December 20, 2012


Given some of the events of the past few years, you would think that comics are undergoing a bit of a renaissance....or a vital shake-up. With the comics industry attempting to engage an ever-shrinking readership while meeting the challenges of new technology, there is ample cause to be worried for the future of comics.

Thankfully, for fans, observers, and those interested in the comics and pop culture industry (like me), there's Rob Salkowitz's Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture. For anyone with even a passing interest in comics, this is a definite must-read, and should be placed on your to-do list for 2013.

Integrating both a business analyst's perspective with a comic fan's enthusiasm, Salkowicz uses his attendance at San Diego Comic-Con as a jumping-off point for exploring the various nuances and challenges within the comics industry. Thankfully, the book is written in an easy-to-understand prose style, and is a very brisk read. (It took me all of two days to complete, including two round-trips downtown from home). Neither dry-as-dust analysis nor overenthusiastic propaganda, Salkowicz's book manages to both entertain and enlighten.

It's the kind of book that would easily get ignored by many casual comics fans - after all, everyone knows a little something about the industry? But in Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, Salkowicz deftly combines the best of both worlds to craft a book that anyone can pick up and read, and which anyone can gain critical insights about comics, popular culture, and the impact of San Diego Comic-Con.

In short, this book is the best defense against poorly informed opinions, overdramatic predictions, and overenthusiastic defenses. You'll be a better, smarter comics fan by reading this book. (And might I suggest checking it out of the local library as well?)

Easily my choice for best non-fiction book of 2012.

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