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Old July 15th, 2006   idamahn is offline   #1
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Default PARADISE VS HOBBYSTAR and THE LITTLE GUY

My name is Daryl Collison.

If you are familiar with the Toronto Comic Book scene, you know that I own and operate 3rd Quadrant Comics. If you are familiar with the comic scene at all, you may have actually seen me at a show or two. I am a relatively big guy with dreads and a huge McGuiness Superman tattoo on my right calf (think Samoan wrestler). I have run my store for almost 10 years now.

I am giving you a little background prior to giving you the juicy bits about why I am here to grind an axe.

On Saturday July the 15th at approximately 4 pm I received a phone call from Aman Gupta, the owner and operator of Hobbystar Marketing – they are the hosts of the Comic Book Expo held annually in Toronto Canada. I have been a supporter of Aman and HobbyStar for about 8 years now. I started off with 1 table and bolstered it to two tables about 4 years ago (I may be wrong on the dates, so do not quote me). I also have done a number of his smaller shows.

On Thursday July 13th Paradise Comics announced that they were doing a 1 day SUPER FAN COMIC BOOK SHOW in Toronto. (please note there is a LOT of history here and I am not going to go into it here. Suffice to say Paradise was doing the right thing in my opinion. BUT I will say this: Hobbystar has for the past two years put on a 1 day Fan Appreciation show ONE WEEK before the Paradise convention and saw no repercussions form Paradise. Paradise decides to put on a 1 day show 1 tenth the size of the Fan Appreciation show 2 WEEKS BEFORE the Expo and Aman has a Hissy fit)

The gist of Aman’s call was to tell me, in no uncertain terms, if I did the Paradise show on the 20th, that he would refund my money that I have deposited for his Expo which is to be held September 1-3 and that I would NOT be able to do his show. He told me that he was doing up the contracts and wanted to know what I was going to do. I suspect that he asked that so that he can CHANGE all the contracts NOW to include some ridiculous clauses about NOT doing competing shows within a certain time frame (does the term restraint of trade ring any bells) to his show. He really is running scared, isn’t he? The fact that I cemented my tables by paying him hundreds of dollars almost a year ago apparently means nothing to him.

Where does he get off telling ME what I can and cannot do? In a free market place I can do whatever show I want and he tells me that? Needless to say I am not pleased. I asked him, so you are telling me that whoever is doing your show is being told that if they do the Paradise show that you are telling them they will get their funds returned and they cannot do your show? He said yes. THE REASON I asked him that was to see if he was targeting me or if all retailers and hobbyists were being told the same thing. I am sure if some of the ‘bigger retailers’ were told what he told me, they would tell him what he could do with his tables. I am furious.

I WILL do the Paradise show on the 20th of August as is my right. If Aman tells me that I cannot do the Hobbystar show, then you will know why I am not at the show.

I have been a little vocal over the last few years about the ‘battle’ that exists between Paradise and Hobbystar. BUT I have always been civil in public and NEVER took a ‘round’ out of anyone. But this is just unbelievable.

I beseech all the small retailers out there that feel they do not have a voice to raise it now. Yes, I know this sounds trite and somewhat political, but I have been sitting on the fence long enough and not publicly voiced my disapproval of what is going on, I guess it is my own fault that I am doing this in the 11th hour, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Please take the time to re-post this or forward it to whomever you think might like to get a little bit more insight into what Aman is about.

If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them here and I will do my best to address them

Daryl
The little guy who has had enough. And I ain’t THAT little!
Last edited by idamahn; July 15th, 2006 at 05:53 PM.
 
Old July 16th, 2006   mbright220 is offline   #2
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I am with you on this. Hobbystar has become a bully in the last 2 years and instead of worrying about the Paradise con they should be working harder at improving their own diminsihing product.
 
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Old July 17th, 2006   superman1984 is offline   #3
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I've heard of these stories with Hobbystar and Paradise... I suppose the Paradise shows.... Hobbystar really is becoming/is a bully... and I also don't agreee with how they run their show...
 
