Mid-South Con discussion

Discussion in 'Memphis, TN' started by Jedi Trace, Aug 25, 2008.

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  1. Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA

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    We've been discussing Mid-South Con in The Rendezvous and I think the conversation is specific enough to warrant its own thread.

    We'll start with Lin's latest post and discuss from there.




  2. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    Yeah- probably a good idea!
  3. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Ditto, Lin, but it would take them asking, and them realizing that "local" does not equal "unprofessional". Memphis has a slew of local talent, from indies like us to published writers like John and Eddy Zeno. I feel we have as much to offer as any of the filkers, furries, and other "GoH's" the ConCom fawns over. Part of me really wants to give them another chance, but after what I experienced this year while trying to help them improve something, another part of me wants to be done with them.


    Amen, Brother Lin!

    We get a tank that's made to look like an RV, go into Czechoslovakia, and kick some Ruskie butt!!!!

    Anyone?

    No?



  4. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    Yep- I seriously got the "self-published=unprofessional" vibe. Heck, even Len got the "comics=low-brow literature" treatment- and he's got more credits to his name than the whole con guest list combined.

    Oh, and Eddy has a magazine article in Alter Ego #79- should be out now. (shameless plug)

    I think we can do it. Just going to take some planning and more of them free postcards!

    "BRAVO COMPANY!!!"
  5. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Just went over to the MSC site. My response to the guests listed so far for 2009 is as usual:

    Who?

    Lin and I have told them once if we've told them a thousand times- Tell folks what the guests did in your ads and announcements!

    They're hopeless. Completely hopeless. No wonder they haven't progressed much in 27 years.
  6. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    Don't know the other two, but Jolly(Knights of the Dinner Table )has been there before.

    Yeah, I agree- they really should tag each guest with a short list of credits or link to their site(s) at least. If you can update the front page with names, you can add credits or links at the same time- and adding a bios page wouldn't hurt... [face_whistling]
  7. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    I'd suggest it...again.... if I knew they just wouldn't get defensive and pissy about it. (The very behavior that makes me see absolutely no use in going to a Con-Com meeting.)
  8. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    Some good news/bad news.

    Good news- ShadowCon invited me as artist guest of honor.

    Bad news- it's at the Holiday Inn Select.

    Good news- they put what I do under my name...

    Artist Guest of Honor
    Lynn Workman
    Artist behind the Bushi Tales


    Bad news- they misspelled my name.

    Good news- they spelled Bushi Tales right! [face_laugh]

    Lin
  9. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Well, I could make you a dress and we could both show up as Emily and Florence.

    [image=http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/emily-florence-l-poster.jpg]


    Amazing.. I've always thought ShadowCon as being about 15 rungs lower than MSC, yet they can at least put the guests' credentials under their names.

  10. Aravis_Antilles Jedi Knight

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    Feb 20, 2003
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    Just FYI, guys, if you need anything addressed, let me know. I'm ConCom this year.
  11. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Joy: The powers-that-be at MSC are well aware of the feelings Lin and I share regarding the treatment of comics (both local and national) and indie guests, as well as other aspects of MSC.
  12. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    The smell from the con-suite would be a good place to start!

    Seriously, though- my main beef with the con was with the way Len Wein was treated when I was around. A ton of disrespect. This is just my opinion (well, Timmy agrees), I don't like that they still seem to treat JJM as a local creator, the local creators as wannabees, and comics as low-brow literature. When a few folks got very defensive on their boards when we tried to discuss things I finally had enough. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

    That and the con-funk from the con-suite. ;)

    Anything you or any con-staff or volunteers could do to help would be much appreciated.

    I swear I do want to see MSC be a successful con. I do. No, really!

    Lin

    PS- I did hear that Con-Nooga will have Larry Elmore as an artist guest. If you've ever played D&D you've seen his art. Really nice guy. I'd go just to say hi to him- and get more cake at City Cafe!
  13. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Mmmmmmmmm...... Caaaaaaaaaaake.

    I need to lose 50 pounds before Connooga. And I need to lose an additional 10 pounds on top of that so I can gain 10 pounds from eating cake from the City Cafe.


