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Celebrities Guests of Honor We have about five or six full Guests of Honor per year, usually one or two authors, one or two from software, and the rest from from games, comics, film/TV, or science. Here are some of our guests, and we’re excited about more to come!

John Scalzi

  • John Scalzi is best known as a writer of science fiction, with several novels in the genre published since 2005. Scalzi’s novel Old Man’s War is being adapted into film by Paramount Pictures, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct. He also frequently writes non-fiction. Scalzi also served as the Creative Consultant on the television show Stargate: Universe. He currently writes a column on science fiction film for the site. His incredibly popular blog, Whatever, had 5.4 million visits in 2011. Scalzi has been awarded the Hugo, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award (science fiction category), the Seiun, the Kurd Lasswitz, the Geffen awards (science fiction awards from Japan, Germany and Israel, respectively) and has been nominated three times for the Audie (an audiobook award), including twice this year.

Jim Gettys

  • Jim Gettys was the Vice President of Software at the One Laptop per Child project, working on the software for the OLPC XO-1. He is one of the original developers of the X Window System at MIT and worked on it again with X.Org, where he served on the board of directors. He previously served on the GNOME foundation board of directors. He worked at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and was the editor of the HTTP/1.1 specification in the Internet Engineering Task Force through draft standard. Gettys helped establish the community, from which the development of Linux on handheld devices can be traced. He is currently working on bufferbloat, a project focusing on creating low latency over the Internet for purposes like immersive teleconferencing.

Scrub Club Records

  • Club Records is an independent not-for-profit record label that releases, distributes, and promotes their artists through the donations of their fans. All Scrub Club releases are made available with an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license by means of Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA). This encourages artists to share, distribute and remix their music. They say they are the world’s first open source record label, offering the source vocals and even instrumentals for a majority of their main releases. Scrub Club believes they are the next step in musical evolution between artists and fans. Representing Scrub Club Records this year at Penguicon will be MadHatter who helms the label as “everyman.” He will be joined by Scrub Club artists King Pheenix and Soup or Villains.


  • Speaking of metaphors that help to explain how the free and open source development model works: Penguicon’s former Guest of Honor Cory Doctorow and Nifty Guest Karl Schroeder used to be involved with a company named OpenCola. In addition to creating open source software, they sold a soft drink with a public recipe that anyone could use or modify to brew up the black waters of corporate imperialism in their own kitchen. Well, we did just that. We made a Penguicon build of the OpenCola recipe and served it in our hospitality suite. Never fear, the bathtub was still full of ice and complimentary cans of Coke and Pepsi for all Penguicon attendees. But thanks to the expertise and craftsmanship of our food chemistry team, there was just as much demand for Open Cola as name-brand cola. In subsequent years we expanded to original non-cola flavors and became the OpenSoda project. We now partner with other cola brewing clubs in England and Switzerland to exchange information.

Nifty Guests “Nifty Guest” is a status we confer on those who are not our Guests of Honor this year, but have been in the past, or they are celebrities in their own right. We only have about twenty or fewer Nifty Guests per year, although that number gets slightly larger each year from the original two. Some people we find pretty Nifty this year:

  • Megan Rose Gedris: She won an Emmy last year and is now determined to EGOT. Her work can be found at Rose Gedris has been making webcomics for ten years, including YU+ME: dream, I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!!, and Meaty Yogurt. She sometimes does standup and sometimes does burlesque and always makes bad puns.
  • Fes Works: Fes Works is a big advocate of webcomics and webcomic creators. In 2006 he created his own webcomic, a webcomic review micro podcast; and later assisted with, and now runs, the webcomic “Ardra”. In 2007 he created “The Webcomic Beacon” podcast, designed to encourage beginning webcomic creators. It has now expanded into “The Webcast Beacon Network” of podcasts; covering more topics, interview, and news for creators; including an expansion into webfiction.
  • Sarah Metzler: An artist and environmentalist from right here in the Detroit area, Sarah is currently using her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan as a placeholder while she dabbles in accounting and airbrush tattoos. Working in body painting and building that portfolio for the last four years, Sarah is excited about this facet of her creative side and is pushing into business for herself. She will be presenting in the Eco and Costuming track.
  • Joe Foo: Joe Foo is an illustrator, designer and educator living in Southeast Michigan. He is the creator of Desmond’s Comic. This webcomic follows the daily life of a wolverine that stars in a popular video game series. Foo self publishes and sells Desmond books, Desmond prints and other delightful Desmond trinkets. Foo also runs Draw! Sucka Draw! This is a “drink and draw” style sketch group that meets at a bar and… well, drinks and draws. Foo has self published a few books featuring artwork from the participants of this group. Lastly, Foo has never met an apple pie he did not like.
  • Frank Hayes
  • Fred Geisler
  • Krista Belevender
  • Tom Smith
  • Piko Piko
  • Wax Chaotic
  • Luke Ski
  • Ron Demerino
  • Eric Raymond
  • Philip Proefrock: Author for, architect, green technology enthusiast.
  • Bruce Schneier
  • Dawn Kuczwara & Greg Williams: At the age of 7, Dawn Kuczwara realized that she loved the stage, and more so, the attention. But Dawn’s attention whoring didn’t stop there – she wanted a challenge. The stage wasn’t enough. Attention wasn’t enough. She loved to hear people laugh… but anyone could make people laugh – Gallagher proved that. What was a goal worthy of her talents? Making really smart people laugh at fart jokes. This was a real challenge, and her true calling. Armed with a view of the world supplied by listening to too much George Carlin, a giggle that would make the dumbest blonde feel brilliant, and copies of Kernighan & Ritchie and the VI man pages, Dawn looks to make the most erudite shoot milk out their collective upturned noses. For the last four years, Dawn and her comedy partner Greg have been making audiences laugh at their Rabelaisian humor, from the hallowed halls of Penguicon to the local Flying J, and beyond. Greg Williams has worked as (among other things) a camp counselor, radio DJ, cop, armored truck driver, bill collector, helpdesk engineer, salesman and technical manager, which all require dealing with hostile audiences and having a good sense of humor. He is currently the President of an IT consulting firm in Chicago, where his minions dispense technological help to businesses in need. Greg’s varied career background, degrees in law enforcement, theatre, and business, along with a twisted (but usually funny) view of how the world really works, give him a unique perspective to create unbridled, over-the-line hilarity with his comedy partner Dawn. People offended by adult humor, strong language, or unfiltered honesty should avoid interacting with Greg at all costs. Void where prohibited, your mileage may vary.
  • Mikey Mason: Mikey Mason has been performing comedy for nearly 20 years, music for 23, and has been a geek and fanboy for much, much longer than that. His high-energy nerd rock comedy can only be described as contagious enthusiasm, ranging from the occasional twisted parody to his hilarious original comedy and songs. He made a splash on YouTube with the video for his song, “She Don’t Like Firefly,” which spurred the recording of his crowd-funded geek rock/comedy album, “Impotent Nerd Rage.” Mikey’s work has been featured on the, MTV Geek News, SyFy’s, and in Time Magazine’s Techland. He has made multiple appearances both on NBC and at the legendary House Of Blues, headlined on all four coasts and performed at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the 2011 Geek Media Expo, and RPG conventions across the US. After hearing his D&D song, “Best Game Ever,” Mikey was personally contacted by Gary Gygax’s daughter and first wife, expressing their appreciation for the song and the memories it evoked. He is also a proud media sponsor of Can’t Stop The Serenity, and performs at the CSTS events whenever he can. Find out more at
  • Crystal Wolf: Crystal Wolf is a 30 year old folk-rock musician and song-writer with a penchant for fantasy, science fiction, fandom, and humor. She’ll play just about anywhere provided she can get there, but her favorite concert hall is right here at Planet Penguicon. Crys is also a religious studies nerd who loves to read, podcast, sing, play the guitar, invent new forms of percussion, and dance – like a crazy white girl. She also practices Open Source Romance and lives with her partner, Chris, who is all shades of awesome. They’re kept by two cats, Zoe (a sweet-tempered tuxedo cat) and Sapphire (a beautiful pure white short-haired loner with ice blue eyes that are as cold as her soul), who’s days consist of eating, sleeping, demanding that Crystal chase them around the apartment, and helping Chris and Crys take over the world. It is suspected that once the humans are firmly ensconced as benevolent dictators the cats can eradicate them in their sleep and replace them. Sapphire would also like the record to reflect that she is not required to wait until the Dynamic Duo are asleep. Website:

*Our Guests of Honor and other invited Guests commit to attending Penguicon long in advance of the actual event. Along the way (and generally at the very last moment!) circumstances beyond everyone’s control may happen, resulting in the Guest not being able to attend the convention as planned. Though this is rare, it can happen. If we are made aware of a Guest’s inability to attend far enough in advance, Penguicon will attempt to invite another Guest as a replacement. However, this may not always be possible. In either case, Penguicon can make no guarantee that a particular guest will be able to attend the convention, and can not be liable for the results of a Guest’s cancellation.

