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Guests

Special

2023

Kauai Comic Convention is excited to announce the following lineup of special guests!

BAN DAISUKE

Actor

Ban’s acting career spans five decades, starring in scores of feature films, TV shows, and stage productions in Japan and the United States.  He got his first big break in 1972 when he was cast in the lead role as Jiro/Kikaida in the Japan TV series Jinzo Ningen Kikaida.  This landmark tokusatsu (live-action special effects) series, conceived by the world-renowned manga/anime artist Ishinomori Shotaro, achieved cult-like status in Hawaii when it was broadcast on KIKU-TV in 1974.

 

Subsequent TV roles in the genre include Kikaida 01, Inazuman, Ninja Captor, and 

Battle Fever J  which catapulted Ban to tokusatsu superhero status.  A guest role in Ten Shimoyama’s feature film Kikaider Reboot (2014) introduced Ban to multi-national audiences. 

 

Also appearing in the hit horror series Ringu, Ban’s versatility is apparent in Ringu (The Ring), Rasen (The Spiral), Ringu 2 (The Ring 2), and Ringu 0: Basudei (The Ring 0: Birthday). 

But it is Ban’s beloved 1970s role as Jiro/Kikaida that has brought him to the Hawaiian Islands repeatedly since then.  More than 36,000 enthusiastic fans turned out for a Kikaida live action show run in 1975 at the then Honolulu International Center. Appearances at the Hawaii State Farm Fair and Pearlridge Center thrilled thousands of island youngsters and their families.   In the 2000s, Ban headlined community events at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and Maui Matsuri, sparking interest in a new generation of fans. With the DVD releases of Kikaida, Kikaida 01, and Inazuman by Honolulu-based JN Productions/Generation Kikaida, Ban’s popularity reached new heights during the digital revolution. And with nearly annual meet-n-greet and autograph sessions with Ban at Oahu retail locations, most recently in 2018, the legacy of Jiro/Kikaida in Hawaii continues to grow among super fans of multiple generations. 

 

On the US West Coast, Ban’s appearances include the preeminent otaku event, San Diego Comic Con (2004) and Big WOW! Comic Fest  (2014) in San Jose, with throngs of fans excited to meet their tokusatsu hero.

 

Ban’s international resume was built on Kikaida’s success in Hawaii some thirty years prior, when he was tapped to star in the Hawaii productions of Aaron Yamasato’s Blood of the Samurai (2004) TV series and Stacey Hayashi’s feature film, Go For Broke-A 442 Origins Story (2017). 

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NICOLE LAENO

Dancer/Actress/YouTube

Instagram Superstar

Nicole is a dancer, actress, model, and blogger. 

With over 900k followers and millions of views on YouTube.

 

Nicole is now signed with The Movement Talent Agency and has worked with Will.i.am, Black Eyed Peas, Us the Duo, Matt Steffania, Chris Brown, Meghan Trainor, Mariah Carey and more!
She has worked with companies such as H&M Clothing, Disney, YouTubeRED, ABC, FOX, DanceOn Network, LEGO, Nickelodeon, Nintendo Switch Just Dance and more.

When Nicole was 4 years old, her mom put her in dance classes and she cried almost every class so they took her out. After being in Soccer and Girl Scouts, they decided to put her in dance again when she was about to turn 7 years old. She cried again. Her mom told her to finish out the month and then she could stop. When the month was almost up, something sparked in Nicole and she fell in love with dance. Ever since then, she has become the youngest member of the Advanced Fusion Competition Dance Team to ever be accepted at the age of 9. She has won numerous scholarships and holds the Bravo overall solo championship and is Hollywood Vibe's Regional Dancer of the Year. 

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
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MING CHEN

Comic Book Men

Ming Chen’s road to Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash all began in
1995, when the college student, video store employee, and Kevin
Smith follower developed a fan website based on the movie
Clerks.


Smith, who appreciated Chen’s work, reached out and asked him to create the Web site for his production company, View Askew Productions. 

Twenty Six years later, not only does Chen continue to work on
many of Smith’s online projects, but he has also ventured into several other areas within the Kevin Smith empire, most recently hosting a weekly podcast called I Sell Comics! on Smith’s podcast network, SModCo. 

Chen is not only the technical expert for The Stash, but he
is also the perfect person to send out to do the jobs no one else
wants to do. He takes it all with a smile, and is happy to be a part of the team.


