Nancy A. Collins, best known as the author of the VAMPS novels, and former Swamp Thing writer Stephen Bissette have called for a boycott of popular nerd convention Dragon*Con until they agree to cut all ties to accused child molester, and Dragon*Con co-founder Ed Kramer.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kramer was arrested in Georgia in 2000 after being accused of sexual assault by three teenage boys. He was found to be incapable of standing trial due to health problems, and placed under house arrest, but later given limited permission to travel to New York and New Jersey to receive medical care and visit his ailing mother. Under the conditions of his house arrest, he was to report his location weekly and was forbidden any unsupervised contact with children under 16.
In 2011, he was arrested in Connecticut after being discovered alone in a hotel room with a 14 year old boy, whom Kramer claimed was his ward. He fought extradition to Georgia, but lost last December, and has been in jail back in Georgia since last week.
Collins, Bissette, and a growing number of writers and personalities are outraged that Dragon*Con profits are going towards Kramer’s continued efforts to stay out of prison. Kramer “officially” resigned from Dragon*Con, which he helped create back in 1987, in 2000–but as a partner he continues to draw over $150k a year from them, and has refused efforts by the ‘Con’s other partners to buy him out.
Herein lies the source of the boycotters’ frustrations. Bissette posted the “call to arms” Collins wrote on Facebook at his website…It reads in part:
“I’d like to test it by seeing if social media can cut off the flow of money from DragonCon to accused child molester (and the convention’s co-owner) Ed Kramer, who has been using the 150K+ a year he receives each year from DragonCon to avoid trial and manipulate the justice system to allow him free reign to prey upon children, even while under supposed house arrest. All you have to do is publicly declare you will never attend DragonCon again as long as Edward Kramer profits from the convention.
DragonCon has had over 12 years to sever ties with this man, but has failed to do so. Although the convention’s chairman has bought enough shares from Ed Kramer to qualify as the controlling shareholder, Kramer refuses to be bought out. No matter what DragonCon does or says, funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name. DragonCon knows what needs to be done, but has been dragging its feet on this matter, and has gone to great trouble over the last 12 years to hide the fact that they continue to fund Edward Kramer’s lifestyle. But now the cat’s out of the bag (in large part due to Kramer’s own decision to sue them for a larger share of the convention’s profits) and there’s no putting it back in.’
Convention fixture and Geek Personality Adrianne Curry has also made her opinion known: The popular cosplayer and first America’s Next Top Model winner is an abuse survivor, and was quoted in The Mary Sue as saying:
“The founder of Dragon con was arrested for being a pedophile. I will NEVER attend dragon con. Many will argue that the child molester is no longer associated w/dragon con. He helped build it…and as a survivor, I wont ever go.”
As of yet, no petition or other formal request has been presented to Dragon*Con asking for the removal of Kramer from their payroll.