Category Archives: Convention News

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

An Open Letter to the owner of AwesomeCon.net

So we’ve written a few things about Awesome Con here on Nerd & Tie, but believe it or not this isn’t about that particular organization (sort of).

No, this is about one of you.

You see, while checking through our referring link report on Nerd & Tie, I saw a surprising URL listed: AwesomeCon.net

At least while I’m writing this, typing in AwesomeCon.net in your URL bar takes you to this article I wrote a couple weeks ago. And while I stand behind that piece (and Pher’s more even handed follow up), there is one thing I want to make absolutely clear:

None of us at Nerd & Tie purchased that domain name, and we are not in control of it. Continue reading An Open Letter to the owner of AwesomeCon.net

Help Pay For Nezumi Con 2015

So there’s been a lot of negative stuff on Nerd & Tie about rumblings in the convention scene. From the Awesome Con stuff (Part 1, Part 2) to the DashCon fiasco (dear lord that mess…), things have probably sounded pretty bleak.

So let’s talk about something else instead. Let’s talk about a great little convention trying to expand.

Let’s talk about Nezumi Con.

Nezumi Con started as a little student run con at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and I’ve been going there for the last two years. It may be small, but I’ve always enjoyed myself.

Well, they’re trying to grow, and they need money to do that. So Nezumi Con has launched an Indiegogo campaign.

Their goal is fairly reasonable at $4500, and the campaign will continue until September 5th. With this money they plan on running their standard January one day event – but long term they want to expand to a multiday con.

Look, with all the talk about corporate cons and amateurs making messes of thing, Nezumi Con is an independent, well run convention and they need your support.

So consider donating.

And attending.

And being awesome.

Awesome Con or Daisho Con?: A Follow-Up Investigation

Author’s Note: This is a follow-up investigation to this article, which appeared on Nerd and Tie’s megablog on Friday, July 11th, 2014, written by Trae Dorn

Wisconsin convention culture has been a rather unique rabbit for the past thirteen years. The Wisconsin con scene used to feature a wide variety of sci-fi and gaming conventions such as Gen Con (before moving to Indianapolis), West Con, Mad Media,  First Contact, and others. However, by the end of the 90s, many of them had died off.  When Gen Con moved out of state in 2002, it left a gap that was immediately filled by a new generation of smaller conventions like No Brand Con. In years that followed, multiple not-for-profit cons sprang up across the state, all generally respectful of one another’s featured guests, events, and most importantly, con dates.

The cardinal rule of the con scene in Wisconsin is that under no circumstance do you encroach on another con’s weekend.

Imagine the surprise of the Wisconsin con scene, then, when it was announced that Awesome Con, a for-profit con that began in Washington, D.C., was moving to both Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Even more surprised, still, when it was announced that Awesome Con Milwaukee would be happening the exact same weekend as an already-established Wisconsin convention, Daisho Con.

Continue reading Awesome Con or Daisho Con?: A Follow-Up Investigation

DashCon: A Perfect Storm of Incompetence

There are good cons and bad cons. There are cons that work and cons that don’t. There are cons that succeed and cons that fail. But every once in a blue moon something remarkable comes along. A unique alignment of the stars allowing a very special kind of convention to happen. I’m talking about a true “disaster con.”

And in this case, I’m talking about DashCon. From all reports DashCon may be the most mismanaged, poorly planned event we’ve seen in quite a while.

Or at least since Kaze Con, but that’s a different story. Continue reading DashCon: A Perfect Storm of Incompetence

‘Awesome Con’ Is Not So Awesome, Steals Established Con’s Weekend

Note: Does Trae sound like a dick in this article? He sure thinks he did. We’re leaving it intact, but please be aware — we at Nerd & Tie all think we were being a bit unfair on this.

A version of this first appeared on Trae’s personal blog.

So as many of you know, I primarily do conventions in two areas: Indiana (where I live) and Wisconsin (where I’m from). I’ve just recently gotten started at expanding into more Indiana events, but it would be an understatement to say I’m highly involved with cons in Wisconsin.

Mostly because I co-founded one of the older, still running ones.

Those of you who have read my blog over the years may have also noted I have a pretty specific philosophy when it comes to how people and organizations in the con scene should interact. I think cons should try to work together cooperatively rather than competitively, as a rising tide can lift all boats if we do it right. I hold everyone to a pretty high standard, and I view what we’re doing in building communities amongst those who haven’t so easily been accepted in society at large as kind of important. And while I am not wholly against for-profit conventions on any sort of principle, as I believe they can be run right, I also have yet to witness that many situations where for-profit outfits don’t come into regions like a bull in a china shop.

I can get a bit preachy, I know.

And Wisconsin has been a nice little refuge, with almost an entirely non-profit, fan run con scene. Even the largest con currently in the area, Anime Milwaukee, is managed with some pretty solid principles. Sure, not everyone is perfect – and conflict happens, but overall stuff has been pretty peaceful.

Cons work together, stay away from each others weekends, and have built a community unlike anywhere else I’ve been to.

Anyway, all of that should serve as background to how I’m reacting to a very particular email I received yesterday.

An email which has me a bit angry.

Because you know that bull I mentioned earlier? It’s just driven a truck through the china shop’s front window. Continue reading ‘Awesome Con’ Is Not So Awesome, Steals Established Con’s Weekend