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Old July 17th, 2006   Greg Owens is offline   #4
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It's unfortunate it has come to this. There was no need for the dirty pool in the first place. Both cons have months between them so it's not a direct competition thing. Personally all this does for me is drive my support more towards the Paradise shows (which I like better) and away from the Hobbystar shows (which are a madhouse of everything and the kitchen sink).
It's very uncool that they now feel the need to bully smaller comic shop owners as well.
 
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Old July 17th, 2006   opusrph is offline   #5
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Where does he get off telling ME what I can and cannot do?
ddf
idamahn

Well, if it's their show that gives them all the rights they need to make all the rules that they want to. If you want to participate, you follow what they tell you, no matter how stupid the rule is.

If they want to try to eliminate the competition with their little no-participation clause, they have all the rights to. But you have all the right to say "NO, I don't agree with this rule" and not go to thier show and support the other guy.

I don't think they realise the amount of ill-will this is going to generate them.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   KevinB is offline   #6
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Well, if it's their show that gives them all the rights they need to make all the rules that they want to. If you want to participate, you follow what they tell you, no matter how stupid the rule is.

If they want to try to eliminate the competition with their little no-participation clause, they have all the rights to. But you have all the right to say "NO, I don't agree with this rule" and not go to thier show and support the other guy.
ddf
opusrph
No offense meant by this opusrph, but are you a lawyer or legislator familiar with contract law and the validity of non-competition clauses between businesses in the US and/or Canadian marketplace? I'm not, but I know that I can't make up and enforce whatever silly rules I want to simply because I run a show.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   opusrph is offline   #7
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No offense meant by this opusrph, but are you a lawyer or legislator familiar with contract law and the validity of non-competition clauses between businesses in the US and/or Canadian marketplace? I'm not, but I know that I can't make up and enforce whatever silly rules I want to simply because I run a show.
ddf
KevinB
Sure you can.
No I'm not a lawyer and I'm not claiming to be, but unless he's breaking the law (which I don't claim to know that he is doing), he can determine who participates by whatever rules he wants. It's his show. He's in charge. He's "the boss". If I'm hosting a show and I say all vendors must were top hats and tap shoes on the sales floor, I can make that part of the contract for participation and if you don't want to do that, then you don't get invited. If that's what he wants to do, then that's what he can do. The more stupid or stringent rule is going to hurt the show because you'll get fewer vendors who want or are willing to follow the rule.

It's just like going to your job. Your boss sets in place certain rules for you to follow. Be on time, wear certain clothes, all that stuff. If you don't follow them, then you're fired.

As to the issue of "If you do con x, you can't do mine", I'll leave that up to the lawyers. All I'm saying is that he can place whatever rules (within the law, of course) he wants in effect. It's up to the participants if they want to follow them or take their ball and go home.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   KevinB is offline   #8
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Sure you can.
No I'm not a lawyer and I'm not claiming to be, but unless he's breaking the law (which I don't claim to know that he is doing), he can determine who participates by whatever rules he wants. It's his show. He's in charge. He's "the boss". If I'm hosting a show and I say all vendors must were top hats and tap shoes on the sales floor, I can make that part of the contract for participation and if you don't want to do that, then you don't get invited. If that's what he wants to do, then that's what he can do. The more stupid or stringent rule is going to hurt the show because you'll get fewer vendors who want or are willing to follow the rule.

It's just like going to your job. Your boss sets in place certain rules for you to follow. Be on time, wear certain clothes, all that stuff. If you don't follow them, then you're fired.
ddf
opusrph
I think you would find that is not the case.

While I'm not denying that the show promoter is the "boss" of the show, vendors at his show are not his "employees", they are people purchasing services from a show promoter. The only "employees" are the "boss'" actual employees - the people he hires or agree to volunteer to work directly for the promoter.

