If you’re wondering why Dragon*Con is filling up your Twitter feed today, it’s because they’ve officially announced they’ve bought out and severed ties with Dragon*Con co-founder and accused child molester Edward Kramer as well as dissolved the company formerly associated with Kramer (DragonCon/Ace, Inc.) and re-born as DragonCon, Inc.
And many in the comic/sci-fi/fantasy world are pleased.
Kramer’s not been involved with the sci-fi/comic/fantasy convention since 2000, when he was FIRST arrested on child molestation charges in Gwinnett County, GA and used his money to prolong THAT court date ever since alongside his claims to be suffering from “life-threatening illnesses,” PLURAL.
Apparently he was feeling MUCH better when 11 years later, he was arrested (AGAIN) when he was found in a Connecticut motel room with a 14-year-old boy and charged with “risk of injury to a minor” – Kramer claims the motel was the set for a “low-budget horror film”. The Gwinnett County DA’s office were able to extradite Kramer back to his current residence at Gwinnett County jail, where he sits until his trial for the alleged molestation of three boys gets underway.
While Dragon*Con CEO Pat Henry stayed mum on the subject of Kramer’s continued involvement, horror writer, Dragon*Con pro-participant, and one-time Kramer collaborator Nancy Collins (he edited her 1995 book, Forbidden Acts) staged a boycott in January with talent from within the “book publishing, comic and film industries,” with names like Don Murphy, writers Tony Isabella, Brian Keene, Steven Niles, Ron Marz, Erik Larson, Joe R. Lansdale, John Shirley, comic book artists Stephen R. Bissette, Tess Fowler, Paul Mavrides, musician Howard Kaylan, and food show host Jim Stacy joining the ever-growing list of past participants refusing to attend any further D*C events until the situation was rectified.
These actions prompted Henry to FINALLY come forward in March, telling The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he and and the remaining partners had tried to buy out Kramer SEVERAL times over the last eight years. “I used to try to buy him out every week or two. The company value was nowhere close (to the $500,000 offered to Kramer in 2004).”
Earlier today, an unknown source left an official statement in the form of a status update on Dragon*Con’s official Facebook page that reads as follows:
“Thanks to all of our fans, guests, and volunteers for your support!
DRAGON CON, INC. REPLACES DRAGON CON / ACE, INC.
Dragon Con will Continue the Agreements With Hotels, Guests and Performers.
ATLANTA – July 8, 2013 – The Board of Directors and Shareholders of Dragon Con / ACE, Inc., producer of Dragon*Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy and sci-fi convention, have agreed to merge the company into Dragon Con, Inc. (Dragon Con) in a cash-out merger.
Led by Pat Henry, David Cody and Robert Dennis, ownership of Dragon Con includes five of the six founding owners of Dragon Con / ACE (the old Dragon Con). The effective date of the merger is July 8, 2013.
Edward Kramer, who has not had any role in managing or organizing the convention since 2000, was offered cash for his shares in the old company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This decision only affects the ownership of the old Dragon Con,” said Pat Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Con. “Our members and others who attend Dragon*Con 2013 will experience the same fantastic convention they have come to expect from us.”
Dragon Con will continue the agreements with each of the host and overflow hotels associated with the convention as well as all of the guests and performers scheduled to appear at this year’s event, either “as is” or with amendments recognizing Dragon Con as owner.”
In a statement made to The Beat, boycott leader Collins has also issued an official statement announcing the boycott has ended:
“I have confirmed the Dragon Con merger press release via non-fannish channels (ie an AJC reporter who has spoken to Kramer’s attorney–newsflash, Kramer’s unhappy and is going to sue). Barring unforeseen events, I am now officially calling off the boycott. It’s interesting to see that something that something that had not been done and supposedly *couldn’t* be done for nearly 13 years somehow managed to be implemented in less than 6 months.
I would like to thank those professionals who took a stand and vocally supported the boycott of DragonCon, as well as the many fans who have done so as well. You looked the dragon in the eye and made it blink. And have no doubt, it was your unified efforts, actions and voices that made this happen, and nothing else.
It was you, and no one else, who were responsible for this cancer finally being cut from Fandom.”
It seems as if justice was served…but still not cool with how long this whole thing stayed (relatively) quiet.
But like boycott participant Steve Niles said via Twitter…
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