Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Growth (and Influence) of the Comic Convention

Five thirty-eight, the go-to site for stats of all kinds, put up this about San Diego's Comic-Con.

[San Diego's Comic-Con] has never been more relevant for the entertainment industry. Expanding beyond the comic book industry, the annual gathering has become a prime place for TV networks and movie studios to announce future projects.

Only recently did these conventions, which originally appealed to a small subset of media consumers, begin to get coverage in the mainstream press. Comic-Con started with 300 people in the basement of a hotel in 1970. Today’s Comic-Con is a hive of commercialization; State Farm Insurance, for example, is sponsoring all of Adult Swim’s panels.

Over the past several years, coverage of “comic-con” — be it the big event in San Diego, or any of the other popular conventions, such as New York Comic-Con — has exploded. ... And while the commercialization of the San Diego Comic-Con may rub some purists the wrong way, it has become the definitive genre event of the year. ...

The trade press (unsurprisingly) covers this whoop-dee-dooh with gusto. And the studios have long-since bulled their way in to publicize (exploit?) their upcoming crop of science fiction and super hero movies.

What's a wee bit amazing is the amount of space the mainstream press gives to the event. But (on reflection) maybe it's not so amazing after all. Maybe the world is turning in to one big Hollywood Reporter-Variety-Star magazine, and space operas and movie stars are what's important now..

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