The trio behind the popular web series “Man at Arms” will return to Otakon this year to share their craft, according to Otakorp Inc. Matt Stagmer, Ilya Alekseyev ,and Bill Collison have been added to the guest roster at Otakon 2019.
Stagmer has been making swords for 20 years. He is the lead blade grinder at Baltimore Knife and Sword. In the summer of 2014, he began hosting the hit web series “Mat at Arms: Reforged.” Teamed with other talented craftsmen, he brings to life the most requested fantasy arms and armor from your favorite video games, anime, and other pop culture genres. In 2017 he became the host of the TV show “Man at Arms: The Art of War,” starring alongside Danny Trejo to make history’s most devastating weapons. In 2018 earned the title producer for the second season of “Art of War” and is currently creating his own content on YouTube for the channel “That Works.”
Alekseyev was born in Troitsk, Russia. From an early age, he developed an interest in the art and craftsmanship of bladed weapons. He likes to bring his background in art history, Asian studies, and philosophy into his craft. Alekseyev is currently an armorer working with Baltimore Knife and Sword, as well as one of the product designers. Among the skills that he brings to the “Man at Arms” project are his expertise in armor, Damascus steel, bloomery steel, and engraving.
Collison has been working with Baltimore Knife and sword off and on for the past 20 years and has worked with them on a full time basis for the past two years grinding blades. His craftsman background started in armor making and progressed into casting, mold making and heat treating. His knowledge with sheet metal work has made it easy to transition into prop armor and costuming. He has worked with the Freelancers as their jousting armorer for 17 years and has a background in martial arts, as well as the SCA. Collison is a contributing smith on both the “Man at Arms” series (TV & YouTube), and on the YouTube channel “That Works”
Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.