Jacon - Florida's Most Successful Anime Convention - Returns for Its Ninth Year to a New Location, with New Events and New Guests

Mar 6th 2008

The event has moved to the Orlando Sun Resort in order to accommodate the need for more space for its attendees.

Orlando, FL, March 6, 2008: JACON 2008 will take place at the Orlando Sun Resort the weekend of May 16-18, 2008. This will mark JACON's ninth year hosting a celebration of Japanese popular culture and animation in Central Florida. This year's guests include Tara Strong (the voice of "Bubbles" from The Powerpuff Girls,) Gregg Berger (the voice of "Grimlock" from the classic Transformers cartoon,) and Richard Horvitz (the voice of Invader Zim from the cartoon of the same name.)

About the Guests

TARA STRONG (Guest of Honor) - Ms. Strong is the voice behind a multitude of Canadian and American animated characters, including main roles in The Rugrats & All Grown Up! as Dil Pickles; The Powerpuff Girls as Bubbles; Ben 10 as Ben Tennyson, Upgrade and Benwolf; The Fairly Odd Parents as Timmy Turner; Teen Titans as Raven; and many others. She has also lent her voice to Japanese animated films such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, as well several video games, including her work as Elisa & Ursula in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Rikku in Final Fantasy X and its sequel Final Fantasy X-2.

GREGG BERGER (Special Guest) - Gregg's voice acting credits spread a wide range of characters in both animation and video games. "Children of the 80s" will know him most notably as the voice of the robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex Grimlock in the classic cartoon The Transformers. He was also the voices of Firefly, Ripcord, & Spirit in the cartoon G.I. Joe. Gregg is also the voice of Garfield's lovable roommate "Odie" in every animated Garfield project to date. His other credits include Jecht in the video game Final Fantasy X and Hunter the Cheetah in the Spyro video game series.

RICHARD HORVITZ (Special Guest) - Richard is most notably the voice of the main character in the cult classic Nickelodeon cartoon Invader Zim, but his work extends far beyond little green men seeking to take over the world. His animation credits include Billy in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; Daggett Beaver in The Angry Beavers; and Rodney J. Squirrel in Squirrel Boy. For Japanese animated projects, Mr. Horvitz has done voices for Duel Masters, Zatch Bell, and Howl's Moving Castle. He was also the original voice of Alpha 5 on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

SPIKE SPENCER (Featured Guest) - Spike is the voice of Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Papillon from Alchemy Weapon, and has done voice work on Martian Successor Nadesico, Gantz, Spriggan, and Dirty Pair Flash.

DOUG SMITH (Artist/Voice Actor) - Best known as the voice of Kintaro Oe from Golden Boy, Doug has also done voice work on Case Closed, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Gunsmith Cats.

GEORGE LOWE (Voice Actor) - George has been coming to JACON since its second year (2001), and every year fans request him back. As the voice if Space Ghost on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, George's brand of humor and wit has become the stuff of legend in Florida's fan community.

STEVE BENNETT (Media Guest) - Founder of Studio Ironcat, Steve has worked as an animator in Japan on numerous projects including the Urusei Yatsura TV Series.

ROB GRANITO (Artist Guest of Honor) - Rob Granito, internationally known artist and illustrator, has worked for over 15 years in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic art. His name can be found alongside such companies as Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Disney, MTV, and VH1, where he worked on cartoons and comics as well as book, magazine, and novel covers. Rob's latest work has been on Spiderman and Iron Man or the USPS Stamp Cancellations, Superman: The Women We Love with Noel Neill and Zombies by Chanting Monks Studio.

SELECT START (Musical Guest) - Select Start is known for their fusion of video game themes with a classical music sound. They have made appearances on national radio shows and popular conventions, and their first appearance at an anime convention was at JACON 2003.

About the Events
JACON strives hard to work with its partners and local clubs to create new and exciting events for anime and video game fandom. This year is no exception.

ANIMUSICAL IDOL (Presented by Wasabi Anime) - Follow up to the Broadway style show hosted at JACON for the past three years, Wasabi Anime is letting fans take a shot at creating an "Animusical-style" sketch to present to a panel of judges. The winners will be allowed to present their sketch as part of the show Friday evening at the convention. www.Animusical.com

JACON'S GUITAR AND ROCKSTAR COSPLAY COMPETITION - Following the recent surge of popularity in music video games, JACON will be offering a new way to cosplay ("costume play" - perform on stage in costume.) Groups may enter as an individual or as a band to play Guitar Hero III or Rock Band in costume. Entries will be judges on stage performance, costume quality, and skill at the games.

JACON SPRING FLING TENNIS TOURNEY AND PICNIC - Join fellow fans for the Second Annual JACON Spring Fling Tennis Tourney and Picnic and show off your tennis skills while chilling with your friends. and maybe make some new ones! A light-hearted, relaxing Sunday wind-down event, the JACON Spring Fling Tennis Tourney and Picnic is just what it sounds like - a mini tennis tournament with a side of picnic! Play as an anime tennis character, or just come and cheer them on! And this year, they have a real tennis court!

THE MANGA MASQUERADE: ENCHANTED KATAMARI - JACON's formal dance event returns for a third year with a new theme. Join the King and Queen of the Cosmos as they present this prom-style dance event. Formal dress is required, and live music will be provided by JACON's musical guest: Select Start. Entry to the event is included with your JACON admission.

JACON will also offer the staple events that have made the convention so popular over the years: a costume contest, panels, a video game room (run and operated by Noobie Games,) an all night dance party ("Otaku Insomnia" from Wasabi Anime,) and much more. For complete details, please visit the official website at www.JACON.org.


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