June 2, 2014

Tree City Comic Con EPIC FAIL

Tree City Comic Con EPIC FAIL
Did you hear the news?! Boise is finally getting a Comic Con!

Just a couple of days ago the news hit that a few folks are organizing a Boise, ....er, Tree City Comic Con later this year. The organizers expect 10,000 400,000 participants and have ambitiously priced their event at the same rate as the Salt Lake City Comic Con.

These organizers are so full of FAIL that I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.

It occurs to me that someone thinks they can try to make a buck by poorly imitating someone else's efforts. SLCCC is being held in September, a good date, at a good location, and has lots of guests, as well as a good website. Hell, I didn't know about this fall's SLCCC before this morning and now I want to go.

Tree City Comic Con, on the other hand has a crappy date, terrible location, and jack squat for guests. I recognized two names: Lou Ferrigno and the Tardis...


They have a fricken prop listed as a guest of honor?! WTFO?!

Don't even get me started on the website. It is a joke, well at least a joke as far as a professional site goes. Not serious, bare-bones, and filled with errors. Hell, their headlining guest doesn't have anything aside from a link and a small headshot.

I think I've saved the biggest issue for last. Boise already has a number of small cons....ones that have been around for years and there is already a con that fits this general con role: Fandemonium. They've been around for what....a decade? Now they don't have Lou, I'll give Tree City that, but they did have the foresight to pick a good venue with access to a hotel......places to shop and eat are walk-able.

The fairgrounds technically has places to eat nearby, you just have to walk past the parking lot, to the corner, cross the street, and either walk back down the other side of the road or cross an even busier street and walk down a little bit. Hotel? The closest decent hotel you HAVE to drive to. Walking isn't an option.

Tree City Comic Con, please take my $50 so I can go to Boise's fricken fairgrounds mid October to see the man who played the Hulk when I was a child. No offense Lou, but as strong as you are you can't carry the weight of this on your shoulders.

Seriously, if you want a Boise Comic Con, just go to the Library! Comic Con in September. Even they know how to pick a good date.......


Anonymous said...

Owner and director of Tree City Comic Con Kevin Hansen, a Rimrock High School graduate accused of stealing funds from the school’s fledgling alumni association entered a guilty plea during a Nov. 23 hearing in an Ada County courtroom.
Kevin Lee Hansen, a 1986 Rimrock grad, has been charged with a felony under the suspicion that he stole about $15,000 raised three years ago at an inaugural benefit dinner for the Rimrock Alumni Association.
He entered his plea in Boise before Fourth District Court Judge Thomas F. Neville.
According to court records, his preliminary hearing was continued twice before he waived his right to a preliminary on Oct. 28, at which time the arraignment was set.
A public defender has been appointed, and a jury trial has been set for 9 a.m. on June 8, 2010. The next dates on the docket for Hansen’s case are a status hearing at 9 a.m. on March 22, 2010, and a pretrial conference at 3 p.m. on May 24.
Hansen, who investigating Boise Police Det. Wade Spain says live in Boise, has been free on a $15,000 bond since his arrest in August.




Anonymous said...

A quick repository search confirms the above articles. He also appears to have numerous small claims court convictions.

Anonymous said...

Fandemonium and the other local cons have had years (11 years for Fandemonium) to grow into bigger cons yet haven't. The guest list for Fandemonium this year was pitiful (not trying to pick on them). SOMEONE has to step up. Now folks like you are condemming them BEFORE the event even takes place. You column is an epic fail. It doesn't matter what Kevin Hansen has done in the past. It's what he does now that matters. To condem him before anything happens is unfair and frankly stupid. If you ever want a "real" con in Boise you need to let people try.

Christopher Stogdill said...

Looks like someone from the con decided to post, but not stand behind their words by being anonymous.

If anything, looking at past behaviors/actions is the strongest indicator of most likely future behaviors/actions.

Common sense, or at least my personal experience in planning and running smaller events, dictates that the larger the event is, the more time and effort required to pull it off. A mere 1/4 of a year would be considered inadequate prep time for a major convention.

Finally, the folks who decided to "step up" for this inevitable failure shouldn't have listed as their 1st anchoring headliner Lou Ferigno, when he was already slated to be at another con during that timeframe (http://www.comicconquebec.com/en/our-guests/70-lou-ferrigno/)

Also, listing an inanimate object as a Guest of Honor? I'm pretty sure Fandemonium has a Tardis, but I could be wrong because I haven't seen them advertise it as a GoH.

But you know......I'm man enough to a) sign my own work and b) admit I could be wrong....

...lucky for the two people who might care, we can find out in a couple of months.

Christopher Stogdill said...

Looks like I got my dates mixed up on Lou & Quebec. I could edit the post, but I'd rather just admit the error.

Christopher Stogdill said...

