Tag Archives: AnimeCon.org

Episode 56 – Predictable Ends

On this episode of Nerd & Tie, we talk about Jenna Louise Coleman’s upcoming departure from Doctor Who, Pacific Rim 2‘s cancellation, the possibility of a new King Kong vs. Godzilla, Titletown Comic & Entertainment Expo officially canceling their 2015 con, MRAs filing a nonsensical suit against Calgary Expo, the MetaCon fistfight, Nick’s experiences at Coulee Con, and our ongoing Indiegogo campaign for the Nerd & Tie Expo.

It’s a lot of fun.

Important Links

Video Version:

Audio Version:

AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf Allegedly Attacks Vendor During MetaCon 2015

During this last weekend’s MetaCon in Minneapolis, a fist fight broke out. It wasn’t between a couple of angry teenagers, nor was it between belligerent drunks who had a few too many at the hotel bar. No, it was between MetaCon owner and AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf and vendor David Silvieus of “PLUSH in the USA.”

And it happened in the vendor room while it was open on a Saturday.

The incident is, frankly, an amazing one. We’ve talked to both sides along with a couple of witnesses, and tried to piece together what we believe to be the most accurate account of what happened. We also think it’s safe to say that there is no hero to this tale, only degrees of villain.

But I don’t think anyone is surprised by that. Continue reading AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf Allegedly Attacks Vendor During MetaCon 2015

Episode 53 – Highly Anticipated

On this fortnight’s installment of the podcast, we discuss the new Deadpool trailer, how we’re grateful that we won’t have to watch Uncle Ben die in the next Spider-Man movie, the bizarreness of a post-Apocalyptic adaptation of Little Women (you read that right), how The Dark Tower film(s) seem finally on track, Galacticon’s bizarre staff drama, Anime California’s inappropriate actions towards Summoner’s Cafe, and how we’re all super happy to be attending Geek.kon!

It’ll be fun. We have some big news for you there.

Important Links:

Video Version:

Audio Version:

Ryan Kopf’s Anime California Harasses, Threatens Maid Cafe Operators After They Refuse To Sign Over Ownership

It seems like if you wanted to find the poster child for unethical con running, Chrono LC/AnimeCon.org’s owner Ryan Kopf appears to be the perfect candidate. I mean, I normally would start out this article pointing you to all the things we’ve written about him — but the very fact that we’ve had to cover him enough where there even is a “normally” says so much right there.

Instead, I’ll just direct you to our Ryan Kopf Tag… and, well, there’s always this thing.

So it came as no surprise when I came across a post by Chuwei Cosplay yesterday which detailed extensively how Ryan Kopf’s Anime California tried to strong arm the Maid Cafe group she was involved in into signing over ownership, and when they refused to, Anime California began a campaign of harassment that boggles the mind.

Buckle in kids, it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Now former CEO of Anime California Jeff Suddarth first approached a friend of Chuwei back in the fall of 2013 about bringing a Maid Cafe to Anime California’s 2014 event. No contracts were signed, and the people behind what would become called “Summoner’s Cafe” operated completely independently from Anime California’s management.

Prior to Anime California 2014, the Summoner’s Cafe group was invited to attend the League of Legends Championship Series. Immediately after the group’s outside exposure, Suddarth sent a contract to the operators of Summoner’s Cafe demanding that they sign it. The contract would make Anime California the sole owner of all the IP surrounding the Maid Cafe, with zero compensation provided. When Summoner’s Cafe refused, things took a turn.

When Summoner’s Cafe withdrew from Anime California and began operating at other events, Suddarth began to send harassing cease and desist letters to Summoner’s Cafe’s sponsors. Even after Suddarth supposedly stepped down as head of Anime California, he continued to openly demean Summoner’s Cafe to potential partners.

Seriously, this is just the cliff’s notes — read the full account here.

Now, to get to the crux of the matter, there are a couple of issues at play here. Summoner’s Cafe operated under the impression that they were an independent group brought in to just run the cafe. Anime California claimed that Chuwei’s friend was brought in as an employee, and that as such any work done for the con belonged to the con. Without any written agreement, it’s all one person’s word against the other’s.

The thing is, regardless of whether it was a misunderstanding or a malicious action on Anime California’s part, if everything Chuwei says is true, Jeffery Suddarth’s repeated harassment of the Summoner’s Cafe is unacceptable. Considering the event’s connection to Chrono LC, it’s not surprising though.

The constant legal threats and ongoing harassment are a ridiculous overreaction when looked at in the best light, and a dangerous, malicious attack when looked at with a more realistic lens. These actions are anti-community, and part of the continuing poison those associated with Chrono LC seems determined to bleed into the con scene.

Or, in other words, business as usual for Mr. Kopf.

This article was edited August 18th. An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Summoner’s Cafe operated at Anime California 2014.

It should also be noted that while Suddarth claims to have stepped down as head of Anime California, he is still listed as the operator of Anime California Inc with the state of California.

Episode 48 – Unauthorized Likeness

On this episode we got up early and recorded in the morning, and then had to start over because we screwed up the audio and didn’t notice until we got ten minutes into the episode! It’s exciting!

