Guests of Honor
AOD is working hard behind-the-scenes to bring you an amazing list of talented actors, creators, and visionaries who each contribute to the world of animation and video games in their own unique way. Stay tuned for the next few weeks as we start to announce AOD's 2017 lineup!
Technical Artist and Designer at Niantic, Inc.
Gumby, ReBoot, Sonic the Hedgehog
Ken Pontac has been a Migrant Film Worker in the animation industry for over a quarter of a century, writing and directing content for television, film, and various new-fangled thinking machines. His early work includes the stop-motion series Gumby, as well as the various iterations of the classic videogame Clayfighter. In the past several years, Pontac has written scripts and dialog for the Marvel Heroes MMO, NSFW barks for Undead Labs’ State of Decay 2, multiple Sonic the Hedgehog games for Sega, an international hit series featuring the ghost gobbling Pac-Man, Disney’s animated action/adventure series Slugterra, the charming pre-school show Octonauts, and the less-than-charming Internet sensation Happy Tree Friends (a show so violent that it's banned in Russia). He is also still receiving royalty checks for writing the LazyTown song "You Are A Pirate", which has become an Internet meme, enjoying tens of millions of hits on YouTube and inspiring multiple mash-ups and drunken karaoke videos. Pontac has recently written for the new Thunderbirds Are Go! series, as well as the Netflix property Kong – King of the Apes. His cult classic stop-motion series Bump in the Night is available in a new compilation produced by Mill Creek Entertainment, and a compilation of his controversial mini-series, Wacky Raceland, will be available on March 14th. Pontacʼs work on the delightfully pro-social animated series Arthur may offset some of the karmic debt incurred by his other literary efforts (MadWorld, anyone?), but will probably only bump him up from tapeworm to tree-frog on the reincarnation cycle.
Pontac lives in Sausalito with a beautiful redheaded nurse and his two crazy dogs, Whistle and Mickey Blue Eyes.
The Fruit of Grisaia, Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue
Video Game Scenario Writer
Kio Nachi is a renowned veteran of the visual novel industry, acting as author and graphic designer on dozens of games. As a scenario writer, his most famous works are The Fruit of Grisaia, which has been translated into English and released on Steam, and Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue, which was adapted into an anime in 2016. His design works are sought after by studios across the Japanese PC gaming industry as well, with his work appearing in such popular games as Hidamari Sketch and Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
Kio Nachi will appear at AOD 2017 in partnership with Sekai Project.
One of the pioneers in rap for official Japanese anime and game music, Lotus Juice's ingredients are from 90's Hip Hop, J-Pop, Dub, Rock, Comedy, Love and many more. He is well known for his works with Shoji Meguro from ATLUS Japan, ripping the mic on the track "Mass Destruction" on the game Persona 3. He has been traveling around the world from Argentina, Mexico, to USA performing at anime and game conventions in front of his international fans. His unique flow has caught attention from Taque Iwasaki, and their collaboration has gained substantial recognition. He is currently working on his 3rd album.
Yuri!!! On ICE
artist at Painapple Studio
Micah Solusod made his anime debut as Malek Werner in Blassreiter and is best known for his role as Soul Evans in Soul Eater. He has shown up in a number of other Funimation titles as Yuichiro Hyakuya in Seraph of the End, Toma Kamijo in A Certain Magical Index, Yukine in Noragami, Fairy Tail, teen Coby in One Piece, Wisely in D.Gray-Man Hallow, Tagoma in Dragonball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Mizuki in Kamisama Kiss, older Ame in Wolf Children, Ao Fukai in Eureka Seven AO, Gakushu Asano in Assassination Classroom, Black/King of Despair in Blood Blockade Battlefront, Bea in Space Dandy, Seido Takizawa in Tokyo Ghoul, and most recently, Nikolai Krasotkin in the Project Itoh film, The Empire of Corpses! It's likely he's done more but who's counting?
Currently, he can be heard in Funimation's SimulDubs as Kakeru Naruse in Orange, Yuri Plisetsky in Yuri!!! On ICE, Arata Kaizaki in ReLIFE, and Shun Kaidou in The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
When he's not busy posting unhelpful voice acting tips on Twitter, Micah works as the lead artist for Painapple Studio. Stalk him on the internet:
p19 is an illustrator from Japan who works in character design for PC games and light novels. She designed the characters for visual novels Himawari!! and KARAKARA, and provides illustrations for the light novel series Hime Gitsune no Servant, Crovence Senki Bloody Biscara, and VAMP on the DEADLINE. For the third straight year, p19 will also provide the program guide and promotional illustrations for AOD!
p19 will appear at AOD 2017 in partnership with Sekai Project.
Pan is an artist who provides original art and illustrations to PC games and visual novels. When she's not working on games like Sakura no Reply (onomatope*) or Ama Koi Syrups (Mint CUBE), she is leading her doujinshi circle "Pan no Mimi", which makes makes regular appearances at Japan's famous Comic Market and its fluffy-eared cousin Mimiket.
Pan will appear at AOD 2017 courtesy of Sekai Project.
Suimya is an unabashed fan of twintails whose art credits include Ama Koi Syrups (Mint CUBE) and Yomegami (Alcot). When she's not working on art for games, she and her circle "chilly polka" can be found in the halls of Comic Market and other doujinshi events, offering original doujinshi and illustration collections.
Suimya will appear at AOD 2017 courtesy of Sekai Project.
Creative Director at Harmony Gold
Tommy Yune is the Creative Director at Harmony Gold USA with decades of experience in the comic book and video game industries prior to working on Robotech. His game development experience ranges all the way back from the character design of the pioneering 3D fighting game FX Fighter for the Nintendo SuperFX chip to the concept design of the award-winning Journeyman Project series to producing Robotech games for Playstation and Xbox. He produced and directed various projects for home video, such as Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, and wrote and illustrated hit comic properties such as Speed Racer, Racer X, Robotech, Voltron, and Danger Girl for DC Comics, Wildstorm, Cliffhanger, Dynamite and IDW.
Animator at Pixar
Victor Navone is a veteran animator and animation director at Pixar studios. Starting with Monsters, Inc., he has since worked on almost every subsequent Pixar feature film including Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, WALL•E, Toy Story 3, Brave, and Inside Out. Before he joined Pixar, Victor worked as creative director for the Gundam 0079 anime and as a digital artist for the cult classic Titan AE. In addition to his film and animation credits, Victor has also worked in the video game industry as an art director, conceptual designer, and creative director. His video game credits include Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, and Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time. Recently, Victor has also taken on the job of co-director of a number of the Cars Toons shorts. In his spare time, he loves to teach animation to aspiring animators. He has taught at AnimationMentor.com for about 7 years and currently teaches at The Animation Collaborative in Emeryville.