Khary Payton

Khary Payton is an American actor and voice actor best known for his voice role of the DC Comics character Cyborg across various films, cartoons, and video games. He is also known for his live-action performances on General Hospital and The Walking Dead. According to cartoon fans, Payton has become synonymous with one of DC’s hottest heroes, Cyborg, having voiced the character in numerous series, films, and games including Cartoon Networks Teen Titans and its current incarnation Teen Titans, Go!. He’s on Young Justice as Aqualad; Transformers: Robots in Disguise as Grimlock; Disney’s The Lion Guardas Rafiki, and many more. Video gamers know him from The Sims; Reigel in Starcraft; Drebin in Metal Gear Solid; Azrael and Killer Croc in the Batman: Arkham franchise; and Knox from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, just to name a few. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Payton caught the acting bug after seeing a production of Cyrano De Bergerac in the 1st grade. As a teenager, he developed a local rep as a rapper and stand-up comic, sharing the stage with such notables as Tom Kenney and Chris Rock. After spending his teenage years consoling comedians at the bar between sets, Payton opted for college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas to study acting and directing. He stayed in Texas for several years thereafter, honing his craft in classical and experimental theatre before finally making his way to Hollywood. Payton co-wrote, produced, and starred in the independent SciFi feature, Astronaut: The Last Push. The film soared through festivals from London to Los Angeles, winning 13 awards including Best In Show at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase and Fargo Film Festivals. Payton took home three awards for Best Actor. His most recent projects are World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, due out this year, as well as Big Hero 6 The Series, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman – Rage of Atlantis, and the Teen Titans Go! to the Movies.

Sam De la Rosa

Sam de la Rosa’s is legendary artist known for his amazing work on Venom Lethal Protector #1-6 and so much more! Since 1982 Sam drew finished art/ink art for Marvel, DC, Disney, Image, and Dark Horse among others. His credits include Spider-Man, Venom, Carnage (MAXIMUM CARNAGE storyline), Black Panther, The Avengers, Star Wars, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and more. He worked on Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Firestorm, and others for DC Comics. In 1989 at Dark Horse he worked on the first Predator comic book. Sam’s favorite work was always on Spider-Man, Venom, Carnage, and the Symbiotes! We are so excited to bring him to Roanoke for both days of our event where he will be available for commissions, sketches, print sales and more!

Tyler Mane

Daryl Karolat is a Canadian character actor and retired professional wrestler, better known by the name Tyler Mane. He is known for playing Sabretooth in X-Men, Ajax in Troy, and Michael Myers in the remake of Halloween and its sequel Halloween II. He appeared as supervillain Blackstar in the 2021 Netflix limited series Jupiter's Legacy. We cannot wait to welcome Tyler to Roanoke Feb. 11-12th at Big Lick Comic Con!

Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as a wrestler and coach. Gunn is best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E) from 1993 to 2004 and from 2012 to 2015. He also served as a coach on WWE's Tough Enough and was a trainer in NXT. He is also known for his appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2005 to 2009. Primarily a tag team wrestler, Gunn is an overall 11-time tag team champion in WWE with three different partners (with Bart Gunn as The Smoking Gunns, with Road Dogg as The New Age Outlaws, and with Chuck Palumbo as Billy and Chuck). He is also a one time WWF Intercontinental Champion and a two time WWF Hardcore Champion, giving him 14 total championships in WWE. He is the 1999 King of the Ring tournament winner, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 as a member of D-Generation X. We cannot wait to welcome Billy to Big Lick Comic Con Feb. 11-12th at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, VA!

Ted Dibiase

Ted Dibiase was the first WWF North American Heavyweight Champion, a three-time WWF Tag Team Champion (with Irwin R. Schyster), a one-time WWE 24/7 Champion, and winner of the 1988 King of the Ring tournament. DiBiase headlined multiple WWF cards, including WrestleMania IV and the first-ever SummerSlam in 1988. DiBiase is a member of several professional wrestling halls of fame: he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame upon its inception in 1996, and headlined the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn is an American writer of science fiction and fantasy. He is known best for his prolific collection of Star Wars books, chiefly the Thrawn series, and has published several other series of sci-fi and fantasy novels of his own original creation, in addition to many works of short fiction. Zahn's novella Cascade Point won the 1984 Hugo Award. He is the author of the Blackcollar trilogy and the Cobra series (nine novels so far), fourteen Star Wars expanded universe novels, including thirteen novels featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn: the Thrawn trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound Flight, Choices of One, Thrawn, Thrawn: Alliances, Thrawn: Treason, and the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. Lucasfilm at times used some of the more detailed Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game supplements from West End Games as references, and West End sent boxes of their sourcebooks to Zahn when he started work on a new Star Wars novel trilogy. At the time, Zahn was writing Heir to the Empire (1991), the first book in what became known as the Thrawn trilogy, and West End in turn released sourcebooks from 1992–1994 based Zahn's three novels. The Thrawn trilogy marked a revival in the fortunes of the Star Wars franchise, bringing it widespread attention for the first time in years; all three Thrawn trilogy novels made the New York Times Best Seller List, and set the stage and tone for most of the franchise's expanded universe content. Zahn also wrote the young adult Dragonback series and the popular Conquerors' trilogy.

Michael Watkins

Michael Watkins is the CEO and Editor In Chief of Highburn Studios. Michael has worked professionally in comics and illustration for over 20 years. He's the creator of the series GUARDIANS, published by Highburn Studios, the publishing company he founded in 2000. From there, he broke into mainline comics with work on FEMME-NOIR, and proceeded to work on projects for Marvel, DC, Image, Dynamite, Dark Horse, and Upper Deck. You've seen his work on titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Transformers, Iron Man, Avengers Assemble, Pantha, Villains Supreme, and other promotional work for Star Wars, Ironman 2, Suicide Squad, Transformers, and more. In addition to comics, Michael is a Voice Actor having voiced roles for Marvel and Disney through the characters of Venom, Scorpion, Mole Man, and Magneto. Michael has also been an avid martial artist for 38 years. He is a master instructor in the Hak Dari Shon Hap Ki Do and Kenpo martial arts, and holds high degree black belts in several other styles. Representation for D. Michael Watkins by Renee Witterstatter.

Erika Harlacher

Erika is a voice actress, songwriter and content creator based in Los Angeles. Some of her major roles in anime include: Yugo in Wakfu Ami Kawashima in Toradora!, Mimori Togo in Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Asseylum Vers Allusia in Aldnoah.Zero, Elizabeth Liones in The Seven Deadly Sins, Kurapika in Hunter × Hunter, Violet in Violet Evergarden, and Yumeko in Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler. In video games, she provides the voice of Kyoko Kirigiri and Kaede Akamatsu in the Danganronpa video game series, Venti in Genshin Impact, Juna Crawford in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and IV, Ayesha in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, Ann Takamaki in Persona 5, and Raging Bull in Ys IX: Monstrum Nox as well as dozens more shows, movies, games and more!

Lex Luger

Lex Luger is a two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and one-time WWA World Heavyweight Champion. He is also a five-time NWA/WCW United States Heavyweight Champion who holds the records for consecutive days and total days as champion. He is the second WCW Triple Crown Champion. Although he never won a championship in the WWF, he challenged for every title in the organization (including WWF World Heavyweight Championship matches at SummerSlam in 1993 and WrestleMania X in 1994) and was the 1994 Royal Rumble co-winner with Bret Hart. Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers voted Luger the Most Popular Wrestler of the Year in 1993. We're so excited to welcome Lex to Big Lick Comic Con!

Arthur Suydam

Arthur Suydam is a massively influential and accomplished artist known for his work on Marvel Zombies, Deadpool, Black Panther, and KISS Zombies. He has done artwork for magazines including Heavy Metal, Epic Illustrated and National Lampoon, while his comic book work includes Batman, Conan, Tarzan, Predator, Aliens, Death Dealer, and Marvel Zombies. Arthur burst onto the scene in the 1970s by infusing sequential art with classical painting. His extraordinary work helped revolutionize the industry and began the comic art renaissance of the 1980's, opening doors for mainstream writers and artists to create literature for a more mature readership.

Renee Witterstaetter

Renee Witterstaetter is sometimes credited as Eva Renee Witterstaetter, is an American comic book colorist, editor, producer, and writer. She has worked on comics such as the Avengers, Spider-Man, She-Hulk, and Superman. She is best known for her work as an editor with John Byrne on the Marvel Comics series The Sensational She-Hulk. Witterstaetter was also featured as a fourth wall breaking character in the same series.

Rick Leonardi

Rick Leonardi's career in comics has lasted over 40 years! A massive talent who began his career in 1980. Notable works include The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, X-Men, Cloak and Dagger, the first 25 issues of Spider-Man 2099, Daredevil, Vision and the Scarlet Witch, New Mutants, Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Superman, Justice League, Green Lantern vs Aliens, Predator, Star Wars, Aliens, Hellboy, Darth Vader vs Darth Maul, General Grievous, Darth Vader:Lost Command and many more! He is credited, along with fellow illustrator Mike Zeck, of designing the black-and-white costume to which Spider-Man switched during the 1984 Secret Wars miniseries, and later wore for a time and is a known fan-favorite since it’s inception.

Jamal Igle

Jamal Igle is the recipient of the 2011 Inkpot Award for outstanding achievement in Comic Art. He is writer/artist/Creator of MOLLY DANGER for Action Lab Entertainment, the co-creator of VENTURE with Dynamo 5 creator/writer Jay Faerber, and the penciller/ co-creator of THE WRONG EARTH with writer and Editor in Chief, Tom Peyer for Ahoy Comics. Jamal is a comic industry veteran whose detailed pencils have graced books as varied as The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the all-ages action miniseries "Race Against Time" as well as mainstream hits such as G.I.Joe, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Green Lantern. Jamal has served as the series artist for popular runs on Firestorm the Nuclear Man, Nightwing, and Tangent: Superman's Reign, Superman, Supergirl and Zatanna for DC Comics, Noble Causes for Image Comics, and a four-issue run on New Warriors for Marvel Comics. Jamal recently completed the sequels to the hit series BLACK called WHITE from Black Superpowers/ Black Mask Studios, and THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY, THE MYSTERIOUS MICRO-FACE for NPR Planet Money and MILESTONES IN HISTORY for DC Comics. Currently, Jamal is working with legendary Batman writer SCOTT SNYDER on his new creator-owned series, DUDLEY DATSON AND THE FOREVER MACHINE for Comixology.

Ann Nocenti

Ann Nocenti is an American journalist, writer, editor, and filmmaker best known for her work on comic books and magazines. As an editor for Marvel Comics, she edited New Mutants and The Uncanny X-Men. With artist collaborators, she created such Marvel characters as Typhoid Mary, Blackheart, Longshot, Mojo and Spiral.

Keith Williams

Keith Williams enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1976 to 1980. Keith received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Media Arts and studied under Will Eisner, the creator of The Spirit comic strip. With the help of Marvel comic book artist and mentor Don Perlin, Keith started working for Marvel Comics in 1982 as a background inker. He worked for inkers including Joe Sinnott and Mike Esposito. At Marvel, he became the first John Romita Raider, an art correction group. Keith later became an assistant editor under Jim Owlsley (Christopher Priest) on the Spider-Man group of books. The two became the first all-black editorial team in Marvel’s history. He later became John Byrne’s background artist on Alpha Flight, The Hulk, Superman, and Action Comics. Keith began inking regularly on Web of Spider-Man, which lasted for four years. In between that time and after, he worked on many other books at Marvel, including Silver Surfer, She-Hulk with John Byrne, Warlock, Quasar with Greg Capullo, Star Trek, and the X-Men. At Dark Horse Comics, he worked on The Mask and Walter with artist Doug Manke, and Star Wars Droids. At DC Comics, he was on Superman, and the Lobo/Mask graphic novel with Doug Manke. For Valiant, he worked on Quantum and Woody and the covers of X-O Manowar. At Moonstone Comics, he was on The Kolchak Night Stalker Chronicles, Buckaroo Banzai, and Domino Lady. For ten years, he had worked on The Phantom for King Features Syndicate. And at Avatar Press, he inked Lady Death and Crossed covers, a Crossed webisode comic, “Wish You Were Here”, and the cover and interiors of the comic book Uber. He has also inked Avatar Press’ published graphic novel Max Brooks’ Harlem Hellfighters. And recently, he has inked over Ron Frenz pencils for Marvel’s Thor the Worthy one-shot book.

Jim Shooter

The legend returns! Jim Shooter has been behind some of the most beloved comic stories ever told. Jim Shooter achieved his first professional comics work at the age of thirteen, selling a Legion of Super-Heroes story to DC Comics and going on to write Superboy, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman and other titles. In 1978, he accepted the position of Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics under the condition that he would be allowed to improve things for Marvel’s creators. Jim introduced royalties and a spectrum of other incentives, rights and benefits, attracting a Who’s Who of talent. Later, he founded VALIANT, DEFIANT and Broadway Comics and was the principal creator of their characters and universes. Today, he's the Editor in Chief of Illustrated Media, a custom comics company. Jim will be on site for both days of our celebration!

Official Photo Ops & Autographs

We do not charge a fee to "meet" any of guests. Guests are available throughout the event at their respective booths aside from Q&A panel sessions, photo ops, breaks as needed and all guests unless otherwise noted will be on site Saturday AND Sunday for our celebration.

Please note Official Photo Ops do NOT include entry to Big Lick Comic Con. Entry must be purchased separately. Photo Ops do NOT include autographs. Autographs are not sold in advance. They will be available for purchase from any of our guests are their respective tables during the event. Prices for autographs vary based on guest. Most guests accept cash or credit. We have an ATM on site. We recommend purchasing official photo ops in advance as they can sell out and are a wonderful keepsake for your experience at Big Lick Comic Con!