Artists and Legitimate Products

With less than 3 weeks until Oz Comic Con Brisbane, we've finally seen the Exhibitor Directory revealed on Oz Comic Cons website. And in case you haven't seen it, here it is below...

Oz Comic Con Brisbane Exhibitor Directory

I've been attending exhibitions since 2011 (as an exhibitor anyway), and I've developed a lot of relationships with many of the other regular exhibitors who have been doing conventions a lot longer that I have. We're all one big convention family.

It has saddened me to see so many of the regular convention exhibitors not attending OZCC Brisbane and Sydney this year. The reasons for this can be numerous; family commitments, lack of interest, travelling difficulties are among them. But exhibitors measure up all conventions by the same yard stick in the end: will we make enough money to make a living? It's risk vs reward.

We definitely have fun, meet some celebrities, and try not to take things too seriously. But all in all we need to do our jobs and work hard through the set up on Friday, 2 full days of "on your feet" serving our customers (who we wouldn't be here without!), and then the fast-as-you-can pack up on Sunday night. It can get brutal, but we love it and keep coming back for more.

I urge you to read this next part fully and carefully. I don't want to come off as harsh. There are 2 kinds of retail sections in a convention environment (excluding all the food, celebrities and convention merch). The are Exhibitors, who stock licensed merchandise , and there is Artist Alley, where individuals (artists, writers, craftspersons or otherwise) make unique or small production items birthed from their own imagination.

I stress "from their own imagination" because it needs to be stressed to some people that if you aren't selling your own creation or not selling legitimate merchandise then you shouldn't be selling it. There are several Australian businesses (mine included) that have gone to the trouble of obtaining the legal right to manufacture and distribute our products. And there are retail businesses all over this country that go through the appropriate distributors to obtain legitimate, licensed products from around the world to sell them locally.

I love artists and craftspeople, and I encourage everyone to keep creating. But seeing someone in either an exhibitor booth or in artist alley selling any product with a DC Comics super heroes logo on it goes against why I signed up to design manufacture a legitimate form of DC Comics jewellery. If you don't have permission for the license holder or selling a product from it's legal distributor, then it's illegal. And more to that, buying from such dealers takes the money away from the industry whose legal property it is you're displaying.

Quite simply I am saying this: buyer beware.

Beware that what you purchase is exactly what you're paying for, and that a lot of people (artists, writers, makers of all kinds) have put their blood, sweat and tears into building up an industry that makes pop culture even possible. If you want it to keep going, please purchase only legitimate licensed products, and support artists that don't copy and paste someone elses imagination. They are worth supporting.

Finally, if you're at all unsure as to whether what you have purchased or what you are planning to purchase is a legitimate product, ask. It is your legal right. All licensed merchandise must display "Legal Lines" on either the item itself, the packaging, or both. A perfect example of this is our own Guild Jewellery Design DC Comics range, where all products are imprinted with the Legal Line ©DC (s15) or the respective year they were registered with Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 

Thank you for reading.