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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
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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

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
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

Hardcover, 292 pages
Published June 15th 2012 by McGraw-Hill (first published May 17th 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Robert Greenberger
May 31, 2012 Robert Greenberger rated it liked it

Comic book fandom was a natural outgrowth of science fiction fandom, splintering off in 1961 as the revival of superhero comics was clearly here to stay. In that year, sci-fi fan and future author Richard Lupoff published Xero, the first comics-only fanzine. Just a few years later, in 1965, the first comic convention occurred in New York City, birthplace of the first science fiction con back in 1939. The success of the zine and the con inspired others to produce their own tribu
Rosemary Reeve
Jun 19, 2012 Rosemary Reeve rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a free copy of this book because I'm a registered press attendee of Comic-Con.

I was really interested in reading this book because having attended Comic-Con for so long, the weekend is as much about business for me as it is for fun. Having the business of the convention laid out in book format really grabbed at my attention. Unfortunately, the delivery ends up being rather weak and not incredibly insightful.

In a few short weeks I'll be attending my 14th Comic-Con. This means that I'v
Jul 12, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it
I'm an old fuddy duddy when it comes to new-fangled technologies and the ongoing digitizing of our world. I prefer physical copies of things, though I'm not above owning an iPod or reading a webcomic. I think ebooks are gross because I can pull a book off a shelf faster than I can download the thing, and who gives a damn if you can carry around dozens of books when you can only read a couple at a time?

I know that comics are read on tablets now, and will continue to be in the future. I can't ima
Dan Polley
Jul 22, 2012 Dan Polley rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A great look at Comic-Con, which I'd love to attend sometime.

If I had one nitpick, it's this: The title includes "pop culture," but I found the book to focus much more on the comics part of the show. That's fine; I love comics. But I expected just a bit more depth in approaching the pop culture portion of it.
Denise Dorman
Jul 24, 2012 Denise Dorman rated it it was amazing
I've exhibited at SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) for the past 12 years and I still managed to learn a LOT from futurist Rob Salkowitz's book about the various origins of creators, events, etc. I wish this book would be published and updated yearly as that is how quickly this information evolves. It was fascinating to read and well written. I especially liked how Rob broke out the sections into the various days of the Con. If you're interested in the business side of entertainment or comics, this is ...more
Ryan I
Aug 01, 2012 Ryan I rated it liked it
There's no better petri-dish to investigate all facets of popular culture -- and the business underworkings behind film, comics, tv and video games -- than Comic-Con. But that's also a giant problem because Comic-Con is four and a half days of nonstop, overwhelming pageantry and programming. It's impossible for one man to survey everything and emerge with a fully-formed investigation, but despite that, Salkowitz does a commendable job bringing a lot of the current uncertainty in popular media by ...more
Bill Cunningham
I have been reading this book off and on for the past couple of months. Several pages here and there every night until I finally finished the nearly 300 pages. It took a long time to read, not because the book was bad or filled with the sort of business management language that makes for a tough slogging through, but for all the right reasons. I had a tough time getting through Comic Con because every 3-4 pages crystalizes a business concept about the comic book industry that was so impactful th ...more
Daniel  Dubay
Aug 09, 2012 Daniel Dubay rated it really liked it
This is not a book for a casual comic con fan, however if you are a reader of comic books then I consider this a must read. The main point of this book is the evolution of comic books and where they are heading in a digital world. As a communications major, I personally enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting.
Oct 21, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it
Among other things, a very interesting , knowledgeable and insightful look at the state of the comic book business and where it might be headed and why.
John Orman
Mar 13, 2013 John Orman rated it liked it
What happens in San Diego at the biggest and best Comic-Con apparently does not stay in San Diego, as that chaotic celebration spreads out to affect most of the entertainment industry in some way.
Having just attended the crowded and exciting Portland Comic Convention, which is less than 10% the size of the San Diego Comic-Con, I was interested in what happens when the big boys play to crowds of 150,000 crazed fans.

The popularity of the comics-loving gang in The Big Bang Theory TV show, and the d
Feb 07, 2013 Ember rated it really liked it
This book was pretty entertaining and I felt it gave me a better understanding of the comics world and all Comic Con entails. I also learned about "steampunk" and shared my knowledge at work. :)
Diane Ferbrache
Jan 02, 2013 Diane Ferbrache rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, comics, nerds
Bob Salkowitz is known for his business books and for being an expert in digital media. In this book he explores his "inner geek" and takes us inside Comic-Con, the annual gathering of over 100,000 comic book, sci-fi, movie, pop culture, and video game fans. This convention has become so popular that tickets sell out in minutes as far as a year ahead. Salkowitz gives us a peek inside the con, but also explores the future of comics in a digital world.

I found this book amazingly readable, informat
Mar 07, 2013 Du rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As a fan of comics and a past avid reader/collector I saw this book and really thought it would be great. It was good. It had a fun overview of where comics have evolved from the 70s to today. This especially is true through the lens of San Diego Comic Con. As someone who has attended NY Comic Con and various local conventions, I found the San Diego experience to be fascinating.

