Of Dragons & DragonCon
There Are All Kinds of Monsters…
This modest proposal went out last week on Facebook from my good friend (and fellow Swamp Thing creator/contributor) Nancy A. Collins. I’m sharing it here, with Nancy‘s kind permission; please, spread the word:
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve decided enough is enough. Everyone tells me social media has the potential for creating social change never seen before in human history. Okay, then 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.
It is up to the Professionals—we writers, artists, musicians, editors, actors, and film-makers—to make a stand, as we are a large part of what attracts (at last count) 50,000 fans to the convention each Labor Day.
Bear in mind, I’m not saying that anyone who chooses to continue attending DragonCon is a bad person. I understand that the convention can be extremely profitable and generates a great deal of exposure for its guests, especially given today’s economy.
and then ask yourself if you are comfortable with the knowledge of what you are, inadvertently, helping perpetuate by being a guest at their convention.
If you approve of this message, please pass it along to all fellow creatives on you social media lists, especially those who attend or plan to attend DragonCon in the year to come.”
Please, act on this.
My own two cents:
I’ve never attended a single DragonCon, and I never shall.
I’ve never suffered sexual abuse directly, but I have a dearly loved one who has, and the life-long consequences of that abuse shook me and my family to the core; we have survived and still are a family, but the ripple effects do not end in a single generation.
Finally, Nancy has been fighting this dragon longer than anyone I know. It is not a fight she sought or fomented: she had loved ones who were being stalked, and she did her utmost to protect them, and to then protect others.
If there is a more thankless, selfless, costly, honorable, and brave battle being fought by any living creator in the comics or writing fields today, I’d love to hear about it.
But Nancy has not been the recipient of any honors or awards for her efforts. She has not recieved or been nominated for any humanitarian awards the convention circuits like to gift to those they consider deserving (though I’m often left scratching my head over those decisions, but that’s neither here nor there).
No, quite the opposite.
Her struggle to get the word out has cost her dearly: personally, professionally, and those consequences have been very real and lasting, too.
Now that there are public confirmations and articles vindicating Nancy and everything Nancy has been battling to warn folks about, the worm(s) are turning—though she has yet to receive a single public (or private) apology from the many professionals who maligned her and her work while they were busily defending DragonCon and its association with Kramer. Thus, Nancy has been pre-emptively “punished” for years now for speaking up and speaking out about what she perceived as a dangerous situation that continued to put children in harm’s way.
I think it’s about time those peers and fellow pros stepped up to the plate and made amends to Nancy.
I think it’s past time you did so—you know who you are.
In closing today, a few more sketches (now en route to their new homes) of Nancy‘s and my favorite great green guy…
Swamp Thing® and ©DC Comics Inc/DC Entertainment Inc.; sketch art ©2012 Stephen R. Bissette. All other artwork and photographs © respective years by their respective proprietors, posted for educational and archival purposes only.