In a Facebook Live video this afternoon, Jason Moulton and his partner Natasha Durand announced that they were retiring from the convention business, and that there won’t be a Vermont Comic Con in 2019. “Effective as of the show, we had to make a decision, and the long and short of it is, we’re going to retire.”
A 2019 Vermont Comic Con and Green Mountain Comic Expo had not been announced.
“The difficult part of that is the fans,” he said. “We really have done a lot of soul searching, and we’ve done a lot of debating over the last few months, and we really felt the need to move on with our personal lives — you don’t have a personal life when you’re a promoter.” Durand said that “while Vermont Comic Con and our other shows are definitely coming to an end,” they will remain part of the convention world, and that stepping back will allow them to pursue other interests, like writing comics, and a “memoir of his time as a promoter.”
Moulton founded Vermont Comic Con in 2013, holding the inaugural event in Burlington for four out of the five years. In recent years, he’s expanded his range of shows to include the Green Mountain Comic Expo and Vermont Horror Con, which was held in 2017 and 2018 in Barre.
In recent years, however, a number of groups, stores, guests, and individuals began skipping the show, citing problems with the con’s management and volunteers. Last year, Moulton announced that Vermont Comic Con would move to Barre’s Civic Center, citing lower costs and flexibility as opposed to its former Burlington location. The pair heavily promoted the show this year, hoping that its more central location would bring in more people from around Vermont, but it seems that this year’s convention didn’t pull in the traffic that was needed for it to continue.
What this means for Vermont Comic Con isn’t clear, but Moulton’s outfit isn’t the only group that hosts Geek-related conventions and events in the state. Vermont Gatherings hosts the Vermont Renaissance Faire, the Vermont Living History & Militaria Expo, the Vermont Steampunk Expo, and others, while Springfield Vermont has hosted the Springfield Steampunk Festival in recent years. There’s also the long-running Bakuretsu anime convention, which will be held in October in Colchester.