The Dragon*Con Boycott Part 5 – Debunking the False Narrative Put Out There by the Boycott Brigade

Posted: March 18, 2013 in Dragon*Con, Entertainment, Life, News

Reference links can be found here – https://jjchandler.wordpress.com/the-dragoncon-boycott-link-madness-page/

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There’s a common theme one can see in the comment sections of many forums where various genre “news” sites report on the call for a Dragon*Con boycott and the claims made by the people pushing for the boycott and on the various blogs that simply repeat the coverage of the boycotters’ claims. It’s one of absolute shock and disbelief that Dragon*Con has been funding Kramer’s legal fight to the tune of $150,000 a year and thus allowing him avoid jail for going on 13 years now as well as traveling around the country and securing himself future victims. Maybe they should realize that it seems so unbelievable because it’s not exactly true. 

The false narrative being presented has several major problems with it. The first is the $150,000 a year dividend payment claim. There are two major problems with this actually. The first is that the number being cited by the boycott supporters is in fact not a dividend payment. It is in fact a settlement from one of the two legal cases that Kramer has against Dragon*Con/Ace Inc and Pat Henry. The second problem with their narrative here should be obvious. They apparently have no idea what a dividend payment is. 

Let’s give them the full $150,000 figure as the 2011 dividend that they claim it is. That means that their talking about a payment figure that is unique to 2011. Dividends are paid each year based on the worth of the shares one owns. The worth each year will be dependent on the profit of the company. Now, Dragon*Con has seen explosive growth in the last five years of conventions alone. In 2007 for example, the attendance figures had them at just over 20,000 paid attendees. In 2012, that figure was just over 50,000. Now, the math behind working out a dividend payment is a bit more complicated than just linking it to attendance figures and doing the X2.5 thing, but you can see that there were obvious signs of growth there. And Dragon*Con itself has moved from being a one hotel attraction in 2001 to taking up five hotels by 2012. 

The obvious takeaway here is that the convention has only gotten more successful over time. That would also mean that dividend payments have gotten larger over time. The supposed “$150,000” in 2011 would then be larger than the payment from 2010. Whatever 2010 was would be larger than 2009. And this would go on down the line. This by the way would also not be a totally correct line to draw when following the possible dividend payments. 

The profitability of each year’s event is also predicated on the money laid out for the convention. Some years would have less profit than you would assume by just drawing a line and playing base-it-on-the-attendance math. As the con has expanded each year, they sometimes had to lay out more money upfront. That can also effect payments for any specific year. Reportedly, there have been years were no or very little dividends were paid. The thing is that no one in the public square really quite knows what went to whom over the years. But certainly we can agree that the idea of $150,000 per year as a set payment is laughable. I mean, do these guys think that Kramer got $150,000 after the first Dragon*Con? Do they think he was getting $150,000 in 2000 and 2001? 

The other major flaw in their narrative is that many of them are pushing the talking point as if Kramer’s only achievement in life was Dragon*Con and that his only source of income was from his shares in it. And, of course, their story is that it’s his Dragon*Con money that’s been paying all of his legal bills. This is not only untrue, but the idiocy on the part of Collins, having known the man for nearly a decade before his arrest, for even trying to occasionally imply that should be embarrassing. 

Edward Kramer had an incredible career prior to his arrest in August of 2000. His resume includes titles such as editor, writer, producer, agent, photographer and photojournalist. 

The books he had a hand in editing include- 

Tales of Riverworld (1992) 

Grails: Quests, Visitations and Other Occurrences (1992), a World Fantasy Award nominee for Best Anthology 

Quest to Riverworld (1993) 

Confederacy of the Dead (1993) 

Phobias (1994) 

Michael Moorcock’s Elric: Tales of the White Wolf (1994) 

Grails: Visitations of the Night (1994) 

The Dark Destiny trilogy is set in White Wolf publishing’s World of Darkness:

Dark Destiny (1994)

Dark Destiny II: Proprietors of Fate (1995)

Dark Destiny III: Children of Dracula (1996) 

Dante’s Disciples (1998) 

Excalibur (1995) 

Tombs (1995) 

More Phobias (1995) 

Forbidden Acts (1995) 

Dark Love (1996), a World Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award nominee for Best Anthology 

The Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996), a British Fantasy Award nominee for Best Anthology 

Michael Moorcock’s Pawn of Chaos: Tales of the Eternal Champion (1997) 

Free Space (1997), recipient of the first Prometheus Special Award 

The Crow: Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams (1998) 

Strange Attraction: Turns of the Midnight Carnival’s Wheel (2000) 

Grails: Quests of the Dawn (2004) 

Kramer also acted as a literary agent and agented volumes of work for the likes of Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, and Fritz Leiber. Kramer was also involved in creating the partnership between Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson that re-launched the Dune series of books. 

