Category Archives: Convention News

In depth reporting on issues and news within the North American Convention Scene.

Anime Punch Disbands After Con Chair Michael Beuerlein Pleads Guilty to Sexual Battery

Columbus, OH based convention Anime Punch has been disbanded and will no longer hold any more events. The convention staff announced that they would be ceasing all future operations on in a statement on their official Facebook page on September 14th:


This is in the wake of convention chair Michael Beuerlein pleading guilty to Sexual Battery in the state of Virgina on September 5th. A misdemeanor, Beuerlein is currently currently out on parole. He has also been required to register as a sex offender.

It’s always terrifying to find out someone like this is running around the con scene. For what it’s worth, not many seem surprised about Beuerlein, as at least this rather lengthy Facebook thread seems to detail a number of other alleged incidents involving Beuerlein. Whether those other allegations are true or not, he sure seems like a person you wouldn’t want to let into your con, let alone operate an event

Rose City Comic Con Taking Firmer Stance Against Nazi ‘Cosplay’

Last week Portland, OR based Rose City Comic Con expanded their ban on hate symbols to include any cosplay that includes accurate recreations of Nazi uniforms. The convention expanded their policy in the wake of a couple of “cosplayers” who wore what are effectively Nazi uniforms with Hello Kitty imagery integrated into them. As Women Write About Comics points out, this year’s convention (which was held September 8-10) wasn’t the first time these particular cosplayers have showed up to the event either.

The convention tweeted about the update on their official twitter account.

While many cons would consider Nazi uniforms banned as hate symbols, the Rose City Comic Con’s old policy was fairly vaguely worded on the matter:

Hateful symbols aren’t welcome at Rose City Comic Con. Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate.

The new policy is much more specific and harder to purposefully misinterpret:

Hateful symbols aren’t welcome at Rose City Comic Con. Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate – this goes for Old School Hydra and Red Skull or any other Nazis from entertainment properties. Those figures, while comic-related, are still very much Nazis. As a result, they are 100% banned, always. This includes any sort of “ironic” or satirical costumes that re-appropriate Nazi paraphernalia or gear. You won’t just be banned from that year’s convention. You will be banned from coming to RCCC for life.

Honestly I think this is a much needed step. Some outlets (*cough*) have reported this as a ban on “Hydra and Red Skull” cosplay, but what’s really being banned here is Red Skull and Hydra cosplay that integrates actual Nazi uniform designs. It’s a perfectly reasonable ban, especially in the current political climate.

When you get down to it, there are two kinds of people who put on Nazi cosplay. There are people who are too microfocused on their fandom to think about how what they’re wearing will be perceived by the people around them, and then there are people who are completely aware of it and it’s the whole reason they’re doing it. The former are good people who need to take their convention blinders off (and I’ve been complaining about this issue for a while). The latter though are people who have no place at our events, and we need to take a stand against as a community.

When real Nazis are marching, we shouldn’t be dressing up as them.

Via Women Write About Comics, Rose City Comic Con

Two Dragon Con Attendees Injured After Being Struck By Chairs Thrown From Tenth Floor Balcony

Two Dragon Con attendees were injured late Saturday night/early Sunday morning when chairs thrown from a tenth story balcony at the Marriott Marquis hotel struck them. One of the two people, Kelly McDaniel, spoke with local Atlanta television station WSB. McDaniel was struck in the head, and believes that the only reason she survived was because of her Loki cosplay’s headpiece.

Both McDaniel and the other victim were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for their injuries. Frankly, everyone’s just lucky no one was severely injured. McDaniel is urging any witnesses to reach out to the police. She told WSB, “I think they need to punished by the law for assault with a deadly weapon. I could have been really hurt.”

Dragon Con has released the following statement about the incident:

Two women at Dragon Con were injured at the convention early Sunday morning when two chairs were dropped from an outside balcony on the 10th floor in the Marriott to a landing below. The women were treated and released at separate hospitals.

We are grateful that the injuries were not more severe. And we are proud of the Dragon Con attendees who stepped up quickly, realized the severity of the situation and provided immediate assistance.

Atlanta Police Department is investigating.

Not everyone staying in the Marriott was a Dragon Con attendee, so it’s unclear whether or not it was someone going to the con at fault. Regardless, it’s a gross, dangerous thing to hurl objects off a balcony towards unexpecting people, and I hope that the people who committed this act are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Via WSB TV

Avalon Expo Organizer Disappears Mid-Con, Gets Accused of Skipping Out on the Bill

Newfoundland based convention Avalon Expo was the center of controversy this last weekend, as organizer Jeff Power (pictured on the left above) apparently ducked out mid-convention. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with guest of honor Rene Auberjonois, who accused the promoter of skipping out on the bill.

Apparently the organizer had so completely disappeared that a missings persons report ended up getting filed, though police eventually located Power on Monday. It’s not known for sure what happened, as the convention is not releasing any information about what exactly happened to Power.

Convention organizers deny that bills went unpaid, though I can only assume there’s something still amiss since Auberjonois has not let up even into Tuesday morning. We’ll keep following this story and report if anything new develops.

Via The Telegram, CBC

Cosplayer Alisa Norris (aka ‘AlisaKiss’) Participated in Charlottesville White Supremacist Rally

Look, we’ve been actively avoiding talking about the “Unite the Right” White Supremacist rally that recently took place in Charlottesville, where one of the participants decided to drive full speed into a group of counterprotesters – killing one and injuring quite a few others. We figure here at Nerd & Tie that you’ve stopped by our site because you want to avoid thinking about what a garbage fire the world seems to be falling into. Sadly though, sometimes the real world intercepts with fandom and we’re forced to bring it up.

