The New York Comic Con is an harassment free zone

The New York Comic Con 2017 starts today. ReedPOP, the event’s organizers, have a strict rule about harassment. What is comic convention harassment? This is how it’s defined on their website:

  • Stalking
  • Intimidation
  • Offensive Verbal Comments
  • Physical Assault And/Or Battery
  • Harassing Or Non-Consensual Photography Or Recording
  • Sustained Disruption Of Panels, Signings, And Other Events
  • Bathroom Policing
  • Inappropriate Physical Contact
  • Unwelcome Physical Attention
  • Hate Symbols

I have never seen harassment at a comic convention

I’ve never seen harassment at a comic book convention, in that I’ve never seen any of the above take place. Then again, I haven’t been to a comic book convention in some time. Things may have changed a lot since the last time I went to one.

Also, I’ve never been to a comic convention B. Clay Moore, Isaac Goodhart, Kelly Thompson or Taylor Esposito were appearing. They are members of a super secret Facebook group for comic professionals and in the group, talked openly about wishing to visit violence on Richard C. Meyer, the man behind the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel.

B. Clay Moore wrote, “The last thing Meyer is going to do is get violent at a con. But I’d love to follow him around trying to goad him into throwing a punch.

In response, Taylor Esposito wrote, “I’d love to yell “one punch” after you level him.

One punch? Looks like Esposito and I like the same kind of anime.

Time and space

The best defense against anyone wishing you harm is time and space. Put as much time and space between you and the person wanting to do you harm. The last thing you want to do is stand your ground and square off against someone .

Fighting is hard work. It takes a lot of energy to fight someone. Again, the best thing to do is put as much distance between you and your assailant. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a comic con or a Walmart parking lot.

Richard C. Meyer doesn’t have anything to worry about. He’s a six-foot former Marine who’s fought in two desert wars.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel, you really ought to. You don’t know what you’re missing. He’s probably the least pretentious, the most down to earth person you could hope to meet. He made me interested in comics again, something I didn’t even know was possible.

Emerald City Comicon sued for not paying ‘volunteers’

Jerry Brooks, a former Emerald City Comicon volunteer, is initiating a class action suit against the con, alleging the convention broke Washington state employment laws. Volunteers, referred to as “minions” by the convention’s organizers, performed tasks normally performed by paid employees.

Emerald City Comicon minions were not paid.

Emerald City Comicon sued for not paying 'volunteers' - Bent CornerLegally, Emerald City Comicon was not in a position where it could take advantage of a volunteer labor force. They weren’t a non-profit organization. If they applied for and were granted non-profit status from the IRS, it could have used volunteers as worker bees.

They didn’t do that.

Emerald City Comicon is now owned by ReedPop, the Walmart of comic conventions. Reportedly, ReedPop paid Emerald City Comicon minions at this year’s event.

I’m no lawyer, but I would think that fact would be problematic for the defendants. If the 2016 minions were paid for the work they performed, why were minions in prior years not paid?

Something else that may be trouble for the defendants is the plaintiff. There’s a Linkedin profile for a Jerry Brooks who listed volunteer work for Emerald City Comicon, specifically, that he supervised over 100 volunteers. If this is the same Jerry Brooks who filed the lawsuit, he may have detailed, comprehensive records of the work done by the minions he supervised.

In retrospect, I wonder if the creators of Emerald City Comicon wish they had called their employees something other than “minions.” I doubt that term would go over real well in a courtroom deciding if you should have paid your employees or not. It’s probably related to the animated movie Despicable Me, but it sounds extremely pejorative.