Organizers: 5th Victoria Comic Con will be last

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Jan. 5, 2018 at 10:12 p.m.
Updated Jan. 6, 2018 at 6 a.m.

From left to right, Kaitlynd Fromme, Megan Booth and Bryan Hons listen as a supporter speaks to the Victoria City Council in 2016 about reinstating the group's hotel occupancy tax funds.

From left to right, Kaitlynd Fromme, Megan Booth and Bryan Hons listen as a supporter speaks to the Victoria City Council in 2016 about reinstating the group's hotel occupancy tax funds.   Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

Do or do not - there is no try when it comes to attending the 2018 Victoria Comic Con.

Founders Megan Booth and Bryan Hons announced New Year's Day that the Victoria Comic Con scheduled for Jan. 20 and 21 will be their fifth and final convention.

"The decision to bring about the end of Victoria Comic Con is bittersweet, but we know that it is the right decision to make," Booth said.

The statement on the Victoria Comic Con Facebook page said the couple is ending the event because of "mounting health concerns and the countless issues" they have had with the city of Victoria.

The convention started in 2014, and since then, Booth said, the founders have looked for ways to improve the convention for its attendees, featured guests and volunteers.

The low amount of money from the Hotel Occupancy Tax fund prevented organizers from bringing bigger celebrities to the convention over the years, Booth said.

With the amount of HOT funds Victoria Comic Con was awarded for fiscal year 2017, organizers were able to bring in celebrities such as Kate Flannery and Leslie David Baker, who played, respectively, Meredith Palmer and Stanley Hudson on NBC's "The Office."

"Just our lineup this year, we are selling tickets all over the state of Texas," Hons said. The event has exhibitors coming from Connecticut, New Mexico, Oklahoma and California.

Hons said with the amount of HOT funds Bootfest receives, they could bring celebrities such as Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on the "The Walking Dead"; Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman; and Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax from "Sons of Anarchy."

"If we cannot continue to strive toward giving the citizens of Victoria the kind of event that we know that they deserve, then ending the convention is absolutely the right call," Booth said.

George Matthews, who was part of the 2017 HOT Fund Committee, and Councilman Jeff Bauknight said Victoria Comic Con did not apply for HOT funds for fiscal year 2018.

Booth said the backlash Victoria Comic Con received every year for receiving HOT funds was exactly why they chose not to apply again.

In September 2016, a Facebook post from Booth cost the convention $2,770 in city support.

"We are the future of this city," she said. "Why wouldn't the City Council try to bring up and help young entrepreneurs instead of punishing them?"

Hons said if Victoria Comic Con were to receive the same amount of support as Bootfest from both the City Council and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, they would "absolutely" bring the event back.

"They are more than welcome to apply for HOT funds," Bauknight said. The councilman declined to comment about statements from Booth about the city favoring Bootfest over Victoria Comic Con.

Booth said since 2014, Comic Con participants have "shown their collective love for their respective fandoms, free from judgment and free from the monotony of everyday life."

Victoria Comic Con thanked people on its Facebook page for their continued support through ticket and table sales, volunteering and sponsorships.

"We didn't want this to happen, but something has to change here before real growth will be seen here," Booth said.

NOTE: Victoria Comic Con co-founder Bryan Hons said the event is selling tickets throughout Texas and that if it had received the same amount of support as Bootfest receives from city officials, it would remain in Victoria. Also, he said that with more money from the city, the event could bring in more prominent celebrities. The attributions were corrected.


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