Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Newsarama: Matt Hawkins Comments on the Impact of the Comic Book Movie Decade on Publishing

Some of the changes to comic book publishing are obvious since Hollywood started salivating over their wares. But a lot of changes influenced by the film industry have happened without most loyal comic book fans even realizing it.

The biggest and most apparent shifts within the world of publishing have happened just in the last year. DC Comics is now calling itself "DC Entertainment," reporting directly to Warner Bros. Pictures Group. Marvel now runs its own movie studio under the umbrella of Disney's entertainment conglomerate. And comic book's top writers, like Brian Michael Bendis and Geoff Johns, spend much of their time nowadays consulting on scripts for movie projects and TV shows.

But other changes to the comic book industry have trickled down to even smaller publishers in ways that are less noticeable to readers, but all-too-apparent within the industry.

For smaller publishers, one of the reasons for working with Hollywood is that there's a real boost in sales of the source comic books when films are made.

"Anytime you have a mass market film or TV show or video game, you have a surge in sales of the comic," said Matt Hawkins, president of Top Cow, the publisher behind the Wanted comic book that became a hit film. "Anyone who tells you there's not is just lying."

Another reason publishers sometimes desire Hollywood involvement is the potential for owning licensed characters that can be used for merchandise and other media. From Sin City action figures to Watchmen T-shirts, merchandising of comic book characters gets a huge boost from feature films.

But Hawkins said that, despite many comics companies moving in that direction, it's not always easy to capitalize on licenses when the characters are unknown and less identifiable.

Read the full article here.

Source: Newsarama

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