I’ve had one of my more interesting weeks in a long time with three really fun surprises in the mail–two being Star Wars-related. The first was a wonderful hoodie from 501st member Daniel Quay, TR-8285 and fan Andrew Marzka of Happy Valley Custom T’s in Pennsylvania. (Andrew’s business phone is (814) 571-2992 if anyone wants great hoodies or t-shirts.) They are concerned I’m not staying warm enough in Chicago, and they are right about that! Here it is:
I also received my “Save the Lars Homestead” watch in the mail this week with its pure Tunisian Tatooine sand embedded within and the beautiful engraving on the back. My fellow Star Wars junkies are stoked about the watch and the good news is, you can still order them here: http://s395343987.initial-website.com/
And then there was my bust from Sideshow Collectibles. I ordered this at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2011, and here we are 6 months later and I had almost forgotten about it. Almost, but not quite. What a great surprise! My wife’s friends have insisted she not display it in our foyer, so we’re still finding the right place for it.
Even better, I just got a Tweet from @MaxToyCo friend Mark Nagata informing me that a box of toys is en route. Could this geek’s week possibly get any better?!? I hope your week is filled with geek touchstones as well.
Sometimes my gut checks are on target. Sadly, this is one of those situations. I wish it wasn’t, but I will continue to boycott DragonCon until this situation gets resolved. Yes, I know it’s a good show and a growing show. Yes, I know a lot of great people are organizing it these days. However, my hunch was right — alleged child molester Ed Kramer still receives 34% of the shares of DragonCon’s profit--and I refuse to contribute to perpetuating that mentally disturbed and depraved individual’s alleged pedophilia in any way. I have zero tolerance for this activity. Nothing makes me more sick than even the idea of hurting children. Hurting anyone who is vulnerable and unable to defend themselves makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t support that in any way, especially while representing (in my own small way) an industry targeted to children. Watching the Penn State news unfold over the past couple of weeks also is making me sick. Mind you, it’s not that I’m so cold-hearted as to not realize that in most cases, the perpetrators were also abused as kids, but I have to hope that this activity will one day stop altogether. I just cannot stand it. Had I witnessed any situation like this, I would have sincerely been able to claim temporary insanity for killing the perpetrator with my bare hands.
Parents–and vulnerable single parents in particular–watch your kids and watch them closely. Be suspicious of anyone who takes a “special interest” in your child and tries to get your child alone. Relatives included. I’ll never forget a dear friend in Florida who was, at the time a single mom with a son who was absolutely precious to Denise and me. Her son’s soccer coach, a married man with 3 kids, kept trying to convince her to let him coach her son privately. She felt something was off, and shortly thereafter he was in the papers for molesting kids. Be vigilant. Don’t trust anyone unless you have very good reason to trust them. Remember, in every situation attracting large groups of kids, there’s someone out there who wants to get at them and will use every ploy to resonate with them – sports, comics, animals, videogaming, movies, camping, etc. In my mind’s eye, they’re all Pennywise the Clown.
A dear friend who prefers to remain anonymous just sent me this update:
|Dave: Thought you might find this article of interest, as it mentions the exact % of shares Ed Kramer still owns in DragonCon. He is not a minority share owner, as he has the same percentage as Pat Henry, the current chairman and co-founder. Your decision to boycott Dragoncon continues to be sound.|
And here’s an excerpt from the linked article above in the AJC / Atlanta Journal Constitution, a well respected newspaper:
DragonCon organizers have recently tried to distance the popular science fiction and fantasy convention from its ignominious co-founder, Edward Kramer, saying in a public statement that he has not had any involvement in planning or activities since his 2000 indictment on multiple child molestation charges.
I hope some of you are coming out to the “MALEFICIUM” multimedia horror art show at Kosart Effects Studios & Gallery on Saturday night in Westmont, IL – a Chicago western suburb. It is on the order of more of a New York show with the caliber of talent involved, so we hope to see some of you there. I did a fun new horror piece here below, and in keeping with my sense of humor, I did a little “Rocky and Bullwinkle” thing with the title, which I am calling “The Portrait of an Artist as a Tortured Soul ,” or: “Cthulu! Gesundheit!”
Okay, here are some goofy pictures of a quick walk down to my “Dave Cave,” a.k.a. my studio. We have a house built into a hill, so we have a walkout basement, and I have taken the entire basement over as my studio. It’s sort of like a “garden apartment” with a lot of light coming in the windows, which are above ground. I didn’t stage any of this, just took some impromptu pictures, so forgive the mess. More pictures to come, but I really must clean some of the mess before I go posting them on the web.
Here’s what you see when you come down the basement stairs. My wife and I are big fans of BBC comedy League of Gentlemen, hence the Royston Vasey signage. At the foot of the stairs is a piece that brings me a lot of joy, a Star Wars painting by my friend Christopher Moeller. On the right you’ll see the hint of my Rocketeer cut-out, which was a character created by a dear friend, the late, great artist Dave Stevens.
When you get to the bottom of the stairs, here’s what you’ll see – my treasured autographs from 501st Members from around the world that I gathered during Star Wars Celebration shows. It brings me a lot of joy to see these every day.
My father-in-law built me all of these wonderful built-in shelves and I really use them. You’ll see there’s a “Dog Fight” game on my shelf. My brother Jeff and I played this game as kids. We were never allowed to keep our toys as we were military brats, always moving from base to base and having to give up all of our toys. I saw this one day on eBay and I HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. Now I’m addicted to toys, and intent on keeping every toy I have. Sometimes I share with my son, but not always.
Here are some paintings you may recognize to the right wall walking toward my great room of the Dave Cave. The cleavage painting in latex on the right is for sale. Make me an offer.
Here is the wall to the left, walking down that same hallway.