    Seriously, though... I'd love for MSC to grow, be better, and be successful. But they've got to want to grow and get better. There are folks in town who would be willing to help make that happen (and who always have been), but it's a two-way street.
  14. Aravis_Antilles Jedi Knight

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    I actually kept up with that discussion, but kept most of my thoughts to myself.

    I enjoyed Len Wein quite a bit at the last con. I have the sig running around here somewhere.

    I had some similar problems with um...importance issues? In all honesty a lot of it was space problems. Or at least that's what I'm choosing to believe right now, as that is the only answer I've gotten. This year, with so much extra space, I have new hope for -all- the 'forgotten bits'. I can keep a finger on the pulse of the comics stuff to see where they're being put and who's in charge, if you'd like.

    As far as the con-suite? Speaking as an 'IRONMAN' con-goer, who arrives Friday, eats the con-suite food, doesn't sleep, and grabs random showers in random friends' rooms, and then goes home and DIES on Sunday...the con-suite is a necessary evil. You can't -make- people bathe...unfortunately. Maybe they should anoint a shower nazi...I dunno. But it's the same in locker-rooms, con-suites, and anywhere else massive amounts of people go through in small periods of time--people stink. I just fix this by NOT staying in the suite. "Hi, I want 10 bottles of Bawls, 2 plates of randomly mismatched carbohydrates, and a bagel. BYE!" It works for me...oh well. I figure each person has to deal with it...and again, the space issue will hopefully improve. The bigger and better ventilated the room is, the better off that 'funk' is gonna be.

    High hopes this year. More space = better con. THEN we can work on guests...and better panels...and more tracks of gaming. Yayz.

    Just my 2 cents.
  15. Obi_J_Kenobi Jedi Knight

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    Small Soaps in Con-Bags seemed to have worked for other Cons. I'm not being a smart ass, it's a subtle hint to the funky folks. And for the people with a more regulated shower regime, it's a "Hey..look an extra bar of soap for my body!" It's worked at AWA and that's waaaaayyy bigger than MSC.
  16. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    It's extremely apparent that Comics programming doesn't rate high at all to the majority of the ConCom, as well as any other programming involving local guests. I realize they have their favorites, but the way things are run, and the way certain guests are accommodated, make those favorites very apparent- sometimes blatantly apparent.

    I have to give credit to Carlin for working so hard to bring in what comics programming MSC does have. I would venture a guess that, without him, there would be no comics programming there at all.

    Look, I'm just a local guy with a dirty little puppet show, an independent video production business, and a Star Wars habit. I'm not asking to have my feet kissed or to be treated like royalty. However, when I'm invited to do a show at MSC, and am told my needs will be accommodated for setup, (especially when donating services to run an event that has nothing to do with my show), then I expect people to keep their word. However, when guests from another genre are allowed to take up the space and time I was promised for three years in a row, then you can probably understand my frustration. Add to that that it's been the same genre for three years now that's caused problems for me, then you can see where my feelings come from.

    As far as the Con Suite, I'm looking at it from an economic standpoint as well as a sanitary standpoint. The money that could be saved by not having the Con Suite could reduce the overall cost of running the Con and reduce the ticket price. The reduction of this price would make it more affordable for people who would otherwise not have attended because they were turned off by the high cost of a badge, or may have brought in people who felt that the cost of the badge was not a good value for the lack of notable guests. (And let's face it, $45 at the door for a weekend badge is awfully high considering the guest lineup. No offense to my fellow guests, past and present, who post here, but I hope no one pays that to see me! I'll do a private show for $50. :p )

    Or, you take the money that would be spent on the Con Suite, keep the ticket price at the same level, and pay to bring in guests that are recognizable. This way you're making attendees feel they are getting their money's worth, and you're attracting new attendees by bringing in these guests.

    Growing a Con is like growing any business, you can't price yourself out of the market, and you actually have to bring in more customers.