I received this comment, which I will not post directly because it contains an email address, but I can cut and paste most of it:

"Sorry. I'm just a guest at the con. I posted anonymously (sp?) because 1) It wanted my gmail address and I never read my gmail and 2) because I have friends who run Fandemonium and I wanted to keep them as friends. While I love them dearly, they are not working very hard to make their con any better and, even with the new venue, this year paled to previous years. My name is Steve W . I am a comic book guest and, other than giving them some comic art contacts, I am not an employee of TCCC and never will be. If you want to contact me I can be reached at . I am not a coward and stand behind what I've said."

I have to give Steve props for responding, even if I don't agree with his earlier statements.....

Unfortunately all this back and forth is only driving the original post up on my "Popular Posts" tracking.

Lauri Kumke said...

I am not from con and I am happy to post without anonymity. (spelled correctly)
First, I will address pricing. Let us use the example of a new gas station being built in the same town as one which has existed several years. They both serve gasoline yet in your theory the new one should not be allowed to charge the same as the preexisting one due only to when each began doing business. Interesting.
Next, I will discuss pricing and dates. Tree City has stated that this event was indeed brought together hastily. There is little doubt that is was difficult to find open venues. Therefore they most likely had to settle for what they could get when they could get it.
Your article was written in June. This left Tree City with approximately three months to sign more guests for this event. It would be undoubtedly difficult but with hard work and determination I believe it can be, and actually has been, done.
As to Mr. Hansen's arrest I do not see what that has to do with the price of beans in Boston. There is not one person out there who has not made a bad choice. Some are more public than others. As I have stated on another blog, American companies lose $20 to $40 billion dollars per year due to employee theft. Do you not consider that a crime? You do not know the details surrounding this case so perhaps you would do best for you not write about it.
I found your eagerness to point out Mr. Hansen's mistake and any that you "think" Tree City will make concerning this future event. Yet, when you were found to be in error you chose to hide it in the little read comments. Pathetic.
Your article is an epic fail.

Christopher Stogdill said...

Actually I wasn't "found to be in error".....I went ahead, looked it up and posted the correction on my own.

As far as the arrest, I don't see what the "American Companies" bit is about...crime is crime and you seem to want to exonerate Mr. Hansen while implying I'm ok with theft.

I'm glad you agree with me that the time-frame is rather short, but you think it can be done and I disagree. Either way, I think most would agree that if a project takes X amount of planning you should give it enough time. Just because something can be done in a shortened time-frame it doesn't mean it should be done in such a manner. Forgoing common-sense measures, like proper planning, does increase the odds of failure dramatically.

If they pull this off, great, but I don't see it happening. We're what? Six weeks away and there is no schedule of events posted? Big sections of the website are inoperative, etc.

Actually, let's skip to the convention's Sponsor Packet, shall we?!

According to the organizers, the Sponsor Packet claims this about Tree City Comic Con: "Each annual event reaches over 400,000 people in the Treasure Valley." Holy crap, that sounds AWESOME....sign me up. Never mind the fact that a) this is the 1st event so they couldn't have this number unless that Tardis isn't a prop... and b) the population of the entire Boise MSA (i.e. Boise to Nampa corridor) is 610,000 (2010 Census).

This means even if we only say that 1/2 off the attendees are local that 1/3 of the entire local population would have to attend. This would be roughly the same attendance level, at the same location, as the Western Idaho State Fair, which is a 10 day affair.

Don't trust me...look for yourself and you do the math....or ask someone who knows about these things to check the figures themselves... I did.

I checked with someone well-versed in running a con (I used to run events and organize GMs at some major gaming conventions so I know some folks) and while I couldn't get anything "on the record" the most telling thing my source said was, "sounds like an implosion waiting to happen". There was acknowledgement that it could come out a great con, but the odds were stacked against that happening.

My thought is if I'm putting my resources (time, money, reputation, etc.) into a business venture I want to stack the deck as much in my favor as legitimately possible. I don't think anyone reasonably versed in these matters would disagree in this.

If you think all this is a good stack of odds, then we'll just have to continue to disagree.....

Lauri Kumke said...

I will start by saying that while I do disagree with you I do apologize for the tone of my earlier post. It was unnecessary. I will reiterate what I recently told another blogger. I am a lover of the underdog. It can be a ball team or a business person. I want everyone with a dream to have the chance to realize it. I want to see every person succeed. I know that is not possible, of course, but who are we if we do not try? If every time someone took a first step they were knocked down then no one would get anywhere. In a time when there are so many negative things happening around us it is my hope that we would see that dark horse, that underdog, and cheer them on.
I do not know Tree City. I do not see myself in Idaho in the near future either. This event holds no life changing moments for me. There are people for whom it does. I would rather see them take a leap of faith than to sit back on their "I wish" expectations. I would rather be full of hope and then disappointed if this isn't everything they claim it to be than to not hope at all.
I know I am not the only one who has had a second or third chance. I will be here on the sidelines rooting for the underdog, pompoms waving in the air. It is who I am and I like it that way.
In the end, I meant only to apologize for being overly harsh and unkind in my post. You have the right to speak your mind. I will likely remain cursed to feel the need to cheer on the dark horse. I hope soon to read in your blog that you were pleasantly surprised at a successful event. I think it could mean alot to some very good people. Good luck to you and thank you for your time.