Reports from Comic-Con

 

News, commentary, and photos from comic cons and pop culture events around the U.S.

Baltimore Comic-Con 2014

On Technology and Media :: Baltimore Comic-Con 2014: Recap and Photo Highlights

Baltimore Comic-Con

Tables where fans could have works signed by writers and artists extended well beyond the Artist Alley section to throughout the show floor, making Baltimore Comic-Con an ideal setting for interacting with comics creators.

For a photo gallery from the event, see:
Flickr :: Baltimore Comic-Con 2013
 

San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Knowledge@Wharton :: Marketing at Comic-Con: Virtual Reality Gets Real

Logos of various comic cons

This year, several high-profile marketing efforts went virtual, using state-of-the-art virtual reality hardware to place viewers in the middle of the action, with four major marketing events featuring the Oculus Rift “4D” technology from Oculus VR.

 

On Technology and Media :: Con-fusion: What’s in a Name — or a Hyphen?

Logos of various comic cons

It’s a common occurrence: I tell a friend I’m going to San Diego Comic-Con and receive the reply, “Oh, yeah. I went to the one in Philly….” It’s awkward explaining that yes, you went to a comic con, but not what is generally considered the comic con: Comic-Con International: San Diego.

 

On Technology and Media :: Comic-Con Incognito

Crowds at San Diego Comic-Con

As you’re jostling through the crowd on the show floor at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, be gracious to the next costumed character you run into. It just might be your favorite celebrity.

On Technology and Media :: Should Comic-Con “Go Long”?

Banners from San Diego Comic-Con

With the planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center still a distant hope, perhaps one option for the future of San Diego and other large Cons is to “go long” — that is, spread the event over more days.

On Technology and Media :: Comic-Con Ticket Sales: Systematizing Randomness

San Diego Comic-Con 2013

CCI hopes this scheme will reduce the panic and confusion caused by thousands of prospective attendees feverishly clicking in hopes of landing at the front of the line to purchase tickets. The announcement was met with the expected range of responses, from relief to outrage.

 

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2014

On Technology and Media :: Wizard World Philadelphia: Bigger Than Ever

New York Comic Fest

At some point, the current pop culture craze will hit saturation and the growth of fan conventions will slow or begin to decline. The current trend, however, is still markedly upward. Wizard World alone increased their footprint in the U.S. by expanding from eight shows last year to 16 this year with more to be announced.

 

Special Edition: NYC 2014

On Technology and Media :: Special Edition NYC Focuses on Comics

New York Comic Fest

In contrast to the New York Comic Con ReedPop hosts each fall — which includes the full range of pop culture topics including movies and television programs — Special Edition: NYC is focused on comic books.

 

New York Comic Fest 2014

On Technology and Media :: New York Comic Fest 2014: Recap and Photo Highlights

New York Comic Fest

It was an overabundance of options for pop culture aficionados in the greater New York City region this past weekend, with three shows competing for attention. Despite the competition, New York Comic Fest assembled an impressive line-up of comic book creators.

 

Asbury Park Comic Con 2014

On Technology and Media :: Asbury Park Comic Con 2014: Something Old, Something New, Something for Everyone

Cosplay at Asbury Park Comic-Con

Asbury Park Comic Con returned to the New Jersey shore in a new venue with expanded offerings.

 

New York Comic Con 2013

On Technology and Media :: New York Comic Con 2013 and the Twin Peaks of Con Culture

New York Comic Con 2013

This year’s New York Con evidenced two trends — one disheartening, one encouraging — at the opposite poles of Con culture.

For a photo gallery from the event, see:
Flickr :: New York Comic Con 2013

Locust Moon Comics Fest 2013

On Technology and Media :: Locust Moon’s Comics-Focused Fest Expands

Locust Moon Comics Fest 2013

For comic book fans who bemoan the encroaching influence of Hollywood on the major comic cons, there are a number of small, local events that carry on the spirit of the original comic book conventions.

For photos from the event, see:
Flickr :: Locust Moon Comics Festival 2013

San Diego Comic-Con 2013

Knowledge@Wharton :: Can Digital and Print Peacefully Coexist in the World of Comic Books?

Print and Digital Comic Books

While digital distribution has roiled the newspaper, book publishing and music industries, a number of companies involved with comic books — from traditional publishers to new start-ups — have embraced digital distribution.

 

On Technology and Media :: San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Recap and Photo Highlights

San Diego Comic Con

Each person who attends Comic-Con International: San Diego has a unique experience. With the large number of simultaneous activities from which to choose, everyone finds their own path through the festivities. Here is an overview of San Diego Comic-Con 2013 from my perspective.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con Marketing: Experience the “Experiences”

San Diego Comic-Con 2013

In the marketing arena that is Comic-Con International San Diego, the major Hollywood movie studios and television networks pull out all the stops to gain the attention of the 130,000-plus fans that descend on the city each July. At this year’s Comic-Con, several major companies hoped to entrance fans with immersive walkthrough environments.