    Also, I just don't see where it's the Con's responsibility or concern to make sure that attendees have snacks and drinks. It's nice, yes, but it's really not necessary. Now that they're in a location that is surrounded by restaurants and convenience stores, I just think it's a pointless expenditure.

    Jai: I think we need someone to camp out in the restrooms with a kendo stick to whack anyone who tries to leave without washing their hands. That seems to be a huge problem at MSC. (And I love the soap idea! Of course, some of those folks might melt if they pick it up.)


  17. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    "None shall pass!"

    Seriously- that's one of my main reasons for not eating at the con suite. I can't tell you how many con attendees and staff members don't wash their hands after using the restroom. I think the con-suite is just too cramped to enjoy, and with that, the trash sitting outside in the hall, the unwashed people, and unsanitary hands digging into the open food bowls it's very unpleasant.

    "What an incredible smell you've discovered..!"

    I asked if they could have a membership that doesn't include the con-suite and was told "NO!" and that it would make registration too difficult. Apparently we can have passes for one day or the weekend, con-suite give-away add-on (adult/premium beverages), banquet, etc., but giving someone a price break for not using the con-suite is out of the question, even when their argument is many of the attendees couldn't afford to eat/drink all weekend if they didn't have the con-suite. What do those people do the rest of the time when they aren't at con? If they got a $5-10 break on the con admission they could buy a 2-ltr of Mountain Dew, a big bag of Dorritos, or some energy drinks. Hell, I keep chips, drinks, and other snacks in my room.

    I think that they should take care of their staff/volunteers and invited guests. If they want to feed everyone else I don't think we should all have to pay for it.

    And if you can use a friend's room to shower, why can't some of these people staying at the hotel do the same?! There's free soap, shampoo, and towels! If you need more they will bring it you the room.

    As far as the con wanting to change- there's the old saying about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks, or the one- "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

    One of three things w
  18. Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist

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    I hear ya- witness those events, too. What really pissed me off was the lack of respect shown to Len and Eddy by Lukski(SP?) and his friends during the Sunday morning panel. Treat me like a wannabe if you want- I'm just a guy drawing "funny books", but don't treat two people I respect and consider friends like that. That's butt-whoopin' territory you're treadin' there. And the fact they forgot to list Len as a guest at the banquet..?! C'mon, he's got more credits to his name than the whole con combined!

    Yep, Carlin has fought to get comics in there, and has even paid to help get guests there- so he's put his money where his mouth is when it comes to wanting comics programming. I've tried to help- and would do more if I felt it mattered or was appreciated in any way.

    A few things I wish they would do-

    1) Don't schedule comics programming against each other, and try to combine some panels. Quality over quantity and not have comic panels (or other genres) fighting for the audience and you might fill the rooms more. The panels need to have at least a 30 minute window between each. Give folks a chance to go to the bathroom (wash their hands), go to the con-suite, dealers room, set up A/V equipment, get from another panel, talk to panelists, get autographs, etc. between panels. they don't need to fill every hour on the hour with programming.

    2) Create an artists alley (writers welcome, too!), or at least allow guests to sell their books after a panel their on- even if it's only for 15 minutes. Many get there on their own dime, and with the costs of gas/hotel/flights these days it would be nice for them to be able to make some of that money back- and maybe even spend some at the con. I'd pay for a table out in the lobby area where the fan and freebie tables are IF I could sell stuff there. I was told that the dealers would complain if we were able to sell out there. So- they pay for a secure room that they don't have to set up/tear down each night, and many aren't guests. Charge $15-20 for the space, or $10 for half a table. It would bring in more money for the con, have more activity going on in the lobby area, and help out those guests who are paying their own way. Other cons do it- why can't MSC?