During his free time, Chen serves on the board for the YMCA of
Greater Monmouth County and the Garden State Film Festival. He
also co-owns a podcast studio with called “A Shared Universe” and is a partner in a coffee, gaming and comics café called “Coral Sword” in Houston, Texas with former major league ballplayer Hunter Pence.

 

Chen has been married to his wife Debbie for 19 years and has two children, Lillian and Harrison, a dog named Joy and a cat named Scallion.

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
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JON MURAKAMI

Comic Creator

Jon was born and raised in Hawaii.  He graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, and is perhaps best known for his line of Local Kine Greeting Cards which depict humorous occasions and holidays in Hawaii.  

 

His regular comic strips include Calabash with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper and Generation Gapwith the Hawaii Herald.  Additionally Jon has illustrated several Hawaiian children’s picture and board books and self-publishes the comic books, Gordon Rider and The Ara-Rangers.

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KIMBERLY HOPE

Professional Violinist

Kimberly Hope is an accomplished and professional violinist, music teacher and composer from Kauai.

 

Because her expressive and dynamic playing touches the hearts of countless audiences, she has been invited to perform at events all over Hawaii and she is very excited to be a part of her first ever Kauai Comic Con.

 

She has also performed alongside the Grammy-nominated Hawaiian band Ho’okena, Na Hoku Hanohano award winning band Kapena, Broadway stars Anne Runolfsson and Tess Adams, world-renowned pianist Monica Chung, and local slack key legends Paul Togioka, Dwight Kanae, Braddah Noland, LT Smooth and Ian O’Sullivan. 

She began playing the violin at the age of ten in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon moving to Kauai in 2008, she studied violin under Helen Sina and played in the Kauai Community College Orchestra. After graduating from Island School in 2013, Kimberly attended The College of Wooster in Ohio. There, she served as concertmaster of the Wooster Symphony Orchestra and received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance. Considering Kauai as her true home, Kimberly moved back to the island after graduating in 2017. 

Since then, she has created her own music business, “Kimberly Hope Music LLC,” in an effort to help music thrive on the island of Kauai. She enjoys teaching private music lessons to inspire young students to learn musical instruments.

 

In addition to her private teaching practice, she has worked at Bandwagon Music Center, an after-school music program for children, and has worked as a part-time music teacher at Eleele Elementary School. Currently, she is teaching music and Hawaiian studies to Kindergarteners and 1st graders at King Kaumuali’i Elementary School.  

Kimberly believes that music is a universal language that can help heal and bring people together, so she not only enjoys teaching and performing live music in person, but also online.  Her music videos and collaborations with musicians all over the world have gained considerable support on social media.

 

On YouTube, she loves putting on live streams where she gets to dress up in different costumes and play some of her favorite movie and videogame soundtracks. 

 

She even enjoys writing her own music. 

In 2021, she released her debut album, “Kimberly Hope, ” which was nominated for two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Most Promising Artist and Instrumental Album of the Year).

 

Her CD of original instrumental works is now available to download digitally on all major distribution sites or to purchase physically as an autographed copy.

 

You can follow Kimberly by searching "Kimberly Hope Music" on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

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  • Instagram
  • YouTube

DERICK FABIAN

Artist

"Derick Fabian, [founder of 7Sketches], is a Hawai’i-based artist known for his original sticker art, or “slaps”. Blending the spheres of cartoons, anime, comic books and manga, along with hip-hop and local culture, 7Sketches has created a world of mashup characters that are infiltrating [Hawaii and beyond]" - Camille Wong, Digital Media Coordinator for 7-Eleven

 

In addition to stickers, Derick has created designer toys, designed apparel with popular local and national brands, and has painted murals for POW! WOW! Hawaii (Worldwide Walls).

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CONSOLE

Video Game Music Band

"Console is a live V.G.M. (video game music) rock band based out of Honolulu, Hawai'i known for their epic concerts and playful use of costumes.

 

The group takes turns rearranging and reanimating V.G.M. typically from the 8bit to 32bit (90's & 00's) retro eras of gaming with the purpose of performing and recording in mind.

 

They hope to continue to continue to have fun as they grow their fan base in Hawaii and online throughout the world."