 

U-T San Diego :: It’s Official: Comic-Con Has Gone Legit

San Diego Comic Con

And among the thousands of reporters here are folks like Kendall Whitehouse, the technology and media editor for an online publication of the Wharton School. Yes, that Wharton School — the graduate business program for the University of Pennsylvania…. [As] Whitehouse said, ‘[Popular culture] is a big business!’

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con: Best Laid Plans

San Diego Comic Con

With San Diego Comic-Con beginning this week, fans of comic books, video games, and science fiction and fantasy movies and TV shows are getting excited — and stressed out. Fortunately, experienced Comic-Con fans are available to help.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con: The Sold-out Super Bowl of Pop Culture

San Diego Comic Con

Kendall Whitehouse takes a look at the hubbub surrounding the San Diego event and considers how the show might expand in the future.

 

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013

Knowledge@Wharton :: Philadelphia Comic Con: Batman, Buffy and … Bath Fitter?

San Diego Comic Con

The trend to ride the rising wave of geek chic shows little signs of slowing. Nerd culture is no longer purely the domain of the young and socially-challenged. The crowd at the con included people of all types and ages — young and old; adults, children and families. What was once a market niche is becoming mainstream. And where audiences go, business follows — and that includes comic cons…

A version of this article is also published in:
On Technology and Media ::Philadelphia Comic Con: Batman, Buffy and … Bath Fitter?

On Technology and Media :: Philadelphia Comic Con: Recap and Photo Highlights

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con brought much of the razzle-dazzle of a large pop culture exhibition to the Mid-Atlantic region.

For photos from the event, see:
Flickr :: Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013

Asbury Park Comic Con 2013

Knowledge@Wharton :: Asbury Park Comic Con Rises

Asbury Park Comic Con 2013

If Asbury Park Comic Con continues to grow, it may play a small role in helping to revive the area’s economy. After suffering from decades of decline — poignantly captured in songs by Bruce Springsteen – Asbury Park was struggling to gain its economic footing when super-storm Sandy dealt a devastating blow to the Jersey shore…. ‘Five months ago we had one of the worst storms ever, [yet] the shore survives,’ [Asbury Park Comic Con co-founder Robert] Bruce said. ‘The shore’s open. It’s time for people to come back.’

 

A version of this article is also published in:
On Technology and Media :: Asbury Park Comic Con 2013: New Jersey Expo Expands While Keeping Focus on Comic Books
For photos from the event, see:
Flickr :: Asbury Park Comic Con 2013

Locust Moon Comics Fest 2012

On Technology and Media :: Locust Moon Comics Fest: Philly’s Indie Comic Con

Locust Moon Comics Fest 2012

Unlike many of the larger comic cons, which are chiefly focused around mainstream comics and popular culture, the Locust Moon fest carries on the tradition of the former Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con in showcasing alternative/fringe/indie/art comics and zines.

 

New York Comic-Con 2012

On Technology and Media :: New York Comic Con 2012: Recap and Photo Highlights

Bumblebee Transformer in Chevy Booth at New York Comic Con

Some of the most enjoyable moments at Comic Con are found not in the scheduled programming but, rather, in the unplanned moments.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Consumer Brands Go Geek at Comic Con

Bumblebee Transformer in Chevy Booth at New York Comic Con

As geek culture goes mainstream, mainstream vendors are striving to tap into the nerd zeitgeist.

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2012

On Technology and Media :: San Diego Comic-Con 2012 in Photos

Photos from San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Although the New York Times talked about a sense of “gloom” pervading the halls of Comic-Con this year, people I spoke with were optimistic – both in terms of the business outlook and the mood of the crowd.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con Shines through the Gloom

Comic-Con Cosplay fans

The increasing seriousness with which popular culture is being taken is an important aspect of the evolution of an industry that is now reflecting on its history and facing challenges for its future. But seriousness is not gloom. And many fans find joy in the darkness.

Marketplace :: Comic-Con Still a Must-go for Film Industry

Comic-Con 2012

Kendall Whitehouse is director of new media at the Wharton School. From the convention floor, he [said] the studios that are there are still packing Comic-Con’s 65-hundred seat theater with eager audiences.

Knowledge@Wharton :: The Multifaceted, Ever-morphing Comic-Con

Comic-Con Banner

Comic-Con’s increasing emphasis on movies and television reflects the trend in the entertainment industry at large. While comic books no longer dominate popular culture as they did in the 1940s and early 1950s, they are a major influence on Hollywood.

 

New York Comic Con 2011

Knowledge@Wharton :: Joe Simon and the Great American Hero

The version of the story Simon spun at New York Comic Con was long and rambling, often skipping around from point to point. But, even if his narrative did meander, his memory of the event – after close to a century – was clear and sharp. To the admiring audience, he must have seemed much like the character in his own story: aged – even a bit doddering – yet still an icon of an earlier era of heroism.

Also published in:
On Technology and Media :: Joe Simon and the Great American Hero

On Technology and Media :: New York Comic-Con 2011 in Photos

Photos from New York Comic Con 2011

The full history of comic books was on display at the New York event, including a panel session with Captain America co-creator Joe Simon (just three days past his 98th birthday), a session on “Will Eisner’s The Spirit and Bob Kane’s The Batman,” and an announcement of a new comic book series from famed comic book impresario Stan Lee.

