Space City Comic Con 2016
A few months ago I get a call from a friend, Zach. Zach and I have judged Cannabis
Cups together, talked a lot, and consider ourselves brothers. So when he invited
me to the Space City Comic Con in Houston in May I said yes. What could be
better than kicking it with my brother Zach, hanging with some of our friends
from the show Sons of Anarchy, and eating some really great local food? So I drive
to Houston with a hot, self-proclaimed “Craft Beer Whore” in slave1, Get there
two days before the event. Meet up with Zach and everything starts to kick off
fine. Good food, good times, hang with Tommy Flanagan, your typical Wednesday
and Thursday. Ok well maybe not yours. You know, sitting back now I go back to a
moment in Houston, sitting in the lobby of the JW Marriott, glass of
Glenmorangie 18 year neat in hand, Watching a storm pass through down town.
At that moment, something tingled at the back of my mind. Something deep,
deep, inside told me “Fett, Shits about to get wild.” I finished my scotch and
didn’t think anything of it.
My friend Zach Avino with Alliance Autographing represents many of the Cast
from Sons of Anarchy. Most arrived Thursday evening, Some on Wednesday. By
Friday everyone was there and things looked to be getting off to a good start.
however, Saturday, things began to truly unravel. It began Friday night with the
arrival of Charlie Hunnam, First, the Deposit check he was paid with to show
bounced, however he still showed up in Houston. At the JW Marriott Down Town
Houston his hotel was not only NOT booked, but the card the promoter used was
cancelled. This led to a major scene in the lobby. By Saturday things had hit
Catastrophic. Clients, Vendors, Managers, And Handlers were in the promoter’s
office demanding answers to where the money had gone. The night before at the
JW Marriott, the promoter’s boyfriend, Or Boy Toy, a Gay Porn star who would
only give his name as Luke, With Vouyerboys.com, and another Porn star were
giving out bottles of Dom Perignon champagne in the lobby, the bubbly was
flowing freely, as was the other drinks. They bought me two Glenmorangie 18
Year doubles and that was 40 each. So its understandable people want to know
where the money is.
By Saturday night rumors were flying, the convention staff was sweating bullets,
everyone was looking for George and the money, yet neither was to be found.
One rumor was that the Sons cast had held him hostage that morning at the
convention, another was that he and his gay porn star lovers were running off to
Dubai via Miami. This is partially true as “Luke” told me they were flying out that
night. Another rumor was that the entire cast from SOA was walking from the
con. The best one yet was the supposed “Riot” that occurred. THERE WAS NO
RIOT! Never at any point was there a riot. Fans got disappointed, sure, but they
were the most politely disappointed fans, and respectful
Saturday was a late night. Seriously I had clients knocking on my door at 4:00 AM.
Only to get up at 7:00 and do it again Sunday.
By Sunday things had reached a boiling point. George was escorted from the
convention property, stripped of all authority by the board members through a
vote of no confidence.
Zach Avino took the reins and tried to help the remaining convention staff make
things work for the fans. By Sunday night George had walked with over 1 million
dollars leaving handlers and staff holding the bag. Below is an exclusive interview
Zach: “Alliance Autographing”
Fett: “Who is George?”
Zach: “Space City Comic Con promoter”
Fett: On Thursday night is when things began to take off, Charlie and his people
arrived, what happened blow by blow from that moment forward to when you
stepped onto the plane to LA.
Zach: “All I know is that some of the hotels were not booked properly. But I don’t
know exactly what happened, but it did not involve any of my clients. That’s why I
didn’t step in and get involved. It didn’t involve me.”
Fett: “Were told that George was held hostage in his office on Saturday, is this
Zach: “I’m going to be honest with you in that situation, that’s not exactly true.
The Doors for that room are safety doors, you have to close one and open the
second with a key card in order to get to the second door into the office. All that
was done was that a couple of the clients, maybe mine or someone else’s, stood
in front of the door. He wasn’t being held against his will, they were clients just
looking for answers. They just wanted to know “Why are you not paying us.
There’s 800k in presales, and all of a sudden your out of money” that’s what we
wanted to know. He never had any answers and that made everyone frustrated. I
wasn’t in the office I can only go by what I was told, as I was working with my
clients on the show floor with you. (Jason) There was nothing violent that went
on, there were no threats, just questions of where’s the money.”
Your clients, did they get what was promised by George?
Zach: “Initially, yes, But no.”
At the end of the day, when they left Monday, did your clients walk away 100%
satisfied with George?
Zach: “I’d say 9 out of 10 did as they didn’t have problems. Because they didn’t
have to deal with the drama. In the end I was able to take care of my staff so they
could walk away semi-happy.
There was talk that on Saturday Charlie and the cast from SOA were walking?
Zach: “That’s not true, I think that was a rumor because Charlie didn’t want to be
there, and I understand why based on the situation. All MY clients posted video
that they would be there. In fact, the SOA guys were making it right with the
Charlie walked on Saturday night, got on a plane and left?
I left on Tuesday. I took Zach to the Airport, we talked about the next con and I
could tell my best friend was simply exhausted. It was his birthday and he felt he
had let not only his clients down, but his friends who had been there to help him.
None of this was Zach’s fault, yet as I pulled up to the premier service drop off in
my big white car, I looked over at my friend who laughed and seemed to roll with
it. At mid 20’s he looked older than me at 37.
This will be the last Space City Comic Con. NO that not official, but after this, I
doubt there will ever be another. Too many things went wrong, and too many
people got screwed in all of this. In the end though I watched a lot of celebrities
take one for the fans. Yeah their Hollywood actors, but they are just like us. They
have bills, kids, tuitions, College savings etc. This was time away from those they
love, to be there for fans they don’t really get to know.
A little war and fuzzy to wrap this story up. On Sunday, one of our drivers was
taking tommy Flanagan, and Alan Ritchson to the Airport. Along the way he
witnessed a car wreck, and being a paramedic he had to stop and render aid.
Alan, and tommy assisted by helping get the individuals out of the car, helped the
driver stabilize the patient. Alan sat by their side and talked to them to keep them
calm. Tommy helped clear debris.
These men PLAY heroes on TV and in the movies. However, when the shit got
real, they put aside their exhaustion from a drama filled weekend and helped
save a life. Instead of flying home, they saved a life. And through all the shit, no
one mentioned that.