Guests of Honor
Thank you to our wonderful 2017 guests!
Guest of Honor:
Jennell Allyn Jaquays:
Jennell Jaquays professional life has centered around game making. She pioneered pre-made RPG scenarios in her Dungeons & Dragons fanzine The Dungeoneer in 1976 and is STILL known for her D&D adventures Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia. She assembled one of the first video game art and design studios at Coleco to make ColecoVision games. After working independently as an illustrator and game content designer, and then as a cover artist and director of graphics for TSR, Inc., then the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, she returned to computer games in 1997, first as a designer for id Software on Quake 2 and Quake 3, and later as an artist for Age of Empires III and Halo Wars, and level design lead on CCP’s World of Darkness MMO based on Vampire the Masquerade.
She is considered one of the founders of The SMU Guildhall in Dallas, a leading master’s degree level video game development school within Southern Methodist Univeristy. She was instrumental in both establishing the structure and focus of the program and designing the first art curriculum for it. Her son was an early graduate of Guildhall and works as a senior level artist in the game industry.
Jennell currently divides her creative energy between projects for design studio Dragongirl Studios, her Fifth Wall brand of game adventures and miniatures, and serving as the creative director for Olde Sküül, Inc. a digital game developer and publisher based in Seattle, Washington which she founded with three other veteran female developers.
Artist Guest of Honor:
Heather V Kreiter:
Heather is an award winning Fantasy Illustrator that has been working professionally in the Gaming industry since 2000. She was first introduced to the world of Fantasy at the age of 14, when a friend gave her the book, “The Sleeping Dragon” by Joel Rosenberg. Just two years later, her life would be forever changed. She picked up the book, “Dragons of Spring Dawning” by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. This was the first time she had ever seen the artwork of Larry Elmore. Soon thereafter she was in awe of other Dragonlance artists, Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley and Fred Fields.
After spending about 4 years gathering a lovely collection of rejection notices she finally received her first freelance project for the CCG Doomtown by AEG. In Gaming circles, she is most known for her work on the CCG Legend of the Five Rings as well as Vampire the Eternal Struggle and World of Darkness (White Wolf Inc./ CCP NA). In 2013, Heather stepped back from the Gaming Industry to focus almost exclusively on her My Little Demon brand.
Started in 2007 as the result of a small child’s 25 year repressed love of My Little Pony, My Little Demon is a dark parody of MLP. A Garbage Pail Kids for a new generation, if you will. All of Heather’s Demons are created with tongue-in-cheek names like Arch Anemone, Fhtagn Fluff, and Autospy Turvy and while they may look cute, they are most definitely not created for children! To date, Heather has created over 50 unique characters in the Demon line and has no plans of stopping any time soon! All are created independently of MLP and none are based on any prior or current MLP characters. The Demons started out as just 6 drawings done for shits and giggles and have expanded to include calendars, coloring books, LE figurines, personal checks, and even plushies! Despite what many people think, Heather is actually a Vintage My Little Pony collector with a collection that is in the hundreds and spans many generations!
Heather currently resides in Western PA with her husband, two children, and four feline minions.
Author Guest of Honor:
Margaret Weis was born and raised in Independence, Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, graduating in 1970 with a BA degree in Literature and Creative Writing. In 1983, she moved to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to take a job as book editor at TSR, Inc., producers of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® role-playing game.
At TSR, Weis became part of the DRAGONLANCE® design team. Created by Tracy Hickman, the Dragonlance world has continued to intrigue fans of both the novel and the game for generations. Hickman and Weis wrote the first of many fantasy novels, the DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES, which are still in print after almost thirty years. The books have sold over twenty-five million copies worldwide.
Weis is the author/co-author of several other New York Times best-selling series, including DARKSWORD, ROSE OF THE PROHET, STAR OF THE GUARDIANS, THE DEATHGATE CYCLE, and DRAGONSHIPS. Weis and her daughter, Lizz, have written two paranormal romance novels, WARRIOR ANGEL and REBEL ANGEL, published by Daw. Her newest world is written with co-author, Robert Krammes – The Dragon Brigade. SPYMASTER, is the first volume in the new series, Dragon Corsairs, which just published on March 21, 2017.
Wisconsin is home where Weis lives with four dogs, Dixie, Joey the Thug, Clancy the Hooligan, and Tika (currently in flyball training). They all enjoy competing in tournaments with their team, the Barkbarians.
Designer Guest of Honor:
Julie Guthrie has worked as a freelance sculptor in the Gaming, Toy and Gift industries since the 1980s. Some of the companies she has worked for include Ral Partha, Grenadier, Reaper Miniatures, Privateer Press, Iron Wind, Cmon, Hasbro and Mattel, to name a few.
(Special Guests will be in attendance Fri., Sat. and Sun. only)