This article started out as a review and a celebration of Nickel City Con a brand new comic and pop culture convention – organized by Dave and Adam’s Card Store- that would give Queen City Comics a run for their money as the top contender of comic and pop culture conventions in Buffalo.
But towards the end of the first day I was stopped in my tracks by black mold shock at what I saw; a vendor who was unabashedly selling bootlegged DVDs, posters, and pins.
Upon seeing this table I first thought it was a bit funny; here was a table with nothing but bootlegged DVDs, posters and pins out in the open. But the more I thought about this vendor, Fatal Planet Productions, the more I was shocked.
This vendor was not only selling DVDs of the entire cartoon TV series “The Tick,” with low-grade scanning of photos, and the entire series of the Spider-man cartoon from the 90s, along with many other cartoon series based upon comic characters, but they even had a bootlegged version of the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.”
There were even poorly printed covers of STARS “Ash vs Evil Dead,” and the most recent Netflix hit “Stranger Things,” a show that has come out just this year for streaming only.
There is also this Tumblr post, discussing that not only are they selling bootlegged Rifftrax DVDs, an extension of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew, but claims that they are selling stolen art prints as well and that it is not the first time that they have done this.
I am saddened to say that I saw numerous people buy items from Fatal Planet Productions.
However, I should not lead anyone to think that this article is about them, (even though I urge everyone to call out these parasites), but about Nickel City Con – mainly Dave and Adam’s Card store.
Fatal Planet Productions’ booth was across from The Mystery Box booth, a booth where Dave and Adam’s put together hundreds of boxes of back inventory that was run by more than three workers.
Throughout this two-day event, it seemed like there was no interaction with any of the workers of the Dave and Adam’s booth, which were right in front of the Fatal Planet Productions booth. They were even playing Hamilton on a small TV behind the two men running the booth.
Now there is the argument that can be made that there were over one hundred tables, including the artists as well as the celebrities, but once you push those tables aside you have 73 vendor tables, four that are linked to Dave and Adam’s.
With each section being separated by their designation, you have all of the vendors within a small square, from 101 to 820, that you can walk and see all within less than twenty minutes, but yet with all the vendors being in such a small radius of one another, and there being people walking around who clearly work for Dave and Adam’s, no one seemed to care that there was a table that was selling bootlegged DVDs, posters, and pins.
In the map displaying the top floor, there are four yellow squares, those that represent the tables being run by Dave and Adams, while the single green square is the Fatal Planet Productions booth. It can easily be seen that the Mystery Box booth, 314, is straight across from the Fatal Planet Productions booth, 323.
After multiple attempts of contacting Event Coordinator /Media Relations, who gave me press passes to the event, I was finally put into contact with John, the director of events for the company. I had asked John about the obvious fact that Fatal Planet Productions was selling bootlegged items.
John had told me that, “If someone sends in a vendor application and says they are selling bootlegged anything…we wouldn’t have accepted their application, and they certainly would not be able to vend at Nickel City Con, but obviously that’s not a situation where anyone put that on their application.”
When asked about how I had seen people who had been working the Mystery Booth as well as how I had seen Fatal Planet Productions working both days and that it was straight across from the Mystery Box that Dave and Adams supported, I was told that those who were working the mystery box booth were, “All warehouse workers or volunteers of family members, but if it was something an executive of the company had seen (Fatal Planet Productions selling bootlegged merchandise)… then it would have been addressed at that time.”
John had told me that they are aware of the damage that selling bootlegged items causes for a company and in no way support or were being given a cut financially to have Fatal Planet Productions there.
Dave and Adam’s card store is known as one the largest internet card stores and a company that deals with comic books and sports memorabilia.
With a vendor like Fatal Planet Productions selling bootlegged merchandise at a pop culture convention, straight in the face of U.S. penal code 2320, how can they not have noticed something in such direct violation?
With a vendors table, one 5 times larger, right across from Fatal Planet Productions, several Dave and Adam’s workers walking around, and none of them had seen this going on? I truly do believe that any of their workers saw what i saw, and were only hoping that Fatal Planet Productions was left alone out of pure ignorant bliss.
I truly do believe that any of their workers saw what i saw, and were only hoping that Fatal Planet Productions was left alone out of pure ignorant bliss.