Toronto Convention Trauma

What’s the internet good for? Among other things, rousing the public to action. A new blog, Stop HobbyStar (no longer available), aims to draw attention to the predatory and disturbing actions of the promoters of the Toronto Fan Expo.

Seems that they don’t like that Paradise Toronto Comicon has held successful shows in the same area, so they’ve told retailers, even those who’ve already paid for tables, that if they exhibit at Paradise, they won’t be allowed at the Fan Expo. (Isn’t that illegal?) This comes after a history of announcing shows to be held one weekend before Paradise’s dates and similar shady tactics.

I don’t know all the details, and frankly, I don’t want to, but I’m mentioning this for two reasons: the Paradise shows, which held a Women in Comics symposium, sound much more interesting to me than the Wizard-like HobbyStar shows with their media guests, and who doesn’t love watching a good donnybrook?

3 Responses to “Toronto Convention Trauma”

  1. Craig Taillefer Says:

    The main difference from a creator’s perspective is that the Paradise show is one focused on comics (and only comics) and is run by people who love the medium and treat the people who make comics with a great deal of respect.

    Hobby Star is in it for the money and treat writers and artists like cattle. I did their show every year from the beginning in ’95 through 2001 and it was never a pleasant experience dealing with them.

    I’ve been invited to every Paradise show since the first in ’03 (and only missed the second because it conflicted with my grandmother’s 80th birthday party) and I always come away from the show feeling good. It has my support all the way.

    P.S. It was nice to see you again and get to chat with you over breakfast in Chicago.

  2. Daryl Collison Says:

    I am Daryl Collison.

    Having been THE retailer that was thrown into this hullaballo by Hobbystar’s threat, I am all too aware of the situation. I had always been a proponent of servicing the situation to a most amicable ends, but it seems Hobbystar wants no part of that.

    As I have mentioned, I WILL be at the Paradise show on the 20th of August and am waiting to see what happens when I show up on the 1st of September.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Good luck, Daryl.

    Craig, you too! Thanks for providing the perspective of someone who’s been there.




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