Karen Schnaubelt Turner Dick
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Karen was born in San Diego, California. She attended Helix high school, then went into San Diego State University, pursuing and obtaining both a BA and a MA in Anthropology.
Coupled with her interest in science was also her interest in costuming. Introduced to anime at the age of nine via the animated series Astro Boy, two years later she and her father started watching Star Trek together. Karen started creating her own costumes and wearing them to science fiction conventions in the 1970s. In doing so, she has been credited with being one of the first people to cosplay at a convention in 1980.
As fannish costuming quickly gained popularity, Karen and Kelly Turner co-founded Costume-Con in 1983, an event originally conceived as a one-year-only convention dedicated to costuming in its varied forms. The convention has now existed for 30+ years. The Whole Costumer's Catalogue was created the same year as a way of consolidating varied costuming resources. The book went through 14 editions, and is now out of print.
Karen has pursued varied professional costuming careers over the years, including working on her ex-husband Ricky's professional clown costuming company, high end corsetry, and theatrical quality Halloween costuming. 1993 marked the start of a new business venture: a haunted house, based within and around the home she shared with ex-husband Ricky Dick.
In 2006, Karen and Ricky became co-hosts of the horror host TV show, Midnight Monster Hop. Filmed in their home in Beallsville, PA, the show had a three-year run and can still be seen in select national markets.
Awards and recognition
- 1986 - Fan Guest of Honor, Westercon
- 1995 - International Costumers' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2004 - Costumer Guest of Honor, Lunacon
- 2006 - Cosplayer Guest of Honor, Anime USA
- 2009 - Fan Guest of Honor, Arisia