Wizard Magazine closing


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SCOOP: Wizard Magazine To Close Immediately

Now this is an end of an era.

I am receiving multiple confirmations from across the industry, through none yet from Wizard’s higher ups and PR people yet, that Wizard: The Guide To Comics, the magazine that covered the mainstream comics industry for twenty years and created all manner of careers in the process has closed, effective immediately. Or at least the print version has.

Almost all Wizard magazine staff have been laid off, and all freelance engagements cancelled.

Sister magazine Toyfare, covering the toy market, has not been affected, nor have the Wizard comic conventions.

Created by Gareb Shamus and Stephen Shamus in 1991, the magazine carved a niche for itself covering the most commercial comics in the most aggressive fashion. At one point it regularly sold more than the comics it covered. But sales have declined of late, as the internet has grown in prominence and favour for this kind of news. For many Wizard is no longer the news breaker and agenda setter of the comics industry it once was. And people still have issues with the tone it has taken over the years. Even though it’s arguable that the last couple of years have seen some of the best Wizard content since it started.

But right now it’s time to bury that pointy hat...


The conventions, supposedly, will remain unaffected.

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In other words, no one's buying it since they removed the snarky humor, but there's too much invested in the conventions.

For me, the beginning of The Long, Slow, Death March was when, somewhere in the realm of five, six years ago, Shamus decided to try and compete directly with the 'Men's Magazine Lite' publications like MAXIM and STUFF, only adding a geek slant. Since the Men's Magazine was already suffering....well, it was the first of many mistakes that resulted in Shamus laying off all his regular employees, becoming a weird, Ahab-like figure who would buy up conventions to tilt at already-established conventions and, well, apparently go totally nuts.

Given how Shamus apparently treated people when WIZARD was at the peak of its power, refusing to write stories on titles unless the publishers bought ad space among other mistreatment, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

According to Bleeding Cool, the official word on what's happening to all the old subscriptions:

As our last issue shipped two weeks ago, all subscriptions are currently up to date. As is customary in the industry, we are working with other publishers on a suitable replacement for our subscribers’ remaining issues.

Also, we cannot control third parties from selling subscriptions, but no new subscriptions have been processed by us for awhile.

I'm not very happy with this. I have a year and a half left on mine and I would have preferred a refund, not a subscription to a magazine I don't even care about (also ignoring the fact that I only got the subscription because I got a weekend pass of equal value to Wizard World Chicago). Still, if I end up with a subscription to Guns and Ammo or Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade out of this, there will be violence.

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I'm of two minds about this. I haven't read Wizard in many, many years. However, in the mid 90s, even when I was otherwise totally out of comics, I bought Wizard religiously. It used to not suck. However, it's just been terrible for a long, long time. That said, it's gonna be weird to walk into an LCS and not see it there.

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