By Jeremy Estes 1 August 2012 (Excerpt)
'By the time you read this, the 2012 San Diego Comic Con will be over and preparation will have begun anew for next year’s event. “The Con” now operates in a cycle comparable to the perpetual campaigning of American politics. There are badge numbers, online sales and hotel reservations to secure, not to mention getting to the actual event itself, where endless lines and throngs of assorted humans and aliens occupy San Diego every July.
Rob Salkowitz’s book, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, is a fascinating look at this experience. In it he explores his own personal encounters with the Con (he and his wife have regularly attended since the late ‘90s) but also the event’s ascendance as the epicenter of entertainment business and culture. Being a comic fan, Salkowitz avoids the pitfalls of the “ZAP! POW! Comics Aren’t Just for Kids!” stories which annually announce the arrival of the Con. Despite the event’s recorded attendance of 130,000 in 2011, actual comic books—the staid monthly print magazines sometimes obnoxiously referred to as “floppies”—aren’t exactly doing a booming business. Comics-related properties generate billions of dollars in licensing revenue, covering everything from movies and games to socks and breakfast cereal. Best-selling comics however,, Salkowitz writes, rarely sell more than a few 100,000 copies....'
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