We are now in July and officially within sight of the start of Comic-Con International: San Diego (it kicks off this year with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 11). The official schedule for all four days of programming is now posted and it is, as always, exhaustive and overwhelming. For those of you interested in the business aspects of pop culture raised in my book, there are a number of great discussions taking place over the four days, looking at issues as diverse as distribution, digital comics, transmedia convergence, self-publishing, creator rights, strategies for retailers, and finding work with the big publishers. This is the “trade show” aspect that is buried within the arts festival-consumer extravaganza-costume party that most attendees enjoy.
I’m pleased to announce I’ll be moderating two panels on Friday, July 13.
1:30-2:30 Comic Book Entrepreneurs— Get a rare look behind the scenes as the comic book industry’s leading entrepreneurs share their secrets of building successful businesses around the love of comic books. Author and futurist Rob Salkowitz (Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture), CEO and co-founder David Steinberger of comiXology, Dark Horse Comics publisher Mike Richardson, Peter Levin of Nerdist Industries, and comics retailer Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics (who also founded Free Comic Book Day and helped run WonderCon for 15 years), offer a unique view of the business side of comics. Room 8
6:00-7:00 Are Digital Comics Expanding the Market?— Digital comics are the hottest trend in publishing today, exploding onto the screens of iPads, tablets, and phones everywhere. How is digital distribution transforming the industry and the market? Is digital opening the medium to a vast new global audience, or is it the death knell of comics as we know them? Author and futurist Rob Salkowitz (Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture) leads a provocative, no-holds-barred discussion with the leaders of the digital comics revolution: comiXology co-founders David Steinbergerand John D. Roberts, Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, and IDW publisher Ted Adams. Room 9
OK, so it’s not Game of Thrones, but it should make for interesting conversations with a fascinating group of thought-leaders in the industry. Hope to see you all there.
Friday evening, I’ll be heading over to the Eisner Awards at the Hilton Bayfront and sticking around for the after-party until the hotel staff chucks us out into the street.
I’ll also be over at the Trickster bookstore on Saturday, July 14 from 12:30-1:30, hanging out, signing books and chatting informally with anyone who wants to discuss or argue about anything under the comics/pop-culture sun.
The excitement is mounting! If you’re headed to San Diego for the first time or the fortieth, Comic-Con is an experience like no other. And it’s just around the corner.