Features and Events Penguicon has many, many things happening outside of just panels and presentations! Here’s a look at only some of the things we have going on:

Geek Prom, Masquerade, the Drag Show, Room Parties, the live-action W.O.W. Game, our Chaos Toy, Open Soda, the Computer Lounge, Artist Alley, LN2 Ice Cream, random acts of chaos, presentations, panels, workshops, musical performances… More information to come!

Geek Prom Saturday 8pm Desoto Q: What is a PROM at Penguicon?

A march of guests into a ballroom constituting the opening of a formal ball. A high point. A formal dance. A memory chip whose contents can be programmed by a user or manufacturer for a specific purpose. ALL OF THE ABOVE! This will be the first year that Penguicon has hosted an official Geek Prom. We encourage formal attire, which includes ball gowns, suits, costumes, and formal costumes. It’s ok though, come as you are if you choose. Kelii Parsons will be hosting Free Prom Pictures that will be available online. Thank you to Luova Keliin Studios. We plan to have music, dancing, and who knows what else, you’ll just have to wait and see!

The Masquerade Costume Parade and Contest Saturday 4pm Stutz Parade Line-up 5pm Masquerade in Big Top A premiere event at Penguicon, the Masquerade showcases the dedicated and talented costumers in attendance and includes a full parade and judged contest. Each year brings its own theme or unique touch, but all costumes are welcome from the simplest newbie offerings to the most elaborate presentations. Honored judges will award prizes, but the real reward comes in the form of unending praise, unending glory, and unending lines of con goers wanting your picture!

W.O.W. Live Game Hello all my fellow on-line gamers! I understand your fear of withdrawal and hope to keep you busy with your own live action quest to keep the symptoms away. Come and join in this years live action world of warcraft themed game. Keep your eyes open for the gold ! to start your quest.

The Drag Show Friday 9pm Big Top The amazing world of Drag King and Drag Queens! Ever wonder how they pull it off? Whether you’re a first timer, a seasoned regular, or just curious – come join us at the Drag 101 workshop and find out! For those interested – you’ll get a chance to strut your stuff on the runway at our very own Drag Show. Drag not your thing but want to perform? Not a problem come on over and join the fun. You may perform as male to male or female to female or what ever gender you wish even if that is none at all.

Any money that is raised by the drag show will be donated to a charity that is called Affirmations. For more information about them please visit: For all of our Facebook users we have started a group where you can join in and make plans to do group performances or just check with others on what they are doing, or ask questions of others who have perform before and what they advice they can give that website is:

Penguicon’s Chaos Toy – Lobby near Big Top

This customizable marble roller coaster will be open all weekend for Penguicon attendees to tinker with. It serves as a metaphor for the open source development process. We used to have a giant room-sized version of the contraption, at great expense, but in 2008 Penguicon got one of its very own. Each year, we plan to purchase additional Chaos Toy kits until one day we will match the size of the one which, in the past, was shipped in boxes to Penguicon from across the country. This popular attraction will live right here in Michigan and be available for your use every year!

Computer Lounge – Marquis, sponsored by MPCON

Feel free to drop on by to check your mail, browse the web, and perhaps find out a little bit more about open source software. You can also check out some technology demos that help show off the real power of Linux.

Artist Alley – Springwells Are you attending Penguicon and are artistic? Do you have something you created that you’d like to offer to the Penguicon attending audience? Use our Artist Alley! Artist Alley will be held exclusively in the dealer’s room this year. For questions or to reserve your space, please contact [email protected].

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream – Consuite Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is a Food Track event that takes place many times over the weekend in the hospitality suite. Homemade ice cream is instantly created, in a variety of custom flavors, by adding liquid nitrogen to the recipe at negative 320 degrees Farenheit. The nitrogen boils off and goes out the window, leaving behind the other ingredients frozen into a smooth, creamy dairy dessert. It is truly a spectacle to behold! And the range of strange and imaginative flavors that work with this process is much wider than with normal ice cream. Bring your own crazy combo of flavor ingredients and challenge us! This year we are asking our Guests and Nifties to each design an ice cream flavor named after them.

Morton’s Miraculous Random Reality Machine – Grand Foyer (brought to you by Morton’s List and a grant by the Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association.) This is a capsule toy vending machine that dispenses destiny. Your random adventure, designed by the creators of Morton’s List, will send you off into the convention to have strange experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise, with people and things you may have overlooked.