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  • Instagram
  • YouTube

 SAM CAMPOS

Artist

Sam Campos was born and raised in Hawaii and is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino and Caucasian descent. He conceptualized Pineapple Man in 1984 and featured him in comic books ten years later. When Sam started self-publishing, he didn't own a computer or have access to things like a graphics tablet or Photoshop. But despite a slipper strap budget and high printing costs, his series garnered attention and a loyal fanbase developed. 

Sam went on to teach graphic and sequential art for the University of Hawaii. He's also worked in television and film, doing fight choreography, costume & weapons design and storyboards.  After working in Hollywood for a time, Sam returned home to develop Dragonfly, a supernatural martial arts series which takes place in Hawaii.

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MOANA McADAMS

Editor-in-Chief Wildcard Chronicles

Moana McAdams is an award-winning Kaua'i-born writer and author who uses the power of storytelling to nurture curious minds and inspire cultural awareness.

 

She made her writing debut with Aftermath for the Amazon best-seller, Set Apart and Chosen, and now uses her talents to cultivate and write her bi-lingual ('Ōlelo Hawaiʻi and English) childrenʻs books series, The Adventures of Nakoa and Nohea which is inspired by her home island of Kaua'i. Her published books, Fishing Day with Papa Ray, Shadows of the Ancient, Color With Nakoa and Nohea, and Journey to ʻIkuā capture the joy of adolescence while uplifting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultures.  

 

Moana has spoken on numerous creator panels at Awesome Con, Great Philly Con, Baltimore Comicon, HBOʻs Urban Action Showcase, Ranger Stop and Pop, Blerdcon, and more.

 

She is also the host and founder of the Moana Nui Podcast, a storytelling podcast to celebrate and honor the history, culture, & perspectives of Pacific Islander, POC, indigenous, and African Diasporan peoples.

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BURNING SPEAR COMIX

Comic Creators

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YUMAFUKI

Artist

Oahu born artist Kaci Horimoto has been working the convention scene and publishing comics and manga since the age of 13 and is now on her fourth issue of her ongoing series Bandit at the age of 20.

 

With contributions in fanzines, art galleries, and other online collabs, she is establishing herself in the hopes of professionally working as a manga/comic artist.

 

Her most recent publication “I hear your Heartbeat” is a manga both in English and Japanese set to make its official release at Kauai Comic Con.

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STAR TREK

PROP and COSTUME EXHIBIT

A display of screen used Star Trek props and costumes from the Star Trek TV shows and movies will be returning to our convention exhibit hall.

 

Come and view a selection of props and costumes that were purchased during the well publicized sales of original Star Trek props and costumes by Paramount Pictures!

 

Highlights include Dr. McCoy's (DeForest Kelley's) commando uniform from Star Trek V, Captain Archer's (Scott Bakula's) distressed uniform from Enterprise, a Voyager phaser, a Deep Space Nine Tribble and much more!

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See Star Trek history in person!

AYUMI MIYASHIRO

Artist /  Sculptor

Ayumi grew up with a family of hairdressers and watching Hollywood monster horrors and fantasy films with her parents.

 

She got a diploma for haircut, bridal hair / make-up, nail and Kitsuke for kimono from a cosmetology school in 2 years.  She won numerous times, receiving prizes for Nail Art Competitions including (INA) international Nail Association Art Competition. 

 

She got 3rd place in the Vidal Sassoon hair cuttings competition out of eight thousand contestants and she finished the classic course for Vidal Sassoon in London and got her diploma. She became a Nationally Qualified licensed cosmetologist in Japan. She worked in a hair salon in Tokyo and Vancouver for a total 12 years. She was a supervisor for bridal hair / make-up in Vancouver. 

 

Her dream was always to become special effects make-up artist in Hollywood and work on movies. So, in 2009 she entered the New Image College of Fine Art in Vancouver. In 2014 she entered a private school under Akihito Ikeda in LA, where she leaned about the basics of SFX make-up and sculpting, molding and casting and most importantly his experience.

 

In 2015 she started an internship at a SFX company  AMALGAMATED DAINAMICS.INC (ADI).

 

She joined ADI’s  president Alec Gillis on his film Harbinger Down. After that completed, Alec and his supervisor Yuri Everson gave her, her first official movie job sculpting for Maze Runner.

 

That’s when Ayumi’s dream career started. Ayumi worked on several Hollywood film for sculpting and painting through out the years which she is credited for on IMDb. 