We talk about Supergirl‘s pilot getting leaked online, The Craft getting a remake, Black Widow getting left out of an Avengers toy, Toho suing over unauthorized uses of Godzilla in Colossal‘s marketing, and Trae went to Anime Central.

All that, and your letters.

The Anime Central Trinity Selfie Challenge Winners!

Zaero (who used a plush proxie)
20150515_17385720150515_17471120150515_175054

Shameless Otaku
20150515_13114720150515_13250220150517_142314

Links

Video Version:

Audio Version:

Banned From Anime Central, AnimeCon.org Plasters Area With Anime Midwest Ads

Anime Central, one of the oldest Anime cons in the midwest, concluded Sunday afternoon. While the exhibit hall had a fairly long row devoted to other conventions, there was one conspicuously absent: Anime Midwest.

According to people I spoke with, the reasons were quite simple: Ryan Kopf and his company AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC are banned from Anime Central.

I don’t actually know why he’s banned, but I can hazard a guess or two just based off his past professional and personal indiscretions.

Of course, getting banned would never stop Ryan from trying to promote at the biggest Anime con in the region – so in lieu of a table (which other conventions get provided for free by the way), Ryan decided to plaster the area with advertisements, which included a massive digital billboard on the neighboring “Fashion Outlets of Chicago” and at least one bus stop ad next to the event. According to the Digital Billboard, AnimeCon.org had even set up in the Fashion Outlets of Chicago to accept preregistrations. According to several people I talked with, this is the second year he’s done this.

And honestly? This all has me shaking my head.

While it’s true being excluded from the biggest show in the area is a serious hit for Kopf, the amount of expense spent on this campaign surely can’t net enough preregistrations to justify the costs involved. A targeted online campaign would probably produce similar results with a far smaller financial burden.

But hey, if the guy wants to burn his money, I say we let him.

An Animinneapolis and MetaCon (Ex)Staffer is a Convicted Predatory Sex Offender (Updated)

Update: AnimeCon.org staffer Cay Combs has posted a response to this article stating that they were until recently unaware of Goodew’s history, and he has been banned from staffing their events.

Robert Goodew is a staffer for two (and department head for at least one) of Ryan Kopf’s AnimeCon.org events. He was the head of viewing rooms for Animinneapolis 2014 and on his Facebook page lists himself as working in Operations for the upcoming 2014 MetaCon. On Facebook he “likes” the WWE, Jason David Frank, and the “Baconator.”

More importantly though, Robert Goodew is a predatory sex offender who was convicted in 2010 for sexual conduct and contact with a 12 year old boy.
Continue reading An Animinneapolis and MetaCon (Ex)Staffer is a Convicted Predatory Sex Offender (Updated)

Episode 28 – Live at Geek.kon 2014

On this episode of Nerd & Tie we were live at Geek.kon 2014 in Madison, WI. We talk about the cast changes at Mythbusters, the complicated legal issues surrounding Ryan Kopf’s AnimeCon.org, details about the filming of Ant-Man, Jenna-Louise Coleman’s possible departure from Doctor Who, Peter Quill’s parentage in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and your letters.

We also interact with the audience a bit. Which is always fun.

Do Some of Ryan Kopf’s Conventions Break the Law? Quite Possibly

Update: Since posting this article, Chrono L.C. has registered with the State of Minnesota and the State of Illinois (not directly linkable – but easily found). The original article appears as follows.

The Complicated Web of Ryan Kopf, Chrono LC, Black Materia Inc and State Lines

This was all supposed to start simple enough: I was going to write a follow up on Ryan Kopf’s new ventures run through Black Materia Inc. I had discovered that Black Materia Inc was a completely seperate corporation from Chrono LC, and I was going to reveal who Kopf’s new business partner was.

I figured I’d be done with it under 300 words, and likely never think of it again.

But as I took my stroll through Google searches and public records, things started to feel off. Something wasn’t quite right, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. — so I kept digging even after I found the answer.

And what I found blew me away. Continue reading Do Some of Ryan Kopf’s Conventions Break the Law? Quite Possibly

Ryan Kopf Helping Run Anime Kaiju, Taiga Con under “Black Materia Inc.” brand

Update: It appears the list of Black Materia, Inc cons also includes Star City Anime in Roanoke, VA

Update #2: We now know a lot more about Black Materia Inc, and how some of Ryan Kopf’s business practices might be illegal.

Ryan Kopf isn’t a stranger to controversy. Even the tamest news about his events tends to be negative… and well… then there’s this. Needless to say, a google search for his name doesn’t bring up the most positive of results.

With such massive PR issues, you can understand why Ryan (and his company Chrono, LC) might want to be careful when entering new markets. That is likely the reason then that as he’s starting two new events, Anime Kaiju (Nashville, TN) and Taiga Con (Atlanta, GA), Kopf has decided to not operate under his better known AnimeCon.org name and instead a new brand: Black Materia, Inc. Continue reading Ryan Kopf Helping Run Anime Kaiju, Taiga Con under “Black Materia Inc.” brand