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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Voltron" Series Debuts! --Neil Kaplan as Zarkon in DreamWorks Project!






Villainy Comes Naturally to Neil Kaplan! 

By Chuck Barney
Bay Area News Group


In a career that spans more than 20 years, voice over actor Neil Kaplan has repeatedly proven that he’s oh-so-good at being bad.

In “Voltron Legendary Defender,” a DreamWorks animated series now streaming on Netflix, he plays Emperor Zarkon, the chief adversary of five teenagers who have been plunged into the middle of an intergalactic war. Long story short: This dude is evil.

“The fun thing about playing big bad guys is that they’re certain about what they want,” says Kaplan, who grew up in San Jose. “They have a goal, and they’re out to achieve it. They’re not asking for advice. It’s just, ‘This is what we’re doing, and this is how we’re going to get it there.’ "




Emperor Zarkon voiced by Neil Kaplan


Kaplan, says he gets a kick out of playing Zarkon because he’s a character with “shades of gray”—someone who is a “little more erudite and intelligent.”

Being bad is nothing new for Kaplan. Some of his early work included voicing “villains of the week” on the iconic “Power Rangers” TV series.

But there’s no type-casting Kaplan. Over the years he has taken on a vast variety of roles in animation, video games, television, film, audiobooks and anime. (Agents Note: Including Optimus Prime, as well as Marvel, Legaue of Legends and Star Wars properties.)

“The great thing about voice acting is that it doesn’t matter what you look like,” he says. “If you’re tall, you can play a short person If you’re 100 years old, you can play a teenager…If you can play it, you can play it.”

Kaplan became fascinated with voice work while watching “The ABC Comedy Hour,” an early 1970’s variety show featuring a team of impressionists that included, among others, Rich Little, Frank Gorshin and Fred Travalena.  Soon he was entertaining fellow students at Bagby Elementary School with his own impressions of Jimmy Stewart and Richard Nixon.

Kaplan went on to compete in Santa Clara County Fair talent shows and perform with touring groups for San  Jose Children’s Musical Theatre. During a fundraiser at the  Montgomery Theatre, he had a chance to meet the legendary voice-actor Mel Blanc and came away impressed.

“He was probably 80 years old at  the time, and he looked to be every single minute of it,” Kaplan recalls.  “He was slumped over and not showing a lot of life. But when they announced his name and he hit the stage, I swear he lost 50 years. He was bright and bubbly, and he just blew me away.”

Actor, Neil Kaplan



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To see some clips from the new series and have Emperor Zarkon blow YOU away, here are some links that relate directly to Neil in his new part!

Not only that, but he's available to do it in person at a convention near you!


http://m.ign.com/articles/2016/06/11/voltron-legendary-defender-season-1-review

http://collider.com/voltron-legendary-defender-sizzle-reel/

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/voltron/255959/voltron-legendary-defender-review-spoiler-free

http://geekeinc.com/2016/06/12/voltron-legendary-defender-season-1-review/


For Booking information, contact Renee, Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking: evaink@aol.com.  

Aurlion Sol from League of Legends, voiced by Neil Kaplan.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dreamworks Announces: NEIL KAPLAN Cast as EMPEROR ZARKON in New Netflix Voltron Series!!




Los Angeles-- It's just been announced that renowned voice actor, Neil Kaplan, has been cast as the Emperor Zarkon in the new Dreamworks original series for Netflix entitled "Voltron: Legendary Defender." And you can be the first to book the new Emperor to your show or event! 

As announced at WonderCon this year, there have numerous variations of the Voltron series, but none have been as popular or as well received as the original Lion Force based primarily on the Beast King GoLion from Japan.


The new series follows five unsuspecting teenagers, transported from Earth into the middle of a sprawling intergalactic war who become pilots for five robotic lions in the battle to protect the universe from evil. Only through the true power of teamwork can they unite to form the mighty warrior known as Voltron: Legendary Defender.

This new series offers up a great voice cast including Kimberly Brooks (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Princess Allura, Rhys Darby (What We Do in The Shadows) as Coran, Josh Keaton (Green Lantern The Animated Series) as Shiro, Black Lion, Tyler Labine (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) as Hunk, Yellow Lion, Jeremy Shada (Finn in Adventure Time) as Lance, Blue Lion, Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow) as Pidge, Green Lion, Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) as Ketih, Red Lion and Neil Kaplan (Transformers: Robots in Disguise) as Emperor Zarkon.

Past version of Emperor Zarkon.

During this year’s Wondercon Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery and writer Tim Hedrick took the stage to unveil not only the cast, but also never-before-seen artwork and footage for the all-new series.
BE there when the lions come back together to form Voltron: Legendary Defender with all 13 episodes exclusively on Netflix beginning June 10th.
Voice Actor, Neil Kaplan.
And for you convention promoters, BE the first to book Neil Kaplan for your 2016 event! 
For more information, contact Renee at Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking: evaink@aol.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GIR from "Invader Zim"-- RIKKI SIMONS Available for Booking!



Rikki Simons

Rikki Simons  Voice Actor, writer, and artist, is now available for booking via Eva Ink Artist Group/ Pros & Cons Celebrity Bookings.

You know Rikki as the voice of the robot in a dog suit, GIR from Invader ZIM! As fans embrace the chance to meet Rikki in person at his appearances worldwide.

Gir




As a writer he is known for the science fiction and fantasy novel Hitherto a Lion.


Original illustrated books and comics that he created with Tavisha-Wolfgarth-Simons include Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!Ranklechick and His Three Legged Cat, ShutterBox, and now The Trinkkits.

"Trinkkits: Sad Circus by the Sea."

He is also a background painter in animation, most noted for his color design on Invader ZIM.

Programming Notes:  Rikki is available for panels designed for your show, focusing on the art of voice acting, as well as his various writing projects.

For more information contact Renee at: evaink@aol.com

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Neil Kaplan Just Cast as AURELION SOL-- Space Dragon from "League of Legends!"




Voice Actor, Neil Kaplan
THIS JUST IN, PUTTING THE AUDIENCE ON THEIR EAR AT WONDERCON, 2016! 

Renowned voice actor, Neil Kaplan,  lauded for his work over the last 20+ years in animation, video games, television, film, audiobooks, amusement parks and anime, has just been cast as the long awaited voice of the mystical space dragon AURELION SOL in the wildly popular "League of Legends" game--Exciting  news for fans that have been anticipating Aurelion Sol's arrival for some time, and clamoring for it even!

And to add to that,  Neil also recently completed recording for the upcoming season of Disney's hit animated series "Penn Zero, Part Time Hero".

This is just more icing on the cake for a career that has spanned the spectrum of pop culture favorites.

It's safe to say that a legion of fans will recognize Neil blindfolded as the voice of iconic Autobot leader OPTIMUS PRIME on FOX Kids' "Transformers: Robots in Disguise." As most Transformers fans can tell you, Neil was the second actor ever to provide the voice for the immensely popular character.

His other fan favorites includes numerous Digimon as well as season two target of fan adoration, HAWKMON-- as well as all of his derivations. Neil's current work in the world of anime includes the charismatic villain MADARA UCHIHA on the popular long-running series "Naruto: Shippuden".

In addition, Neil has worked on dozens and dozens video games, often creating incredibly memorable characters including the roguish anti-hero TYCHUS J. FINDLAY in both "Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty" and "Heroes of The Storm", the mysterious star dragon AURELION SOL in "League of Legends", the hulking, brutish, bounty hunter companion SKADGE in "Star Wars: The Old Republic", as well as IMPERIAL GOVERNOR ADELHARD in "Star Wars: Uprising" and BENDAK STARKILLER in "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic".

He can be heard as SABRETOOTH and VENOM in "Marvel Heroes", KRAVEN THE HUNTER, GORILLA GRODD, DECEPTICON LONG HAUL, NORMAN OSBOURNE and THE GREEN GOBLIN on various video games as well as hundreds of background characters who help bring the background to life.

His other video game credits also include The Skylanders series of games, "The Last of Us", "God of War: Ascension", "Diablo III", "Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor", "Elder Scrolls", "Guild Wars 2", "Bioshock Infinite", "World of Warcraft" and many, MANY others.



Neil Kaplan, that's who! 

Some of Neil's other notable work includes:

His work voicing the stuffed Care Bear teddy called FUNSHINE BEAR; As well as being the main narrator for the young adult book series, "I am Number Four";

Neil  was thrilled to say YES when producers of the cult hit "Robot Chicken" asked him to play in their sandbox as the LEADER of GI JOE EXTREME and Hogwart's beloved headmaster, ALBUS DUMBLEDORE;

And also resonating with his corp of followers, are many of his vocal performances on the television classic, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. (As well as The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie) However, Power Rangers know him best for voicing the memorable DIABOLICO, the evil lieutenant to Queen Bansheera in "Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue" and GLUTO, the not-so-bright henchman to the villainous Rancik, on "Power Rangers Time Force."

...And the list keeps growing!


These days it is rare for Neil to meet an English speaking pop-culture fan who has not been influenced by his work.

For booking information contact his agency at:

Renee Witterstaetter
Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking
evaink@aol.com

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pokemon 20th Anniversay! Veronica Taylor-- Voice of Ash-- Available for Bookings!



Hey everyone, believe it or  not, Pokemon has turned 20! That's celebrating two decades that gamers of all ages have been collecting these little pocket mischief makers in the pursuit of being the best, and following the adventures of our lovable miniature monsters and Ash, on Saturday morning cartoons.

