Superhero shopping Comic books have had a great influence over modern-day pop culture. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, considering the amount of success the industry has seen in the past several years. Comic book titles have practically dominated the box office every summer with hit titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the Wonder Woman solo film. Comic books have also enjoyed a large amount of success in the gaming arena, as well as in hit TV series like Arrow and Daredevil. However, the comic book industry has influenced more than just entertainment. In fact, the comic book industry has changed gears for several other key industries.

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Retail is probably the most heavily influenced by comic books (aside from entertainment of course). Remember when Hot Topic was the place to go for all the latest in alternative music and tight pants? Well, this retailer has re-branded itself in the past several years to appeal to a wider audience (though you can still buy the tight pants). Hot Topic made this appeal by shifting its focus towards “nerd culture,” which means it really started going for comic book inspired merchandise.

Superhero flash drivesNow you can buy POP figurines shaped after comic book characters; backpacks with vintage comic designs, and shop for belts, hoodies, and even swimsuits adorned with comic book symbols and references. Hot Topic is completely different from what it was originally conceived as, and that is largely because of the comic book industry’s massive influence. On top of that, they aren’t the only store to shift gear! Spencer’s is another edgy store that has recently cashed-in on the comic book phenomena.

That said, however, clothing retailers aren’t the only stores that have been affected by the comic book industry. Just browse any store section on Amazon, and you can see that comic books have made their mark on virtually every purchasable item. Cookware, furniture, wall artclocks, and even flash drives have all been adorned with the comic industry’s most iconic characters.

Plus, let's not forget about the convention scene, as they have also been greatly influenced by comics. While conventions used to be known as professional places to build contacts and attend workshops, the comic book industry created one of the most beloved and sought after events in the modern day world. Comic Cons are massive, and attendees can meet all their favorite writers and artists, as well as TV stars and famous cosplayers. While Comic Cons embrace all aspects of nerd culture, it all started with comic books.

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The tech industry has also seen many of its advances thanks to this comic book trend. As a continually innovative industry itself, comic books were often the first to embrace new technological advances (if not to describe new ones, in sci-fi fashion). When television first became mainstream, many of the programs available were focused on classic superheroes like Superman and Batman. So, because of these shows, television became hugely popular among young and old viewers alike, and entire generations were shaped by these programs.

It's also a little known fact that comic book companies were some of the original adopters of online platforms, and many mobile services for reading comics were released in the early days of the smartphone. If it weren’t for the industry embracing these new mediums, it’s quite possible that tech like the Kindle and Google Books would have taken much longer to get a strong footing in the public eye.

Heck, even casual games are influenced by the comic book industry. There are plenty of fan-made games centered around comic books or a graphic novel style, but there are also plenty of professional games too. The comic book theme even lends itself to entire platforms: Sin Street Bingo is a new bingo site whose halftone dot design and feel pays tribute to classic comic books of the mid 20th century as well as Roy Lichtenstein's iconic art, possibly in an effort to appeal to millennials. The art style of the site is clearly drawn from the golden age of comic books. Some of the casino games featured on the site, such as Superman - Last Son of Crypto, go beyond just the comic book feel to being licensed by comic book franchises and other icons of pop culture.

As you can see, the comic book industry has its hands in nearly every facet of modern life. While entertainment is certainly the strongest industry supported by comics, it’s hard to deny the influence of comic books on pretty much everything nowadays. Beyond an economic level, comic books are also used to raise awareness and acceptance, and recently they have been used to represent minority groups or people without a strong voice in the mainstream.

Comic books are more than just action heroes and crazy plots. They are major influencers in a modern age, and they will continue to do so as their popularity grows. It’s only a matter of time before we see the next unexpected way in which comic books leave their mark on the world.


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