Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment
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The Comic-Con phenomenon—and what it means for your business
The annual trade show Comic-Con International isn't just fun and games. According to award-winning business author and futurist Rob Salkowitz it's a "massive focus group and marketing megaphone" for Hollywood—and in Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, he examines the business of popular culture through the lens of Comic-Con.
Salkowitz offers an entertaining and substantive look at the show, providing a close look at the comic-book and videogame industries' expanding influence on marketing, merchandising, and the entertainment industry.
Rob Salkowitz is founder and Principle Consultant for the communications firm MediaPlant, LLC.
gatherings like the BOOM! Studios drink-up to a boil. Even small publishers have reason to believe that they might be developing the next big media tie-in. Even artists and writers making meager page rates on books selling in the mid-thousands could get escape velocity faster than you can say “Bryan Lee O’Malley” if their quirky-funny-weird-stylish-genre-bending tale of fantasy and adventure strikes the right chord. So drink up and be merry, starving cartoonists, for tomorrow we all may… become
it doesn’t matter which came first) as instances of a unified concept or a single story. These may emerge as the result of grassroots fan-driven enthusiasm or managed branding campaigns undertaken by big content companies. This might sound too contrived and complicated; however, by providing a 360-degree experience for fans, they will have broader market potential and will provide a more certain revenue stream for creators. After Hours: Trickster and the Backlash Every successful media
make it hard to understand why the comics industry is having so much trouble connecting with a mass audience. The audience is there. The interest in the product is there. The disposable income is (mostly) there. The stigma is gone: comics are cool. And for every one of the creative and curious young people whose interest in comics was strong enough to bring them to San Diego for Comic-Con, there are hundreds or thousands more just like them who don’t know what they’re missing. Photo by Doug
States. It is understood that some sequential art deals with serious literary themes and some is genre work; the creators are not presumed to share some kind of lowest-common-denominator interests just because they work in the same medium. The annual International Comics Festival in Angoulême, France (which draws more than 200,000 people annually), is about art and story, not movies, video games, or transmedia content. People do not attend in costume. Photo by Jackie Estrada Mexican-born artist
digital comics that rise to the top of the bestseller charts to self-produced videos that draw more eyeballs than network fare costing millions per episode. We see the struggle between self-created and self-managed fan communities and efforts to galvanize nerd culture into a more predictable form of consumerism. A world in which a thousand flowers bloom looks very different from one in which pop culture content is managed and regulated by a few big players. If we want to think honestly and