Reviews of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture

“If you care at all about comics, this is an essential read (and if you don’t, Salkowitz just might win you over). But it’s also grab-worthy for anyone interested in the fascinating, conflicted, unfolding future of digital publishing and transmedia entertainment.” – Booklist (starred review), June 1, 2012

“10 out of 10! Author Rob Salkowitz, in a thoroughly entertaining blend of memoir and business sense that doesn’t mire in titillation or academia, also brings to light how digital comics may transform the landscape for comic book producers, their audiences, the Hollywood machine, future technologies, and the effect on SDCC in the future. This is a thought-provoking effort that retailers, creators, publishers and general fans can enjoy and learn from. Highly recommended.” – Newsarama, July 14, 2012

“10 out of 10! Filled with eye-opening information, this is a must read book for anyone who is a fan of comics and a great insight for retailers, artists, writers and publishers to see where the future is headed.” – Starburst, June 25, 2012

“Rob Salkowitz’ Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture (McGraw Hill) is designed to provoke plenty of thoughtful panel talk about this monolithic pop cultural event, its role in the broader entertainment industry as well as the future of the medium that sparked its existence in the first: the humble floppy comic book. Salkowitz… shows a commendable breadth of knowledge about both the medium and the somewhat clannish fan culture… he is capable of discussing alternative/literary comics, manga, digital comics, et al. As such, the man balances a futurist’s focus on the struggling comics industry with an amused appreciation of the medium’s history and the workings of what’s become “the world’s wildest trade show.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 1, 2012

“Salkowitz has a natural ability as a writer to combine complex ideas with a real time look inside the workings of the con, all the while making sure that the reader never leaves the floor or panel that he has been attending. It is a deft juggling act that makes Comic-Con and the Business of Pop-Culture such a pleasure to read. In twenty years it may itself be a cultural artifact. But for once, a book that is meant to convey the urgency and questions of the times we live in delivers on its promise. It needs to be read today.” – Scoop/Diamond Galleries, July 31, 2012

“With forecasts, humor, and insight galore, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture is both fun and fascinating.” – City Book Review, August 2, 2012

“The book offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings and big picture of this pop culture-lover’s convergence of super-hero geeks and big business. ‘The Con’ is a swirling vortex of brands, empires, celebrities, and the undead—clever, crazily, competing for your attention. It’s also become a window into the dramatically challenged comics empire, where marketers are through the comics backlist for source material, while the onset of digital publishing threatens its very existence.” - SFScope, May 4, 2012

“It is a cogent, vivid study that makes business thinking accessible for comics fans and the vibrant ideals of comics culture available for business. At a crisis-point in pop culture, this book already seems generationally definitive.” - PopMatters, May 11, 2012

“Salkowitz brings the educated insight of a longtime fan into a compelling analysis that suggests comics might not always be at the top of the media game–and explains why that might not be a cause for grief, even within the industry.” – Shelf Awareness, June 29, 2012

“Make no mistake, comics fans and enthusiastic geeks. Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture is very much a business and brand strategy book, centered around a very trendy and chic brand. There’s no question that casual fans and people interested in the more technical side of comics transmedia will find it an interesting, if at times esoteric, read. But for those working in (or aspiring to) the intersection of comics and entertainment, it is an essential read.” – ScriptPhD, July 19, 2012

” …Put simply, Comic Con and the Business of Pop Culture upgrades you. It not only illumines a world you might only have guessed at (a world of business strategy for the popculturalist, or vice versa), but it builds those tools you’ll need to competently live in that world.” - PopMatters, June 14, 2012

“Rob Salkowitz, has found the perfect way to examine the comic industry; as a personal guide through the largest comic related event of the year, San Diego Comic-Con… [He]writes in such an engaging way that regardless of if you are already familiar with the way this business works or if you have no exposure to comics whatsoever, you will be happily pulled in by his own affection for the medium and his humor as he offers numerous possible futures for the comic world. I can’t recommend this book enough and anytime I will need to educate or inform people about the state of the comic world this will be one of the first books I will force them to pick up. A+” Trustyhenchman Blog, June 11, 2012

“The book is an interesting look at the big show through the eyes of Salkowitz as an attendee as he breaks down the highs and lows of each day. The recounting of a trip is told through the prism of comics as business and the importance of transmedia. It’s a great read.” – Omnicomic, June 13/ 2012

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture should be a great book for comic book fans, moviegoers, pop culture followers, and marketing gurus.” – Trashwire, 6/22/12

