Today I'm blogging from ComiCon, the 39th annual comic book convention; it's sold out and tickets are being scalped online for over 400 dollars.
This year 125,000 fans are expected to hit the San Diego Convention Center for four days of fanboy heaven- presentations by comic book creators, movie directors and stars of movies based on graphic novels. You can buy a first edition Superman comic or a life-size Wookie.
Now ComiCon has evolved to be about a lot more than the books themselves- also a forum for related movies, TV shows, video games, online multiplayer games, and of course action figures. But I think it's important to point out, especially in this economic environment, that comic books are still huge business, a billion dollar business in fact.
Despite cyclical pressures (economic downturn) and sector challenges (the publishing industry as a whole is struggling, the comic book industry is holding up. The sales of comic periodicals or series (the thin magazines that come out every month) are flat to down, as teenagers look online for that kind of short form entertainment. But the sale of graphic novels (heftier collections of those series that often read like real books) are stronger than ever. Graphic novel sales were up 25 in May.