On The Road To Comic-Con : Interview With Rob Salkowitz, Author Of Comic-Con And The Business Of Pop Culture
The year was 1970 and a small group of fans and professionals began a yearly pilgrimage to San Diego to celebrate all things comic books. 42 years later, a huge swath of the world's population turns their eyes to that same event called San Diego Comic-Con International.
From July 12th to the 15th, nearly 150,000 people will crowd into the San Diego Convention Center to experience the newest, biggest, and loudest aspects of popular culture presented by comic book creators and publishers, media conglomerates, and businesses trying to make a huge splash.
This interview is the first in a series of discussions with various business and creative individuals associated with the biggest pop culture event in North America. In the next two weeks we'll present views on both comics and Comic Con and we're starting with author Rob Salkowitz.
Salkowitz, whose prior works focus on both the impact of younger generations in business and the gap between young and old through technology recently published the book Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World’s Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment.
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.
First, and foremost we touched upon the business aspects of his book. "This is the story of an industry that, for a long time, had been on the fringes of the culture business but is now moving to the center in a most spectacular fashion," began Salkowitz. "It's as compelling of a story as anyone could possibly have imagined."
"There are valuable lessons to be learned from an event like Comic-Con," he continued. "We can learn a great deal about how to communicate with a community, which is immensely valuable for PR purposes and protecting the value of brands. This is something that isn't just valuable for comic books but it is valuable for most businesses."
Comic-Con isn't just something that suits on Madison Ave. and creatives in Hollywood are interested in. It seems like the whole world is intrigued. With 5 days of jam-packed pop-culture madness, a minuscule amount of people can squeeze in to the event. "It's an intriguing, exciting place that everyone is talking about and for every person going, 10 more can't go," he said. "It's tiny, yet it's impact is huge. The media coverage causes everyone to know about it."Continued on the next page