COMMERCE AND NERDS: COMICS CULTURE AND BIG BUSINESS COLLIDE IN A FRENZIED MASH-UP THAT FORTELLS THE FUTURES OF CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Comic-Con is the Galactic Center of the Entertainment Zeitgeist, from Popular Tastes to Business Dynamics
“I’ve been in comics so long I sometimes think I invented ’em! But I just read Rob Salkowitz’s terrific new book and, y’know what? Even I learned new stuff! If you’re a comic book nut like me, miss it at your own risk!”
—Stan Lee, Creator of Spiderman, The Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and many more
This July, 130,000+ attendees will descend on San Diego for Comic-Con International. Pop culture and mass culture collide here, the modern and the mythical, the visionary and the venal. Events on the convention floor will dominate national headlines, generating unparalleled buzz across the emerging transmedia landscape of film, games, publishing, and celebrity.
The story of “The Con’s” evolution from meek to monster mirrors the legendary transformations of comics’ most iconic superheroes. In 1970, a few hardcore fans assembled to trade issues and meet the pros; over the decades Comic-Con has mutated into a fearsome creature, with tentacles reaching into all forms of media.
COMIC-CON AND THE BUSINESS OF POP CULTURE: What the World’s Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us about the Future of Entertainment (McGraw-Hill Professional; HC, $27.00; June, 2012), by noted business writer Rob Salkowitz offers an exclusive inside perspective on this convergence of geekdom and big business. “The Con” is a swirling vortex of super-brands, super-fans, movie stars, and zombies, covering over half a million square feet of exhibit space and thousands of hours of panels, programs, films, tournaments, and wild parties.
The comics industry, with its billion-dollar IP assets, sits at the heart of the storm, but faces challenges that mirror those of any media business in today’s fast-moving market. Digital publishing threatens its traditional model, consolidation, globalization and grass-roots publishing are transforming its relationship to its audience. Can an industry and artform rooted in nostalgia and continuity weather such change? And how will those changes ripple through the global empires built on entertainment, media, and technology?
COMIC-CON AND THE BUSINESS OF POP CULTURE offers a fascinating, funny, poignant, fast-clipped look at the future of entertainment – and the beloved comic book – in a swiftly innovating environment moving “faster than a speeding bullet.”
About the Author:
Rob Salkowitz is cofounder and Principal Consultant for the Seattle-based communications firm MediaPlant LLC. He is the author of two books, Young World Rising and Generation Blend. He teaches in the Digital Media program at The University of Washington, Seattle. He speaks regularly on the convergence of digital media, technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and social change. He attended his first comic book conference in 1975, at the age of 8.