The discussion about digital comics and the off shoots (movies etc) of comics was great, and really held the book up a
B.G.M. Hall
Mar 14, 2013 B.G.M. Hall rated it really liked it
Interesting mix of geek fandom at the event that's become nerdvana and a tale of the business side of the comic book/film/transmedia world. Covers both the new movie franchise-oriented side of the con and also the more traditional, hand-drawn comic writers/artists, who have been pushed to the back.
Salkowitz takes an interesting approach to the end of the book by suggesting 4 possible futures for Comic-Con, showing how it might further evolve.
Mar 22, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting to see the connections between the gaming/comics/toys and the evolution of the comic-con. Also gives a bit of history of the demise of bookstores.
Kevin Bermingham
May 20, 2013 Kevin Bermingham rated it it was amazing
An eye-opening exploration of business in the current pop and tech culture and the business-model for tomorrow's pop and tech cultures. And an enjoyable read to boot.
Jim Leckband
Probably not the "World's Wildest Trade Show". The Las Vegas Adult Entertainment Expo (or whatever the porn con is called) might be a little wilder than people dressing up as Darth Vader.

In any case, this has a "what I did on my summer vacation at Comic-Con" vibe to it. I don't need to read countless "you-were-there" updates that his wife is thinking about standing in line, preparing to stand in line, running to stand in line and is now presently standing in line. I get it. There is lots of stan
Sep 14, 2013 Juliana rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, pop-culture
As a geek I highly recommend this book. Business author Rob Salkowitz takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Comic-Con and discusses the various convergences of geekery in media.
Oct 12, 2013 Jessie rated it really liked it
This was a great insider's look at the business of Comic-Con. I attended my 10th SDCC this year and I, too, wondered if we'd hit "peak geek." While I'm no businesswoman, it was fascinating to hear the author's takes on the future of this convention.
Apr 16, 2014 alana rated it really liked it
In Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, Rob Salkowitz recaps the history of the ever-growing Comic-Con, details the goings-on of the 2011 Con, and uses all the above to highlight necessary changes for the sustainability of the comic book industry.

Like all print media in need of reinvention, comics must continue to adapt to the demand for digital distribution. This shift is complicated by a significant fan base with a tangible collection mentality as well as pre-existing issues with access
Jenny Thompson
Apr 15, 2014 Jenny Thompson rated it liked it
Even as someone who has never really been exposed to the world of comics, I found this book to be an interesting read. The books is structured almost like a journal as the reader follows Salkowitz through his weekend at Comic-Con 2011. Along the way various people, panels, etc trigger what seem like tangents but are actually the main content of the book. He writes about the history of comics, the current state of the industry, and speculates on the future. In some ways, this book reads like a se ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
Fairly interesting, but more comic-heavy than I had hoped. Made the San Diego Comic con sound INSANE. It had some general pop culture/fandom predictions and advice--like don't ignore women and girls, keep your eyes on global markets, and keep on top of technological changes and trends.
Jan 23, 2015 J rated it really liked it
Finished it one sitting. I liked the business aspect of the read. Plus I liked how it was written in a manner to one who has been to San Diego Comic Con. It's a true phenomenon. It was insightful and planned out. There is so much to enjoy at the 4 day event and this helps one game plan a strategy to going. Once here time truly flies by.
Feb 28, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, non-fiction
I think it says something about a book that one reads it three years after publication and the book already feels like it is on the edge of being out-dated. Granted, I've attended San Diego Comic Con a few times so I wasn't drawn to or intrigued by his description of his 4.5 day experience. Maybe it would be better as an introduction for someone who loves comics but has never been?
Feb 05, 2015 Vincent rated it liked it
Everything that I needed to know about Comic Con. I enjoyed Salkowitz's predictions as to what was going to happen with the future of comics given the quickly changing landscape.
Jun 09, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and spot on observation on he Crazy Comic Book Carnival Extravaganza that is Comic Con. The author breaks down the events and what to expect at Comic Con. Great for newbies and old veterans like myself who have born witness to the growing power and now cultural juggernaut that is SDCC. The author also has some intriguing business tips and breaks down the economics to where it makes sense for those of us who are business illiterate.

I want to take the opportunity to point out that
Leslie (Working for the Mandroid)
It's sad how outdated this book already is three years after publication, but there are still some good insights. Some of the more biographical aspects were a little much. I wanted more analysis and less about the author and his friends.
Thomas Maluck
Dec 21, 2015 Thomas Maluck rated it really liked it
Despite the risk of this book aging exponentially with each passing year, it still serves as a great guide to convention and comics culture past, present, and future, including perspectives from attendees, vendors, and corporate strategists.

The forecasting tool Rob uses near the end was an excellent, thoughtful section that's worth reading even if you don't care about Comic-Con.
Jan 20, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: business-finance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Harper
Feb 02, 2016 Beth Harper rated it liked it
Dragged a little at the end. I don't think it really worked as a "business advice" book. But lots of parts were interesting, even for a non comic-book fan.
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ROB SALKOWITZ is a business analyst and futurist specializing in the disruptive effects of digital technology and the digital generation on work, business and culture. His latest book, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture (McGraw-Hill, 2012), looks at the future of entertainment through the lens of the San Diego Comic-Con. His earlier books explore global entrepreneurship, the changing demogr ...more
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