Guests of Honor & Other Professional Guests

DemiCon 32 Guests of Honor

Guests of Honor are our featured guests. We typically select an outstanding professional author and professional artist. In addition, we typically select a fan, or fans, that have had a particularly positive impact on the community at large.

DemiCon 32 is excited to have twice the number of Guests of Honor because we are also bringing back the Guests of Honor that would have attended DemiCon 31 if we hadn't been forced to cancel the in-person convention due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Guest of Honor Lettie Prell

picture of lettie prell

Lettie Prell is a science fiction writer whose subject matter often explores the edge where humans and their technology are increasingly merging. Her stories have appeared in WiredTor.com, Clarkesworld, Analog, and Apex Magazine, and reprinted in several anthologies including The New Voices of Science Fiction and The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Her new novella, “Uploading Angela”, is coming out in the May/June 2021 issue of Analog. This will be her fourth story in that magazine.

She’s lived in Des Moines most of her adult life, and we can honestly say we’re thrilled to call her our local own.

Guest of Honor David Pancake

David Pancake is a sculptor of fantasy art. David’s creations represent a vast and unique repertoire of his personal interests. Not limiting himself to one genre, he pursues a variety of subject matter which includes a series of risqué angels, dragons, comic book heroes, nudes, abstracts, and horror figurines.

David is fascinated with the sensual beauty of the human form, which is quite evident in his risqué angel sculptures. He states: “I love detail and texture and angels and dragons allows me to create whimsical creatures that display a wide variety of complex textures that feel sensual to the touch.” David’s work captures a flight of fancy, freezes the imagination’s most soaring dream, and brings it to terra firma for our pleasure and admiration.

David Pancake’s fantasy art creations are sought by international collectors and his beautiful sculptures are gracing homes all over the USA as well as Europe. David has been sculpting for 20 years, bringing to life dragons, angels and heroes.

Guest of Honor Alison Johnstun

Alison is an independent artist who has always loved animals, creatures, and monsters, and draws dragons every day. Her website hosts links to her online store as well as her patreon, and also houses a journal of her daily dragon sketches. Having exhibited work in the Demicon art show in years past, we are honoured to have her as a Guest of Honor for Demicon 32: Super-Manga-Graphic-Novels-Comics-Animation!

Fan Guests of Honor Dana Hinterleitner, Bruce Hinterleitner, and Orlando Winters

Dana and Bruce Hinterleitner

picture of dana and bruce hinterleitner

Dana and Bruce Hinterleitner are shocked and thrilled on being chosen as DemiCon’s Fan Guests of Honor. Generally, Bruce is responsible for us being banned and not recognized. “Hey hon, if you’re talking about the Cheez Whiz incident that was hardly my fault. Anyway, I’m much better now.”

Regardless, they have been attending, teaching, partying, and costuming at a large variety of conventions for a very long time. I mean we’re talking decades.

Both have received multiple costuming awards together and individually for their costuming art including awards for Best in Show for Workmanship and Presentation.

Finally, they were responsible for the ten foot tall Flamingo at DemiCon in 2018. “Hey did I mention I’m much better now?”

Orlando Winters

We are still working on the bio for Orlando Winters. For now, just know that we are incredibly excited to be able to honor him as one of our Guests of Honor.

Toastmasters Mitch Thompson & Susan Leabhart

Mitch Thompson

In my college days I came across a “Science Fiction Convention” called ICON. As I was inspired by the strange times, for Ronald Reagan had just become president, I attended ICON’s 4th convention. It was there that I called upon that Midwestern ideal of acceptance I was raised with, for you see these folks were strange. They did strange things with lime green Jell-O and clothing optional swimming events. As time past, I was accepted into their numbers and though I developed a liking to lime green Jell-O, I always felt it was best and safest to leave my clothes on. Words to live by, I imagine.

