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‘Bout Damn Time, Even If They Didn’t Care To Have Me Attend

I speak, of course, of New York Comic Con, who some years back said that I didn’t qualify for press credentials because I insist on covering comics. Despite the fact that they don’t want to let me in, they also don’t want to remove me from their brand-heavy press list, which is why I got this in my email yesterday:


With a bunch of the boilerplate that you’d expect, talking about how disappointed they are, but also how excited they are about the new opportunities this affords, etc. This was a weird bit, though:

ReedPop will also give fans the opportunity for experiences that will get them up-close and personal with meet & greets, live Q&As, personalized autographs, videos, and professional workshops.

I’m very curious about what all that means. SDCC really kind of dropped the ball on anything other than pre-recorded video for their programming, so maybe RP and NYCC, with an extra two and a half months to plan, have found a way to actually introduce interaction? If so, I’m wondering if they’re still paying all the subjects of those meets, greets, Qs, As, and autograph sessions. If so, I’m wondering if they’re going to have some kind of fee structure, on account of I’ve read this entire press release twice¹ and I don’t see the word free anywhere. SDCC really led with that in their announcement.

And while fans won’t be able to stroll the Show Floor and Artist Alley aisles at Javits this year, ReedPop is creating a virtual marketplace for fans to explore where exhibitors and creators will share their newest items. There will be more information on these exciting fan developments unveiled in the coming weeks.

Not having to do anything in the Javits is the best possible outcome of this whole pandemic thing. That entire space sucks. Again, SDCC didn’t really have any kind of mechanism for exhibitors to interact or vend wares, with creators left to work it out for themselves. Could they have built a turnkey system similar to what Jeff Smith and Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett worked out for themselves?

If so, one has to wonder if there’s money exchanging hands. For all their faults, Comic Con International are a nonprofit, and Reed Exhibitions (a division of that which was once called Reed Elsevier) decidedly is not; they’ve got a long corporate history of extracting as much money has possible from specialty markets, in many cases becoming so dominant that entire industries become inextricably dependent on them (cf: they pretty much own the entire academic journal publishing industry) and then requiring large amounts of money for everything while acting like they’re entirely devoted to the betterment of their customers².

Given that this is the company that charged higher-than-average table fees on the show floor and supplied only a table — there’s an upcharge for chairs — I don’t see them giving up the opportunity to pull money from either attendees or exhibitors. I’d love to be proved wrong, but this is a show that’s systematically eliminated small creators and players over the past half-decade, and given over significant amounts of floorspace to friggin’ Chevrolet³, so I think my skepticism is warranted. And since they don’t want me as press, I’ll just leave my thoughts here and forgo followup; if they want to reach out and correct any mistakes on my part, I’m here.

Spam of the day:

I am highly reputed seller in Fiverr, from Bangladesh.

Nope, stopping you right there. If you’re working for Fiverr, you’re being exploited from Hell to Breakfast and no way I’m buying anything you’re offering, knowing a good chunk of that cheap rate goes to those bloodsuckers. If I need [reads email] WordPress work done on this site, I’ll pay somebody a proper amount to do it, not the five bucks you’re offering.

Also, your name is Wolfgang Janssens? Of the Dhaka Janssens, I’m meant to presume?

¹ I’m a glutton for punishment.

² The About ReedPop section of the press release is a deep, 15-line, 176-word paragraph; the About YouTube section is 4 lines and 65 words. That’s a bit egotastic.

³ In a city with a notoriously low rate of car ownership, or even driver license-having.

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