BABS Con Panel Canceled NO LONGER!

Babs Con

Update: I now have two panels at BABS Con!  The kind people at Bronyville Live ( had perhaps one too many panels.  When they heard that I was wanting for a panel, they gave me one of theirs.  Because of my expertise in writing, they thought it was best if I did a live interview of G.M. Berrow, the author of the My Little Pony novels, on their behalf.  This will be Friday, at 4:30 in the Hall of Magic.

In the mean time Karen Padilla, (former?) head of Equestria LA, saw what happened with my panel on Twitter or Facebook or something and advocated for my behalf.

Olivia Daniels from BABS Con contacted me.  She was not too thrilled with my “nasty” criticisms, but graciously decided to find a space for the Writing Is Magic Panel on Sunday at 11:15.

I have a lot of prep work to do after all these people advocated for my behalf and juggled things around.  I can’t let anyone down.


Last fall I gave a pony celebrity a ride from the airport.  They encouraged me to send info about my panel to different conventions and see which ones were interested.  BABS Con sounded like a perfect chance to improve my presentation and get a new recording of it*.

On New Years Day I got a message saying that my panel was approved for BABS Con.  While a lot of my friends had very shitty starts of the year, I felt guilty since this seemed to be a very promising year for me.  Spoiler Alert: It’s not.

The theme of this year has been opportunities shutting in my face right before I can get them.  Everything going horribly wrong after it’s too late to do anything about it.  Last night I learned that despite several rounds of copy editing, the Southern California Review made a few small, simple but disastrous mistakes.

Along with this theme I got this e-mail today:

Dear Potential panelists for the BABSCon 2014 Season. I regret to inform you that due to limited space at our hotel we had to cut a panel room and thus, had to reduce the amount of panels we were able to schedule.
Since this was by no means your fault, BABSCon is proud to still offer you a free three day pass to the Con for the Main Panelist.

Warmest Regards,
Olivia “Obsidian Winter” Daniels
Vice Chair\Head of Events
BABSCon 2014
First off, am I still a potential panelist for BABSCon 2014 if you’ve just canceled my panel?  Anyhow this was my response.
After making a $400 investment for air travel and hotel stay, I am glad that I will see no return on investment.  You have made a commitment to me long before you had made a commitment to many of the other announced panelists from the fan community.  You made me confirm that I would definitely do the panel so that way it would be of no inconvenience to you.  It’s dishonorable that you would break a Pinkie Promise after I’ve paid out of my own pocket to do this panel.  Your mismanagement and disorganization has cost me $400 I wouldn’t have spent otherwise.
I know that you’re trying to provide the best convention experience by packing it with the most horse famous people.  Some of your panelists were at Equestria LA, and I assure you that my panel filled more of the room and received greater praise than many of the “celebrities.”  This is because my panel actually offered bronies a chance to do something for themselves.  The appeal of celebrity is “How do I be like ______?”  Except this panel actually has instructions.
A con isn’t just about celebrity.  Even Comic Con has panels like mine which teach story telling craft.  It’s an essential thing for a creative fandom to have professional level skills applied to their fan art.  It’s what drives a community like the brony community.  It’s what gives the fan celebrities their fame.  If anything it’s something that could be life changing to the attendees.
I hope all your panels are packed and the fan celebrities do more than just talk about themselves.  I know it’s too late to reprint your materials, and I know some fan celebrities on your list don’t do conventions unless they have their travel and hotel comped.  I understand that you’re not going to cancel the people whom you’ve made the most investment into.  But it seems disgraceful to cancel the panelists who have made the most personal investment into BABS Con.  Simply giving free admission that the panelist was already going to receive seems like little compensation considering they’re losing the opportunity to present.  From my point of view yesterday I had something and through no fault of my own I now have less.
I’m not saying to comp my hotel and air tickets (though that would be nice).  But you do have show celebrities and are probably charging for autographs or one on one time.  There’s a way to better compensate us so that we can still enjoy the con without you taking any hard costs.  Because for me $400 is actually a life changing amount of money.  I paid it to have a recorded panel in a large professional venue that could help my career.Thank You For Your Time,
Sharif Shakhshir
Southern California Review
If they could have confirmed this just 2 or 3 weeks ago, I wouldn’t have wasted this money that I don’t have.  But they told me less than 48 hours before my flight.
On top of this, on New Years a brony friend told me that BABSCon was going to fold and they were trying too much, and I would end up getting screwed.  I told him that it really seemed like they had their shit together, and I didn’t think it would be another Las Pegasus Unicon.  Well, next year I’m going to Wondercon instead…actually I should see if Wondercon 2015 wants my panel.

*My Equestria LA video being trapped in the collapse of the Brony Clubhouse and while I own my presentation, I do not own the recording of it.  Also there seems to be a problem with the person who actually owns the video not being the person who legally owns the video and the two of them not agreeing.  So 1, 2, and…poof.  It’s gone.

1 Comment

  1. You have us confused with BronyCon. Please check your email.

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