Monday, June 16, 2008

And a few more thoughts on Fedconusa

One of the vendors who went to Fedconusa has decided to sell Dedcon T-shirts. I'm not going to copy the entire thing, but I will at least copy the contact info at the end of my post, and the included list of other area conventions. I like the idea of this person making money from selling these T-shirts because a.) after the what happened this weekend it would be nice of one of the good guys did make some money, and b.) this is probably someone who used to work at GalaxyFair.

After I wrote my first post about Fedconusa (which I really did not expect to be read by many people other than my regular readers), I was left a comment from a certain Michael Nelson, who is one of the people in charge of our local fan run convention Fencon. He was concerned that people would get Fencon confused with this Fedconusa, since most of us were just saying Fedcon instead of Fedconusa, and Fedcon and Fencon sound a lot alike. So he left me and some other people this comment, and I didn't think that many people would see it on my blog, so I copied it to someplace where I thought that it might do more good.

And I was very surprised at the negative responses. Okay, I don't know those people on those other forums who were accusing Michael of pretending to have a problem so that he could get attention and sell a few more tickets to his convention, so I don't know if that's just the type of behavior that one should expect. But I was really surprised to get negative responses from people that I know. I know people who go to this convention, and come to think of it, I even know a few people who work at Fencon, and I really expected the comment to get more positive responses. But there was actually someone making fun of Michael, saying that the mighty Fedcon has been around for sixteen years and that no one is really going to get Fedconusa confused with his little fan run convention.

Well, I for one had heard of Fencon before, but had never heard of Fedcon. Fedcon is in Europe. I don't know about what goes on in Europe. I know so little about what goes on across the ocean that last week I was pleasantly surprised to find out that twenty years ago a TV show was made based on the novel Chocky by my favorite author John Wyndham. So I'd never heard of Fedcon, and I don't think that it's unreasonable to think that other fans here had never heard of Fedcon, and that we might have heard of our local Fencon, and some people might be confused.

And the other point of ridicule seemed to be that no one could get Fencon confused with Fedconusa. They don't sound anything alike, and Fedconusa has three extra letters. Except that most people weren't saying or writing out the whole Fedconusa. I never heard anyone call it that. For the most part people had shortened it to Fedcon, thinking that they were actually going to a Fedcon run convention, and no was saying Fedconusa until this weekend when the real Fedcon wanted distance from Fedconusa. So Fencon and Fedcon do look alike and sound alike and I have no doubt that people were getting confused and contacting Fencon by mistake. The names are similar, and they are both in the Dallas area, so people get confused. There was no reason to make fun of the people who were confused, and there was no reason to make fun of Michael by saying he was pretending that people were confused to get attention for Fencon.

But while we are on that subject, how about a little attention for fan run cons. They need all that they can get. They usually don't make that much money, and if they do make any money they often take that money and try to have another convention the next year. Fan run conventions are possible because a lot of people volunteer time and effort, sometimes donate artwork and materials for stuff like fliers and websites, etc.... And a few of those people put up a lot of their own money to get the thing started. So if the convention doesn't make enough money, they just don't get that money back. They could be out thousands of dollars. Then what? They put off going to the dentist that year, they cancel their vacation, they don't get to fix the roof that starts to leak, they get behind on their credit card bills, etc.... And they don't have a lot of money to start with, so most of their advertising is usually ads put up at the comic book store and fliers handed out and clubs and other conventions.

It's almost all word of mouth for them, so maybe while we're talking about this stuff, we should talk about fan run conventions for a bit. We used to have something called GalaxyFair, and it was great, but it's gone now. And we used to have something called StellarOccasions, and I loved it, but it's not around anymore either. And there's something called All-Con, which is still around, but a few years ago it took a hit when there was a flood and the hotel roof leaked. So let's hear it for the fan run conventions, and let's hope that we don't lose anymore of them.


Because I can do it (and partially to mitigate my losses for the weekend) we will be producing a limited edition commemorative t-shirt that says “I got FRAKKED at F(crossed out)DedCon USA! anyone interested in obtaining one of these needs to contact me by Thur 6/19/08 as I’ll be printing and mailing them next weekend. My email is

The direct link to order our "Commemorative" shirt is

100% Cotton Red Shirt with Black Print.
We came..., the fans came... The hotel threw us out.
Limited Edition T-Shirt. Commemorating the 2008 FEDCON USA debacle wherein an inexperienced under capitalized promoter tried to put on a large scale media convention that was abruptly cut short.

Design ©Pegasus Publishing. All Rights Reserved."

There are a lot of good SF/Fantasy/Anime conventions around the country and particularly in Texas. I would like to hope that the first time attendees who were burned by this unscrupulous promoter to please please give conventions another try. They really are a lot of fun. Here is a small list of DFW area shows. DallasComicCon/SciFiExpo (; FenCon (; ConDFW (; All-Con (; Project A-Kon (; Texas Frightmare Weekend (; AnimeFest (; Portus (; Texas FearFest ( And for those of you who travelled up from South Texas I recommend Apollo-Con Jun 27-29 ( in Houston.

Scott Merritt

1 comment:

dmarks said...

I added this into the BSG post I put up this morning.