1. Brian Beacock: Most famously known for his voice-acting work in the Digimon and Naruto series’. He is also an actor, director, and creator; his 2015 comedy-zombie series Acting Dead won a Primetime Emmy award for actress Patrika Darbo’s performance.
Alexander Lwin: Brian Beacock is the obvious answer for me. As a kid, I’m not ashamed to admit, I watched plenty of Digimon; a pile of Digimon VCDs in jewel cases lay scattered among the Yugioh and Pokemon, scratched and skipping. Now what I very much am ashamed to admit is that, as a tween to young teen, I also watched plenty of Naruto. Sunday afternoons were spent on the thick, grey, double-antennaed cube—whirring sounds and the plastic smells of the cheap portable DVD player overheating. Sometimes the DVDs were legitimate, sometimes they were borrowed bootlegs my friends had brought back from the Kuala Lumpur markets, and sometimes they were 120p youtube videos I’d painstakingly downloaded and burnt onto marked-smudged DVD-Rs myself.
While travelling, sometimes the hotel would have cable TV and you could bet I was catching Naruto on Animax or Toonami. Hell, I still have a few volumes of the manga sinfully hidden at the bottom of my closet. Yes, if you’re looking for the biggest nerd to send to the nerd convention, well… I’ve watched my fair share of Bleach and Naruto AMVs, (Linkin Park’s ‘What I’ve Done’ plays constantly in the recesses of my mind). Of course, this nostalgia is all a distraction—a smoke screen—one of many Beacock-centric examples.
Paprika is one of my favourite movies and I love Mulholland Drive. Questions like “What was Mr. Lynch like?”, “Your character in Paprika doesn’t have much screen time, but has major importance for the plot and themes, how did you balance this?”—I want to know the answers.
But the real reason I want to see Brian Beacock at Oz Comic-con is because he played Dengakuman in the greatest anime to ever air on Cartoon Network: a little title called Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo (Cowboy Bebop can kiss my ass). This show has haunted me for over a decade! I go to sleep, I see it. I eat breakfast, I see it. I look in the mirror, I am it. In my dreams, I am transported back to being a 10 year old watching a YouTube video on my mother’s laptop, “Bobobo Episode 12 [part 1/4] 360p”. It’s lagging, the internet barely works, and watching a single episode takes an entire afternoon—but those were the days.
Tobias Langtry: I’m also most excited to see Brian Beacock, a voice actor particularly well known for his work on the English dubs of popular anime. He’s appeared as Takato Matsuki and as a host of Digimon in the Digimon franchise—a personal favourite of mine as a child. He’s also appeared in video games, film, and other media, including in his role as the villain Monokuma in the Danganronpa series. As a still current fan of anime and someone who has an existing interest in the industry, I’d like to hear about Brian’s views on the voice acting industry; pay, job security, and the casualised workforce.
2. Jena Malone: Nominated for a Golden Globe Award and two Screen Actors Guild awards, she is popular for her accompanying roles (as well as her starring roles) in films such as Pride and Prejudice (2005).
Abbey Wheeler: I’m most excited to see Jena Malone at this year’s Comic Con. The Hunger Games was a big part of my life growing up and having the opportunity to see one of its starring actors, and hear about their creative processes would be an incredible moment. Her portrayal of Johanna Mason was iconic, and I can’t wait to see her in person!
Aleena Flack: Oz Comic-Con is landing in Perth this weekend for the first time since 2017! I am most excited to see Jena Malone (The Hunger Games) and Keiynon Lonsdale, two film actors I’ve grown up watching. It would be great to hear Jena Malone’s thoughts on The Hunger Games new prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, due to be released on the 17th November 2023.
I loved her performance as the character, Johanna Mason, in Catching Fire (2013), in Mockingjay Part 1 (2014), and in Mockingjay Part 2 (2015). Johanna, a District 7 Victor, is cunning and bold, and I think Jenna Malone did an amazing job at portraying this complex character!
3. Keiynon Lonsdale: Australian actor, dancer, and singer extraordinaire Keiynon Lonsdale is best known locally for his role as Oliver in Dance Academy, and has risen to prominence in the US due to series’ such as The Flash and Love, Simon.
Aleena Flack: Keiynon Lonsdale of Love, Simon (2018), plays character Bram Greenfeld, who is later revealed to be the love-interest of Simon Spier; their story is a gripping romantic-comedy. Keiynon Lonsdale is due to return in 2023 to his role as Kid Flash for the final season of The CW series, The Flash, it would be cool to hear about his experience playing a popular superhero character.
4. Artist’s Alley and Cosplay Central:
Abbey Wheeler: I’m also keen to attend the cosplay meetups and get to know some of the participants involved. Cosplay Central at Oz Comic-Con is described as “the unmissable destination for all cosplayers and cosplay fans”, a great way to meet cosplayers of different skill-levels amongst sets and professional photographers.
Artist’s Alley also excites me, where you can “interact with the creative geniuses behind your favourite comic books, graphic novels, literature, and artistic projects”, or in fact any of the other sections!
Tickets for the weekend 1st–2nd April are still available here: