We are happy to announce our full list of judges for this year's masquerade.

Register for the masquerade here: http://www.kikoricon.com/programming/viewpanel.html?id=5a626af6ae1da

Steff Von Schweetz has been cosplaying since 2003 with nearly 300 costumes under her belt. She prides herself on being completely self-taught in all aspects of the hobby and believes that anyone can cosplay, regardless of skill. Steff has won a handful of awards across the West Coast including Best in Show and Best Advanced Craftsmanship, and has helped with dozens of panels and masquerade judgings. While she loves to craft and create, Steff’s favorite hobby is annoying people with her love of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

AmberSkies is no stranger to the world of creation and nerd-dom! She has been a lifelong artist, singer, and actress, and was raised in her family's tabletop miniatures/gaming store/internet arcade where she spent every day raiding at 11 years old on WoW, or beating men thrice her age in Magic the Gathering (all while spam Watching Sailor Moon and guzzling down all the ramen bowls she could get her grubby little hands on!)

In the last 6 years Amber has taken on elaborate and complex cosplay builds, worked professionally hand in hand with amazing companies such as Marvel Studios, Stan Lee, and Disney. She is an AZ teacher by day, and transforms herself into fantastic heroes and beasts by night! 

She specializes in highly detailed and screen accurate prosthetic/makeup work and elaborate prop building-- spending countless hours to create notable and out-of-this-world characters such as Lava Goddess Te Ka (Moana), Emma Frost, Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy), Sergeant Calhoun, Billy Butcherson (Hocus Pocus), The Forest Spirit (Princess Mononoke), Sonic the Hedgehog, and many more!

She has competed and won first/Best in Show at D23 Expo, San Diego Comicon, Phoenix Comicon, and Long Beach Comicon-- and interviewed by media outlets the world over. Her goal is to start expanding even further to guest at conventions, share her original art and canvas paintings as well as costuming adventures! 

She loves giant hugs and smiles, seeing all her beautiful friends at cons in AZ and CA, all while using her art to teach others and inspire them to create and love the cosplay community as much as she does. Amber lives for building others up, igniting their passions, and spreading positivity and sunshine wherever she wanders! Stop by her table to say hello, or catch her at a panel or as a judge for the masquerade!

Fantasy’s Heart and Soul are a cosplay duo who have been nerdy BFFs since 2003. From Arizona and Alberta, respectively, it was their interest in cosplay that finally bridged the international gap in 2013 where they met for the first time at Saboten Con as sisters Hawke and Bethany from Dragon Age, and took Best in Show in their first competition together. Since then, they’ve refined their talents, Soul tackling intricate sewing challenges while Heart found her niche in armor builds while leatherworking became a common ground for them both. 

Each year has seen new cosplay sets for Heart and Soul, most notably their best known Bioware characters such as Warden Cousland and Leliana, Commander Shepard and Kasumi and multiple versions of Marian and Bethany Hawke. They have taken the stage together and won several awards such as Best in Masters, Best Craftsmanship and Best in Show. For their latest builds, Princess Hinoka and Setsuna from Fire Emblem, they were awarded Best in Show at Edmonton Expo.  

While competing is a wonderful way to grow and challenge themselves, the confidence gained and friendships made along the way have been what matters most. Going forward Heart and Soul look forward to new conventions, new challenges and new memories to be made.

Photo Credits:
Julius Photography (Guardians of the Galxy)
Murasaki Photography (Fire Emblem and Dragon Age)