Image by Jeffrey Pidgeon
Artists who have been disillusioned with Comic Con International have proposed a new convention called Creator-Con. They have a Facebook page and in their mission statement explains the origin of the idea:
This page was originally created as a forum for the artists, writers, designers, self-publishers, retailers and fans that have become disillusioned and frustrated with what the flagship of comic conventions has become (y'all know the one...in San Diego).
The Creator Con idea was hatched a few years ago by a few exhibitor friends as a reaction to the popular media takeover of a convention that used to celebrate artists and creators. We were tired of being pushed further and further aside each year to make room for the bigger, louder and flashier attractions that had nothing to do with the convention's humble beginnings.
I haven't been involved with the American convention scene for several years, but I can understand the frustration felt by many artists and creators. Their goals for an alternative to Comic Con are however somewhat vague:
The Creator Con mission is one of positivity and sharing, in looking for the best way to showcase, promote, and share talent and ideas in the fields of comics, graphic arts and beyond.
The overall mission statement will change as we gather steam and further define our goals. We are well on our way to doing that with the amazing support so far from everyone who has joined or contributed.
My initial reaction was along the lines of Mark Evanier: How exactly does this new convention not duplicate existing smaller, more creator friendly events like APE and SPX? And besides, what good can come from opposing the interaction between comics publishers and other established media entities? This is arguably the price paid for mainstream acceptance. Then again shouldn't creators be a little concerned about the effects of comics publishers becoming just another cog within the operations of vast media empires?
An alternative model could be Japanese conventions like Comiket. It's the largest convention in the world, but it's amazingly still mostly a fan-organized affair. Of course the doujinshi that drives the event is a mix of original content and fan fiction of sometimes very popular properties. The latter would not sit well with the litigious character of American corporations. Still, it would be an impressive feat if something along those lines could be adapted for the American comics scene.