On Monday, June 23 at 9 p.m. (ET, PT) the History Channel will present Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked, a history of those spandex-clad heroes who are once again playing a prominent role in pop culture -- a fact that is underscored by the host of the documentary, Shane West, who stars in this summer's movie version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked will present a complete history of the medium starting with the seminal creation of Superman in 1938 and continuing to today's superhero migration to the silver screen. The documentary will feature interviews with Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Denny O'Neill, Michael Chabon, Jim Steranko, Kevin Smith, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and Joe Quesada -- and will emphasize how superheroes reflected the times in which they were created, how they ran afoul of 'do-gooders' in the 1950s, and how they evolved in the late twentieth century to gain new relevance.
For pop culture retailers the History Channel documentary is a very good thing all by itself, since it will raise awareness of (and doubtless confer legitimacy on) the genre, but there is more. The Comic Shop Locator Service is being promoted in both on-air mentions and in a special promotional comic that's being distributed in a variety of national promotions (see 'History Channel Promotion Pushes CSLS'). The QSR involved has now been revealed to be Blimpies, the huge chain of submarine sandwich shops.