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Nikachu has been Cosplaying since 2012 and has Cosplayed from games such as League of Legends, Genshin Impact, and Kingdom Hearts.

They have also worked on passion projects from animated shows like Sailor Moon, Demon Slayer, LoveLive!, and Miraculous Ladybug.

Nikachu has a wide range of cosmaking skills including but not limited to: prop-making, wig styling, and sewing.

Nikachu is excited to be guesting at AMA-CON, as this was the first convention that sparked their passion for Cosplay!

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Chris Jai Alex

Stuntman, actor, director, and producer Chris Jai Alex has appeared on camera in everything from indie features to blockbusters including Marvel and DC projects such as Captain America Civil War and Batman V Superman.  His voice acting credits include anime projects like Super Giant Robot Brothers and video games including God of War: Ragnarök.  Chris recently completed work on Get the Girl, an independent feature film he wrote, directed, starred in, and produced.

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J.M. Lee

J.M. Lee is the author of The Dark Crystal novels, the Boxcar Children Great Adventure mini-series, and The Nightland Express.  He also worked as a staff writer on the Netflix reboot of The Dark Crystal.

J.M. spent his formative years searching for talking animals and believing he could control the weather. After pursuing nerdy interests in comparative film studies, screenwriting, and Shakespeare, he graduated with a much nerdier degree in linguistics.  In addition to writing novels, he enjoys teaching his dog new vocabulary words and updating his snooty coffee blog.

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Arkady Martine

Arkady Martine is a speculative fiction writer and, as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller, a historian of the Byzantine Empire and a city planner. Under both names she writes about border politics, narrative and rhetoric, risk communication, and the edges of the world.

She is currently a policy advisor for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, where she works on climate change mitigation, energy grid modernization, and resiliency planning. Her debut novel, A Memory Called Empire, won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and its sequel, A Desolation Called Peace, won the 2022 Hugo Award in the same category. Find Arkady online at or on Twitter as @ArkadyMartine.

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Philip Odango

Philip Odango is a professional artist. A designer, producer, teaching artist and international cosplayer from the United States, he has spent the last decade directing and producing over two dozen stage productions and is known for his award-winning costume design work as Canvas Cosplay. 

He believes that cosplay is a journey to creative self-expression: “By becoming someone else, I become more of who I am meant to be.”

His costumes have been featured in national media such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Good Morning America, SyFy Channel, International Business Times and Forbes Magazine; and in industry media, including Cosplay Culture Magazine, Cosplay in America, Kotaku and Fashionably Geek. His award-winning Doctor Strange cosplay was featured by MARVEL, and he was commissioned to produce a replica prop for The Jimmy Kimmel Show. A seasoned competition champion, his cosplay of Maui from Disney’s Moana won at the Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago and is recognized by Disney’s head of animation of Moana as “The REAL Maui”. 

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David Yi,

K-Pop Dallas

David is the co-founder, with his wife Chantha Mao, of K-Pop Dance Dallas.  Since 2016, David and Chantha have been offering dance classes revolving around Korean Pop music (K-Pop).  At AMA-CON 2023, David will teach attendees K-Pop moves—including choreographed moves for specific songs—and lead some extended dancing at the Geek Prom!

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Jason Ybarra & the Turtle Van

Jason Ybarra’s love for TMNT franchise as a child inspired him in 2011 to design and commission a working TMNT Party Wagon so that he could drive a life size TURTLE VAN. He loves the smiles the Turtle van brings to people young and old. The turtle van has traveled all over the country to comic cons and events. It was even hired by Uber in (2021) to give rides in Miami, Fl during Halloween weekend. The Glove box features the signatures of Kevin Eastman and the voice actors immortalized, as they have been as delighted as fans to see the cartoon image come to life.

Jason got his start in television on the #1 hit show Power Rangers in 1994. Originally an extra, he eventually became one of the suit actors for “Baboo,” a minion to Rita Repulsa, as well as several other monsters.