Towards the end of that decade, I met a girl named Mary. I took her to Science Fiction Conventions and discovered that she too held the same views on lime green Jell-O and clothing that I did. It was a match made in the cosmos. About the same time we arrived in Des Moines to see the dawn of a new Science Fiction Convention: DemiCon. We had traveled with the Trans Iowa Canal Company and appeared with them in the first five DemiCons.  Gone were the days of lime green Jell-O and clothing optional swimming events, Science Fiction had become a family event. So Mary and I jumped on that bandwagon and procreated. Two prodigy resulted, a daughter named Alex and a son, James. Raised in tolerance, they too have accepted Science Fiction as a way of life.  So 29 DemiCons later, I hope that one day, they will find their “lime green Jell-O,” but have the good sense to leave their clothes on when they do.

In 2013 Mary and I along with Joe Struss and Mandi Arthur Struss formed the BrassGears Adventurers Society, of which I am its president. We have shared many events with the fine folks at DesMoines Science Fiction Society and it has brought us nothing but joy. We only have one rule in the Society and that is to have fun. Not long after that I discovered that I bear a resemblance to the 26th president of these United States, Theodore Roosevelt. If you see Teddy at the BAS room party or in the hallways, say hello, but don’t take too long. The men with the straight jacket and padded van are not far behind.

Susan Leabhart

We welcome Susan Leabhart back as one of our Toastmasters. This lovely lady hails from DAGOBAH, Davenport Area Gathering of Books and Humanoids.  This Science Fiction and Fantasy book discussion group has been meeting at the Davenport Public Library for more than 25 years.  Susan leads this group and is known as Empress of DAGOBAH.

Susan is no stranger to DemiCon. This will be her fourth time serving as a DemiCon Toastmaster. She became the first woman to be a DemiCon Toastmaster at DemiCon 25.  She has attended all of the past DemiCons except the first one, when the need to look after very small children took priority (and those children grew up enjoying DemiCon). Susan is known for her costuming, steampunk, bellydancing, hand-made journals, as well as hosting, with all her DAGOBAH “minions,” the famous “Win Lose or Draw” panel on Sunday at DemiCon.  (That panel has been around since DemiCon 3.)  Just remember, “The Box is Cruel!”

Professional Guests

We have many local, regional, and national professionals that attend DemiCon. They contribute to many areas of the convention, such as the art show, the music venue, and programming.

Adam J. Whitlatch

Adam J. Whitlatch is the author of the novels The WellerFear of the DarkWar of the Worlds: GoliathBirthright, and Vengeance for My Valentine, as well as dozens of short stories and poems spanning the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.

A fantasy enthusiast from a young age, his interest in science fiction was first sparked at the age of ten when his father played the infamous 1938 Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio broadcast for him on an unusually snowy Halloween night. It’s a tradition Adam carries on to this day. 

From 2012 to 2015, Adam worked as an associate editor for Minnesota-based small press KHP Publishers, Inc., managing their science fiction imprint, Retro Rocket Press.

Adam resides in southeast Iowa with his wife and children.

www.adamjwhitlatch.com

Katya de Becerra

Katya de Becerra is the author of What The Woods Keep, “a thoughtful and compelling horror fantasy” (The Bulletin) and Oasis, which has earned a starred review from Booklist. Katya’s short fiction and poetry was published in Dark Edifice Literary Magazine, Dot Dot Dash, and Ygdrasil Journal of the Poetic Arts, as well as anthologized in the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes collection, The Only One in the World. Born in Russia, Katya studied in California and now lives in Melbourne with her husband in a tiny apartment overflowing with books. After earning a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Melbourne, Katya spent the last ten years as a university lecturer and scholar researching inequalities in education. She is also a writing mentor with the 1st5pages Workshop. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @KatyaDeBecerra and visit her website katyadebecerra.com .

