Ryan Kopf is the organizer of more than six annual conventions in the Midwest. In his youth he ran for mayor of Muscatine, Iowa, in 2007 at age 19, began a youth advocacy campaign to build a youth center in Muscatine, started two online news magazines, and developed dozens of websites. He is perhaps best known for founding UpcomingCons.com, a complete directory of Anime, Sci-Fi, Comic, and Game Conventions. He is currently helping organize several anime conventions, and developing several websites.
Ryan built UpcomingCons.com with a desire to promote fandom as a whole, not entirely focused on one genre. Ryan knew that, with the right technology and knowledge, he could develop an extremely useful website that would bring fans together and promote fandom as a whole.
This encyclopedia entry is mostly just a test for formatting the UpcomingCons.com Website. We are trying to make our encyclopedia look cool, and this entry is the main place that we test new features.
Ryan Kopf’s story
Ryan Kopf grew up in the Midwest, lucky enough to land in a middle school that had a decent computer lab. Ryan visited this lab every day to learn more about computer programming, practicing with HTML and Perl on a free webhost, and learning a little about game design from RPG Maker. After working with RPG Maker, which comes from Japan, and watching shows like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, Ryan started to become familiar with the anime culture world. Eventually he found out what “anime” was when watching Trigun in High School.
Kopf organizes some very large events that have a focus on anime, video games, and popular culture. His events focus primarily on the Japanese anime side of things, as it appears he has been an anime fan for a long time, and has regularly visited Tokyo to connect with Japanese companies and potential convention guests.
The largest of these conventions is called Anime Midwest and it is held in Chicago every year. The three-day event is an annual festival celebrating Japanese animation and culture. Thousands of people come together to cosplay and meet famous guests from the anime industry.
Japan Travel Book
Learn Japanese the Easy Way: Through My Adventures in Japan.
Travel to Japan
In addition to running conventions, Ryan is a polyglot who speaks Spanish and Japanese as well as his native English. Every year Ryan travels to Japan to meet with business people to discuss working together on anime conventions in the United States, such as by collaborating to bring a performing artist to the US. His organization usually brings a full dorm’s worth of 4 or more people to stay in Tokyo for an entire month, as staying for a long time is more economical than short trips.
The group usually stays for the entire month of Japan, and spends that time immersing themselves in both Japanese culture and language, in order to bring these experiences back to the US.
Ryan has a longer bio on his website that goes back quite a ways.
J. Michael Tatum