 

2015 - Harbinger Down

2015 - Maze Runner : Scorch Trails

2016 - Independence Day : Resurgence

2017 - IT

2017 - Annabelle : Creation

2017 - Bright (Netflix)

2017 - Rakka (Netflix)

2018 - Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom

2018 - Maze Runner : The Death Cure

2018 - The Predator

2018 - The Nun

JIMMY SPARROW

Artist/Cosplayer

James Ishizaki (AKA Jimmy Sparrow) is a freelance digital artist and cosplayer. Originally from Lanai City, now currently based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Initially known for his cosplay in the “convention scene”, Jimmy has recently taken his life long artistic talent and gain success at conventions, selling and sharing his artwork as a tabling artist. His artwork is known to put either a personal, or a local culture twist on anime, comic and pop culture favorites.

Although he enjoys creating clever mashups and designs according to his personal preference, he has also gained quite a portfolio of commissioned work for various clients over the course of the past year. Clientele reaching as far as New York and even the UK, for pieces ranging from personal works to business logos, product concept artwork, and even music album covers.

Notable local clients that feature Jimmy’s artwork include rock group, Close the Distance (formerly known as EMKE), for their album Edit Undo.

Ben Franklin Crafts regularly features his painted window murals on several of their storefronts.

Snack Addicted Hawaii is a huge supporter of his work and prominently features his designs on their merchandise.

And most recently he has illustrated a children’s book, Soon Kitty, in collaboration with local Author, Grant Uchida.

This will be Jimmy’s second year attending conventions as an artist instead of an attendee. Traveling to attend more shows is an exciting aspect of the job, and is honored and excited to be apart of Kauai’s first Comic Con.

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MOMICHU

Artist / Streamer

'momichu' is a full time digital chibi artist from the island of Oahu.

Most of her inspiration comes from pokemon, anime, and cute creatures.

She loves to inspire her community with the process of creating my works through livestream.

You can catch her live on twitch, where she draws all of her commissions like emotes, png-tubers, and chibis.

  • Instagram
  • Discord

ART by TERRA SANAE

Artist

Terra Sanae was born and raised on the island of Maui, Hawaii.

 

Terra always surrounded herself with art from, drawing, painting, crafts, photography, cake decorating, jewelry and more.

 

Though jumping from one creative thing to the next, she found her passion in the art of realism, with Japanese and Hawaii influences.

 

Terra now keeps herself busy with digital art, Gyotaku, and making origami earrings.

 

You can find her different styles of art and apparel on her website.

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  • Instagram
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CROWS NEST

GARDEN ISLAND GAMING

Family-owned and operated hobby shop providing a place for Kauai’s gaming community to meet & play their favorite tabletop games.


Alongside a space to play, we offer Magic the Gathering, Yu-GI-Oh, board games, comics, manga, & more.

Fun for play for all ages.

 

Check out our store Facebook page for regular themed game days!

  • Facebook

BAND WAGON

MUSIC CENTER

 Bandwagon Institute for the Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing music education and access to equipment and rehearsal space to Kauai musicians of all ages. 

Our flagship facility, Bandwagon Music Center, is located at Kukui Grove Center in Lihue, HI and is bursting at the seams with room after room of awesome music gear.

 

Here we offer private instruction, group lessons, recording services and rehearsal space.

 

It’s like a gym, but for musicians.  

 

We teach ukulele, drums, piano, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar as well as vocal and recording techniques.

 

We also run programs and give lessons at a second location in Kapa’a. This location is primo for recording.

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BUBBAH'S TOY BOX

COLLECTIBLES

Bringing Kaua’i a variety of Funko pops, new, old, and collectible hot wheels, comics, sports cards and memorabilia, Sanrio products for all ages, Pokemon, Toki Doki, and Toys.

 

Your one-stop shop hobby and collectors shop! Now, with a gaming cafe!

  • Instagram
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CHRIS VENTURA

Artist

My name is Chris Ventura or CeeVee for short . 

 

I’m an Artist/Designer operating out of Aiea, Hawaii.

 

My art reflects my immense love for the Tokusatsu genre which includes Super Sentai (adapted in the west as “Power Rangers”) and Kamen Rider.

 

I’ve grown up on anime and comics as well, with an affinity for Dragonball and Naruto.

 

I’ve done work with a handful of Power Ranger actors and travel across the country to vend at various conventions.