*UPDATE 6/35* "I wanted to clarify something about payment that Mike said in "friends getting paid last " I was paid our groups performance right after con. Sorry he's been twiddling his thumbs on getting you your payment."
World Cosplay Summit reached out to me wanting to share the information on their situation. Cosplay winners were not properly compensated for travel and were left stranded because of un booked return tickets.
"The WCS part mentioned is in regards to a hotel for the NewCon prelim winners as well as their flight was never fully booked through their treasurer and left the winners stranded" -WCS Staff
**Edit I have disabled comments due to nothing but people hiding behind anonymous names leaving uninformed comments** If you really have something mean to tell me TELL IT TO MY FACE. MESSAGE ME. I DARE YOU. :)
It is with heavy heart that I have to write this because it is about a local event that I had very much hope for. Unfortunately it is my responsibility to warn other guests and attendees of unacceptable behaviors of people in powerful positions.
( To be honest...I really don't want people on certain boards gossiping about me again but this is my responsibility to make a post about it. )
So let me tell you about a guy that usually goes by Michael (or Mike) Anderson. Sometimes Tyrone. I don't know this guy had a lot of names but his legal one was Michael Anderson.
He used to be a pretty good cosplay friends who I had met back in around 2011 in the Portland, OR cosplay community. Seemed like a cool guy and was pretty popular among my friends. In 2012 he decided that he would like to start a cool “all inclusive” convention called “NewCon PDX” which was focused on all types of nerd culture. Kind of like a mini me version of Dragon con right? At this point I was fairly involved with cosplay competitions. I messaged him asking if he needed helping coordinate a cosplay contest for the con. He said yes and I planned several different panels as well as the entire contest. Right before the con the main cosplay guest bailed for personal reasons and he made me a guest of honor because of how much work I put into contributing content. Since the first con was more of a personal volunteer on my part I thought it was fair to cut a first con ever (which could only get one other guest to fly out) some slack and enjoy it. It was a ton of fun. I loved it and felt as if this convention was going to move onto bigger things.
The second year I was asked back. And that went smoothly too. I had a contract/appearance fee/hotel comp and everything went great. I was paid on time.
The third year was when shit hit the fan.
I was asked back, had a contract that I signed and sent in, and was comped my hotel/travel just fine.
NewCon had moved to a slightly bigger venue and invited a boat load of guests including myself and big shot people like Dante Basco. I had some voice actors I knew fly out too and it was really nice meeting the new guests like Ryan Wells and Kira Buckland. However the first thing I noticed was the vendor hiccup.
The person in charge of vendors was seemingly non existent and turned the whole thing into a disaster. I got screwed too. I actually asked THE CHAIR, Michael if I could get a table to sell prints and cosplay items. Apparently he forgot about making room for me and the Slants and basically had to play Tetris in a hotel amidst hundreds of attendees already swarming the hotel. I was put in a very strange spot. And the vendors I was around were extremely disgruntled and upset that they would not be making a profit.
Also one more thing to clear up at NewCon 3 I did NOT RUN ANY COSPLAY CONTEST OR WCS STUFF. ZILCH. NONE. Some stuff will get mentioned later.
The main issue came after the con.
NewCon forgot to pay quite a bit of money to people.
Most guests who go to conventions have an appearance fee. This was covered in my contract so I was supposed to be paid.
A month or two after the con I checked in with Mike about checks. Last year I had gotten paid during the con so this seemed a bit off. He said he was really busy taking care of some fees with the hotel and that he would be getting mine and some of the other staff in March. Because of the last two good years I did not have my guard up….
“I won’t stiffvyou.” That's cute.
March passed and zilch. I think I messaged him again and got another apology. And then it still wouldn’t come and I double checked with him to see what address he sent it to (I had moved in November right before Newcon 3) and he said that he mixed it up and would cancel the check and re send it to my correct address.
May and still ZERO DOLLARS. No check in the mail. I was fed up so I posted a status on my personal page about it. One other voice actors then sent me a message about not getting her money either and then Mike himself messaged me. First off he said he wished I had a “modicum of communication. ME NOT HAVING A MODICUM OF COMMUNICATION??? What. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? You didn’t expect me not to post a status after five months excuses? I guess I should of just gone to small claims court right?
He gave me a very lengthy apology and I was like yeah alright better see my money by June.
June more like good fucking luck ever getting that money ever. The voice actor I talked to was still not paid. Several other people screwed over for expenses. My good friends who DJ’d at the dance also told me he was paid 100$ less for his set than promised too. Cosplayers were also not given their prizes they won in the cosplay contest (the prizes supposedly included expensive cosplay materials like Worbla). Let me clear this up...the last two years I ran the contests I reached out and got prizes ON MY OWN, FOR FREE OR CHEAP to give out. At least I gave them something, even if it was a smaller prize.
Most of the guests had been paid directly after the convention, but this group of people above and myself have been affected by whatever negligence has been going on.
Another frustrating thing is that NewCon (Mike himself) booked Steve Blum, Troy Baker, Crispin Freeman for next years event (these guys are fairly famous and fairly pricey to get). How do they even have money to pay those types of guests when they have not paid off the previous year?
He’s also done worse with money, but that’s not my story to tell (hopefully we can tell that story once he is on his way to jail).
At this point I noticed Michael had deleted me off of Facebook and was cutting huge ties with some of his closest friends. I think this guy has realized he is in deep shit and is trying to cover his tracks.
I cannot believe this man has been lying to so many people for so many years. I cannot believe him scamming so many people who do not deserve this. I cannot believe the amount of disrespectful treatment he will give to his voice actor guests.
Honestly I am more angry that he is screwing over attendees and other guests. I don’t know what to do. I have the copy of my contract with his damn signature on it (its not on this post because I think its confidential but legally it was broken and I could go after him in court for it). I feel as if my funds won’t be worth going to court over. I know that the treasurer was manipulated for four years as a sock puppet, has currently quit and is terrified about the consequences he may face because he did not know.
My suggestion is to boycott this event until management and chairmanship is passed to someone that does not cheat and scam people.
If you can send or share this post to next years guests and attendees and try to convince them not to attend we would really appreciate it. We do not need shady people in the convention community, we need to call them out.
IF YOU CAN PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK http://ctt.ec/f55ey TO TWEET NEXT YEARS GUESTS TO NOT ATTEND!!
*EDIT* I also want to make it VERY CLEAR that all of the NEWCON STAFF were in the dark about everything Michael Anderson has been up to. The staff are wonderful. The chair has just been irresponsible and caused this whole thing to topple. :(