Dear comic conventions,
-Disabled comic creators
This is my first year as a comic creator, which means this is my first year doing comic conventions. I have done a total of four comic conventions and out of the four, only ONE comic convention treated me “perfectly”, without me having to get on them and complain that I’m disabled. I’ve always asked for an end table for my walker, wheelchair, or motorized scooter and to not be so far from the entrance and if possible be near a bathroom.
Here’s a breakdown of my crappy convention experiences:
One convention, when I told them I was disabled and couldn’t walk far, stuck me in the back of their hall at an end table and I said to them that, “I’ll hold my piss because I can’t walk back and forth to the bathroom.” They had no response to that one, of course. Once I made complaints to some white creator friends of mine, I had a better table, which was also an end table. YET they claimed I never made any notice that I was disabled.
Another convention, sat me so ridiculously far from the entrance and bathroom that I complained about it and nothing was done to made any attempts to move me, despite the fact that I had told them a month in advance that I would be using a walker instead of a motorized scooter. However, they sent volunteers to check on me all the time to see if I wanted anything, so I guess that’s a win?
The other convention had me at an end table, near a bathroom, but wouldn’t send any volunteers over for when I needed a break, which they promised they would. Definitely not as bad as the others.
The reason for this post is because I am just so tired of being forgotten that I’m disabled. Unlike you, I can’t forget that I’m disabled. Imagine my level of anger when I open my email, to see where I’m placed for Baltimore Comic Con, only to find out that I’m placed all the way in the back and don’t even have a damn end table? The reason? Someone who was doing data entry didn’t read the contents of the email which specifically stated that I’m disabled, would be using a walking device as I can’t walk far.
You might be saying, “just deal with it, at least you have a spot.” Do you have any idea what I “deal with” just to start my day? Trust me, it’s not fun. I can’t just get out of bed in the morning and take a piss like most people. It takes forever for me to get out of bed and hustle to my bathroom so I don’t piss myself. I’m not able bodied like majority of the world and it’s time that conventions help disabled comic creators and make their time at the cons a bit easier to manage.
I decided that I won’t be attending Baltimore Comic Con, as I’m writing this blog post I’m awaiting my full refund. If you were hoping to see me, complain to the people there. I will be at NYCC and I’ve been having excellent communication with Mike Miller, who has been working diligently to make sure that my con experience is a great one. I doubt that I will be attending those conventions mentioned earlier and Baltimore Comic Con in the future, as I cannot and will not support any convention that dismisses me.
Disabled comic creators exist and comic conventions need to understand this and have better accommodations for disabled creators.