Pow! Bang! Splat!

How the geek culture movement, ex-pat artists, superhero movies, and children weary of video games are propelling local comic shops to new heights.


(page 1 of 6)

Once upon a time, the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel came to Detroit, bringing with them the star power of Hollywood. Their adventures, filmed over the course of 2014 throughout metro Detroit, will come to life on March 26 when DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Illustration by Bill Ellison

The film is the highly anticipated sequel to Man of Steel (2013) and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, and Jeremy Irons. In addition to being the first live-action film to feature Batman and Superman together, the movie also draws in Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

The cinematic endeavor represents the last major film produced in Michigan, as Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature pulled the plug in 2015 on millions of dollars of annual tax credits that had served to draw A-list actors and film crews to the state.

While the end of sizeable film incentives won’t make or break Michigan’s economy, there was concern that the loss of major productions would negatively affect revenue among small businesses including local studios, restaurants, caterers, equipment providers, and comic book shops. The consternation proved to be well-founded, especially among direct suppliers and movie crews.

But indirect purveyors such as the comic book shops — which have weathered not only the Great Recession and an industrywide slump that upended the market during the 1990s, as well as growing competition from video game creators — are drawing people through their doors like never before. Due to unique marketing campaigns, an explosion of movies that involve superheroes, and a diverse product mix, local comic book shops are seeing a surge of customers and sales.

Comic book sales in North America are up 38 percent compared to five years earlier, generating $475 million, says John Jackson Miller, a New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars novels, comics, and graphic novels.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Aerotropolis 2.0

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has taken talk of an industrial and logistics hub around Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airports and given it economic wings.

2018 ACG M&A All Stars

The Association for Corporate Growth Detroit Chapter and DBusiness magazine honor the 11th annual winners.

Splitting the Pot

Detroit’s three casinos, along with land-based operations outstate, are facing growing competition from the Michigan Lottery and its exclusive offering of online gaming options.

Test Track

The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township.

Mobility Front

When it comes to mobility, Michigan is a global leader in autonomous, connected, electrified, and shared vehicle technology, but can it stay ahead of the pack?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Revered Cadieux Café on Detroit’s East Side Sold to Restauranteur Paul Howard and Musician John Rutherford
    The owners of the Cadieux Café on Detroit’s east side today announced that they have sold the...
  2. Farmington Hills’ Plum Market to Open Street Concept Store in Downtown Detroit
    Plum Market, a food and beverage company based in Farmington Hills, will open a street concept...
  3. HTI Cybernetics in Sterling Heights to Invest $20.6M in Expansion
    Sterling Heights-based HTI Cybernetics Inc., a provider of automated and robotic welding systems,...
  4. BESA Detroit Restaurant Opens in the Central Business District
    A new restaurant, lounge, and private dining establishment called BESA Detroit has opened on the...
  5. Beaumont Health and Universal Health Services to Build $40M Mental Health Hospital in Dearborn
    Beaumont Health in Southfield and Universal Health Services (UHS) today announced they have...
  6. Diamond’s Steak and Seafood Opens in Downtown Royal Oak
    Diamond’s Steak and Seafood, an Adam Merkel Restaurant, opened yesterday in downtown Royal Oak...