Guests of Honor and Other Professional Guests

DemiCon 33 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.

Author Cory Doctorow

cory doctorow headshot
photo by Jonathan Worth, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (attribute to JonathanWorth.com)

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, journalist and technology activist. He is a contributor to many magazines, websites and newspapers. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; he is also a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate and a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of North Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science. In 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are published by Tor Books, Head of Zeus (UK), Titan Books (UK) and HarperCollins (UK). He has won the Locus, Prometheus, Copper Cylinder, White Pine and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards.

His recent books include ATTACK SURFACE (2020), a standalone sequel to LITTLE BROTHER intended for adults, POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER, a picture book for young children (2020), the nonfiction tech/politics book HOW TO DESTROY SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM (2020), RADICALIZED (2019) and WALKAWAY (2017), science fiction for adults; and IN REAL LIFE, a young adult graphic novel created with Jen Wang (2014).

His latest young adult novel is HOMELAND, the bestselling sequel to 2008’s LITTLE BROTHER. His New York Times Bestseller LITTLE BROTHER was published in 2008. His latest short story collection is WITH A LITTLE HELP, available in paperback, ebook, audiobook and limited edition hardcover. In 2011, Tachyon Books published a collection of his essays, called CONTEXT: FURTHER SELECTED ESSAYS ON PRODUCTIVITY, CREATIVITY, PARENTING, AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY (with an introduction by Tim O’Reilly) and IDW published a collection of comic books inspired by his short fiction called CORY DOCTOROW’S FUTURISTIC TALES OF THE HERE AND NOW. THE GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW, a PM Press Outspoken Authors chapbook, was also published in 2011.

LITTLE BROTHER was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award as well as the Indienet Award for bestselling young adult novel in America’s top 1000 independent bookstores in 2008; it was the San Francisco Public Library’s One City/One Book choice for 2013. It has also been adapted for stage by Josh Costello.

He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, and serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, the Open Technology Fund and the Metabrainz Foundation. He maintains a daily blog at Pluralistic.net.

Artist Andy Brase

Andy is an artist best known for his character driven, creature and cover illustrations, created in his intense and unique line art style.  Traditional pencil and ink, remain his drawing weapons of choice. Soaked in dark, moody atmospheric shadows, many of his works blur the genre lines, containing elements of fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superheroes.

In comics, Andy has drawn covers for titles including: Predator, Punisher, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Hulk, Daredevil, Spider-Man (What If), Swamp Thing, Dark Sun (D&D), Robert E. Howard’s Kull, Deathstroke/Titans, Bloodshot, GI Joe, The Darkness, and many more.

In 2021, Andy’s work for MAGIC: THE GATHERING : Kaldheim was released by Wizards of the Coast.  This is a Viking and Norse Mythology world design for Magic the Gathering.  Andy worked on several drawings for game card art in his unique ink and line art style. (coloring as well) More of his art for Magic upcoming.

His art was licensed by Lucasfilm for an official Star Wars limited edition Print released by Bottleneck Gallery and Acme Archives. Upcoming art in 2019 includes cover work for Predator published by Dark Horse comics and licensed by 20th Century Fox.

Andy has done book cover art for George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman stories, including Ice Dragon, The Skin Trade, Songs of the Dying Earth and more (several to be reissued upcoming) He has drawn official illustrations for popular games including Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft) and Dragon Age (Bioware). In addition to his contracted art, he continues to work on private commissions for collectors, and personal art focused on original creatures, characters and worlds.

The Universal Pictures thriller “Stephanie” has licensed some of Andy’s personal art to appear in the film.

His illustrations have also appeared in other areas including RPG art, album art, toy and concept design, T-shirt design, and card art.

Andy’s work has been featured many times in the annual artbook Spectrum, and in the Spectrum Exhibition at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City.  He received a Spectrum award nomination for his “Dark Sun #1” cover published by IDW.  His art is in the recent Spectrum 26 book released in Fall 2019.

Art link:

Fan John Johnson

John Johnson, or JJ, has loved science fiction and fantasy for as long as he has been able to read. As a kid he went with his mom to the Davenport Public Library to check out SF&F books. His first science fiction convention was ICON 4 back in 1979.

John has served on ConCom for ICONs 19, 39 and 42.

He missed the first several DemiCons because they conflicted with work travel that took him to places like Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta and Los Angeles, but then schedules changed! Now he is a DemiCon regular whose presence is widely recognized around the convention.

Some attendees might recall that John’s beard used to be red with a touch of grey until it faded to white. A couple years ago at DemiCon his friends dyed the beard multicolor. He’d probably try to deny the entire affair if it weren’t for the photographic evidence!

Some things he enjoys, in no particular order: photography, cats, road trips, computers, Cafe Mocha, shots of Cuervo Gold Tequila, dark unblended scotch, dark beer, Mexican food, and hugs — but always ask first!

Toastmaster Tadao Tomomatsu

Tadao Tomomatsu (aka TNT or Uncle Albert) is a local celebrity within the Los Angeles science fiction community. He is also an actor, comedian, and a general all-around good guy. Really, what other guest of a convention is willing to come in a day early and stay a day late to work as hard at setting up and tearing down a convention as the convention staff.

He was born in Texas on a date which only his parents know for sure, but his age is suspected to be within the range of 25-85. However, he grew up in the Midwest in an area which could boast few Asian heritage inhabitants. As self-defense against being signaled out in a negative way, Tadao developed a quick sense of humor and a wide range of voices. He is truly a man of many voices.  Ask him for an impersonation and he may not even know which voice will speak. This ability soon led to his participation in theater productions and the discovery of a love for the field of entertainment.

The son of a preeminent food scientist, he was encouraged to continue his academic career which resulted in his attaining a Bachelor´s in the Communication Studies from the University of Iowa. During these early years, he was employed as a Chicago DJ as well as in several other eclectic jobs. In college, he became an active participant in Mid-Western Fandom.

In recognition of his involvement in Mid-Western fandom and because he´s so much fun, he has been a Fan Guest of Honor at DemiCon, ConQuest and ICon as well as serving as Toastmaster at both Icon and Demicon. Following his history in the Midwest, he moved to the West Coast in 1992 in order to take on a production assistant position for the then-new series Friends.

The following years saw his active involvement in many aspects of the entertainment business (see his resume). It also saw his slow increasing involvement in local science fiction fandom in the forms of both the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS).

In 1999 he became involved with the world´s first internet 24/7 broadcasting station, CyberRadio.  He not only wrote and produced, but also was a Cyberjock/host.

One of his most recognized characterizations is a Lead Actor in USA Network´s Banzai Movie Friday and Banzai TV United Kingdom as Mr. Shake-Hand´s Man.

His most recent project was a short film by Canon to introduce their new camera, the “XXIT”, playing opposite Nicolette Sheridan.  Apparently, there is some behind the scenes footage of Tadao doing knife flipping bits…

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.

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 and 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 the Black 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.

DemiCon - Des Moines' Annual Science Fiction, Fantasy & Gaming Convention
Hosted by DMSFFS - Des Moines Science Fiction & Fantasy Society, Inc.
Held at Holiday Inn Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale, IA
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