A convention's fiftieth anniversary.  A massively lost opportunityA convention's fiftieth anniversary. A massively lost opportunity

Disclaimer: While I’m a former senior executive at Anime USA and current worker at Katsucon, nothing I say here should be taken as official policy of either convention.  Or, for that matter, seriously.

This was, quite frankly, the most amateur-hour con that I have ever been to...and it was particularly damning, given that it was Balticon's 50th year.

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Looks like someone was happy to be there. Actually, I lied; she hated it too.Looks like someone was happy to be there. Actually, I lied; she hated it too.

Hours later, we’re counting down the debris from Ravencon.  It wasn’t a happy trip, though it wasn’t a complete waste.  I really hate to be that guy (especially knowing how hard it can be to plan a con), but this con has been, quite frankly, the worst one I have ever gone to, and I likely won’t be back.  Basically, stick your head in a blender, press “frappe”, and you will likely have a better and more productive time than I did, for the most part.  I guarantee I’ll be sending the Ravencon con chair my complaints and suggestions.  It remains to be seen.

And for the record, I’m not even talking about the whole Brianna Wu fracas, which I discussed in yesterday’s post.  That could have run smoothly (or not at all) and all the myriad problems would have still continued.  I’m not going to go into full detail, because I don’t want this to be a rant, but these are the gasps of a dying con, as I see it, and a con named Ravencon moving as far away from Baltimore as possible is either a sign of heading into the sunset or hasn’t changed their name yet.  Obviously you know which one I think it is.

But hey, like I said, there wasn’t all that bad.  Here’s what else happened:

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And now time to plug my friend Steven Savage‘s book, Fan to Pro!  You owe me, Steve.And now time to plug my friend Steven Savage‘s book, Fan to Pro! You owe me, Steve.

Okay, aside from missing a little something you might have heard about last night, I’m not going to go into that safe to say that in my opinion, Ravencon handled the whole thing badly.  Regardless of whether you support Brianna Wu or Ethan Ralph, the whole thing falls on the shoulders of Ravencon.  They should have placed a no-recording policy prior to the event starting, they should have informed Ralph of what was going on, and they should have given a better response than they did.  This was on top of an incredibly rude and baiting Twitter feed, and a general Facebook response that continually gets worse.

But this is par for the course here at Ravencon.  A fellow former convention chair (who shall not be named) and I spent our day at our respective tables talking about the numerous failings (as we see it) of this convention.  This is run more like a first-year con than one celebrating its 10th Anniversary (as they’ve so loudly proclaimed).  In all my years of conventioning (that’s a word now, I claim that), I’ve never seen a con so badly run – and I’ve seen some, ahem, “beauties”.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things here that the con is doing right.  And I’ve been told that some of the mishaps here are due to the untimely passing of their vice chair.  That being said, this is a pile that needs fixing.

But enough of that.  On to other things.

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People filling into Artists Alley.People filling into Artists Alley.

Greetings from Ravencon, a nice little sci-fi con here in Richmond, Virginia.  Technically, it’s not all sci-fi; like other cons of its ilk, it’s always a little something of something.  Fantasy, cosplay, pony, sci-fi, you name it, it’s here.

We’re here in the Megami Studios booth (as per our blatant ad above) and hope to see you here!  For those of you who aren’t…well, I’ll give the blow-by-blow as they come.  This is my first year here, so we shall see what unfolds.

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“Wait? Is that Spanish? BUT THAT’S WRONG!” Uh, no.“Wait? Is that Spanish? BUT THAT’S WRONG!” Uh, no.

Note: this is a republication of an old Sci-Fi Saturdays that I did at the original Claude & Monet site.  As the upcoming relaunch will not include SFS, I’ll be copying many of my favorites here.

“Hey, how come that guy is speaking Spanish? It’s an English webcomic, write English!”
– email from yesterday

Okay, it’s questions like this that make things interesting. Of course they’re referring to Sandoval’s lapse into his native language during Thursday’s page. And though I provided a translation (as well as a translation for Monet’s Scottish slang, something I don’t expect Americans to be familiar with either), I got at least one email asking why I used a foreign language.

To which I say: really? That’s the problem? I can think of at least a couple of webcomics that use languages other than English as advertised and may or may not translate it as needed. Doubtless that there are other works in other media that I could quote as well if we sat here long enough. I see no shame in the use of Chinese or Spanish or Hindi or Japanese or whatever, so long as it’s translated.

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