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dc20willsave

The Convention Thread

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Went to Indy Popcon yesterday with my girlfriend and her daughter. I geeked out when I crossed paths with Joel Hodgson (I know Earth-2 leans towards Mike but I have found downtown indy to be strong Joel territory). I melted again when I met Ron Glass. Listened to John Dimaggio talk on a panel and was about to meet Sylvester McCoy when the people running his booth, Who North America, not only recognized my yucky suit was supposed to be a sixth doctor coat but the penguin I was holding was supposed to be Frobisher.

Seven people recognized Frobisher which was six more than I was expecting, one even wanted to pet him (which seemed ironic since his animatronic steampunk ferret was much cooler). And two people said they wished that Frobisher would make it on TV.

The best part was when my girlfriend and I bumped into a little boy dressed as the eleventh doctor. Who was yelling and overacting his role as the doctor. At the moment, we were upset that it cost $5 to take a picture in the Tardis. Eleven then took my gf and ran to a lighter colored tardis. He wanted us to stay with him but we wanted to see the booths.

Her daughter did not expect to find anything fun but liked one artist so much she bought a print of Graverobber from "Repo the Genetic Opera."

I really hope they made enough to make it happen again next year.

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First of all, that marketing flack sounds like he needs a good throat punch. Ugh.

This does sound interesting, but it kind of sounds like ReedPop is trying to monetize something that's already happening. Times Square businesses are already doing a lot of "Hey, you're at the con anyway, so come in here and see what we're doing that's kind of like the thing you like!" which I ran into quite a bit when I took a trip to New York during NYCC a year or two back without actually going to the convention. This is already a big thing in San Diego with alt scenes like NerdMelt and art shows and parties and a million other things going on while SDCC rages a block or two over.

With that said, I think that turning a four day show into a week or week-and-a-half festival of awesomeness could be either a huge thing or overload, depending on how it's handled. I'd be very interested in seeing how this shakes out.

Does anyone know anyone who went to NYCC Special Edition this past weekend? It sounds like it was a really good time.

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God damn I'm so happy I put my time and effort into a little 3-4k attendee convention instead.

That said we are 8 days from setup day. I'm not really behind but I still have this dread of I NEED TO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW AND OH MY GOD I KNOW SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG EVEN IF I TEST EVERYTHING 50 TIMES~!!

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Fuck that!

Fuck that, indeed.

However, two things:

  • The victims finally have some resolution, and this deal was reached with their input. Small consolation.
  • Ed Kramer is now officially the DA's new hobby. He is going to be watched like a hawk, every day, for the rest of his life, and if he violates the tiniest term of this deal - and he will, as he is sociopatically arrogant and constitutionally incapable of not doing exactly whatever he wants, the instant he decides he wants to - he will land in jail that afternoon, and will rot there the rest of his life.

Edward Kramer, in what is clearly a violation of his plea deal, has moved to Brooklyn, is advertising himself as a counselor on Twitter, and is following several youth organizations.

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According to the DA, the Brooklyn part of his profile is bullshit. His GPS bracelet still puts him in Georgia.

In fact, most of the profile is either flat out bullshit (he's not a SFWA member) or greatly exaggerated (he didn't write Sandman but did contribute to a fanfic anthology).

However, the fact that he's advertising his "services" to single mothers of disabled kids is troubling to say the least.

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BallpitCon!

In all seriousness, this thing gives all fancons a bad name. I mean, when someone tries to compensate you with an extra hour in a ball-pit, when you try to ask for donations during the con, yeah, fucking fuckers.

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BallpitCon!

In all seriousness, this thing gives all fancons a bad name. I mean, when someone tries to compensate you with an extra hour in a ball-pit, when you try to ask for donations during the con, yeah, fucking fuckers.

I honestly think this isn't intentional evil; I think the con is being run by people with NO IDEA what they're doing. Every now and then a con goes down in spectacular flames; that MLP con in Las Vegas last year was legendary. This isn't going to ruin fan conventions, but it's going to make a lot of people think twice about going to a show like this.

