Meet our Seminar and Live Show guests for 2017

John Robertson Tom Vasel Sam Healey Zee Garcia John Kovalic Paul Grogan Ralph Horsley
Paul Dean Matt Lees Quintin Smith Zev Shlasinger Andree Schneider Alex Yeager Linda Jones
Gillian Pearce Darren Pearce          

John Robertson is a comedian, author, columnist, satirist, professional troublemaker, multimedia artist and recreational sadist.

In 2012, he created “The Dark Room“, an interactive YouTube game that went viral.

After 4,000,000 hits, he turned the game into a live comedy show at Edinburgh Fringe 2012.
It has a cult following of people who call themselves Darrens.

Don’t ask questions.

The Dark Room was the cult hit of that year’s festival and The Dark Room has since become the world’s only live-action videogame.

You can play it at UK Games Expo.

Twitter @Robbotron

Tom Vasel is the game designer of Vicious Fishes and co-game designer of Nothing Personal.

He is also the founder and current co-host of the Dice Tower Podcast, prolific game reviewer and all around boardgame evangelist.

Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, he lived in South Korea for years before moving to south Florida.

This may be less known, but Tom Vasel is the co-author of two boardgame design books, written with George Phillies

Check out the Dice Tower:

Sam Healey  lives in Homestead, Florida. and has been involved in the Dice Tower since around 2005 and joined the Dice Tower team in June 2015.

He has always enjoyed playing games of different varieties including dexterity games, eurogames, wargames and with cooperative games his favorite pass-time. 

He simply enjoys the camaraderie, and the sense of accomplishment the group can experience at the end of the game, having won or lost, together. 

Usually am happy to play whatever game is the chosen flavor of the day he  loves the social interactivity that board games represent.

Check out the Dice Tower: 


Zee Garcia
Zee Garcia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts/Theatre. He has directed over a dozen plays and has been involved with several South Florida and New York theaters and theatrical companies, including Murder Mystery, Inc. and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

He enjoys teaching at a high school level and did so for several years, focusing on theatrical performance and stagecraft.

When it comes to board games, his favorites tend to be those that can be easily taught and enjoyed by a varied group of participants. Cooperate games, for example, tend to be some of his highlights.

For The Dice Tower, he shoots and edits reviews, Top Ten lists, participates in/produces Board Game Blender, as well as a myriad other tasks.

Check out the Dice Tower: 

Linda Jones Full-time freelance fantasy artist, Linda M Jones (aka SheBlackDragon), has a love for dragons, fantasy, vampires, the supernatural and anything gothic which has served her well with her work in both the gaming and commercial industries.

Within gaming, her work most recently features within the new Mindjammer Press product Monsters & Magic, but can also be found in Cubicle 7 games lines, Cthulhu Britannica, Victoriana 2nd Edition and The Laundry; Postmortem Studios’ Urban Faerie; Mongoose Publishing’s Wraith Recon, RuneQuest, Conan, Traveller and Babylon 5; and also Triple Ace Games, Middle Earth Games and Dreamscarred Press, as well as commissioned covers for private clients. She’s currently illustrating for three more pending projects, including two forthcoming releases from Chaosium.

Linda also forms one half of a new games company, Talking Skull, with her husband, Nimrod, with many products in development and upcoming.

Outside of the gaming industry, Linda’s art is under license to The Mountain and Darkside Clothing for t-shirts, GeckoRouge for cross-stitch kits, SkinYourSkunk for guitar skins, DiabloSkinz for electronic devices and Nemesis Now for giftware. She has also previously worked for Spiral Direct and ImageCrazy.

Paul Grogan is someone who has turned his hobby and passion into a full time job. Having been a gamer since the early 80’s, Paul now runs his own company (Gaming Rules!) and spends his days writing and editing rulebooks, doing game development and consultancy, and producing high-quality instructional videos to help people learn how to play board games.

Paul also attends many conventions around the UK (and other countries too), where you will find him demoing games, including prototypes of new games which the publishers are working on. He does various work for a number of publishers such as Czech Games Edition, Portal Games,  What’s your Game?, Space Cowboys, LudiCreations, and many others.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys playing board games!  Yes, he spends all day working on them, and then plays them for fun. He is also very active on various boardgame forum groups, answering rules queries J

For all of Paul’s videos, check out

Ralph Horsley is a freelance illustrator based in Leeds in the UK.

He has been working in the fantasy art field for over two decades, and still derives great pleasure from creating images of worlds inhabited by a motley array of gritty and dramatic characters.

He has worked with a broad range of clients, predominantly within games publishing; these include Wizards of the Coast, Games Workshop, Upper Deck, EA, Paizo, Fantasy Flight Games and Green Ronin.

His Dungeons & Dragons work includes cover art for the adventure The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde (2006), and interior art for Monster Manual III (2004), Player's Handbook II (2006), Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), Complete Psionic (2006), Complete Mage (2006), Cityscape (2006), The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde (2006), Dungeonscape (2007), Magic Item Compendium (2007), Monster Manual V (2007), Rules Compendium (2007), Elder Evils (2007), and the 4th edition Monster Manual (2008) and Manual of the Planes (2008).

He is known for his work on the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.[1] He has also contributed art to the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Visit his website:

Paul Dean has been writing about games in one form or another since 2001 and still hasn't fallen out of love with them.

Whether they're made of cardboard, are flashing on a screen or exist half in the mind, he enjoys playing a bit of everything.

