Con Wars: Denver Comic Con co-founder La Greca pens open letter following removal

201402191652 Con Wars: Denver Comic Con co founder La Greca pens open letter following removal

Charlie La Greca (center) and other Denver Comic Con runners in happier days.

Boy oh boy. These con wars are getting more and more complicated.

Denver Comic Con is in its fourth year and last year experienced exponential growth. Originally founded as part of a Comic Book Classroom, a non-profit outreach program designed to increase awareness of comics to children, the con was a means to fund that outreach. Now, co-founder Charlie La Greca has penned an open letter charging that he has been removed from the con, and $300,000 raised has not gone towards the CBC program:

The Denver Comic Con achieved success in its inaugural year, 2012. In DCC’s second year, we brought in over 61,000 attendees and became the fifth largest comic convention in the U.S. It was a great accomplishment and, as founders, Frank and I knew that we could not have done it without the generosity, support, and hard work of the artists, publishers, vendors, fans, and community.

However, the last eight months have been fraught with difficulty and tumult, and I am left questioning the ethics and values of the people that Frank and I brought on to the CBC Board of Directors. We were somewhat inexperienced and should have better selected a Board who was perhaps dedicated to the Comic Book Classroom mission and making sure that the focus and funds raised from the DCC convention indeed went to teaching kids.

That has not happened: Since the 2013 convention, it seems the teaching and literacy programs have been nonexistent; Frank Romero has resigned and I have been removed from control of the Board; there are allegedly up to $300,000 in revenues from the 2013 DCC alone, that remain unaccounted for, and some of which appear to be funneled towards high profile legal posturing.

There’s much more to La Greca’s letter — read the whole thing in the link. Among his other charges: his name and that of co-founder Frank Romero—who has resigned from the board—have been removed from the Wikipedia page; and no Comic Book Classroom events have been held for a year.

While some hints of discomfort at the con have been circulating for a while—especially after last year’s event experienced huge lines and crowds, leading to complaints of disorganization—the current kerfuffle seems to be pretty acrimonious, with La Greca claiming that he has been unable to reach any current board members regarding his dismissal.

The Beat contacted Christina Angel, a current board member, who said that a statement with their side of the controversy will be released later today.

In the mean time, La Greca has launched a Save Denver Comic Con site, and plans an open town hall style meeting for Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 pm to be held at Dead Academy, 841 Santa Fe Dr..

We’ll update this story when the new statement is released but…developing. Failure is an orphan, etc etc etc.

Here’s the letter that was sent out late last year by the current convention board announcing La Greca’s removal:

Comments

  1. I’ve known Charlie for years and he’s one of the good ones: talented, kind, and a stand-up guy. Really saddened to see someone with such a love for comics–and for using them to teach kids, no less!–treated like this.

  2. Charlito is a Prince amongst men. I absolutely hate, hate HATE this story. The shear amount of love he has for the medium only to have it taken advantage by… well… greed is a shame.

  3. I’ve known Charlie for over twenty years, and without question there is no one more devoted to comics and using comics to teach children than him. My heart goes out to Charlie for all of the work he put into establishing the convention in Denver, and the work he has put into lining up guests and seminars and teaching through his own love of comics. The Board should be ashamed. If they have nothing to hide, then where has the money gone? And where is the outreach?

  4. Charlito is a wonderful person who has worked tirelessly to develop CBC and the Denver Comic Con. This is a terrible situation that one can only hope gets resolved quickly.

  5. I hope this is resolved in a way that helps the original intent of the show (CBC) and keeps the show on track for the exhibitors and fans.

  6. Charlie is one of the most passionate people I know. Not to mention one of the nicest and a genuine gentleman. Dedicated to his mission as well. Just terrible news about all of this that hopefully will get settled soon with justice coming to the proper parties. I encourage all of you to go to the http://www.savedenvercomiccon.com site and sign the petition. #TeamCharlie

  7. Rob Leigh says:

    I, too have known Charlie for more than twenty years. You won’t find a better man. You won’t find a more enthusiastic or devoted champion to this cause. I really wonder what this Board’s motives are.

Trackbacks

  1. […] just got ratcheted up a notch as the Con board has released a statement refuted the charges made by co-founder Charlie La Greca earlier today. The statement pretty much directly contradicts Le Greca’s claims about his removal from the […]

  2. […] then perhaps enjoy a heart lunch. After last week’s kerfuffle over who is running the Denver Comic Con, and the use of the money raised by the the non-profit for their Comic Book Classroom program, […]

  3. […] and/or got into things for the wrong reason. The alleged Kickstarter embezzlement at River Con, the co-founder squabbles at Denver Comic Con, and the problems at the El Paso Comicon all being […]

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