*puts on devil's advocate hat*
I would assume that, if Mr. Haymore is the head of Okaton Panels, he has to choose how many seats will be up per panel and, if there's lots more applicants than seats, will choose who gets to sit. I would not assume that he has either heard, seen or experienced that which is Splurd or SplurdLink, at least before he had to make his choices. That said, I'd guess that he would fill the panel with "time-honored" artists, ones that have been up and doing what they do for a while, let's say a year. SplurdLink is still in its infancy. It's grown a lot since we first started it but it hasn't yet stood the test of time, like those named webcomic artists have. While SplurdLink is an influence, I wouldn't yet consider it an authority. Getting there, but not yet. Some of these folks may have been lined up since August last year or asked specifically to be on the panel. Also, who knows how many honored guests they have queued. There's only so many seats a stage can hold. All that said, I'm not clear on what the mistake actually is. Is it that Mr. Haymore said this year's panel is at its maximum (which usually means no more can fit), or perhaps that Mr. Haymore likely won't expand the number in case someone really wants to be on the panel? Or is it something I'm missing entirely?