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.
Here @AvalonExpo Something fishy going on. Promoter Jeff Power seems to have disappeared. Not good!
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.
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.”
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.
On this episode of Nerd & Tie we make our triumphant return to video! We talk about the Anime News Network hack, Disney planning its own streaming service, and Netflix buying Millarworld. Then we head to the con scene, where Angry Goat Productions is at it again (and using a different name), five GeekGirlCon staffers have quit claiming “reverse racism,” and Otakon had a rain drainage system dump all over their artist alley.
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.
Otakon 2017 waterfalls in artist alley. All attendees kicked out of the hall. Guess we are closed??? It just got busy too.. pic.twitter.com/472FYHbEDj
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.
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.
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.
Had to leave Yestercon early due to a bomb threat. Please everyone get home safe and thank you for coming to support!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
On this episode of Nerd & Tie we return from our annual semi-hiatus to discuss Wonder Woman 2 getting a release date, Stargate is getting a made-for-the-web prequel, the Robotech movie has a new director (and is apparently still happening), Kitsune Kon banned Youtuber ‘DesolatorMagic,’ Pokemon Go Fest was a bit of a mess, Louisville’s Fandom Fest was an outright disaster con, and Nick and Gen went to Anime Iowa.
It’s an audio only episode, but mostly because we’re still ironing out our kinks.
Fans showing up to Louisville, KY based Fandom Fest today aren’t exactly going to have the experience they were initially promised. The con’s last minute change in venue which moved the con across town to an old Macy’s seems to have been just the start of their problems. What looms even larger now is the fact that over half of their guest list has cancelled.
Apparently the list of forty celebrities that were slated to appear has now dropped down to about eighteen at last count. Losses include Weird Al, Tori Spelling and Ian Ziering. When talking with local television station WDRB, Ziering and Spelling’s booking agent Tony Vela said, “Delayed flights and hotel room reservations — it just didn’t look like a good situation to be in.” While convention organizers have tried to shrug off the cancellations, blaming them on business as usual, the sheer number of guests no longer in attendance is hard to dismiss.
Frankly, it would be hard to see how the venue change isn’t to blame.
The most infuriating part of this for a lot of fans is that Fandom Fest has a “no refunds” policy. Considering how much photo ops and the like cost, with no recourse to recover spent funds, people aren’t exactly happy. While the convention is allowing attendees to transfer these purchases to another celebrity, there will always be people who showed up just for one who don’t really care about the rest of the guest list.
I mean, Weird Al Yankovic can’t just be replaced, you know?