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con: Revenge of the Nerds

Perhaps the geeks shall inherit the earth after all. If so, Comic-Con is the beachhead for that transformation.

Reprinted in Knowledge@Wharton High School (with photo slideshow) in English and Spanish:
Knowledge@Wharton High School :: Comic-Con: Revenge of the Nerds
Knowledge@Wharton High School :: Comic-Con: La venganza de los nerds


Reprinted in Crazy4ComicCon:
Crazy4ComicCon:: Comic-Con: Revenge of the Nerds

On Technology and Media :: The Legacy of Jerry Robinson

Beyond his own work, Robinson taught and inspired other creative artists. He was an early faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York. There he taught, among others, artist Steve Ditko who went on to co-create with Stan Lee the characters of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.

When I spoke with Robinson at San Diego Comic Con last July, I asked whether he was still in touch with the famously reclusive Ditko. He indicated that he hadn’t seen him recently, but quickly added “I taught him, you know.” He was obviously pleased with the accomplishment.

 

On Technology and Media :: San Diego Comic-Con 2011 in Photos

Each July, more than 125,000 people descend on San Diego — many sporting a costume of their favorite comic book or movie character — to attend panel sessions, participate in social activities, and see and be seen at the San Diego Convention Center and around town. It’s impossible for any individual to capture the full experience of Comic-Con. Here are highlights of the event from my viewpoint: 345 photos taken over five days.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Comic-Con and the Rise of Nerd Culture

Underground movements continually evolve, exploring the edges of art to create something new and unusual. As fringe culture becomes mainstream, artists and fans seek out alternate creative avenues and give rise to a new avant-garde. At Comic-Con, in the smaller meeting rooms, away from the blockbuster panels in Hall H and the other the huge auditoriums, the next pop culture trends are likely to emerge.

 

WonderCon 2011

On Technology and Media :: Comic-Con Movies: From Tentpole to Shoestring

The next time you attend a comic-con — whether San Francisco’s WonderCon, the huge San Diego Comic-Con, or the other similar regional conventions — take some time away from blockbuster panels in the huge auditoriums. You’ll see all of these films as soon as they’re released anyway. Rather than hang out in Hall H in the San Diego Convention Center all day, venture into the smaller meeting rooms on the fringes of the conference and seek out the small, independent productions to discover what gems may be hiding there.

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: The S.H.I.E.L.D Factor: Advertising as Entertainment

In a world where people switch the TV channel the instant a commercial appears, here was a group of individuals lined up to participate in an advertising campaign – the details of which were deliberately obscure. Welcome to the future of marketing: advertising as entertainment

 

Originally published in a slightly different form in On Technology and Media:
On Technology and Media :: Advertising as Entertainment

One of the ad campaigns at this year’s WonderCon was a transmedia event jointly promoting Marvel Studios’ upcoming film Thor and the Acura automobile. Acura is apparently the official automobile of S.H.I.E.L.D., the fictional spy agency in the Marvel universe. According to Variety, this is the first film partnership for the luxury car company, for which advertising agency RPA has crafted a multifaceted marketing campaign — one that came knocking on my hotel door the first morning of the conference.

 

On Technology and Media :: WonderCon 2011 in Photos

Photos from WonderCon 2011 are available in my Flickr photostream — 241 photos covering all three days from the opening on Friday through the close on Sunday afternoon.

 

New York Comic Con 2010

Knowledge@Wharton :: The Boy Who Loved Batman: Michael Uslan’s Journey from New Jersey to Hollywood

When he told this tale at New York Comic Con, Uslan looked out at the audience — many of whom were sporting comic book T-shirts or dressed in the costume of their favorite comic book characters — and emphasized that when he was their age, he was “sitting in the same chairs that you are sitting in right now.” He concluded: “If you’ve got the passion, if you’ve got the drive, if you’re willing to [tolerate] a high level of frustration, you can succeed. I was no different than any of you in this room — and if I could do it, there’s no reason you can’t do it.

 

Also available in Spanish:
Knowledge@Wharton :: El chico que amaba a Batman: El viaje de Michael Uslan de Nueva Jersey a Hollywood

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Movie Producer Michael Uslan on Superheroes, Comic Books and Why Hollywood Doesn’t Get It

The lesson of The Dark Knight is if you respect the integrity of the character and have a filmmaker who’s passionate about it, with a vision for it, who can execute it, then that’s what you do. Otherwise…all you will do is continue to violate the characters.

 

On Technology and Media :: Joss Whedon: Storytelling in Different Media

Sometimes you’re like, “Can you just make a frickin’ movie! Can it not be a franchise and a comic book and a bobblehead? Can the characters just matter?”

 

Knowledge@Wharton :: Joss Whedon’s Plan to Monetize Internet Content (Watch Out, Hollywood)

We are now in such a homogenized, globalized, monopolized entertainment system where studios are swallowing all independent producers and productions. And they’re swallowing each other. Eventually there will just be Gap films and McDonald’s films. And that will be it.

 

 


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