El Paso Comic Con's March 7-9 event, El Paso In Comics (EPIC), is losing its five Star Wars guests.
Coolwaters Productions announced the cancelation of its clients' El Paso appearance on its website and in an email to customers this past weekend.
“It is with deep regret that Coolwaters announces the cancelation of all its clients for the El Paso convention to be held on March 7-8, 2014. Unfortunately the promoter was not able to fulfill all of the contractual obligations for our clients. We hope the fans will understand and we hope that you will all be able to see our clients at another event! … So sorry guys.... this was beyond our control! Cheers and thanks,” Derek Maki, President of Coolwaters Productions, wrote in the appearances section of the company's website.
Coolwaters' clients that were to appear at EPIC at the Coliseum were Deep Roy, David Barclay, Erik Bauersfeld, Corey Dee Williams, and Stephen Costantino.
ABC-7 reached out to El Paso Comic Con (EPCON) founder and promoter Julian Lawler this past weekend through email and Facebook messaging for comment on the Coolwaters client cancelations and what the status is of other announced EPIC guests. ABC-7 has not received a response.
EPCON's announced celebrity guests for EPIC are actors Michael Jai White and Charles Baker, body paint/makeup artist Lymari Millot, cosplayer Nicole Marie Jean, and host Spencer Doe.
EPCON posted on its Facebook page on Monday that Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake would be a guest at EPIC and rapper Coolio would perform March 8 at Guerilla Fest at EPIC.
Last week, EPCON announced on its Facebook page that director and screen writer Ben Ramsey was a new guest for EPIC. Ramsey was director of Blood and Bone and Love and Bullet.
EPCON is offering free admission to EPIC for those with VIP badges from EPCON's 2013 Fall event and also a chance to get the special T-shirt they weren't able to get last year.
“EPCON 2013 VIP UPDATE: We'd just like to let everyone know that if you bring your EPCON 2013 vip badge to EPIC 2014 you'll get in free,” EPCON wrote on its Facebook page last week. “Hey everyone, we believe we have the best fans in the world. As we near the half mark between EPCON 2013 and 2014, we have partnered up with Graphic Connection and they will be selling official EPIC 2014 gear,” reads another post on EPCON's Facebook page. “Further, if you bring your ID and EPCON 2013 VIP badge to EPIC 2014 you can pick up your EPCON 2013 shirt at the Graphic Connection booth (#103). Thank you for supporting El Paso Comic Con throughout the last half decade.”
Actress Shannon Elizabeth announced via Twitter on Feb. 20 that she was not attending EPIC.
J. Edwards, with Elizabeth’s production company Ganesh Productions Inc., said Elizabeth’s team was first contacted in February about attending EPIC.
“The El Paso Comic Con has been advertising since November, from what we can tell, that Shannon was going to attend. She had tweeted once before that she had never even heard of it, much less agreed to attend,” Edwards said in an email to ABC-7 on Feb. 21. “Last week someone from Shannon's camp was finally contacted by a local El Paso agent to try and officially book her. Because of all of the past problems in the press that were found online regarding people getting paid & false advertising by the event promoter, Julian Lawler, Shannon's team had firm conditions that would have to be met to protect her. Because they would not meet those conditions and the fact that they have been false advertising her for months and using her photo without her consent, her team informed them that she would not be attending and asked that they cease promoting her as an attendee. They had also seen where the event was promoting Eddie Griffin as attending and hosting and how he and his team firmly responded that that was also a lie. Shannon would have loved to attend, seeing as that's her home state.”
“Just so everyone understands Shannon Elizabeth will NOT be at EPIC 2014. We will have a replacement shortly,” EPCON wrote in a post on its Facebook page on Feb. 20.
A source with knowledge of the proposal said Elizabeth asked for at least a 10 percent deposit on her guarantee but when EPCON did not come up with it, Elizabeth decided not to attend EPIC.
Listen to KLAQ's Morning Show February interview Lawler at http://bit.ly/1miXxLi
EPCON had announced on Feb. 8 on its Facebook page that actor/comedian Eddie Griffin would host EPIC.
Ann Flagella, president and CFO of Front of the Bus Inc. which books Griffin's appearances, said in email to ABC-7 Feb. 9 that, “No he will not be in El Paso. This is a lie.”
Lawler said in a Feb. 9 email to ABC-7 asking for comment, that “Mr. Griffin is scheduled to be here March 8 and 9.”
In a second email to ABC-7 on Feb. 9, Flagella denied Griffin would be in El Paso at all March 7-9, stating Griffin “will be in London until the 10th.”
ABC-7 asked Lawler in a Feb. 9 email requesting comment on the Griffin situation if other announced guests for EPIC are coming to El Paso and how many of the announced guests for EPIC are already signed and under contract to appear at EPIC.
Lawler only answered the question about Griffin appearing in El Paso.
A few comments questioning Griffin's appearance were either hidden or deleted from EPCON's Feb. 8 Facebook post on his appearance and EPCON posted the comment “If you don't have nothing positive to post, pls stay off our page. Thank you.”
One comment by a Kevin Marshburn, captured in a screengrab shortly after noon Feb. 9, said “guys the posters look nice but how can we know for sure that this wont be another mass walkout from celebs?”
Early on Feb. 10, EPCON posted on its Facebook page that it was removing Griffin's picture.
"Considering today's drama over the Eddie Griffin announcement, we're going to take his image off the FB page," an EPCON Facebook post reads. "Sometimes several agents are used to book shows and they are not always on the same page. So we think its safer to take it down until all the details are sorted out. Until today we were not aware Mr. Griffin had a show on March 7th in London, of all places! So stay tuned...we are still looking forward to an excellent show."
For more information on EPCON's EPIC event, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ElPasoComicCon