Concentrate: This Week in Con News (April 2)

Welcome back to our weekly news feature where we boil down the week’s news from the convention circuit plus share our calendar of the weekend’s upcoming conventions.

This week, The Mary Sue had an “IRL lawyer” consider whether unpaid comic con volunteers are illegal (short answer: maybe). Just about every convention uses volunteers; some, like ReedPop shows, avoid the issue by paying their temporary event staff minimum wage. Others, like San Diego Comic-Con, are fine using unpaid volunteers because the parent organization is a non-profit. But there are other organizers, big and small, using unpaid volunteers that are arguable working well beyond the scope of what an unpaid volunteer should be. Wizard World even asks for volunteer photographers and videographers.

However, Jeff Trexler at The Beat reminds us that legal loopholes have been helping companies get away with this for years – very few lawsuits of this type have ever succeeded. With as big a moneymaker as many cons have turned out to be, it’s only a matter of time before a suit like this is filed. But if the precedent Trexler cites is upheld, the suit – and volunteers’ hopes of becoming paid staff – won’t have much to stand on.

  • The Geeky Hooker is back with her first crocheted critter for Comic-Con 2015 – Baymax! The Geeky Hooker creates several different critters each year and then drops them at random around the convention center, posting clues to social media. She only asks that finders let her know that her critter has gone to a good home. It’s great fun to follow and play along with the scavenger hunt, even if you don’t find the adorable creatures. Check out more shots of Baymax on Geeky Hooker’s blog.


  • Free ticket alert! Check out these contests that can win you free passes to these major conventions:
    • Starz Escape with Outlander Sweepstakes – win a trip to San Diego Comic-Con plus some other perks.
    • Student artists can submit their best original non-Marvel work to Adobe for a chance to go to San Diego Comic-Con, get a one-on-one portfolio review with Marvel, and contribute to a new Marvel comic. Bonus: it’s not restricted to US residents.
    • and together have 75 four-day passes to Star Wars Celebration to give away.
  • All those hip teens love Vid Con, so here comes another one: Stream Con NYC, slated for October 30, 31, and November 1 at the Javits Center. The event is backed by Tubefilter, creator of the Streamy Awards, and is all about YouTube stars – but there is a Saturday night Masquerade, so there’s a little bit of comic con it its blood.
  • Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk are hosting a charity:water fundraiser – every $10 donation enters you in a contest where the prize is lunch with the pair at a comic con (of Nathan & Alan’s choosing).
  • Indy PopCon tickets go on sale today.

  • Awesome Gon will be mailing badges this year – a trend that’s been a staple of most ReedPop shows for years now and one that we hope becomes standard operating procedure – it’s just so convenient.
  • Panel submissions for Geek Girl Con 2015 are now open.
  • It’s WonderCon weekend! Check out our preview post and watch for our coverage on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Shameless promotion: if you’re heading to Anime Boston this weekend, say hi to our friend at Daily Therapy in Artists Alley, booth S-42, and her adorable reversible geek-themed play dresses for kids!

Did we miss something? Tip us!

What’s Happening This Week (Wednesday, April 1 – Tuesday, April 7)

Organizers: hosting a con soon? Fans: want to help get the word out about your favorite event? Contact us to have it added to the calendar.

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