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Peter David’s “Fan/Pro Bill of Rights” is must-read material for convention newbies and veterans

Peter David’s “Fan/Pro Bill of Rights” is must-read material for convention newbies and veterans (photo)

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It’s no secret that attending a comic convention of other genre-based fan event can be an eye-opening — and at times, frustrating — experience for both attendees and guests of the show. Every year before San Diego Comic-Con, the ‘net is overflowing with guides for first-timers and veterans alike that offer tips on how to prepare, manage, and survive your convention experience.

Over on his personal website, writer Peter David has authored what just might be the most comprehensive, balanced, and insightful assessment of the responsibilities of fans and professionals during a convention that has ever been published.

Calling it the “Fan/Pro Bill of Rights,” David’s epic assertion is the product of a long career spanning the spectrum of science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and superhero fare as a writer with celebrated projects in nearly every medium. When it comes down to it, however, his list of rights is summed up by one “Prime Directive” (as he calls it):

Fans and Pros have the right to be treated by each other with the same courtesy that they themselves would expect to be treated.* Fans and Pros who act like jerks abrogate the right to complain when they themselves are treated like jerks.

*The expectations of masochists notwithstanding.

It’s a long read, but as anyone familiar with David’s work might expect, it gets funnier as it progresses. For example, this item from the list of panel-related rights:

5) Audiences have a right to boo or bemoan the following questions: (i) “Can I have a hug?” (ii) “Can I have a kiss?” (iii) “Can I have my picture taken with you?” (iv) “How YOU doin’?” (or any similar come-on or question involving asking for a date.)

And while many of the “guides” that usually pop up ahead of conventions list the things you should pack or proper convention etiquette, David’s “Bill of Rights” offers a great assessment of the expectations fans, professionals, and the convention’s organizers should all be aware of going into a show.

Sure, it might seem a little insidery for anyone who’s never attended a show, but it’s also one of the most well-rounded (and well-written) takes on what could improve the convention scene that you’re ever going to read.

What do you think of the “Fan/Pro Bill of Rights”? Is there anything you’d add? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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