So Titan Fan Con is a small comic convention that ran last weekend in Odessa, TX. It’s one of the myriad of small cons that dot the American country side, and with a small attendance it normally wouldn’t get close to registering on our radar. For a con like this to end up filling column inches on Nerd & Tie, they’d have to do something spectacularly amazing or spectacularly stupid.
On this episode of Nerd & Tie we deal with the ongoing move of our production studio, mourn the passing of Adam West, go through the highlights of E3, discuss the changes coming to Pokemon Go, review the confusing situation surrounding the Venom movie (and how it MIGHT still be MCU adjacent), and consider Wizard World’s money problems.
There are a few technical difficulties in the video too, but at least the audio version is largely clean?
This episode of Nerd & Tie was sponsored by Ohio Kimono
Hey Gen, you might ask, I’m going to be volunteering at my first convention ever, do you have any advice?
Here are my tips:
-Most cons will let you attend for free or refund your badge if you volunteer a certain number of hours for them. If you want to volunteer at a con, go to the staff office and ask the staffers there about it.
-Write down your volunteer schedule and keep it with you. If the back of your badge is blank, write your schedule there.
-Be professional. Most of your hours will probably be badging, which can get really boring. Try not to nap, be on your phone, or play games while badging. It makes the con staff look bad.
-If a congoer comes to you with an issue because they think you are a staffer, don’t worry. Stay calm and just try to direct them to an actual staffer nearby, or to the staff office area.
-If you sign up for volunteer hours, SHOW UP FOR YOUR HOURS. Please. The staff are depending on you to do your job and to be where you need to be so that their con can run smoothly. It’s really frustrating to staff if volunteers don’t show up to their shifts and they have to stretch to cover it.
-Have fun, stay hydrated, take showers, enjoy the fact that you are attending for a lower price than most other people there.
Disclaimer: Gen is not a professional advice person in any way, and can only give tips based on their own experiences.
Convention mega chain Wizard World has had some widely reported financial issues over the last few years, and it looks like things haven’t gotten any better for the company. Even having scaled back operations to fewer conventions and securing outside funding from Bristol Investment Fund, the company still managed to lose over $1.28 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Revenue per Wizard World show is down $99,096 from 2016, and with an ever more crowded con market, I can’t really see that getting better soon. This isn’t even to mention the “Con Box” subscription service, which appears to have fallen apart completely.
Honestly, as more and more pop culture events spring up across the country, and celebrity guarantees rise, the costs are making the continued existence of a chain like Wizard World untenable. Where finding big name celebrities at a regional con used to be novelty, it’s becoming less and less of one as time goes by. Without that draw (and a pretty hefty entrance fee), it’s hard to see a bright future for the company in its current state.
On this, the one hundredth episode of Nerd & Tie, our heroes give our review of DC’s Wonder Woman movie, discuss how said film was banned in Lebanon, celebrate 40 years of Star Wars, and continued to get confused by the ongoing progress on Sony’s Venom movie. Then we take on the con scene, where ColossalCon forced Colossus Con to rebrand, and Phoenix Comicon narrowly avoided tragedy.
After running two events, California based Colossus Con has now been forced to rename their comic conventions. This has happened in the wake of a trademark complaint from Ohio based anime con ColossalCon. The Colossus Con events planned for Merced, CA and Campbell, CA have been renamed California Republic Comic Con and Campbell Con respectively.
As a 2018 Pleasanton, CA event hasn’t been announced yet, we don’t know what that event will be called if it happens again.
ColossalCon alleges that the Colossus Con name is confusing for consumers who might think the two events are related. I can see where they’re coming from, as even searching for Colossus Con in Google has the related search “colossus con ohio” pop up. That said, the two events aren’t in the same genre, have thousands of miles between them, and had names that are literally two different words. If ColossalCon’s branding is so weak after sixteen years that its attendees can’t remember its name, they have much larger problems.
The convention scene has gotten by for decades with events that have similar sounding names without congoers getting confused. Heck, there are literally two differentevents called MarsCon, yet we’ve all somehow survived. The idea that these cons would be confused for one another makes my eyes roll so hard it’s likely audible.
