It seems we can’t get through a Convention season without seeing some kind of kvetch or drama about how much Conventions are costing fans, and how expensive it’s getting to book and run for Promoters. The general complaint is actors/celebrities ever-increasing prices, against an unstable economy. Guests had to forego trinket shopping and deciding which Actor to meet and which to pass up as autograph prices climbed to as much as $80.
After recent conventions, horror/pop culture fans have started to push back, as a recent “Walking Dead” guest put up a sign advertising $10 for meet and greet. That’s a purple note just to go up and say “Hi”.
Yep, you heard that right, and I can find pictures to prove it.
In retaliation, frequently-booked actors and their agents posted on social media their outrage at someone treating their fans as customers, and a cash cow, with celebrity agent Sean Clark posting, ” I just want to go on record and say that it didn’t cost ANYTHING to come up to Norman Reedus’ table at HorrorHound Weekend and meet him, get a hand shake or a hug MANY of which he gave out this weekend. Just saying.”
Sid Haig, star of Rob Zombie series “House of 1000 Corpses” and “Devil’s Rejects” went on record as stating he would never go above his $20 autograph price mark. It bears saying Mr. Haig has considerable history as a legend of Horror (Since “Spider Baby”) and Grindhouse in years past, as opposed to a one-hit wonder who’s supporting role in a television series could be seeing an end shortly.
The latest in these critiques is Monster Mania Weekend promoter, Dave Hagan, suing the agency who handles Daveigh Chase, better recognized as “Samara” from “The Ring” series of films.
The charges are breach of contract and mismanagement of funds, as Mr Hagan paid Chase’s agent in advance, with Ms Chase being a glaring no-show at the convention some weeks later. Understandably, Mr Hagan would like to be refunded. Phone calls and emails are going unsanswered.
I couldn’t tell you if this is the beginning of the end of people using Conventions as a convenient second-income, but it seems fans and promoters are fed up, tired of the drama and we might be seeing a trend of guests and celebrities bringing it back to the fan-centric, movie celebration they used to be.
Picture: Lost Boys actor Billy Wirth signing a picture for a fan. Photo credit Mimi Rupp