Nickel City Comic con
[COMICS] When a new comic con is set to debut, there’s a reasonable expectation of growing pains. New organizers must navigate the complicated web of procuring locations, guests, and vendors while making sure advertising and marketing are on point, leading up to the big day of the event. With so many moving parts to keep in order, it’s no wonder that early forays into the booming business often sputter out. That’s not the expectation for Nickel City Con, which is set to debut Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14 at the Buffalo Convention Center. With major collectible players Dave and Adam’s at the helm of the ship, the Nickel City Con is making a splash directly out of the gate. Guests like Ric Flair, Sean Astin, Ray Park from Star Wars, and comic artist Neal Adams are among the most in demand in the industry.
About five years ago, Dave and Adam’s expanded into the vintage comic book business, prompting co-owner Adam Martin and his staff to begin studying the comic convention business with designs on hosting their own in the city. “We started attending all significant comic cons around the country. And here we are, six years later…we attend 40 different comic cons a year and we have eight people who work here in our offices full-time simply buying and selling comic books,” Martin said. “So for the past several years we’ve been very involved in the comic con industry. And we kept saying to ourselves, right from the beginning, ‘Boy, Buffalo could use something like this.’”
With attendees in mind, Martin and company were meticulous in vetting guests for the Nickel City Con. Drawing a crowd is important, but a reputation for engagement and fun were key when choosing their list of stars, which also includes actors Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore. Read our interview here.), Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Larry Thomas (the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld).
“Comic con guests are much different from sports card guests. And to that end, we spoke to agents and other promoters to try to make sure that the guests we are bringing in were super personable, super easy to relate to. And we think we’ve done that with our guest list,” Martin said.
In addition to the celebrities on hand, Nickel City Con boasts true holy grail first edition comics on display—Action Comics #1, Batman #1, and Amazing Fantasy #15. Cosplay competitions, comic grading opportunities, prize giveaways, and a unique Pokemon Go competition featuring $2,000 in cash and prizes will also keep attendees busy.
“To put Nickel City Con on and do it right, we’re talking thousands of man-hours that have gone into this. Between our marketing department, between our buyers, between our comic team—so much has gone into it. We really think that we’ve created something special here,” Martin said.
The Dave and Adam’s team are already planning a second edition for May 2017 with William Shatner confirmed as a special guest. “We have an agreement in principal and are just finalizing it,” Martin noted. Tickets are available at nickelcitycon.com; general admission tickets are $15 per day, $12 per day if you buy your tickets at Dave & Adam’s Retail Stores. A special two-day VIP pass is $49.95, which includes early entry to the show, a VIP swag bag, and a $10 gift certificate to be used toward any celebrity autograph.