Kramer did work as a photojournalist and music critic as well. Kramer’s features were syndicated through the NY Times regional wire and his photography was used in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Time, and USA Today. Kramer even had some original fiction appear in various collections and magazines. 

Kramer and Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch have also entered into various business deals together and Kramer reportedly still has ties to the development of an interactive SF game platform that Hatch is promoting. He also had a major hand in the rather poor direct to net feature ‘The Terror of Tate Manor’ where he directed and co-wrote the script with author Brad Linaweaver. Granted, out of all his various projects, ‘The Terror of Tate Manor’ was a notable misfire outside of an extremely small cult following and likely only provided a total revenue stream of about ten cents. But he was also with White Wolf publishing when they came up with Vampire: The Masquerade and, I dare say, he probably made a pretty penny from that period of work. 

And, on top of all of this and being a founder of Dragon*Con, the man had day jobs over the years. The most notable being working for Regional Technical Service Agency, where Kramer worked as a technical advisor and wrote grant applications. 

Do you maybe get the idea at this point that the man might just have had a little cash laying around at the time of his arrest in August of 2000 and maybe even had a few continuing revenue streams to lean on? Edward Kramer was not a man who was dependent on Dragon*Con as his only source of income prior to his arrest. Even after his arrest, the various books still in print that had his name attached to them did not go out of print overnight. At least one, the Sandman collection, is still in print now. He still managed to grab other jobs as well and even managed to hold a very brief position with Moving Pictures Media Group in Hollywood, CA in their Multimedia Rights division. 

And all of that is just the public record stuff. It doesn’t include any possible private income. Kramer was an extreme genre geek. His home was reportedly filled with all manner of collectibles and books. Certainly any or all of this could have been sold off directly or through third parties to raise funds here and there. 

Looking at the relative success of Dragon*Con in the 90s and even 2000 to 2002 or 2003, the majority of his income during these years was very likely not from Dragon*Con. And He still had money coming in from all of these things after his arrest. Not to mention the fact that there was a movement to help him that sprang up after his arrest. Charity auctions were held to raise funds for Kramer’s legal defense. A website was set up where donations could be sent and funds were raised.

In late 2003, Kramer was rear-ended while stopped at a train crossing. Two years later, he sued the driver. The suit was later settled for an undisclosed sum. Then in 2005, Kramer succeeded in being declared eligible for Social Security disability. Federal Judge Dana McDonald retroactively granted him benefits going back to 2000. 

And this all went to help pay for his early legal bills. 

The earnings he got from his shares in Dragon*Con/Ace Inc. did not contribute to his legal bills as much as the boycott brigade would like to imply that they did or do. How can I be confident in saying that? Simple. Dragon*Con is still there while the vast majority of those other sources of income and savings were gone by 2004 to 2005. Have you actually seen the state of Kramer’s finances today? 

Some reports are that Kramer had to sell off his home to deal with some of his debt. Other reports indicate that his home was actually foreclosed on. Either way, he lost it to money issues. He’s in debt and as creditors on his case. He even has former members of his legal team who he still owes payment to. But this supposed “$150,000 per year” that he’s supposedly getting is allowing him to pay for high-end lawyers, avoid trial, avoid jail, live his life on his terms and travel the country without a care in the world? If this statement of theirs were true, Kramer would not be in the financial shape that he’s in today. 

And this isn’t even the aspect of their claim that comes off as the goofiest bit of thinking on their part when you apply any thought or logical reasoning to it. No, they come off as much dumber looking when you take off the blinders that they want you wear when looking at their claims. 

They’re (wrongly) claiming that Kramer receives $150,000 per year from Dragon*Con and that this payment is what’s keeping him away from trial and out of jail. 

Seriously? 

Let’s look at the history of certain crimes and cases in the last 13 years. What do you see? We see millionaires and billionaires being charged, facing trial and going to jail. We see Hollywood stars getting charged with crimes and facing trials. Hell, we even saw the friend of a sitting President, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a man who had both money and connections, fight to avoid trial but who still stood trial and was convicted. And in the vast majority of the many cases from the last 13 years that we could specifically cite, cases involving millionaires, billionaires, celebrities and political power players who could get the best legal teams that money, power, celebrity and connections could buy, you’d be hard pressed to find even one where, even where they tried, anyone was able to delay a trial like we’ve seen with the Kramer case. 

