Comic-con and the Business of Pop Culture

Comic-con and the Business of Pop Culture

What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment

Book - 2012
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Action! Excitement! Transmedia! Step inside Comic-Con to discover the cultural trends that will shape our world

"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, Legendary Comic Creator and Publisher

"Salkowitz tells it pretty much like it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly of the commercialization of one of America''s greatest art forms, as well as the indefatigable artistry of its creators. He is at once informative, insightful, sobering, and inspiring."
--Douglas Rushkoff, pop culture analyst and author of Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

"If you care at all about comics, this is an essential read (and if you don''t, Salkowitz just might win you over). But it''s also grab-worthy for anyone interested in the fascinating, conflicted, unfolding future of digital publishing and transmedia entertainment."
-- Booklist (Starred Review)

"What began more than four decades ago as an intimate gathering of comic book creators, fans and legends has become a packed entertainment event. Although it doesn''t have the same ring to it, Comic-Con could more appropriately be called the Transmedia Pop Culture Con where buzz for a year''s worth of projects is created, prolonged or squelched. Yet, despite the awareness that the con is a giant marketplace where producers sell directly to customers, there has been shockingly little analysis of the business of the event before Rob Salkowitz''s new book, "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture."
--CNN Geekout

"The true gift in Rob''s book is how very hard it becomes for you to decide, whether you''re a business reader reading a pop culture book, or a comics fan reading a business book."

"The book explores the business aspects of the show and how it is a microcosm of the growing transmedia aspects of both comic books and their connection to things such as film, TV, and video games. All the while, acting as a travelogue by a long-time fan of comics and Comic-Con."

"Salkowitz''s first hand observation makes us feel like we are walking the convention floor with him. In some chapters you sense his thrill as he meets a few of his fan favorites. Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture should be a great book for comic book fans, moviegoers, pop culture followers, and marketing gurus."

Welcome to Comic-Con: where the future of pop culture comes to life

Every summer, more than 130,000 comic fans, gamers, cosplay enthusiasts, and nerds of all stripes descend on San Diego to mingle with the top entertainment celebrities and creative industry professionals in an unprecedented celebration of popular culture in all its forms.

From humble beginnings, Comic-Con has mutated into an electrifying, exhausting galaxy of movies, TV, video games, art, fashion, toys, merchandise, and buzz. It''s where the future of entertainment unspools in real time, and everyone wants to be there.

In Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture , author Rob Salkowitz, a recognized expert in digital media and the global digital generation (and unabashed comics enthusiast), explores how the humble art form of comics ended up at the center of the 21st-century media universe. From Comic-Con''s massive exhibit hall and panels to its exclusive parties and business suites, Salkowitz peels back the layers to show how comics culture is influencing communications, entertainment, digital technology, marketing, education, and storytelling.

What can the world''s most approachable and adaptable art form tell us about the importance of individual talent and personal engagement in the era of the new global audience, the iPad, and the quarter-billion-dollar summer blockbuster? Here are some of the issues Salkowitz explores:

How do you succeed in the transmedia maelstrom? Comics have hopscotched across the media landscape for decades. What can we learn from their successes and failures as we careen toward a converged digital future?
Have comics cracked the digital code? Everyone is scrambling to deal with the business disruptions of digital distribution. Does the recent success of comics on tablets demonstrate a new model for other industries, or do dangers lie ahead?
What''s next for "peak geek"? Will the ascendant nerd culture of the early 2010s keep its new audience engaged or burn out from overexposure?

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture combines the insights business leaders need with the details fans crave about the future ofthe world''s most dynamic industry. Even if you can''t be in San Diego in July, this book brings the excitement into focus . . . no costumes required!

Publisher: New York : McGraw-Hill, c2012.
ISBN: 9780071797023
Branch Call Number: 741.5 SALKOWITZ
Characteristics: viii, 292 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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Sep 09, 2016

Comic industry run by hamster in an exercise wheel & the hamster is dying is an apt metaphor.
Billion dollar film industry booming ,but comic book readership declining from higher cover price, competing entertainment formats & online piracy.

Mark_Daly Jul 15, 2013

Useful for the author's insightful descriptions of the different -- and sometimes incompatible -- subcultures of comics fans that converge on San Diego each July. If you frequent a comics store, you may come away with a better understanding of the fans whose tastes differ from your own. The final chapter, in true comic book style, offers a glimpse at four possible alternate futures of the comics industry. Some are optimistic, some arguably dystopian (depending on who you're rooting for). Together, they serve to bring the contradictions of Comic-Con into sharp relief.

Jun 08, 2013

For what it is supposed to be, this is an above average read. Don't try it if you want to hear too many details about the ins and outs of comic con because that's not what this is. This is a business study on the future of popular culture and the place this "peak geek" spectacle might have in it.


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