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The running gag to every small/medium problem that happened at Ai-Kon. Could be worse, could be Dashcon.

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Oh, this convention.

DashCon released a statement late last night, and it's a spectacular example of a non-apology apology. In essence:

  • they had the money but PayPal wouldn't let them touch it
  • the unnamed staff members (but with enough info that you could Google their names if you really cared to) responsible for everything have been fired
  • anyone who donated and wants their money back has until this Saturday to ask for it or no dice
  • Welcome to Night Vale was told they would have a cashier's check by an unnamed staff member who no one can verify that this person even exists and when the check failed to materialize (late at night on a Saturday, when it's obviously very very easy to go to a bank and get a cashier's check even though your organization does not have a bank account) they understandably walked, seeing as how this is their job
  • guests being charged for their rooms which were meant to have been comped by the con was a mistake on the part of the hotel
  • as proof, here are the room bills of the people in question for everyone to see
  • and finally, at the end there's a Donate button

This is a clusterfuck of the highest order, and it's everyone's fault but the convention's. They blame unnamed people who may or may not actually exist (best case scenario, someone who had absolutely no business authorizing a payment to the WTNV people was promising them money on the con's behalf, and the conrunners have no idea who that might have been), they never bothered to open a bank account in the con LLP's name and so therefore could not actually touch their money without hitting Paypal's daily $3000 limit, they apparently did not realize that they had to pay for electricity, insurance, incidentals, etc. in addition to the room and meeting spaces until the day before the con opened, and they are making it difficult and borderline impossible for people who donated to them to reclaim their money (which the con undoubtedly does not actually have). Any other problems are because the mean old Marriott corporate team handed down orders to the Schaumberg hotel to get payment immediately, instead of after the con, when they would supposedly have more funds on hand based on 3000-7000 projected walk-in sales which did not materialize. (So, either they had the money but couldn't touch it, or they didn't have the money but thought it was coming over the weekend. Pick a story, people.)

The dangerous thing is, this is a for-profit LLP owned by two people who are drawing a salary and making money from this. And it is funded nearly entirely by donations. The con gives every indication that it's a non-profit, and is happy to let people think so and donate accordingly, but in reality these two people are making money and not actually producing anything workable. I still don't think anything criminal is going on (at least not intentionally so), but this is the most wildly irresponsible thing I've seen in a long, long time, and they should under no circumstances be allowed to do this again next year.

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Looking at their site, I have no clue who any of those people are which makes me feel old. Wait, no, I know one of them (Nash Grier) as being a homophobic, misogynistic asshole. They're 44.99 for a 1-day ticket with no option for a 2-day. What the hell? I mean, at least DashCon had a ball-pit.

Edited to add: No wait, I just noticed that this is being put on in conjunction with Wizard World Chicago, same-day. So, this is pretty much there to try to attract... non-geeky people who go? I seriously have no clue what they're doing here.

Edited by dc20willsave

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No wait, I just noticed that this is being put on in conjunction with Wizard World Chicago, same-day. So, this is pretty much there to try to attract... non-geeky people who go? I seriously have no clue what they're doing here.

I assume that the demographics for the two shows will cross over to some degree, and they can sell two tickets to the same dumbass.

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I think there are about 20 active cons registered with the words "Comic Con" in their name (and an untold number of smaller, off-the-grid shows).

SDCC got a trademark on the term "Comic-Con" (with a hyphen) a while back after an unsuccessful attempt to trademark "Comic Con" was rejected as being too vague. They tried to D&C Chicago Comc Con back in the day and that went nowhere for the same reason, but their reasoning is that other shows calling themselves "City Comic Con" dilutes their brand and causes confusion in the minds of people who will think these other conventions are affiliated with Comic-Con International.

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While attendance was at its usual highs, the marketing presence at SDCC 2014 appeared to have dropped considerably. This article is one guy's take, but I'm hearing the same from multiple sources: it's still crowded, make no mistake, but it seemed a lot more organized and people had a much, much, much better chance of getting into the things they wanted than even last year.

Is Hollywood less apt to throw everything at SDCC and hope it sticks?

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