“* * * * * (out of 5): Rob Salkowitz has done his homework and it shows.  This book is the next best thing to being there, and believe it or not, can give you an education that actually being at the Con cannot.” – WhySoBlu, 6/25/12

“The book succeeds at telling the story of the comic book industry–past, present and possible futures–mainly due to Salkowitz’s obvious passion. His love for comics and their creators, both independent and corporate, shines through every chapter.” – Shelf Awareness (Non-Fiction pick of the day) 6/29/12

“..the interesting part about this one is that this is a business book, written from a business perspective. Mr. Salkowitz isn’t another old-time comics guy bemoaning how Twilight fans or Hollywood is ruining Comic-Con for everyone, nor is he a gung-ho retailer or publisher telling all the old-timers to get over it. He’s a smart business guy whose business is media… and his book is a sensible look at the phenomenon San Diego has become and the lessons business professionals can learn from it.” – Comic Book Resources, July 13, 2012

“Digital media expert (and huge comic book fan) Rob Salkowitz has written an enlightening take on San Diego Comic-Con and the U.S. comic book industry in Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture. He takes no prisoners as he goes over every aspect of what makes people love and hate the industry that has become popular with its elements of amazing art, vivid storylines, and iconic characters.” – Manga Therapy, July 14, 2012

“I devoured the book in one weekend. This included the many times that I would stop reading, go back and read it out loud to my friends. It was a complete nerdgasm.” – Flip The Media, July 2, 2012

Interviews with Rob

Video Interview,, June 25, 2012

Radio Interview, KPBS Public Radio San Diego, July 2, 2012

Studio360 (Public Radio International, PRI) Interview, July 13, 2012

KNPR, PBS/Las Vegas, November 2, 2012. Interview, July 10, 2012

The Funny Business of Comics,” Kirkus Reviews, July 11, 2012

Four Peaks TV (Cable News Northwest/King Broadcasting/UWTV), December, 2012

SDCC Preview Interview on WordBalloon podcast, July 18, 2014.

Interview at, June 14, 2012

OmniComic Interview, June 26, 2012

Podcast Interview at WordBalloon, June 29, 2012

Fictional Frontiers (radio interview), June 24, 2012

The Comics Reporter interview, July 8, 2012

Video Interview with Mark Ramsey on Transmedia and the Future of Radio, July 8, 2012 (transcript here)

Examiner Interview, June 19, 2012

Lip Service Podcast, July 4, 2012

Unshelved, October 5, 2012

Mentions and Quotes

60 Telling Quotes on Comics and Cartooning.” The Washington Post, July 8, 2014.

Archie Dies, Publisher Says Death is Not a Gimmick.” CBS Evening News, July 16, 2014.

Archie to Meet Untimely Death.” Here and Now, NPR interview. June 30, 2014.

SD Con Still the Strongest.” San Diego Union-Tribune, July 7, 2012.

Monstrous Fun Begins at Comic-Con,” USA Today, July 11, 2012

Comic-Con: Growing Ever Larger, Slicing Ever-Thinner.” San Diego Union-Tribune, July 12, 2012.

San Diego Comic-Con draws thousands of comics fans – and Hollywood’s elite” – The Guardian (UK), July 12, 2012

Why is the Dark Knight Rises inspiring so much rabid fandom?” Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News (, July 18, 2012

Colorado Shootings Likely to Change Movie Going Experience Indefinitely.” Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2012

Mexican Director Del Toro Presents New Movie at Comic-Con” Mexico Today, 7/18/12

Comic-Con: Suffering for (performance) Art.” The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 16. 20212.

Other Press

“Instead of sending out a boiler-plate press release about his new book, author Rob Salkowitz tapped a great comic book artist to create the first illustrated press release this GalleyCat editor has ever received (complete with a comic blurb from Stan Lee.)” - MediaBistro GalleyCat, May 23, 2012

“There is a world of great new thinking out there (and yes, it’s longer than a tweet and longer than an average blog post) that has nothing to do with marketing or growing your business. That being said, the content from these books will make you better (and smarter). Promise. In the past little while, I’ve been immersed in a handful of very different books, and they all offer some new and interesting perspectives that you simply don’t find in the standard marketing/business book fare.”  - Six Pixels of Separation Blog, listing Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture as the #1 New Book That Every Marketer Needs to Read (That Aren’t About Marketing)

CNN iReport (interview at 8:20)

Press Resources

Download the graphic press release for Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture


(.pdf )

Download the traditional press release for the book

Rob Salkowitz Bio 2012

Press release for Rob’s TED Talk in May, 2012

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