The unpleasant story of DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer was one of the first nerd news items I ever covered for this website. All the way back in January I reported on a boycott of the popular convention: Kramer had been accused of multiple counts of child molestation, and yet he reportedly continued to draw an income from them. In July, it was announced that DragonCon had absolutely and irrevocably severed ties with Kramer.
And now, we have received word that Kramer has plead guilty to three of the six counts of molestation against him. He will serve 34 months in house arrest, pay restitution of $100,000 to each of his victims, and spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender–he will be forbidden from having any contact with individuals under 16. (more…)
After years of attempts to buy out Dragon*Con founding member and accused child molester, Edward Kramer, the forces of good have prevailed and Dragon*Con is now officially separated from Kramer. The continued association, in where Kramer was still receiving funds from the convention even after having resigned from any and all convention operation in 2000, was brought into the spotlight earlier this year with a very public boycott from writers Nancy A. Collins and Stephen Bissette.
The buy out was made official today, with Kramer receiving cash for his shares and ownership of the convention transferring to the newly founded Dragon Con Inc., led by Pat Henry, David Cody and Robert Dennis. The full press release is available below the cut, but the details of the buy out have not been disclosed.
Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Con assures fans,
This decision only affects the ownership of the old Dragon Con. Our members and others who attend Dragon*Con 2013 will experience the same fantastic convention they have come to expect from us.
This deal also does not affect agreements with the hotels, guests, or performers. Meaning, Dragon*Con 2013 will continue as previously planned. Just now, completely, 100% child molester legal defense fee funding-free!
What took so long? We’ll never know. I imagine it’s simply our convoluted legal system at work. But it’s interesting to note Dragon*Con has made this decision only days behind author John Scalzi‘s announcement he’ll no longer attend conventions without clearly posted and enforced sexual harassment policies. Not that I’m claiming the two are related, but both present an interesting observation of conventions and what the public is coming to expect from the organizations that run them.
And I’ll add, Dragon*Con, with its rampant cosplay, better be working on a clearly defined sexual harassment policy, because as I scroll through their Convention Policies, I don’t see one. There is a rule about behaving, “like a jerk,” which I’m sure we’d all agree harassment falls under, but I’d like some more defined language, as would, I’m assuming, Scalzi.
Clearly defined rules allowing for these gatherings of nerdom to be safe and accepting atmospheres brought to us by individuals who haven’t been accused of harming others. I’m all about that, aren’t you?
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.
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above: The bidding may have ended for this bit of Wil Wheaton memorabilia – earning a total of $1,035.00 for charity! – but that doesn’t mean you can’t share in the story. See, Wheaton was autographing this card for a friend when with a swipe of the marker he drew a big, ugly line across his face. To rectify it he added sunglasses and the requisite, “Yeeaahh!” WIN. [Nerd Approved]
Hello, kids. Welcome to another thoroughly inappropriate installment of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you, the readers, get to ask us, the writers of Nerd Bastards, any damn thing you want. This week we’re talking comic conventions, Wolverine (again), Marvel NOW! and bad TV shows that we love anyway.
The sun rose and day three of Dragon Con 2012 started quietly with many a hung-over head and slow-moving-late-night-partiers. If you were lucky you might catch a few costumed walk of shames between hotel lobbies from late night hookups.
It quickly picked up though with lots of families and one day pass buyers flocking to the dealers rooms and panels. As the afternoon wore on the now recovered party people came out to start up the party machine that is Dragon Con. Believe it or not there were even more folks in costume trying to get that last night of partying in before the long weekend ended.
Take a look at the Cosplay pictures in the gallery below. There were a couple with some lighting issues, but you can still get the gist of the costume.
I had a great time cosplaying Bat-Mario and everyone seemed to get a kick out of the Mario Batstasche and the mashup of Mario and Batman. As someone who has not cosplayed much in the past, this weekend’s experiences have gotten me hooked. I’m already working on ideas for next year . . .
Day Two of Dragon Con was packed. Just moving between hotels took twenty minutes, it was get in a line, to get in the line, that moved in a line, to get to the other hotel, forget about short cuts, those were packed too.
The DC Cosplay photo shoot was held and there are a number of pictures included in the gallery below. After standing in the sun while photos were taken Dean Cain came out and talked for a minute, took a picture and then called out a woman’s name. Dressed as Batgirl she came out and her Batman clad boyfriend proceeded to propose to her. It was fun, and everyone clapped.
The halls were full of Cosplay and there were some great group costumes. The Tetris group were a hit. Take a look at the gallery below and let us know who your favorite is in the comments section below.
Day one at Dragon Con was fantastic. Huge crowds, lots of Cosplay, and plenty of things happening left and right. There were some terrific costumes and some great people to talk with.
It was a lot of fun walking around taking pictures and having my picture taken dressed as Bat-Mario, but you don’t want to hear about that, you just want to see some Dragon Con Cosplay. Friday is the big Marvel shoot so there’s a lot of Marvel costumes in the mix. Saturday is the DC shoot and we’ll be bringing you those pictures tomorrow.
It was along day and this NerdBastard is tired as hell. Enjoy the gallery below. Check back for even more Dragon Con Cosplay tomorrow.
It’s Labor Day weekend and that means it’s time for Dragon Con, the biggest, nerdiest, geekiest party and Cosplay convention in the world. Dragon Con is like no other convention you’ve ever been to . . . unless you’ve been to Dragon Con before.
Dragon Con is part Comic book, part Gaming,
part Cosplay, part Anime, part Sci-Fi, and all party!
Two of your NerdBastard staff writers (Sarah Moran and I, Mark Poynter) are going to be getting an up close, personal look at the festivities and bringing you all the details that make Dragon Con the crazy weekend it is.
The guest list includes Stan Lee, Adam West and Burt Ward, Lavar Burton, Bruce Boxleitner, Alice Cooper, Micheal Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Katee Sackhoff, Felicia Day . . . the list goes on and on, just about every fandom is represented and there are “tracks” of programming with panels and discussion groups to represent each.
Sarah and I will be posting as the weekend progresses so shoot us a comment on Facebook if there’s something you’re interested in that we could check out for you.
Here’s a couple of tips if you’re going to attend Dragon Con:
1. Relax – Don’t let the hustle and crowds get the better of you. Yes, some lines will be long, waiting for an elevator will suck, people will bump into you, people will smell, don’t let that get to you. You’re there to have fun, remember to treat others as you would want to be treated.
2. Hydrate – It is hot and muggy in Atlanta Ga. and you should make sure that with all the walking around you’ll be doing that you keep yourself hydrated.
3. Drinking – There will be lots of drinking at the convention in the after hours, so be sensible, responsible, and look out for each other. Don’t leave your wing-man or wing-girl, stay on target.
4. Money – Go to the bank before you go to the Con, ATMs will run out of cash by Saturday morning. Keep your wallet or bag close and don’t let it out of your sight. Things will walk off with so many people and there will be people there looking to take advantage of your inattention. The same goes for your Con badge, never put it down unless you’re at home or in your hotel room, lose your badge and your convention will suck.
5. Celebrity Guests – Don’t be surprised if some don’t want to shake hands. Convention crud – getting flu like symptoms after a con is legendary and many won’t shake hands because of it. Who wants to be sick for a week after Dragon Con? Be respectful; of their work, their time, and their person. If you see a convention guest going through the hall they might be on the way to a panel full of waiting fans, already spent 3 straight hours signing and taking pictures with fans, not had lunch, or simply tired and ready to go to their room. Let them do their thing, certainly say hi and ask about taking a picture, but don’t get upset if they say they can’t.
6. Last but not Least – Make sure you are not one of the smelly people. Even with everything going on there is always time for proper hygiene. Who knows, you might meet that special someone at the con. You’ll want to make a good first impression.
Some of you may remember that last year I Cosplayed M.O.D.O.K. pictured below:
This year I had a crazy idea of combining two of my nerdy loves . . . Batman and Mario, thus the birth of Bat-Mario. The only thing not handmade is the black paperboys hat.
(A special thanks to Luke for photo shopping up my Bat-Mario picture.)
You may have seen beatdownboogie‘s excellent cosplay video from this year’s Dragon*Con. You may have watched it and thought, “Wow. These guys can throw together one hell of a sweet video. Plus, those costumes are AMAZEBALLS, I wanna see more!” Well, aren’t you lucky. Your request has been heard, considered, and awesomely approved.
Here we present the full, complete, 22+ minute extended edition of said spectacular cosplay video. So take your lunch break now and pretend your back in Atlanta, wandering the halls, drunk a little to early in the day and bask in some awesome geekery.