Here's where you'll find the list of guests for our 2016 show. More guests will be announced as contracts are finalized. Stay tuned...and sign up for our e-Newsletter to be notified with the latest news.
Most of our guests will have scheduled autographing times. Most will also be giving talks.
Gigi Edgley currently co-hosts Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge on SyFy, but fans will remember her as the impish Chiana on FARSCAPE. Originally from Australia, Gigi has starred in countless film and television series including USA’s THE STARTER WIFE, RESCUE SPECIAL OPS, TRICKY BUSINESS, SyFy’s SHOWDOWN AT AREA 51 and QUANTUM APOCALYPSE, CARLOTTA, NEWCASTLE, BLACK JACK, PEACEKEEPER WARS, STINGERS, SECRET LIFE OF US, BEASTMASTER, LOST WORLD, WATER RATS and DAY OF THE ROSES. She's an accomplished stage actress, as well as a recording artist, creator of original comic books, director and producer. Her team raised over $44,000 on Kickstarter to fund an s-f short called HASHTAG. Currently she is filming NEXUS. She'll soon be seen sporting a Starfleet uniform in the STAR TREK CONTINUES episode "Come Not Between the Dragons." She's fun and outgoing, and we're thrilled to welcome her to WonderFest!
Kirk Thatcher may be recognizable as one of the judges on Jim Henson Creature Shop Challenge, but perhaps his most enduring fame is as the punk rocker Spock pinches in STAR TREK IV. He's an Emmy and Webby award winning writer, producer, creature and production designer and film director. His career began at age 18 working for Industrial Light and Magic. He designed, built, painted, and puppeteered creatures for RETURN OF THE JEDI, STAR TREK II and III, E.T., POLTERGEIST, and GREMLINS. Following ILM, he and David Fincher set up their own company doing music videos for artists like Rick Springfield, the Motels and more. He went on to work with Disney and then the Jim Henson Company and still works for both today. He wrote and produced DINOSAURS and other Muppet TV movies and shows, including the recent TURKEY HOLLOW.
WonderFest is Scared to Death to welcome William Malone to 2016's celebration of creation! From superfan to master sculptor to genre director, Bill has been making his dreams come true since moving to Hollywood at the age of 19. He's responsible for many of the most famous Don Post Studio designs of the 1970's and is the owner and restorer of filmdom's most famous robot, FORBIDDEN PLANET's original Robby! He transitioned into direction with 1980's SCARED TO DEATH--also creating the film's Giger-inspired Syngenor--and went on to helm CREATURE (starring Klaus Kinski), 1999's HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and several TV horror series episodes including TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MASTERS OF HORROR and FREDDY'S NIGHTMARES!
To celebrate the 60th birthday of FORBIDDEN PLANET, we invited Robert Welch to the 'Fest. Robert is co-editor of “The Wizard of MGM,” a memoir of his remarkable grandfather A. Arnold “Buddy” Gillespie, head of special effects for the studio in its heyday. Gillespie was responsible for the visual effects in many films, but the impact of his work in THE WIZARD OF OZ and FORBIDDEN PLANET is still considered landmark today. Robert has presented at Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Turner Classic Movies, sci-fi and comic book conventions, and contributed to the 75th anniversary DVD for the WIZARD OF OZ. He even worked on VFX for TEAM AMERICA. You can order his book here.
Returning guest Mark Schultz's lifelong interest in the sciences and natural history led him to create the award-winning Xenozoic Tales and co-create the undersea adventure SubHuman, as well as to write such non-fiction projects as The Stuff of Life, a Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA. He has illustrated a collection of Robert E. Howard’s Conan of Cimmeria and the autobiography of Charles R. Knight. Currently, he recently published a gorgeously illustrated novella, Storms at Sea. Mark's also one of the famed Good Lizard Men, along with William Stout and the late Al Williamson. We're delighted to see this mega-talented friend return!
Michael Ryan is Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He has has discovered and described (or co-described) three new dinosaur species and is currently working on describing several more. He has traveled on expeditions to remote locations in Mongolia, Africa, and South America, both as an expedition leader and as a specialist on teams led by the well-known dinosaur authorities Philip Currie and Paul Sereno. Michael has also devoted years to helping the public understand his work: not just dinosaurs but also the field work that it takes to recover and study them.
It's a delight to welcome back the multi-talented Frank Dietz! He's a founding member of the Damn Dirty Geeks podcast, co-owner of Benevolent Monster Productions (with past guest Trish Geiger), and author/artist of the upcoming book Sketchy Things: The Art of Frank Dietz. The Beast Wishes documentary about Bob and Kathy Burns that he and Trish cooked up was fantastic...and then came their mockumentary short A Zombie Next Door and now this year WonderFest will host the East Coast Premiere of their new doc, Long Live the King-The Legacy of Kong! Visit Frank's website and hear his latest podcast here.
There's really only one word to describe our long-time WonderFest guest artist, collaborator and friend: Legend. From underground comix and album art from the LA rock scene to movie posters and production design to consistently dazzling the world of Paleo-art and Dinosaur science, William Stout has done it all as a master of all media. He's been as prolific as ever, recently completing his Pleistocene wildlife mural for the San Diego Zoo, designing a new poster for his favorite film King Kong and moving into a new studio space. Watch for updates on his WF 2016 tee shirt design, coming soon! Feast your eyes on Bill's work on his website.