You see, it turns out that popular cosplayer Alisa Norris (aka “AlisaKiss”) attended the rally, and no – she was not a counterprotester. As Russ Matthews pointed out on Facebook:

Norris can be spotted about fifteen seconds into this video holding her husband’s hand as he shouts “Jews will not replace us.”


GIF version Courtesy of Bleeding Cool

Norris took part in White Nationalist event, and her husband has openly admitted to being one. I’m not a big fan of letting Nazis and White Supremacists into conventions or working with them, and I know I’m not alone. It’s very clear Norris is a supporter of that movement, and the community needs to take stock of that.

Clearly some people already have decided to take a stand, as it appears that the webmaster for Norris’s site has resigned. On their way out the door, the now former webmaster took down the website, AlisaKiss.com, and replaced the contents with the following:

While I’ll be the first to admit that taking the site down on the way out the door wasn’t really all that professional, it is kind of satisfying to see.

Otakon’s Artist Alley Temporarily Closes Due to Rain Drainage System Overflow (Updated)

Earlier tonight, Washington DC based convention Otakon was forced to temporarily close their Artist Alley due to a broken pipe. It’s believed that due to a storm, much higher amounts of rain water than expected flooded the convention center’s drainage system, causing the pipes to burst causing the system to overflow and spill water through the event center ceiling.

Water ended up falling directly on artists’ booths, and convention closed the Artist Alley as water continued to pour in.

We’re not sure what will happen with the artists whose work has been damaged, but it does look like the convention was able to get the doors back open… even if the room’s still a bit wet.

We’ll update this story if we hear anything else.

Update (8/13 9:30am) We have confirmed a few more details about the situation, including that (as we were initially told) the water was from the convention center’s roof rain drainage system. Otakon has also informed artists with damaged merchandise from the incident that they will be reimbursed.

There have been rumors about people injuring themselves on the wet floor. While two people did have some minor dust ups (one twisted an ankle while the other slipped and fell), both were released by on site EMTs. As far as we know, no one required hospitalization. Otakon Artist Alley Co-Head Sarah Moulder released an extensive statement to this effect in a comment in the Artist Alley Network International Facebook group confirming this.

Five of GeekGirlCon’s Organizers Resign, Accuse Executive Director of ‘Reverse Racism’

Seattle, WA based GeekGirlCon has been running since 2011, dedicated to promoting women in science, science fiction, video gaming, and more. It’s been a source of inclusion that this community desperately needs, and that’s why it’s kind of bizarre to see the event at the center of such ridiculous drama.

You see, five people resigned quite publicly from the event’s staff this last weekend. And by “publicly resigned” I mean “hijacked the convention website and mailing list on their way out the door.” In move straight out of fifth grade, the these members of the conventions operations team posted a lengthy message to the convention’s website and to the con’s mailing list alleging underhanded voting tactics, bullying staff members, and (here’s the kicker) reverse racism.

“Reverse racism” isn’t actually a thing by the way. Continue reading Five of GeekGirlCon’s Organizers Resign, Accuse Executive Director of ‘Reverse Racism’

YesterCon Evacuated After Bomb Threat

Yestercon is an annual nostalgia driven convention held at the Carson Center in Carson, CA. Their annual one-day event was unfortunately cut short Sunday, as the con had to be evacuated after a bomb threat received around 2:30pm local time.

While we’ve yet to receive an official response from the convention, from all reports the evacuation was handled professionally and efficiently. It also appears that the threat was a false alarm, and no explosive devices were found on the premises.

Angry Goat Productions Running ‘School of Wizardry’ Train Event Under a New Company Name

It’s hard to imagine that I hadn’t heard of Angry Goat Productions until January of this year. The ongoing drama surrounding their (distinct lack of) events has been kind of amazing. First they were trying to run an event called “Cosplay Unplugged Los Angeles” which was raising red flags for Sailor Moon fans. What we found was a company run by a man named Ray Jelley that continuously announced events and cancelled them.

Then Angry Goat Productions, unsurprisingly, cancelled that event. A month later, weirdly, the company announced similar events for Sailor Moon and Outlander fandoms, which were pretty much what they were planning before, just slightly scaled down.

And then they turned around and cancelled them again for good measure.

With no new events listed on the company’s official website, you’d be forgiven if you assumed that there was nothing coming down the pipe from this (extremely confusing) promoter, but you’d be wrong. Based off a tip we received from a reader and backed up by our own research, not only is Ray Jelley and his company as active as ever, but they’re “organizing” an off-brand “Harry Potter-esque” LARP event on a train.

They’re just doing everything they can to hide that they’re the ones running it. Continue reading Angry Goat Productions Running ‘School of Wizardry’ Train Event Under a New Company Name

Iowa Man Arrested at Florida’s Tampa Bay Comic Con For Allegedly Stalking Actress Kate Beckinsale

Forty-five year old Iowa resident Terry Lee Repp was arrested on Saturday at Tampa Bay Comic Con for allegedly stalking actress Kate Beckinsale. Repp has apparently been following Beckinsale to conventions across the country for at least the last year. In 2016 he apparently threatened to stab Beckinsale at an event in Salt Lake City, and later showed up at Houston’s Comicpalooza.

Repp has been arrested, and was initially charged with misdemeanor stalking. On Sunday a Florida judge recommended that the charges be upped to a felony, though we don’t know if that’s been formally done. Repp was being held on a $5,000 bond.

Repp was apparently found before he could approach Beckinsale at the convention, as an officer reportedly recognized the man and immediately arrested him. Police told TMZ that Repp has “an irrational obsession with the victim and has traveled across the country in an effort to harass her.”

Beckinsale’s panel on Saturday was delayed so she could file a report, but she did return to the convention.

Via MyNews13