Hell, BP is already on trial over their negligence with regards to the 2010 Gulf spill. They certainly didn’t want to go to court and I think they just might have a wee bit more cash to spend on legal maneuverings than Kramer does as well as way more high power political and legal connections. 

But Kramer is buying his freedom and avoiding trial for going on 13 years now solely due to a comparatively measly “$150,000” (at best) dividend payment? Right. 

And let’s stay in this general area of thought for a moment. When you’re watching the news and watching the coverage of the hot ratings trial of the moment involving a celebrity, a politician, a power player or a multimillionaire and you’re watching the judge and the legal system playing patty-cake with them or give them a gentle slap on the wrist even after repeated violations of bond or the law and slap your head over the stupidity of it; do you blame the people, institutions or studios who paid them over the years or do you blame the legal system that’s dealing with them? Me? I blame the legal system. And the majority of people I’ve been around over the years and listened to when they’ve complained about the stupidity when these cases are being played out in the media tend to blame the legal system for the stupidity. Seriously, do you blame Disney and Robert Rodriguez for the stupidity of how the legal system handled Lindsay Lohan or do you blame the legal system for allowing her to flip it the bird for so long? 

Simply put, the narrative and argument being put forward by those pushing for the boycott is incredibly flawed in its reasoning, focused at the wrong target, and built on inaccurate statements from the get go. 

The $150,000, actually closer to $154,000, was not a dividend payment. It was a settlement figure. 

It was certainly not a figure, whether dividend or settlement, that represents what Kramer makes “per year” from his shares. 

Even if it had been a dividend, it would have been a payment based on the success of that year’s Dragon*Con and would have been markedly higher than anything that Kramer saw in between 2000 and 2007. 

Kramer had at the time of his arrest multiple sources of revenue, savings, and assets that he could convert to cash if necessary. And all of these would have still been there for several years after his arrest. 

These sources of revenue, savings, and assets were not the only aid he saw early on as there were auctions held on his behalf through at least 2004 and a fundraising and legal aid website set up in his name to help cover his legal expenses.

Kramer is now, when Dragon*Con actually is one of his few sources of annual income, broke and in debt and has lost his home. 

The idea that whatever dividend he’s actually getting is what’s been keeping him from facing trial for going on 13 years when multimillionaires and people with major political connections can’t do the same is laughable. 

The idea that boycotting Dragon*Con is going to fix the amount of stupid we’ve seen from the legal system down there during the early years of this case is even more laughable. 

If you buy this argument from the boycott supporters, can I also interest you in buying a bridge or two? 

Edward Kramer is at this point in time closer to having an actual trial than at anytime in this farce since 2003. His defenders are few and far between at this point with even some of his legal team walking out on him while citing not being able to defend him in good faith at this point. He’s shown himself to be untrustworthy and high risk if allowed out on bond and is now about as likely to be released on bond or placed on unmonitored house arrest as seeing snowfall in hell. He might not even be able to play the ill-health card anymore if anyone snapped pictures or took video of him in Connecticut while he was reportedly hiking around the woods being used for the filming of the independent movie he was involved in. His bag of tricks is all but empty at this point. 

If you want to just spin your wheels, waste your time and waste the effort while doing nothing for the victims in this case, doing nothing to see that Kramer stands trial and doing nothing more than assisting one woman with what is looking more and more like an attempt to settle old scores with people other than Kramer; you go ahead and boycott Dragon*Con. At best you’ll get nothing useful or intelligent done and at worst you’ll just end up hurting people not named Edward Kramer while not hurting Ed Kramer by your actions in the least. 

But if you want to actually do something useful; use the energy, the effort and the time to create general awareness of the case itself and place the focus and the spotlight on the legal system down there. The knowledge of that level of national scrutiny combined with the position that they now have Kramer in might actually ensure that he sees trial before another 13 years go by.

Edit (Additional Information) – 4/3/2013 – It appears that Kramer also has new revenue coming in from old books. You can buy Kramer edited work through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble on both the Kindle and Nook platforms and for the major market publisher price point rather than at the lower prices you see with some works on those platforms. That’s notable since e-books tend to put more money into the pockets of everyone involved. 

No news is available at this time if more titles are to come later or not. Either way though, it’s cash in his pocket outside of Dragon*Con revenue.    

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Comments
  1. Eunice says:

    yo,shut the fuck up, no 1 wants to hear un useless comment.
    then go bck you fuckin where the hell your from

    • jjchandler says:

      Such a masterfully composed argument you have made there.

      Bit early in the week to be that drunk, don’t you think?

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