Rachel Aukes

Rachel Aukes is the bestselling author of over twenty books, including 100 Days in Deadland, which made Suspense Magazine’s Best of the Year list. She is also a Wattpad Star, her stories having over seven million reads. When not writing, Rachel can be found flying old airplanes with an incredibly spoiled dog over the Iowa countryside.

DemiCon Hall of Fame

At DemiCon 15 we wanted a way to extend special acknowledgement those who have helped make DemiCon what is today. The DemiCon Hall of Fame was created to recognize those particularly influential individuals.

Rusty “James” Hevelin

rusty hevelin

At DemiCon 15, Rusty Hevelin was our first inductee to DemiCon Hall of Fame. Rusty had started as our Fan Guest of Honor at DC 1, but somewhere before our first convention came around, he was named Toastmaster. From that day forth, he was our Toastmaster. When Rusty became a member of the DemiCon Hall of Fame, he was given the title of Toastmaster Emeritus, but he did not rest on his laurels and has been at every DemiCon until DC22 when health problems kept him away.  Rusty passed away in 2011.

In celebration of Rusty’s amazing life (ask Gay and Joe … they have stories), we will host the 7th Annual Rusty Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon in the ConSuite.  Enjoy a root beer float or just a good bowl of vanilla ice cream, which were two of Rusty’s favorites.

To learn more about Rusty, follow this link to the Hevelin Collection.

Joe & Gay Haldeman

joe haldeman and gay haldeman

Gay and Joe had an intricate part in growing the love of science fiction in those who created DemiCon when they were members of Science Fiction League of Iowa Students (which Joe created) and running ICON. Gay and Joe have been dubbed by those that were under their tutelage as the “Grandparents” of DemiCon.

Joe Haldeman is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winning author. For his spectacular career in writing science fiction and fantasy, he was given the honor of SFWA Grand Master. Joe has been our Author GOH for DC 2 and DC 20 where the Haldemans were inducted into the DemiCon Hall of Fame.

Gay Haldeman was our Fan Guest of Honor at DC 2 and was a regular guest, besides Rusty Hevelins’ travel buddy through the many years. Mary Gay Potter Haldeman (a name familiar to those who read The Forever War) has a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature and another in Linguistics. Joe and Gay are retired in Florida after many years of teaching at MIT . But, Joe is not the only one with an award or two. Gay shared a Skylark Award with Joe in 1996, and in 2011 was given the Big Heart Award at the World SF Convention in Reno, Nevada. Both Gay and Joe have thespian talents and have graced our stage as TICC performers, as well.

Glen Cook

glen cook

Glen was made a member at DemiCon 25. Glen Cook Author guest of honor for DemiCon 5, known for his stellar The Black Company military fantasy series and so much more, told DemiCon this: I was born and am still under foot. Hit the ground in NYC in 1944, lived there, Indiana, and California growing up. Served in the Navy, attended U of Missouri, worked for General Motors and retired therefrom. Began writing with intent to commit publication late 1960s and have since produced 51 published books (#51, Working God’s Mischief, will come out between now and the convention), some short fiction, some articles and some essays. I have three sons, an Army officer, an architect, and a symphony musician, plus numerous grandchildren, all but one of whom seem determined to be female. And I have an amazing wife who has been with me for almost 45 years. These days I am, extremely slowly, working on expanding theBlack Company chronicles by two novels and a story collection. I have become a victim of Ambition Deficit Disorder, which is what has put the slow in slowly.

Glen has been at almost every DemiCon selling books to all who love the joy of reading. Signing his and making DemiCon even more special. Thanks Glen.

Carol Eis and Karen Eis

Carol and Karen Eis are the unsung heroes of the Art Show. Lovingly known to all as the Eis Sisters, these two showed up on a DemiCon of many years past to volunteer and stayed. Coming in to help behind the scenes for both show and auction, they make sure all runs smoothly. The Eis Sisters have even helped train some of our art show department heads on the little tricks of the trade. DemiCon is fortunate to have Carol and Karen as volunteers throughout the years.