Top 10 Cult Stars of 2011
The women who comprise Chocolate Covered Cosplay have a message. Dress as whomever you want. You don't have to look like the character. You don't need to be the same size. You don't need to be the same race or ethnicity. You don't need to be the same gender.
CCC formed right before Anime Expo this year. Since their first appearance, they have been hosting panels (and parties) at conventions across Southern California to spread their message of all-inclusive cosplay.
4. Ben Jones
Photos courtesy of Giant Robot Ben Jones at the opening of "The Art of Problem Solving" at GR2
Ben Jones made a name for himself in the '00s as one-third of the art collective Paper Rad. This year, though, he took on another credit: creator of what is perhaps the strangest show to run on Cartoon Network ever. Jones is the mind behind The Problem Solverz, a surreal series revolving around three characters who solve problems.
Based on characters that were originally part of Jones' Paper Rad work, The Problem Solverz takes video game references and neon animation to new levels. Earlier this month, Jones and art director John Pham put some of their show-related art on display at GR2 for the show "The Art of Problem Solving." You should have been there.
Voice actor Stephanie Sheh has earned oodles of fans from her work in animes like FLCL, Bleach and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. So, when the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, she flew into action.
We Heart Japan is a fundraising organization launched by Sheh and other anime/manga insiders dedicated to raising funds for earthquake and tsunami relief. Their first event, which featured an art show along with auctions and autograph signings, took place about a week after the earthquake. But, We Heart Japan kept going even after the tragedy faded from the headlines. They've hosted several events throughout the year, including a Cowboy Bebop reunion, and have appeared at conventions like Pacific Media Expo.