Vendors do not work for the show promoter, the show promoter works for them. "If you buy a space from me I will provide you with A, B and C". In other words, you pay the promoter for a service and he gives you something in return. You do not sign away any right except your time by accepting to buy space from a promoter. Yes, he can stipulate that you not do anything illegal or do anything that will offend the people that attend his events or do anything that puts his company or the facility at risk of criminal charges, but he will also say that if you do, by signing the contract if you do so you are doing it without the promoter's consent.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   Jason Truong is offline   #9
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Sure you can.
No I'm not a lawyer and I'm not claiming to be, but unless he's breaking the law (which I don't claim to know that he is doing), he can determine who participates by whatever rules he wants. It's his show. He's in charge. He's "the boss". If I'm hosting a show and I say all vendors must were top hats and tap shoes on the sales floor, I can make that part of the contract for participation and if you don't want to do that, then you don't get invited. If that's what he wants to do, then that's what he can do. The more stupid or stringent rule is going to hurt the show because you'll get fewer vendors who want or are willing to follow the rule.
ddf
opusrph
Just to clarify something, from what Daryl stated, the contract is already signed, so that is a major part of all this. Can't add another clause to the contract, after it is signed, unless both parties agree to it.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   Greg Owens is offline   #10
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Just to clarify something, from what Daryl stated, the contract is already signed, so that is a major part of all this. Can't add another clause to the contract, after it is signed, unless both parties agree to it.
ddf
Jason Truong
Good point. Just another slimy move on this promoter's part. He should just take the turnabout is fairplay lesson and learn from it. There is no need for this type of agression. Both shows can exist peacefully and be a boon for the comic scene in Toronto. Both shows are night and day anyway so they each have their merits and drawing power. There is no need for this cheap sniping and bad behavior and hopefully after this there won't be any. Time will tell.
 
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Old July 17th, 2006   Jason Truong is offline   #11
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Just to clarify something, from what Daryl stated, the contract is already signed, so that is a major part of all this. Can't add another clause to the contract, after it is signed, unless both parties agree to it.
ddf
Jason Truong
Oops... I misread what Daryl wrote. Aman is doing up the contracts. It's not signed or anything. However, the verbal agreement of doing the show was changed (even after the deposit was put down).

So, my previous comment is incorrect.
 
Old July 17th, 2006   John Babos is offline   #12
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It is amazing how quickly word travels. The internet is such an "interesting" place.

A new blog site dedicated to all this.

And...

Sean Ward chimes in...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Open Letter to Hobbystar Marketing
Current mood: impassioned
Category: News and Politics

Dear James and Aman,

Below is the text of an e-mail that is circulating the Toronto comic book community right now. If it's claims are accurate, then you have sunk to an unreasonable and unacceptable low in your efforts to undermine the community-minded efforts of Paradise Comics in staging the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon. It has also recently come to my attention that you intend to stage your "one-day fan appreciation" attempt at sabotaging Paradise on the same weekend as that show in 2007 instead of your usual one week in advance. I know your pockets are deep, but one cannot maintain a successful endeavor in the long term if that endeavor is not founded in a win-win spirit of harmony and respect for others. Word is spreading fast about you guys, and I'm only trying to help you when I ask you to please knock this s--- off.

There is no competition between you guys and the Paradise show. They're not trying to do the same thing you're doing. So why do you care if they want to throw a party? The only reason to try to sabotage them is if you feel that they can put on a better show than you. If you believed that no one could put on a better show than you, you wouldn't care who else wanted to put a show on. If you do feel like the Paradise show is competition, then why not put time and resources into throwing a better party, being nicer to the guests, and earning a better reputation than anyone else? You attack the Paradise show and if you win, there isn't one. I'm working my butt off, hustling to live off of my art so if you win and there isn't one, it's much more difficult for me to pay my rent that month. So by attacking them, you're attacking me and everyone else trying to earn a living as a comic book creator in Toronto. How do you fail to understand that seeing Paradise flourish means the community flourishes, and means YOU flourish because there are more fans to attract to your show?

This letter is being fowarded as far and wide as I can reach with it. To those reading this who are unfamiliar with the scene, Hobbystar Marketing is the company that puts on the comic book, sci-fi, anime, gaming, and horror Expo that goes on at the end of every summer at the Metro Convention Centre. Paradise Comics is a small comic book store on Yonge Street that puts on a smaller, exclusively-comics-centric convention in April called Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon. Each year, Hobbystar Marketing stages a one-day "fan appreciation" event one week prior to the Paradise show. They call it Toronto Comicon, and it goes on for no reason other than as an attempt to sabotage the Paradise show by confusing comic book fans about when and where Toronto Comicon happens. Hobbystar increasingly enacts measures to punish those who support the Paradise show, from kicking people out of their Expo for leaving posting anti-Hobbystar messages to bulletin boards on the internet to now telling exhibitors that if they take part in Paradise's show, their exhibitor's fees will be refunded and they will be banned from the Expo. Hobbystar has a reputation for lying to their big-ticket guests, being rude to their exhibitors, sabotaging every other remotely similar event in the city, and treating artists like cattle. It is no wonder that Paradise, a show with a growing reputation for excellence in all areas, raises alarm in them.