Paul has also contributed writing to video games and the reboot of the Paranoia pen and paper RPG, has been known to swing a sword and ran off to Canada in 2014, where he spends his time looking at gifs on the internet.

In 2011 he founded board game review site Shut Up & Sit Down with Quintin Smith, and only occasionally regrets coming up with that name.

Shut up and Sit Down Website

Alex Yeager

Alex Yeager had his first gaming experiences skipping high school classes in order to play Cosmic Encounters at the University of Toledo. After starting his higher education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in chemical engineering, he graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in communications (video/radio broadcasting). Showing the same sense of focus that served him during his college days, he immediately went to work for a national marketing research firm, handing a variety of national automotive research and incentive programs over the next 12 years.

In addition, Alex continued to keep his free time at a minimum, working as a freelance studio crewmember for the local public television station, announcing for the University of Toledo Rocket Marching Band (go Rockets!), and being a founding member of the Steve Jackson Games and Cheapass Games demo teams.

Alex has a variety of board game, card game and role-playing playtest credits. Alex started working with the Mayfair Games crew in the late 1990s, and became a full-time member of the Mayfair team in 2005.

Alex lives in Ypsilanti, MI with his wife Julie (who he met while working as the performing arts director for a Girl Scout camp), and has more games, comics, CDs and books than he ought to. He coordinates two game groups (in Ann Arbor, MI and in Toledo, OH), runs program for local schools and Girl Scout groups, and describes himself as "relentlessly cheerful."

Matt Lees has spent the best part of a decade working around the games industry before deciding to simply start a Patreon channel to fund a silly YouTube channel of his very own.

Joining Shut Up & Sit Down in 2013, Matt is now concentrating on cooking lovely food and pulling unlikely faces.

In 2015 his personal YouTube channel underwent a pokémon-like transformation to become Cool Ghosts, a safe, friendly and passionate gaming network.

Shut up and Sit Down Website

Quintin Smith is the editor of Shut Up & Sit Down, a site wholeheartedly committed to providing both the smartest and the most stupid coverage of board games on the internet.

The site began in 2011 when Quintin and his friend Paul Dean decided (a) they loved table games, (b) they'd love to bring some of the professionalism of the video games media to the board gaming space, and (c) sitting around in their pants watching Alan Partridge re-runs wasn't going to make them rich and famous.

Shut up and Sit Down Website

John Kovalik

John Kovalic is a best-selling, award-winning, cartoonist, game designer and writer.

The most in-demand illustrator in gaming, millions of copies of his games and books have been sold worldwide, giving his magical, frenetic artwork and unique wit a truly global fan base.

Games like APPLES TO APPLES (15 million copies sold to date) and MUNCHKIN (4 million) became massive international bestsellers and continue to attract new fans every day. DORK TOWER, John's hit independent comic book, sold 500,000 copies and now delivers continuing adventures online at John is currently working on a number of new games, a couple of children's books, and DR. BLINK: SUPERHERO SHRINK, his satirical superhero comic book which has been optioned for both film and television.
John lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he searches for spare time.


Zev Shlasinger

Zev Shlasinger founded Z-Man Games in 1999, first publishing the CCG, Shadowfist, then a card game called Grave Robbers from Outer Space, and then their first board games, Ideology and Primordial Soup. For the next 7 years, Z-Man Games would go on to publish many of the well-known board games of today, including Pandemic, Agricola, Merchants and Marauders, Tales of the Arabian Nights and over 100 more.

Zev sold the company in 2011 and worked for the company as the finder and developer of games. Zev left in 2016 and immediately was hired by Wizkids to direct their board game business. It has been over a year since then and several games have come out: Burke’s Gambit, Rock Paper Wizard, Dice Stars, and Blank White dice. Upcoming games (as of this bio), include Assault of the Giants, Tower of London, The Banishing, Tournament at Camelot, and over a dozen more for 2017.

Zev is always on the lookout for new, cool, unique games so use the prototype submission form on the Wizkids website, or approach him at a convention – like the one you are attending now.


Gillian Pearce

Gillian has been illustrating professionally for over 12 years now and has numerous publishing credits in various fields ranging from book cover and interior illustration, card game artwork, role-playing game illustration and cartography. 
Her artwork is created using traditional methods and very little in the way of computer enhancement and relies on a heady mix of watercolour and acrylic paint with a hint of ink and pencil. She will tackle sci-fi, horror, fantasy scenes, figures, monsters and maps with the same enthusiasm.


Darren Pearce

Darren Pearce is a prolific author for Dark Quest Games, Mongoose Publishing and Cubicle 7 and other roleplaying publishers.

He has just been named the lead writer on the Judge Dredd RPG Game.



Andree Schneider

Andree Schneider is a freelance illustrator and comicbook artist. His first Comicbook covers (for a german miniseries) were published in 1999. He works as a freelancer for different clients. For example: Ulysses, DDD-Verlag, Pegasus, Medusa Games...and more) He does artwork for comicbooks, books and Games. His bandwidth ranges from cartoon characters to semi-realistic Humans, creatures and landscapes.

His preferred genre is fantasy. Andree uses many traditional art techniques (watercolour,charcoal, acrylics, pencil,ink…) as well as digital programs. Sometimes he mixes both together in his illustrations. Andree also teaches art lessons in different schools for a wellfair-organisation. He lives in Muelheim/Ruhr,Germany.
Here you can have a look at his art: