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Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World’s Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment Hardcover – May 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071797025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071797023
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Booklist, June 1, Starred Review:

Approaching his subject as both a business futurist and a longtime comics fan, Salkowitz takes a prismatic view of the comics world from its squirming heart: the bustling, hype-overloaded juggernaut of the San Diego Comic-Con. He ties anecdotal accounts of the craziness that unfolds at the Con over five days in July with ruminations on the current state of the medium. Though he considers and speaks eloquently to the place of literary graphic novels, quirky webcomics, and the sequential-art format as a whole, his crosshairs sit right atop those of Comic-Con: mainstream (superhero) comics and their (for now, anyway) cozy relationship with Hollywood. Here, if you can pay enough attention through the onslaught of noise, unapologetically vocal fans meet rock-star creators; the crumbling direct market meets fledgling digital distribution channels; approachable story lines meet decades of convoluted continuity; reverence for history meets a dire need for change; and, perhaps most important, quaint, low-margin publishing strategies meet blockbuster Hollywood marketing blitzes. It's all about as easy to pinpoint as an electron cloud, but Salkowitz considers the view from every angle and in a final chapter models four possible scenarios for comics in the next decade. 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. -- Ian Chipman "BOOKLIST"

About the Author

Rob Salkowitz is cofounder and Principal Consultant for the Seattle-based communications firm MediaPlant, LLC. He is the author of Young World Rising and Generation Blend and teaches in the Digital Media program at the University of Washington.


More About the Author

Rob Salkowitz writes, speaks and consults on the future of digital media and the global digital generation. His latest book, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, looks at the future of entertainment and communications through the lens of the world's wildest trade show, the San Diego Comic-Con. His prior works include Young World Rising (2010), exploring the impact of young entrepreneurs around the world, and Generation Blend (2008), on the digital age gap in the workplace. Rob is a founding partner in MediaPlant, LLC, a Seattle-based communications firm. He teaches digital media at the University of Washington and serves on the board of several non-profits. He has keynoted events worldwide and writes frequently for FastCompany.com and Internet Evolution.

Customer Reviews

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A must read for anyone in the business of comics!
buckymcsatan
As the Beatles were to music in that same era, these men were to comics.
Donald Hazeltine
I have been reading this book off and on for the past couple of months.
William Clark Cunningham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am an independent comics publisher, and I read Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture from beginning to end in a single sitting. I simply could not put it down!

Rob Salkowitz uses his experience at San Diego Comic Con as an entry point into talking about the historical context of the comics industry, how it has come to struggle as it missed the digital boat for a decade as fans started downloading comics illegally, and the players and possibilities for comics creators and publishers today.

What's even more intriguing is that he has provided an international perspective to highlight emerging markets, audiences, and technologies.

Salkowitz provides an invaluable insider-outsider perspective; he comes to his writing as a lover of comics, and uses his knowledge as a business analyst, futurist, and internationalist to talk about a comics industry that might sometimes be so mired in its own habits to see alternative possibilities.

I highly recommend this important book to all comics creators, publishers, retailers, students, fans, or anyone who's interested in the evolution of an industry. It has certainly sparked my thinking and imagination!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris C on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been in comic retail for over 15 years, and it's safe to say it's difficult to explain to the casual fan or even to the diehards all the woes and complications of the industry today. Rob Salkowitz presents a clear, concise, insightful, and engaging presentation of the comic world and its possible futures. I would say this is as relevant and enlightening as Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, possibly moreso considering the current state of the comic world. Using Comic-Con as a focus on all the different aspects of pop culture and fandom, Salkowitz guides you through a process of examination that illuminates and poses many questions about the way new and old business interact with geek culture.

Considering the difficult economic times and the bleak future that comic retail storefronts face, this is the book that I would hand to anybody involved with any part of the industry today, including retailers, creators, and publishers. It's an important book to read, and it helps that it's a fun book to read as well. Salkowitz knows how to bring the reader in regardless of their starting context, and he engages you with humor and as a fellow fan of the medium making this an enjoyable learning experience.

Can not recommend enough.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Wilkinson on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture is that rarest of pleasures: a book that succeeds in being both an engrossing (and hugely entertaining) personal tour of Comic-Con conducted by an extremely well-informed guide, and a revealing account of the fundamental forces changing the face of business (the pop culture business and business-at-large)today, concluding with an incredibly-instructive meditation on the future. It will enchant those who appreciate the Graphic Arts-- but it will entertain and instruct a much broader audience as well. I recommend it absolutely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Probably one of the best books ever written about the future of entertainment, this book encompasses all the ingredients that make up human life, what it always was, what it has become and how it is evolving.
As a long-time attendee of the San Diego ComiCon and many other Cons up until a decade ago, I was there before movie-makers really noticed what was going on and I'm enthralled to read how Hollywood has not only noticed but became a major participant. As New Media (digital) slowly supplants Old Media and connects more and more on the planet, everything is bound to change and Rob Salkowitz explores these changes and the ramifications of what they suggest.
Life is learning and everything we learn is useful to our time on this planet. The lessons that Comic-Con and all the other comic-related conventions teach us is that our lives (like comic books and comic art) are sequential. We never stop learning, growing and changing.
Sequential art simply tells stories in an entertaining pictorial format and it can be viewed over a period of time to teach and entertain the viewers. This has great bearing and teaches many lessons when we realize that all movies with sequels and television serial shows have over the years developed into franchises and this has become a billion dollar business. Everything is related and once you are hooked on an idea, a thread or a character, you can watch more and more to learn and be entertained. This is greatly over-simplifying the book's message but this book is about what motivates us and how we live, think and act.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of book that you could spend hours discussing with your friends, regardless of their interest in comic books. A fascinating look at how a business grows and evolves. Full disclosure: my wife runs an organization (Tr!ckster) that's mentioned in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Definitely a must read for anyone that wants to understand more about the current state of comics as business. Salkowitz goes through San Diego Comic Con, one of the biggest Geeks/Nerd/Fandom conventions in the world, to discuss the business model of comics and graphic novels. After reading you get a better grip on why comics are so appealing to video games and hollywood and at the same time is so restrict in public, and at the end the author goes a little bit into the future of this media.

Easy reading, very interesting details and a great piece of media study. If you work with marketing or communications this is a must read.
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