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Vivian Shaw

Vivian Shaw wears way too many earrings and likes edged weapons and expensive ink. She was born in Kenya and has lived in Cardiff, Oxford, and Baltimore. She has a BA in art history, an MFA in creative writing and publishing arts, and currently works as a professional freelance editor and proofreader. She writes about monsters, both in and out of classic horror literature; machines, extant and fantastical; disasters and their causes; and found family. She is the author of the Dr. Greta Helsing contemporary fantasy trilogy, Strange Practice, Dreadful Company, and Grave Importance, and her sci-fi/horror novella THE HELIOS SYNDROME is out now from Lethe Press. She reviews for the Washington Post and her short sci-fi/horror fiction has appeared in Uncanny and Pseudopod.

(She also reads terrible vampire novels so you don’t have to.)

In her spare time, she collects terrible vintage cookbooks and very nice fountain pens, and writes fanfiction (pen name: Coldhope). 

Special Guests


Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 5, 2023


11:00           AMA-CON 2023 Opens

11:00           APL Kids:  Scavenger Hunt and Button Making (Regency, Kids' Room)

11:00          Nerf Gun Wars: Session 1 Begins (South Hall)

12:00          Kids Cosplay (Heritage)

12:30          Q&A with Chris Jai Alex (Regency, Panel Room A)

1:00            Gaming Cosplay Pre-Judging (Heritage)

1:00            K-Pop Dance Lesson (Heritage)

1:00            Nerf Gun Wars Session 1 Ends (South Hall)

1:00            Magic the Gathering Tournament Begins (South Hall)

1:45            Sci-Fi vs Fantasy with J.M. Lee & Arkady Martine (Regency, Panel Room B)

1:45            Tea Dueling (Heritage)

2:00           Philip Odango - Self-Promotion for Artists (Regency, Panel Room A)

2:00           APL Kids:  Pokémon Craft and Game (Regency, Kids' Room)

2:00           Nerf Gun Wars Session 2 Begins (South Hall)

3:00           Gaming Cosplay Contest (Heritage)

3:15            APL Kids:  Drawing Workshop with Haele Auth (Regency, Panel Room A)

3:30           Sci-Fi/Steampunk/Original Cosplay Pre-Judging (Heritage)

3:30           Fan Fiction with J.M. Lee and Vivian Shaw (Regency, Panel Room B)

3:30           Tea Dueling (Heritage)

4:00           Nerf Gun Wars Session 2 Ends (South Hall)

4:00           K-Pop Dance Lesson (Heritage)

4:30           Anika Miles - Wigs 101 (Regency, Panel Room A)

5:00          APL Kids - Yoga (Regency, Kids' Room)

5:30           Sci-Fi/Steampunk/Original Cosplay Contest (Heritage)

7:00           North and South Exhibit Halls Close

7:15            Geek Prom (Heritage)

7:15           80s Fantasy Movie Trivia with J.M. Lee (Regency, Panel Room A)

9:00          AMA-CON Closes

Sunday, August 6, 2023


12:00          AMA-CON Opens

12:00          APL Kids - Button Making (Regency, Kids' Room)

12:15           Anime Cosplay Pre-Judging (Heritage)

12:30          K-Pop Dance Lesson (Heritage)

1:00            Writing in the Family with Arkady Martine & Vivian Shaw (Regency, Panel Room B)

1:00            Philip Odango - Cosplay on a Budget (Regency, Panel Room A)

1:00           Nerf Gun Wars Session 3 Begins (South Hall)

1:00           Pokémon Tournament Begins (South Hall)

2:00           APL Kids - Pokéball Craft (Regency, Kids' Room)

2:15           Writers Q&A with J.M. Lee (Regency, Panel Room B)

2:30           Anime Cosplay Contest (Heritage)

3:00           Comics Cosplay Pre-Judging (Heritage)

3:00          APL Kids - Diary of a Wimpy Kid Journal Workshop (Regency, Kids' Room)

3:00          Guest Artist Sketch-Off (Heritage)

3:30          Tea Dueling (Heritage)

3:30          Voice Acting for Video Games with Chris Jai Alex (Regency, Panel Room A)

3:45          Participant Artists Sketch-Off (Heritage)

4:00          Nerf Gun Wars Session 3 Ends (South Hall)

4:30           Comics Cosplay Contest (Heritage)

6:00          AMA-CON 2023 Closes

No Viewing Room
for 2023

Viewing Room
Geek Prom


Art Exhibit
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