I encourage everyone reading this who is involved in the comic book community in Toronto, and those planning on attending the late-summer Expo, to immediately join the growing ranks of retailers, creators, and personalities boycotting the Fan Expo put on by Hobbystar Marketing at the end of the summer (the one the teenagers call Nerd Prom). The good people at Paradise Comics have made this extraordinarily easier by putting on an alternate late summer comic book convention, the Toronto Comic Book Fan Super Show, which will take place on Sunday, August 20 at the Toronto Hilton (Richmond and University) in Ballroom I and the Varley Conference Room. My good friend Liana K from Ed's Night Party and I have committed to doing whatever we can to make sure that the August 20 SuperShow is the comics event of the summer. We're not entirely sure at this point what's going to go down, but you can be sure that the silliness, theatrics, and impromptu performances of April's Toronto Comicon (see www.seanward.net/gallery/photoalbum.html for more on that!) will have been just a small indicator of things to come.

My fellow creators, we all agree that Hobbystar s---s on us, but we all keep doing their show. Hobbystar, you guys play dirtier and dirtier all the time and we are all just trying to play nice. This has gone too far for too long, and enough is enough. On behalf of all of the retailers, creators, exhibitors, artists, and celebrities who are continually put out and inconvenienced by your unfair tactics, I demand that you immediately cease the enactment of policies that would have exhibitors promise not to take part in Paradise's shows, and that you cancel any and all plans for any event of any kind anywhere in North America within thirty days of the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon. Failure to comply with these demands will reveal yourselves to be some punk-*** bitches.

-Sean D. Ward
 
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Old July 18th, 2006   Sharis the Bunny is offline   #13
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*Sigh*

Okie dokie then. I'm going to get in the last word here and close up this nonsense.

#1 HSM is also a poster on these here boards. If you have an axe to grind, that's fine. Take it somewhere private. Do NOT come out here and start calling people who post here "slimeballs" or whatever else you want to do. Moderators are NOT very tolerant of this kind of behavior. I understand that the original poster is very upset with what he states happened, but I can not tell you how many times Mods will get a "so-and-so said this to me" or "did this to me" and yet...never send any proof (like a cut-and-paste of the actual IM/email/etc.) So now what you've got is a bunch of inflammatory statements without any proof. I'm not calling the original poster a liar, but this is NOT APPROPRIATE here. Also, this posting of randomly circulating emails which start out with "if the following is true" are like...whispers about rumours about things that may or may not be real. Get a grip. This isn't 4th grade. Stop it! Post something firsthand account, not hearsay and conjecture. Not when it's ANOTHER POSTER IN THE FORUMS!

#2 The whole Hobbystar/Paradise thing is some ancient Hatfields/McCoys rivalry. Yes, we all know that (or we do now) but again, this is not the place to take your beef, as poster "hsm" is someone from Hobbystar, (I don't know if anyone from Paradise has a screen name here as well) and it is NOT COOL to start in on any particular poster here. Take it outside of the bloc, and leave it outside of the bloc. Constructive criticism is one thing, but this thread is going downhill fast.

#3 I may be just a capitalist American pig, but there is such a thing as free market, and competition within a specific venue. That means that for all the stuff one show does to "out-do" the other, it forces the other show to step up their game, or lose some of the market-share. That's capitalism, folks. That's how it works in business. If you don't like it, or you disagree with certain tactics, that's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it. Feel free to boycot whatever business you want. Both Paradise AND Hobbystar have been extremely good to their fans, and to the professionals they get to do their shows. I will NOT tolerate the nasty vein this thread is taking. Take it to PMs and Emails amongst yourselves, this is over!
 
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