greg Ayres - Returning to METROCON, the popular voice actor and DJ is the voice of a number of characters, including Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Hideki in Nerima Daikon Brothers, and Tanaka Yukio/Koyuki in Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. One of his most recent roles is as Yukinojoh Tohyama in The Wallflower (Perfect Girl Evolution). In addition to panel discussions, he will be also spinning tracks during one of METRCON's dances.

Illich Guardiola, a young, well-known voice actor and actor for ADV Films, has one of the industry's most recognizable voices with a unique accent that is hard to pinpoint. Born in Honduras to a half-Russian mother and half-Italian father, he moved to Boston in early childhood and then to College Station, Texas when he was thirteen. His most notable leading or supporting roles are Sha Gojyo in Saiyuki, Zaied in Full Metal Panic!, Tsunehira in Neo Ranga, Paul Sanders in A.D. Police, Hayate in Pretear, Makoto Isshiki in RahXephon, Seiya in Saint Seiya, Krad in D.N.Angel, Yuri Killian in Kaleido Star, Alphonse in Slayers Excellent, Arisaka in The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Shinjiro Hayashida in Cromartie High School, Masaru Kato in Gantz, Ryuusuke Yamino in The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, and Zeo in Beyblade 2002/Beyblade VForce. Illich also has various voice-acting roles in Kino's Journey, Chrono Crusade, Excel Saga, Megazone 23, Super GALS!, Generator Gawl, Princess Nine, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, Noir, BASToF Syndrome, live action movies, and more.

Mark Hildreth - Best known for his role in the Showtime television series The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, anime fans know him for his roles as Heero Yuy in Gundam Wing/Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and Terry Bogard in the Fatal Fury movies. Mark has over 30 credits as an actor in film and television, and over the last 18 years has lent his voice to over 40 animated productions including X-Men: Evolution (Angel), Dragonball Z (Dr. Briefs), GI Joe (Hightech), Please Save My Earth, Stargate: Infinity, and Action Man (Alex Mann). He can be currently be heard as Quicksilver in Wolverine and the X-Men. As a singer/songwriter, Mark is becoming known to his fans as an honest and moving musician, with music reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and Elton John. Mark will be performing a live concert this year at METROCON, where you will be able to purchase his latest album, Complex State Of Attachment.

Scott McNeil - Back again this year, Scott is one of the most popular guests on the anime convention circuit. His extensive credits include roles in a large number of shows, most notably Gundam Wing (Duo Maxwell), Inuyasha (Koga), and a number of Transformers series (Dinobot/Dinobot II, Waspinator, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Jetfire, Strongarm, Snarl, Backstop). He was most recently heard as Stork on Stormhawks, as well as Ali AlSaachez on Gundam 00 and can currently be heard as Voltar on The League of Super Evil which recently premiered on Cartoon Network. His live action credits are impressive, with roles on series such as Stargate SG-1, Strange Frequency, and Outer Limits.

Kirby Morrow - Active as a producer, director, and screen actor, Kirby is also quite busy in the voice-over industry. Some of the anime projects that he has worked on include Hamtaro, Alienators: Evolution Continues, X-Men: Evolution (as Cyclops/Scott Summers), NASCAR Racers (as Redline), Mobile Suit Gundam, Dragonball Z (as Goku), Vision of Escaflowne (as Van Fanel), Gundam Wing (as Trowa Barton), Ranma 1/2, and Inuyasha (as Miroku). Kirby trained in theater and developed his vocal skills on the stand-up comedy stages around the world. He began voicing characters in 1997, amidst his flourishing acting career. Kirby is also an award-winning writer and enjoys directing. His short film, "The Boxing Day Classic" won first prize at the Whistler International Film Festival (2005), beating out 98 other scripts for a $20,000 prize. Kirby had a recurring part on Stargate: Atlantis and can be seen making public appearances at animation/science fiction conventions around the world.

Doug Smith - Texas-based actor and artist Smith has been a regular at METROCON who has been voicing titles at ADV Films for several years, most recently at their Austin-based Monster Island studios. In addition to his well-known portrayal of Kintaro Oe in Golden Boy, Doug can be heard as Doria and Pasta in Steam Detectives, the title character in Dragon Knight, Roger in Plastic Little, Kijima in Blue Seed, and as various characters in series such as Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Sorcerer Hunters, Those Who Hunt Elves and others.

David Stanworth - David has been interested in video games and animation for his entire life. When he realized he's FAR too worthless to do either, he stuck with comics. Snafu-Comics started in the summer of 2002 and has quickly grown to incorporate over a dozen seperate comics--Snafu, PowerPuff Girls Doujinshi, Grim Tales, Sugar Bits, Tin: The Incompetent Ninja, Ever After, Sticky Floors, and many more, with more to be added soon. Snafu has constantly been an evolving comic often drastically changing art styles and directions from comic to comic. David returns after his debut at METROCON last year.

David Williams - An ADR Director and DVD Producer for Houston-based ADV Films, David is another regular at METROCON. A long-time fan who has been with the company since his living room was used as the production facility for its first show (Devil Hunter Yohko), he has directed a variety of projects including Angelic Layer, Pretear, Najica, the original Nuku Nuku OVAs, Dirty Pair and Aquarian Age.

METROCON is a weekend-long celebration of the numerous facets of Japanese popular entertainment - from anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comics), J-pop and J-Rock (Japanese pop and rock music, performed by "idols") to cosplay (costume design and performance) and video games. Events at METROCON this year includes: - The "Anime Human Chess Match"- Year 6, "The Fantasy Masquerade" formal ballroom dance, "Anime Idol" J-Pop/J-Rock Competition; - A "gong show style" cosplay competition and a costume contest; dealers'/exhibition room; - Artists' Alley; "DDR Extreme" Tournaments; - An Anime Music Video contest; - Official convention screenings of new North American releases; - Panels with North American anime industry guests; - Live Celebrity Commentaries with the industry guests;- Dances and karaoke; - The METROCADE video game room; and finally, continuous hours of Japanese anime and related programming.

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