More Guests & Featured Talent! Steve Bennett, Robert Woodhead, SSAA Podcast, & Nerdy Karaoke!

We’re proud to announce additional key talent that will be appearing at Florida Anime Experience: YEAR 6.  Each of our Guests/Featured Talent are selected based on a number of variables… most specifically their contributions to Japanese culture and related popular arts.  Here are two industry guests and two featured talent joining us this year:

NerdyKaraokeKaraoke (カラオケ) is a form of interactive entertainment or video game in which an amateur singer sings along with recorded music (a music video) using a microphone and public address system.  In Japan – American pop songs are EXTREMELY popular in Karaoke Bars since it gives people a chance to practice English.  SO – we’re hauling Nerdy Karaoke (from The Geek Easy in Winter Park) onto our stage at Florida Anime Experience again this year!

Look for this popular event Saturday night at the con.

ssaapodcast“We are an anime podcast. But we also talk about manga, asian dramas, and pretty much anything else that comes in our minds. We are the best kept secret on the Internet. We are the Ass Backwards Anime Podcast.”

Started in 2008, the SSAA Podcast in joining us for YEAR SIX of Florida Anime Experience and hosting a variety of panels all weekend.

Steve BennettSteve Bennett was born at Tachikawa Air Force Base in Tokyo, Japan. He grew up in a military family; his mom is from Japan and his dad was US Army. He lived in many places growing up – Alaska, Colorado, Washington State, Germany, as well as Japan.

In 1995, Steve attended his first US convention–Katsucon 1. Since then, he’s become a regular at conventions, as well as doing guest speaker gigs at institutions such as the Iowa Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Loyola University.  In 1997, Steve appeared at Florida’s first anime convention: Anime Express in Daytona Beach, Florida.  For the next decade, Steve became a regular fixture in the Florida anime convention scene.

From 1997 to 2004, Steve’s company – Studio Ironcat – published several manga titles in English. After Studio Ironcat closed, Steve continued freelancing and got into webcomics, such as The Angel of St. Thomas, Shakespeare Rodeo, Life With Steve, and Aliens of Extraordinary Ability.

In December, 2008, Steve and his wife Nikki moved back to Japan and resided in the little city of Iwakuni (below Hiroshima.)  Steve’s new gig?  Production Artist for the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni.  After seven awesome years exploring Japan and Asia, he just recently moved back to the States – and we’re thrilled to invite him back to Orlando for his first Florida Convention since his return!

AnimEigo2Robert J. Woodhead is an entrepreneur, software engineer and former game programmer. He claims that a common thread in his career is “doing weird things with computers”. Along with Andrew C. Greenberg, he created the Apple II game Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, one of the first role-playing video games written for a personal computer, as well as several of its sequels.

Later, he co-founded AnimEigo, one of the first US anime releasing companies.  In recent years, Robert has become well known for his success with restoring classic anime and making it available in the United States via Kickstarter.  He created two successful anime Kickstarter projects: “Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray Set” ($153,964 pledged on a $75,000 goal) and “Otaku no Video Otaking Edition Subtitled Anime Blu-Ray” ($102,869 pledged on a $40,000 goal).

Woodhead has also served on the Eve Online Council of Stellar Management with an in-game avatar name of Trebor Daehdoow. He was re-elected for 4 terms, serving in his last term as Chairman.