The company behind Island Con, the Isle of Wight’s comic book convention, has ceased trading.
Alliance Conventions, who ran the event, said they were “forced into insolvency”.
They said in a statement on November 1: “To those who supported the event through thick and thin, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To the thousands who will miss this event and the employees that we now lose, we are sorry, we gave everything but our lives to the event and to the company.”
They added that their decision is based on “large financial loss of this and the previous event” and legal cases brought against them.
The convention company blamed “a campaign of negativity and slander” on social media for its downfall.
They said this had “pulled the rug out from under the event” through “hate campaigns” and “malicious untruths”.
The statement continued: “The simple fact remains that without any kind of financial return in the past two years and the financial black hole that this recent event has left us with, there can be no way forward.
“We came to the Island because we had a vision to create something new and fantastical, a big new event for the Island. Our only aim was to bring people and certain communities together and we had mostly achieved that. We made some teething mistakes along the way and have been publicly punished for these errors, mostly by those we provided the platform for, which is heartbreaking.
“Remaining owed creditors will have payment plans set up with them and will be contacted by a company representative. Any outstanding claims can be tendered to Alliance Conventions through the official insolvency channels once that process is taking place and publication made to the Gazette.”