Room Parties Every year there are several room parties at Penguicon. In fact, there is a special room block set aside for these parties. The room party coordinator collects data from those willing to throw a party at the convention, organizes it, and makes it widely available to attendees. Check for signs and a list in the program book once attending the convention for more information. Email [email protected] for details now.

Brick Challenge Saturday 11am Qualifications in Knight Brick Challenge is, to my knowledge, the first live Lego-based game show. The model is similar to Double Dare. Two two-man teams will compete to be the winning team of each show. One team red and one team blue will be challenged with a series of mini-games as well as quiz questions. Winners will be determined by whichever team receives the most points. We will have a mass qualification at XX:XX followed by taping 6 shows with the top 24 people from the qualification. This even is open to everyone so bring your building skills.

Geeks with Guns

Concom for Penguicon 2012 Responsibilities in bold are Concom positions. Others are Staff level positions (see the staff page for a listing of staff members.)


Description If the Convention Committee runs the convention, staffers are the muscles that move it along. Penguicon makes a distinction between Concom, Staff Members, Volunteers (Penguins), and Panelists (Program Participants). For this year, Staff will be considered those individuals who are responsible for doing work and making decisions for a single part of the convention and handling minor budgetary amounts. Typically staffers put in some amount of work before the con in addition to work during the convention. To compensate for this, staff pays a $25 rate. Only staff can check ID for con-run stuff. Presenters are responsible for checking IDs at their own panels before service.

Hospitality by Cylithria Dubois

  • ■Consuite: Cylithria Dubois - “Lithie”: Inventory, Purchasing, Acquiring, Pack-in/Set Up, GoH Decadent Delights Receptions, ConSuite Duties, Beer Troll, DeadDog, Tear Down/Pack-Out, Returns, Refunds, Reports.
  • ■Allen Tipper - “Akerasi”: - ConSuite Duties
  • ■Courtney Bocci - “Court(Cat)ney”: ConSuite Duties
  • ■Jordyn Hershey - “Bubbles”: ConSuite Duties
  • ■Charles Sharp - “Charles”: ConSuite Duties
  • ■Peter Smith - “Jadawin”: ConSuite Duties
  • ■Beer Trolls:
  • ■Tyrinslys Valinlore - “Tiris” - Beer Troll / ConSuite Duties
  • ■Chris Woelkers -“クリス” Beer Troll / ConSuite Duties
  • ■Dora Badger - “Dora”: Beer Troll/ConSuite Duties
  • ■Mark Szlaga -“Beer God”: ConSuite Beer Meister/Penguicon Board
  • ■Pack-In Staff:
  • ■Jackson Turner - “Rampage”: Pack-In Staff/ConSuite Duties
  • ■Nicole Weltman - “Trini-Tron”: Pack-In Staff/ConSuite Duties
  • ■Pack-Out Staff:
  • ■Todd Stewart - “Evil Genius Todd” - ConSuite Pack-Out: Monday, April 30th
  • ■CJ Wolfe - “Wolfe” - ConSuite Pack Out: Monday April 30th (Some ConSuite Duties as well)

Facilities by Jer Lance

  • ■Logistics Coordinator: Dan Eckerd
  • ■Hotel: Jer Lance and Nuri Gocay
  • ■Network: Chris Krieger
  • ■Computer Lounge: Chris Catlett

Operations by Christine Bender - [email protected]

  • ■Community Manager: James Hice
  • ■Program Book: Matt Arnold
  • ■Signs and Graphics: Matt Arnold
  • ■Program Operations: Mara Tynan
  • ■Photographer: Dave Hogg
  • ■Webmaster: James Gamble
  • ■Web Team: James Gamble, James Hice, Krunal Desai
  • ■Sponsorship: Audrey Geiger
  • ■Marketing: Jon Wallace
  • ■Ribbons: Misha Stone
  • ■Tech Troubleshooter: Marshal Newrock
  • ■Volunteers: Anna Carey
  • ■Please e-mail [email protected] if you're interested in volunteering.
  • ■On-Site Operations Staff:
  • ■Keri Springer
  • ■Britain Woodman
  • ■Jon Wallace
  • ■Staff Positions are still available! - Please contact Christine Bender at [email protected] if you are interested in being a part of the Operations staff.

Programming Programming Instructions by Sarah “Sparrow” Slovik - Head of Programming

Registration by Aaron Thul

  • ■Amanda Robinson
  • ■Ed Chaltron
  • ■Lucy Kennedy
  • ■Allison Anderson
penguicon2012.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/14 14:24 by