Wow Ultimate Con-Wars is heating up with this interview with LA Inc SVP Senior Vice President Michael Krouse and AVP of Media Relations & Communications Carol Martinez. Krouse is the driving force behind LA’s bid for the San Diego Comic-Con — an ongoing wooing that Krouse has been pressing for years. And in this interview he lays it all on the line, baby, he”ll work.
And I’m going to be very blunt with you too: we’re not doing this deal in the media. Anaheim and San Diego – San Diego just woke up and put out that offer a day late and a dollar short, in my view. Our offer’s been out there for five years. And our offer is superior to their offer. I won’t say all the details because I’m not going to play this all out in the media, but I will say that that offer is a chump change offer. It’s kind of an afterthought to me. It’s like, “We think we’re going to lose it, so we’re going to throw a few bucks out there.” And I’ve got to be honest with you, to Comic-Con it isn’t just about that. That’s how I interpret it. It’s all about “How can we grow and enhance the show?” And my primary mission here is to grow and enhance that show. If I can’t improve that show for Comic-Con and for your industry here in Los Angeles, then I would not pursue this show. And I would not have busted my rear end for five years to do it if I couldn’t present them with that option. My offer today is only improved by the fact that I have A.E.G. and the LA Live development in partnership with me.
Krouse makes a persuasive, tireless effort to persuade us that the area surrounding the LA Convention Center is a bustling metropolis of pedestrian thoroughfares and gracious boulevards. Unfortunately this was easily disproved, (or was last time we were there, two years ago) by actually walking outside the convention center, which admittedly, is a fantastic convention facility.
Krouse mentions the 17,000 seat LA Sports Arena and 7,000 seat Nokia Theater adjoining the LACC as potential event venues, and granted, that would be very handy and useable.
§ In other con news, Cartoon Brew’s Amid Amidi calls shenanigans on a $200 charge for extra exhibitor badges.
The San Diego Comic-Con is pushing forward with its misguided agenda of appeasing corporate interests at the expense of alienating the indie comic and animation community. Their latest bone-headed move is to increase the price of additional exhibitor Comic-Con badges to $200 each, up from $75 last year. As anybody who has ever exhibited at Comic-Con can tell you, artists typically don’t earn truckloads of money at the event, and when all the costs of booth rental, travel, and lodging are factored in, the obscene $200 exhibitor badge essentially guarantees that an independent artist will leave the convention empty-handed.
It’s been quite a few years since we were exhibitors, but last time we were you got 4 exhibitor badges for a 10×10 booth. Is this no longer the case? It’s debatable whether this is a move to appease corporate interests so much as SOCKING IT TO THEM, as it’s the big studios who need lots and lots of exhibitor badges to run their giveaways and limbo contests and public stonings and what not. At any rate, it clear that exhbitor badges, like everything else to do with the con, are being abused by the wrong element, and a crack down is the result.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.