    And if the $#&*ing filkers can sell merch after their shows why can't panelists after a panel, or artists and writers in an artist alley?! There could be a special table in the lobby or somewhere just for doing signings and selling items after a panel if they need to clear the rooms. You just schedule that panelist(s) for 30min-hour for that table space and announce it in the program/schedule and at the end of the panel. P
  19. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Apparently so. :oops:

    BTW, has a representative from MSC scheduled a meeting with the MSCA as we were led to believe was going to happen? I would like to attend that meeting if possible. (I also need to just go on and officially join the MSCA. I don't draw, but I'm basically your video monkey as it is.)
  20. Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA

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    I've never had a problem with MSC. Since we're on the subject of the Con Suite, though, I will say that I've never been to a Con that provided free food and drinks. Ever. Sodas and water I can see, but free booze and food? Completely unnecessary. Just my 2 creds. ;)


    I guess this is the best place to ask this, but does anyone have any ideas for how we could host a Star Wars Trivial Pursuit game? I know Disney does the big tournaments on SW Weekends, but how does that work, logistically?


    Hey Joy - whenever ya'll get around to scheduling things like fan tables and such, let me know. We definitely want a FanForce table and any advice on hosting a game would be great! I'd even be interested in going to meetings, if they're open to the public.


  21. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Lin and I aren't anti-MSC. Not in the least. But it has been our experience as local guests, not attendees, that has galvanized our position and opinion. I think both of us have tried to help contribute in a positive way, through participation and suggestion, and we have both hit a point where we feel- or have been made to feel- that there is no longer any need for our contribution. The only solution offered to us is to contribute more, which neither of us is willing to do after the attitudes we've been met with in the past when making suggestions and offering constructive criticism. If we were anti-MSC, we wouldn't care enough to offer the suggestions we have. If you care about something, you want to make it better and stronger, which is what both of us want.



  22. TNPredsFan Force Ghost

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    Trace: I'm not sure about the logistics, but I'm sure we could figure something out. It would be nice to have some small prizes to give away either at the FanForce table or if we hosted a game. We all probably have a few action figures (or a spiffy SMT t-shirt [face_mischief] ) that we could donate to the cause for giveaways.

    I think there are many things that MSC can do better, and I see the new location as a step in the right direction. We'll see if other positive changes accompany the new location.

    I'm not going to wade into the issues between Inked Monkey/MSCA/MSC. Ain't my business. [face_peace]

    You've shared your concerns with MSC representatives directly and indirectly. It sounds to me like you have reached an impasse.
  23. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    I can fully understand that, and I'm not asking anyone to take sides. However, if you choose to become involved in the ConCom on behalf of the SMT, be aware that they don't have a history of being receptive to suggestion or criticism. Also, with Lin and I both being heavily involved with the SMT, and since the MSCA and the SMT have a history of co-mingling, it could make them even less receptive to anything you propose.

    I do plan on going no matter what, either as a guest, a panelist, or just a regular geek. And, as I said, I hope that the new leadership does follow through with his plans to meet with Inked Monkey and the MSCA to discuss this impasse. I really would like to see it resolved and have everything move forward.

    Oh another note, if you're going to buy badges, buy them before December while you can get them at $35 a pop. Check out the MSC website for details here.
  24. Aravis_Antilles Jedi Knight

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    eh. I in no way 'represent' ConCom...I just have an ear to the ground. IMHO, (IRONMAN me.) the ConSuite is like god's gift to congoers like me who have no transportation elsewhere, no room, and no money to spend on food even if we DID get somewhere. I know many people like me. And I will support the con in having a consuite...just hopefully a better organized one this year.

    Aside from that, Trace? If you want to run a game, I can help you with that, and even get you a reduced price on your membership. Just email or PM me and let me know what you want to run and how long and how many times and suchlike. We'll get you the hookup.

    Last year, Tim, the Fan tables were run by Neale Carter. I don't know if that's the case this year, but I can ask at the next meeting, which is...September 14th at the Public Library. (The one near Poplar and Highland.) They start at 2 pm and generally run until 5. ANYONE can come and be involved...or bug people. or ask questions. Or just generally make a nuisance of yourself. (grin) We can go and sit together, and attempt to be diplomatic!

    Let me know.

    Joy
  25. TNPredsFan Force Ghost

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    I might try to attend the next meeting on behalf of SMT to get more information about the fan tables and possibly hosting a game or something along those lines.


    Eh, that's why y'all pay me the big bucks as CR, right? :p




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