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Day 33 of the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con consisted of Cosplay Heroes, times two, author Cynthia Vespia, and the Winner Twins, again. Of course there was much going on, just like the prior two days. There were less people running around as Harley Quinn, Batman, or the Joker, but there was a Robocop and Iron Man, the chap had lights and everything. Most impressive and considering that the amount of energy required to wear these cumbersome looking costumes must have been huge, the sense of good will and friendliness remained. As well as the willingness to pose for photos.
This air of bonhomie was impressive and another impressive event of the day took place over at the Creep Boutique booth where Alana Rose had been the day before. On day three, Keaghlan Ashley, with help from Adolfo Barreto – actor, FX makeup artist and instructor at L Makeup Institute in Las Vegas – did some prosthetic work on another Vegas denizen, VegasPG.
Keaghlan will be a contestant on SyFy’s seventh season of Face Off. The show will premiere July 22 on the network and after meeting Keaghlan and witnessing her skills live at the Comic Con, fans of the show would be advised to keep an eye on this one. Not only is she a lovely lady, she is extremely talented. Looking at the finished product will leave no doubt. Respect.
Of course on day 3 of the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, special effects makeup was not the only game in town. There were two Heroes of Cosplay, Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad, who can both be followed on Twitter via the accounts @JessicaMerizan and @HollyConrad, and they held a panel. Cynthia Vespia was on hand to talk about her book The Crescent, being made into a film and the Winner Twins took a moment to have a chat about what they will be doing next.
After the panel, despite having a constant stream of fans who stopped by to have photos taken with them and to talk about how inspirational they are to new cosplayers young and old, Jessica and Holly had a quick chat with the Guardian Liberty Voice.
We talked of many things, how cold the conference was, how long they have known each other and a mutual love of Heinz Baked Beans on toast and London (all three of us have a weakness for the English capital and the national British snack of choice). For those fans of the show who do not know how long the two have been friends, they first met in “middle school” when they took a German class together.
Once Jessica, with Lizzie the third partner of Crabcat, joined the language class they met Holly. It was actually Holly who suggested the idea of “role play” initially as she belonged to a club that dressed up and pretended to be scientists and then competed against other scientist “groups.” A sort of pre-runner to cosplay.
After they discovered that there was a structured community out there that consisted of cosplay competitions the two never looked back. They were added to the cast of Heroes of Cosplay after their mutual friend, and co-star on the show, Chloe Dykstra had been approached by SyFy to do the reality program.
Dykstra only wanted to do the show if her friends from the cosplay community could take part. Jessica and Holly were not too overly enthusiastic at first but after making the show’s producer work “hard for the money” they acquiesced.
The two of them also spoke about Yaya Han and what a good influence she exerts and how generous the cosplay legend is. They talked about how Yaya works as a judge in the competitions and what a positive experience it is. Other things discussed dealt with living in London and Jessica returning soon for a visit, at which point Holly reminded her friend and business partner that she wanted some dresses from Camden.
During their panel, a member of the audience asked if there would be a second season of Heroes of Cosplay and neither Jessica nor Holly could provide an answer. However, the season one finale is only two episodes away and they will be competing in the last show of the season.
Their YouTube channels are youtube.com/user/CrabcatisGo aka Crabcat Industries, youtube.com/user/CommanderHolly aka, Commander Holly and youtube.com/user/jessicamarzipan aka, Jessica Marzipan. Fans of this very talented and friendly duo can see them on these channels when they are not on the SyFy series. As a final note, both of them are very excited to see more children and their families getting involved with cosplay.
After a chat with the two Heroes of Cosplay co-stars, it was time to see Cynthia Vespia, a Las Vegas author whose book The Crescent is being adapted for a film. The writer will be involved every step of the way in the process and she took a moment to talk about her career. Cynthia also posed for a picture with one of the stars of the upcoming film, Naiyla Shakirova.
Ms. Vespia, if asked, will tell how she began writing at the age of eight; back when she wrote short stories on her sister’s typewriter, “one finger at a time.” She published her first book, The Crescent back in 2005 via the route of “self publishing” back when that “was not cool.”
This particular book has a special significance to Cynthia as it was the first novel she actually finished writing, “around 80,000 words worth” and since its been chosen to be a motion picture she has re-released the book. The novel is a historical drama and she is, self-admittedly “very proud of it.”
She has published eight books thus far, some of which are the Demon Hunter series and she is looking to branch out into a paranormal series or a couple of stand alone books. When asked about the possibility of a sequel for The Crescent, now that it’s being made into a film, she said that “never say never” applies in this case as it was not initially meant to be a series.
She also spoke of dealing with the film’s producer Greg Munsell and said that the whole process has been very enjoyable. The Guardian Liberty Voice will be reviewing her book and Cynthia has promised to keep us informed about the film’s progress and any new books that come out.
Cynthia has a Facebook page, “Author Cynthia Vespia” and there will be another page for the film, titled The Crescent where fans can follow the progress of the movie. She has promised to let us know when the film is finished and the Guardian Liberty Voice will update the book’s progress in its cinematic journey.
Last and certainly not least, Steven-Elliot Altman had a quick chat with the Guardian Liberty Voice as well as Brittany and Brianna Winner, aka the Winner Twins. Mr. Altman is a best selling science fiction author whose work is award winning. His novels include Killswitch, which GLV will be reviewing later, amongst others and he also makes video games.
One of his games, Pearl’s Peril is the number two game on Facebook and the video game industry is his current focus. Steven is, however, working on another book after a lengthy hiatus. He has been associated with the Winner Twins for some time after meeting them at one of the 50 different conventions where they, the twins, were selling their books. He says that originally he “sort of” filled the role of mentor but that the two writers have now surpassed him and they have a more equal relationship.
Brittany and Brianna are now screenwriting and their career is entering a new exciting phase. Steven-Elliot Altman and the Winner Twins will be attending the San Diego Comic Con and they will be “right across from Mile High Comics.” They will be at booth 1601, so their fans can meet up with them there.
The twin’s biggest news is that in the next couple of months their next book, PCT Perfect Compatibility Test, will have the first two chapters released at the San Diego Comic Con. That was all these two hard working, and talented girls could say about the upcoming conference, but there will be at least one surprise for the fans.
These two ladies have to be some of the hardest working young people in the business and the nicest. They overcame dyslexia to become award winning bestselling authors and their story is a positive one for all.
The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, day 3, was just as full of enthusiasm and excitement as day one. Meeting two Heroes of Cosplay, Jessica and Holly; interviewing author Cynthia Vespia; games creator and author Steven-Elliot Altman and the super talented authors, producers and screenwriters the Winner Twins was a great finish to the three day event. This author’s first ever comic con was an experience that will not be forgotten.
By Michael Smith