ARSENIC LULLABY UPDATE!
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Mile High Comics no longer going to
One of the
largest Retailers in the country , Mile High Comics, sent out a
blog about how they will no longer be going to CCI.
The whole thing is
HERE, I'll give you the high points.
1-It's not a Comic Book Con anymore
2-it's too expensive/too hard to make money
3-They didn't get their merchandise brought to their
area fast enough.
about sums up the reasons they list for ending a several decade
attendance run...and they left a less than flattering impression
of how CCI is run.
I've met Chuck a couple of times, seems like good people, I like
the cut of his jib and there may be more to the story...but I
can't comment on information he didn't include. And the story,
as he writes it...is unfair.
Let's start with the merch not getting there...
"The final straw, however, was the utter
indifference of the San Diego Comic-Con management
to the fiasco that we endured at the beginning of last year's
show, when the freight handlers that they hired failed to
deliver our comics to our booth. "
"Our trucker was in line at the convention marshaling
yard at 6:30 AM on Tuesday morning. At
9 PM that evening, with almost all the
other vendors around us unpacked and completely set up, we still
did not have our 40,000 lbs of freight.
I had twelve workers scheduled to help
us set up that day (included Will,
Lynne, and Norrie
who flew in from Denver that morning...), but all we could do
was to sit around all day in our totally empty booth. "
First off, CCI isn't in charge of freight, Freeman is ( the
contractors that handle this for the convention center), and CCI
has little to no say in Freeman being used because contractors
are contracted to a convention center NOT to the convention of
the week that is at that center. So this fiasco has little to
nothing to do with how CCI is run.
something missing here...when you ship stuff directly to the
convention center, you can either have Freeman deliver it to
your booth, or drive up and get it. So...which was it? He
says they had a trucker there at 9am, then says they were
waiting for delivery. Or did the trucker drop off the
freight at 9am and Freeman was to deliver it from the yard to
important information that's being left out. Truth be
told, I'm fuzzy on the whole thing because I've only done it
once.....BECAUSE...it clearly states on the agreement that if
Freeman is to deliver it to your booth, it gets there when it
gets there. Meaning, what happened to Chuck is just the
way it goes. And I have seen people waiting around all day
for Freeman to deliver the merch every year. I would have
guessed Chuck had seen this also.
In either case...let's get some perspective here.
the convention center is SEVEN CITY BLOCKS LONG, WITH THOUSANDS
OF EXHIBITORS. Remember the last scene in Raiders of the
lost ark? with the giant warehouse? Multiply that a few times
and that's what Freeman has to sort out and deliver in a matter
of days/hours. The logistical challenge is mind boggling.
Chuck says he had 4400 pounds of stuff...multiply that by about
500 other exhibitors...and keep in mind that it's a beehive of
activity in that yard and that 4400 pounds of stuff didn't stay
together...it got loaded box by box as other peoples stuff was
loaded box by box.
I mean...give them break would ya? SOMEONE is going to be
waiting until the end for their stuff...this time it was Chuck.
Chuck says his truck was there at 9am on
Tuesday...that puts him behind about 50% of the exhibitors who
are getting freight, because many of them ship their stuff right
to the show rather than drive it up.
So in actuality, if
he was one of the last to get his stuff...that's not really that
unfair. and about this....
"the utter indifference of the San
Diego Comic-Con management to the fiasco that we
"Making matters much worse, at no
time during this ordeal (or during the show) did
anyone from the convention
management stop by with an apology, an explanation,
or even just to commiserate. "
CCI is NOT in charge
of freight delivery, it's NOT. So, what are they supposed
to apologize for? AND it says in the Freeman contract that you might
be waiting forever, AND Freeman is contracted by the Convention
center. This is like expecting CCI to apologize for messy
bathrooms. and he was offended they didn't stop by to
"commiserate"? Did I read that correctly? WHAT?!
No Chuck, they probably didn't have time, since they have a
seven city block long convention center to fill in 24 hours.
And they probably have their hands full with things going awry
that they ARE in charge of. I mean...what the hell,
Chuck?! I love complaining, and I love hearing other people
complain, but you're on your own with that. They didn't stop by
to "commiserate"...GOOD, that means they were busy doing their
jobs. Now, we've all, in the heat of a rant, said some
things that were beyond the pale ( not me...cough...cough) and
THAT is beyond the pale.
