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891Re: [pittscomicon] Suggestions are always welcome

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  • paul s. brittain
    May 1, 2007
      I agree about the small press booths. I try to visit these booths and be supportive of their sweat and toil. I would never want to see the small press publishers limited or squeezed out!
      Paul S. Brittain
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: R
      Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 4:42 PM
      Subject: [pittscomicon] Suggestions are always welcome

      Hi gang, I don't know how many of you already knew this, but I work
      the convention for the promotors. In addition to being in charge of
      the entrance from the Expomart atrium (no, I wasn't wearing a lime
      green shirt on Sunday), I help run the Quick Sketch panel (I was the
      guy helping Rowan walk the sketches around). I also do a bit of
      floor management taking care of guests' needs, as well as working at
      the auction on Saturday night.

      Perhaps most importantly, I am friends with the promoters and help
      them the rest of the year to figure out ways to improve the
      convention and make it more fun for the fans. Two of my suggestions
      that were implemented this year were the "Save the Cheerleader"
      raffle on Sunday, and the new Match Game panel (for which I supplied
      the music).

      As you are aware from the changes in the costume contest, the
      promoters and staff of the convention do listen to your suggestions,
      and they implement the ones they are able to. They really do care
      about this convention and the fans, and they try to improve it every
      year whether you realize it or not. Last summer the promoter flew to
      San Diego for the sole purpose of trying to convince Jim Lee to come
      to the show this year. It didn't work out, but that doesn't mean
      he's going to stop trying.

      To address some of the points that came up in the posts I read
      through since returning from the convention.. .

      1) Reduce the number of small press booths and book more big name
      guests. You have to realize something here - small press guests pay
      for those tables while big name guests get free flights and hotels
      rooms from the convention. Hopefully you can see the inequity of
      reducing the number of people giving the convention money and
      increasing the number of people the convention pays for. An $18
      admission price wouldn't last very long if they did that.

      2) Expand to the other side of the Expomart. This has been
      considered in the past, but the Expomart doesn't operate on a buy-one-
      get-one-free principle. To rent both sides means that you have to
      sell roughly double the amount of booth space to dealers. publishers
      or small press. Either that or you have to raise ticket prices even
      further, which I know know of you wants. Not only that, but because
      of the layout of the Expomart, you risk alienating the guests and/or
      dealers on one side of the building (most likely the side furthest
      from the Radisson) if the other side gets more foot traffic. It's
      not like San Diego, Philly, or even Baltimore where everything is in
      one big room.

      3) Free admission Sunday for people in costume. There are a lot of
      people who try to take advantage of a policy that we instituted to
      help folks who put a lot of time, effort, and money into their
      costumes. I personally turned down free admission to at least six
      people. One guy was dressed in street clothes and an "old man"
      mask. We're not trying to be mean, but I'm sorry - that is a guy
      wearing a Hallowe'en mask, not a person in a costume. In fact, I
      pointed out to this guy another guy dressed as Snake Eyes - maybe our
      forum member - as an example of what a real costume is. I also had
      to turn down a young lady wearing a pair of kitty ears and a tail in
      addition to her street clothes, again that just isn't a costume, and
      it's insulting to the people who put so much time and care into their
      work. What happened to the gentleman in the Dr. Who costume is
      unfortunate, but keep in mind that the staff of the convention,
      myself included, are not universally versed in all things comics,
      anime, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. and when so many people are taking
      advantage of the system, it is sometimes those who aren't who are
      inadvertently, and incorrectly, punished for it.

      Well, I think that's enough for now. We are probably going to have
      another staff meeting in a month or so to talk about ideas for next
      year, so if you have some practical suggestions on how to improve
      things, or ideas for new things to do please let us know. It is very
      likely we won't be able to implement all of them, so please don't
      think we don't listen just because we don't do something you asked us

      Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a suggestion of my own - please write
      to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and inquire as to why they
      didn't attend the Pittsburgh Comicon this year. Ask how they feel
      about the Comicon raising $5,000 for them even though they didn't
      show up. And while you're at it, ask them why, when over the past
      eight years or so the Pittsburgh Comicon has raised close to $30,000
      for the fund they never bring guests to the show? Frank Miller is
      the only one I can ever remember. Chris Staros is the president of
      the CBLDF and can be contacted at staros@bellsouth. net


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