To celebrate, Nintendo is not only having all previous Pokemon games on hand in great supply, but they have announced the release of TWO new games in 2016: "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon." Remastered games hit the stores on February 27th-- Pokemon's actual birthday! While the two new games will hit later in 2016, building up the excitement!

And that's only the beginning, Nintendo has announced that 2016 will be a year long celebration of the past, present and future of this enduring game and cartoon series, with more surprises in the works.

Veronica Taylor, the voice of Ash.


Voice over actress Veronica Taylor has been part of the Pokemon legacy for some time now-- as the voice of the main character Ash, as well as May, in the popular cartoon series.

Some of her other parts include: April on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and roles in “Cubix”, “Dinosaur King”, “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “Huntik”, “Tai Chi Chasers”, and more. She can be heard on PBS kids’ “Word World” (Sheep), “Lunch Lab” (Mixiebot), and “Chuck Vanderchuck’s ‘something something’ Explosion!” (Ramona).

Ash and Picacu!


Other projects include Sailor Pluto on “Sailor Moon”, “Mofy” (Mofy, Mogu, Sora), “Astroblast” (Sputnik), and “Welcome to the Wayne (Spy from 8-i).

Now is the perfect time to add Veronica to your convention celebrity list and help celebrate the YEAR of Pokemon! 

Programming Notes: Veronica loves to be at her booth to sign autographs for fans. Inquire as well for various programming opportunities.

If you are interested in interviewing Veronica or booking her for your convention/event, please contact:

Eva Ink Artist Group
Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking
evaink@aol.com  

SPOTLIGHT ON: CHRIS PARSONS-- 4-LOM The Bounty Hunter from "Star Wars!" Available for Booking!

 
Chris Parsons
Born in London in 1960,  Chris Parsons would soon find himself in the "galaxy far, far, away" via his  involvement in the Star Wars saga of the late 1970's and early 1980's! 

His various work in the trilogy includes:

Star Wars: Episode V - Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) in which he portrayed: C-3PO (double), K-3PO, E-3PO, R-3PO, a Death Star Droid, a  Stormtrooper, Snowtrooper, a Hoth Rebel soldier and a Hoth Snow Speeder pilot.

All making his stories from the set varied and insightful. 

Chris on set with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, as a Rebel Trooper.

Chris has also been in various other Television and film productions including:  Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Quadrophenia, Superman ll, Yentl, The Shining and James Bond.

But of all his various work, the one most resonating with Star Wars fans is his portrayal of 4-LOM, the Bounty Hunter. 

Parsons as 4-LOM the Bounty Hunter

4-LOM is remembered as the cold, calculating and ambitious LOM-series protocol droid, resembling the insectoid species he was designed to serve,  who overrode his programming and became an intergalactic thief and later a bounty hunter, often working with Grand Findsman Zuckuss.

Following the Battle of Hoth, 4-LOM was hired by Darth Vader to capture Han Solo, Captain of the Millennium Falcon and hero of the Rebel Alliance. For this, the mechanical teamed up fellow Bounty Hunters Boba Fett, Dengar, Bossk, and IG-88. ( However, as we know, the bounty on the smuggler's head was instead claimed by the crafty Boba Fett. ) 

Parsons (second on left) as 4-LOM, with Darth Vader and the Bounty Hunters, including Boba Fett and Bossk.


It's also interesting to note, that, as mentioned above, Mr. Parsons was the double for Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and the costume for 4-LOM was actually made from a variety of different parts of protocol droid costumes originally designed for C-3PO that the set designers of The Empire Strikes Back cobbled together to create the new character. 

Chris "on the board," doubling for Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.
 
Chris Parson's as C-3PO .



Chris Parson's unique part in the Star Wars trilogy allowed him to give life to this unique creature, spawning legos, trading cards, toys and more!

Programming Notes:  Chris is happy to take part in panels talking about his behind the scenes experiences on the Star Wars set, alone or with other cast members. For Booking information, contact Renee at Pros & Cons Celebrity Booking: evaink@aol.com


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Michael Golden Meets the Portland Trail Blazers, Part Two!



Limited Edition Promo piece by Michael Golden

For the second year in a row, artist Michael Golden has been approached to work his special kind of magic on a promo piece featuring key Portland Trail Blazers players. Producing another Slam Dunk!

The limited edition poster was commissioned in conjunction with the Wizard show in Portland, and also will serve as a special promo piece at a Trail Blazer's game.

A limited amount of signed and numbered prints will be made available at Wizard World Portland. 

You can find them at Michael Golden's table in the front of Artist Alley while supplies last. It's also possible to reserve yours as well by contacting us at: evaink@aol.com

We will also have a limited number of the beautiful 2015 Rip City Print!