I sincerely doubt they were "indifferent" anyway. and
Chuck has no way of knowing what they were or were not doing
behind the scenes, as the
last thing they want is empty booth space or people still
setting up while the show is opening...so I'd say that's unfair.
Not that I know what they could have done
anyway...there is an entire shipping yard full of crap....some
of it is yours...wtf are they supposed to do? ?end someone down
there to slow everything down by checking on one exhibitors merch?...which, by the the contract, isn't even technically late.
I just...I don't know buddy...if there is more to
the story you should come out with it because every exhibitor
who's used Freeman is likely scratching their heads in wonder as
to how you feel you were wronged.
With all due respect to Chuck, and I mean that, (if I
thought the guy was an A-hole, I'd just say he's an
A-hole...that's what i do here.) there is a tragic lack of
perspective in his complaint. The lack of "commiserating"
he mentions...that's an example of what I mean. He's been doing this
show for decades, and maybe for a good long time the staff was
able to stop by and say hello. They'd probably still like to be
able to do that, but guess what?...This show, between exhibitors
and attendees, is now the population of a small city. And it has
to be set up and run in a matter of a week. That
staff works their ass off to get it done, I see it.
the sake of perspective, let's all keep this in mind... the invasion of Normandy Beach, which was
planned by the greatest military minds on earth...had LESS
people (155,000) to keep organized, than this show does (160,000
plus a few thousand more in the form of exhibitors, staff,
security, and subcontractors). That's of course only a
logistical comparison, obviously the stakes were higher on
D-Day, but I bet if you asked a WWII vet if he'd rather attack
Nazi's or deal with seven city blocks of comic book fans...he's
stop and think about it for a minute. This is an important show for
every single exhibitor, a make or break show for many, so it's
easy to become myopic...but let's each take a set back and cut
the staff a little slack when a problem comes up, eh?
As for the other two points about the cost vs money
you can generate and it not being a comic book convention
have been gone over by myself and others in recent years, but
Chuck is in a unique and not enviable position...and I would
call it unwise for him to keep going anyway.
He sells back issues out of long boxes. Him not
making enough money at this show is not so much because the show
is changing, it is because the world is changing/has changed.
If I want a copy of Nova no.23 ...I can go on the internet and
order a copy of Nova no.23. I don't have to search through
long boxes at a comic con. Now, there is a certain joy in
just flipping through a long box and seeing what strikes you,
and bringing something home you didn't know you wanted...but not
at a larger show and defiantly not at this show.
There...in walking distance, is nearly every living comic book
pro, every single publisher, movie studios, celebrity panels,
sneak previews of movies and video games...I mean..I don't have
to tell you all the stuff there is to do there...there is no
time to peruse a bunch of long boxes to see what you see.
He complains about
the foot traffic and post a picture of the isle on Saturday
A comment and picture I find irrelevant since there could
have been ten thousand people in that isle and they wouldn't
have stopped to look through long boxes of comics instead of
going to meet some guy who actually draws the comics.
He mentions his booth cost at $18,000, which doesn't
include travel, hotel, shipping and incidentals. Think
about how many impulse buys you have to get per hour to reach
18,000 by the end of the weekend.
He mentions the price
keeps going up...and it does. and it will until CCI can't
get people to pay it. That day is coming, but personally,
I don't blame them. They worked hard and built a show that has a
tremendous, unparelleled value to exhibit at. For the cost
of my booth (which also keeps going up) I am an exhibitor at the
largest comic-con in the US, the most notable comic-con in the
world, exposed to every manner of professional and fans from
every conceivable genre, and medium. I'm building a brand,
that what this show is good for, building something. If you're
trying to sell back issues or sell merch that isn't in and of
itself innovative, based on properties that you don't own, then
yeah...this show has turned into something that's probably not
going to be worth you setting up at.
I can't think of a
worse venue for Chuck to set up shop to sell back issues of
comic books, and I'm glad for him he decided to stop going, he
was wasting his money and time and aggravating himself
needlessly. but I don't think it's fair for him to take jabs at
CCI on the way out.
If a tornado hit your town and you
went to the red cross or FEMA and said you needed them to manage
160,000 people in a 7 city block long building for five
days...they'd tell you that you're screwed. yet CCI pulls it
off every year.
I'll be there this year at booth 2200,
come say hello...and spend some money, eh? I'll be there all
five days sketching and signing autographs and being
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