If these events were in the same area of the country or were based around the same genre, maybe I’d understand more; however, this really just feels like ColossalCon pushing around a smaller series of events because it can. And while the event certainly has the right to defend its trademark, I still can’t help but feel a tad bit iffy about this whole situation. Colossus Con clearly folded because it couldn’t afford to fight the case, even if they had a shot at winning it.
There were multiplearticlespublishedabout a fan allegedly having to break up a fight between actors Sam Jones and Lou Ferrigno at this last weekend’s MCM London Comic Con. Darryn Clements told UK tabloid The Sun that he had to step in and defuse a potentially violent situation. Now, Clements never claimed that there was a physical altercation beyond some finger jabbing, but when Flash Gordon and the Incredible Hulk appear to be squaring off, people like to run with the story.
Now that everything’s done with though, both actors are denying that any of this ever happened.
Lou Ferrigno told the press that he and Jones were just talking, and that there was no real argument. Sam Jones though offered a very different version of events in a lengthy Facebook post:
You see, according to Jones, not only were he and Ferrigno not fighting with each other, but they actually defused a whole other fight between other people. I’m honestly not sure what the heck is going on here, as Jones seems to either be mentioning a story wholly unrelated to the alleged fight or going a step too far and making up a random thing to justify the initial press?
I mean, in truth people just said he and Ferrigno argued, which is subjective. Something that two guys who know each other well see as no big deal might have looked like a fight to an outsider. Frankly, we weren’t going to report on it at all, as it seemed trivial. But now Jones is bringing in a supposed argument that no one else is corroborating between other people, and painting himself as a hero.
Thursday afternoon a man carrying a shotgun, three handguns and multiple knives was arrested at Phoenix Comicon. The thirty year old man, who has not been publicly identified yet, was allegedly taking photos of police officers present. Authorities believe he had intended to harm or kill police, but was taken into custody before he was given a chance.
In response, the convention has banned all weapons from the event for the duration of the weekend, including props and toy guns. The convention will also be increasing security at the event, which they announced in an official statement on Facebook.
Conventions are, like any gathering, targets for potential hostile acts. Honestly, this reminds me of the two young men arrested in 2015 prior to the Pokemon World Championship in Boston, MA. In both of these cases, tragedy was averted because concerned members of the community alerted authorities when something just didn’t feel right. It should be noted that other cons taking place this weekend were already on high alert, due to the recent Manchester bombings. Alamo City Comic Con had already announced extensive security restrictions prior to the events in Phoenix, AZ.
We got lucky again, but only because people were vigilant.
Update: The individual arrested has been revealed to be a man named Mathew Sterling. Sterling stated to police he intended to shoot not just officers but also actor Jason David Frank. Sterling also had been intentionally avoiding weapon check stations, and was allegedly dressed in cosplay as The Punisher.
After six conventions, Chicago based anime convention Kollision Con‘s organizers have decided to call it quits. They made the announcement on the con’s official Facebook page late last week, citing venue issues and an overcrowded Anime con scene as their primary reasons for ending the show.
The organizers aren’t giving up on running conventions though, as in that same post they announced the GEM Expo Chicago, a gaming convention that will occupy the dates originally reserved for Kollision Con 2017.
Honestly, this is a smart move.
The anime con scene is far more crowded than the gaming con scene, and with their November dates, Kollision Con was always competing with Wisconsin’s Daisho Con (which is about a week later and just a few hours away). Frankly, it seems like you can’t throw a rock without hitting an anime con these days, and the market is far too saturated for a lot of events to survive. Gaming cons, while plentiful, tend to be cheaper to run (as the guest budget is much smaller), and are far more likely to be sustainable in the current market.
On this fortnight’s episode of Nerd & Tie we discuss the new Star Trek: Discovery trailer, Netflix making a Witcher television series, Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s twenty-nine city live tour, and then move onto the convention scene. And the con scene was busy these last two weeks, with Great Lakes Fur Con cancelling due to “Staffing Issues,” Duke City Comic Con organizer Jim Burleson putting his foot in his mouth again, and Space City Comic Con rebranding (and weirdly lying about it).