On this episode of Nerd & Tie we discuss the forthcoming return of the old school Cybermen to Doctor Who, how Logan is a film that finally does Wolverine justice, Twitch’s decision to stream all 831 episodes of Power Rangers, and then we dive into the con scene.
And we dive deep.
It’s a bit complicated, because comic writer Tom Taylor won’t do US based cons anymore, Phoenix Comicon sent out a third party survey that got weird, Anime Fan Fest has called it quits, STX Brazos Comic Con is incommunicado with its debtors, and the internet lost its sh*t because a small collectibles show called Elite Con banned cosplay.
And for some reason, we didn’t have anything readable in the mailbag. That hasn’t happened for a while.
About a month ago we reported that some guests from STX Brazos Valley Comic Con (or Brazos Valley STX Comic Con depending on where you look) were getting charged for “comped” hotel rooms months after the event. Since then, the website has been taken down, the Facebook page has gone quiet, and there hasn’t been a peep from organizer Ben Fritzsching.
Besides the hotel room fiasco, more guests are coming forward and talking about how the event just plain hasn’t paid them the amounts guaranteed in their contracts still. Actress Melendy Britt posted a lengthy statement on her official Facebook page detailing her and fellow guest Alan Oppenheimer’s issues with the event. The two also spoke with KBTX about their experiences.
Effectively, organizer Ben Fritzsching told the event’s guests that there was no money to pay them at the event. Fritzsching then, at several guests’ request, gave them written IOU’s with the promise that the money would be paid by the end of 2016. Agent Nery Nolan Lemus posted a copy of one of the IOUs to the group Rate that Comic Con on Facebook:
As it’s now March of 2017, and we’re writing about this, you can imagine how well those IOUs held up.
Ben Fritzsching has been completely incommunicado too, not responding to any attempts at contact from guests, agents, or other affected parties. Fritzsching has also ignored media requests as well, including our own attempts to contact both the convention and Fritzsching directly.
On this episode of Nerd & Tie we mourn the passing of Richard Hatch, celebrate the joy that is The Lego Batman Movie, consider Ben Affleck’s departure from The Batman‘s director’s chair, and prematurely miss Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who. Then it’s on to the con scene, where Eternal Con organizer Frank Patz has gotten himself banned from New York Comic Con (and all ReedPop events), STX Brazos Valley Comic Con guests are getting charged for hotel rooms that were supposedly paid for, and Crunchyroll has decided that Northern California totally needs another anime convention.
Just like most of us need another hole in the head.
When conventions don’t pay their bills, it can cause headaches down the line for a lot of people not involved in the event. This seems to be the case with STX Brazos Valley Comic Con (or Brazos Valley STX Comic Con depending on where you look). When, say, a hotel doesn’t get paid for they will charge whatever card they can get their hands on, and if the con’s guest put down a card for incidentals on a room the con was supposed to pay for, you can guess what happens.
Eisner-nominated artist Sara Richard sure found out when she learned she was hit with a $378 charge to her credit card yesterday.
Richard continued in the comments of the above Facebook post:
There have been unconfirmed reports of other guests being unpaid or getting charged for their hotel rooms months later too, but we haven’t had a chance to confirm with more of them. Whether this happened to one guest or ten though, it should give anyone pause before accepting an invitation to appear at STX Brazos Valley Comic Con.
Y’know, assuming they can afford to have another one.
We reached out to STX Brazos Valley Comic Con management, but have yet to receive a response.
All the nerd news and convention scene updates you can handle. Featuring a fornightly podcast and fueled by a lot of caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine