• This story in the Baltimore Sun on digital comics, Diamond, and comics retailers doesn’t tell those of you who have been paying attention much you didn’t already know, but it sums things up and provides a nice picture of Diamond owner Steve Geppi.
• Kelly Thompson wraps up part 4 of her Ladies Comics Project II in which women who have varying degrees of comics exposure read graphic novels. Once again, some very valuable market research:
So what did I learn of this latest Ladies Comics Project iteration? Well, for starters I learned that graphic novels are definitely more accessible than single issues for non-comics readers…which is really no surprise, but it’s nice to have confirmation. Most of the women seemed to appreciate longer more contained stories, as well as books that felt easy to jump onto the way any prose novel would, rather than the complexities of ongoing continuity.
There also, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph to part one, continues to be a real confusion between genre and medium and a general equation that comics equal superheroes. I don’t know how we fix this problem other than getting more and more truly good books – both superhero and otherwise – into the hands of non-comics readers. Great stuff (Scott Pilgrim?) spreads like wildfire…so the more great stuff we produce and promote, the more people are going to find it and love it and talk about it themselves.
• Lori Weisberg and Roger Showley at the San Diego Union-Tribune look athow the proposed convention center expansion would affect overall convention business. If you thought that expanding would just help out Comic-Con, even groups like the map muddlers and kidney lookers are getting squeezed out:
As much as San Diego would like to cement its position as a prime destination for the nation’s larger, more well-heeled medical meeting groups, it is just as important to attract multiple smaller groups who could occupy the center concurrently, said consultant Steven Spickard. Enlarging the center by an additional 400,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit and ballroom space, would effectively add 365 more dates available to smaller groups, he said.
During the last year, 10 conventions accounting for 40,000 potential delegates, were unable to book at the center either because of insufficient space or lack of available dates, according to monthly reports published by the Convention Center Corp. Spickard concluded in an analysis released last year that an expanded center could draw on average nearly 250,000 additional convention and trade show attendees a year by 2017, which translates into $348.8 million in spending on lodging, meals and other expenses.
• Speaking of Comic-Con, Marshall Finehas had enough of the tyranny of the nerds:
The Comic-Con mentality runs roughshod these days, despite evidence that Comic-Con’s aesthetic is not the one that dominates the culture. Flops such as Kick-Ass and Tron: Legacy were expected to be massive hits, based on the reception they received at Comic-Con. But when actual people were exposed to these exercises in insubstantial style, they tended to ignore them.
Which brings us back to the question: Why are we ceding control of the movies to people who live for Comic-Con? They represent a segment of the audience – but hardly the whole viewing public. Why does that particular tail continue to wag the dog?
Yes, we’re everywhere. Marshall. Get used to it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.