Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wizard Magazine Ends

Wizard Magazine abruptly announced this week that it is immediately ceasing publication of their print magazines Wizard and Toyfare. I learned it on Bleedingcool.com, who has been covering the story. I have been reading the magazine for years - and recently decided to save money by getting a subscription. While I can see why many are cheering on message boards about Wizard's downfall, I heartily have to disagree. Bleedingcool also had an article from a the now former Price Guide Writer. He was lamenting how people where happy to see Wizard die, even though it meant people like him where out of a job. He also brought up a great point:

"What I find so amusing about the posts here and on other sites is that the same people that ridiculed Alan Moore for his absurd criticisms of comics today, only to admit that he does not read any, is that those criticizing also proudly proclaim that they stopped reading ages ago. If they actually had read, they would know how absurd so many of their criticisms were."

I agreed with his point, and this was my response to that article, pretty much summing up my feelings on Wizard Magazine:

"That Alan Moore analogy is a good point to the naysayers cheering Wizard's downfall. I never really understood what people where finding so different in Wizard in comparison to previous years. Yeah, maybe they had 1 or 2 more Top 10 lists, and sometimes focused on movies a little bit more every so often to garner more attention, and I didn't like the fact the Letters section was unceremoniously scrapped - but it still provided good articles and highlights of the comic industry. In fact, when every one was bashing Wizard, I was reading articles about people in the industry I'd never known about - from promoters of early comic conventions, to tragic stories from troubled creators. I never knew a thing about Wally Wood before this year - but now shared in the sense of loss and appreciated, even while not knowing about, what he did for the industry and the lives he affected. Bill Finger also probably got more respect from an article in Wizard than he ever did in his career helping to form the foundation for freakin BATMAN!

It was a good magazine, and while Wizard was always the first to make fun of it's self as a provider of "lowest common denominator" fart and sex jokes - they also reported on some very humanizing stories to lesser known comic pioneers.

They also often times stepped up and exposed me to things in the comic industry that had gone unnoticed - for everyone complaining they only reported on the big two - I saw them pointing out a large number of indy books that I had never even heard of, even if it was a simple blurb with a small picture in the bottom right hand page.

I'm not saying people aren't entitled to their opinions, even if they had jumped ship years ago -- but just try and at least remember the good the magazine did before dancing on it's grave."

2 comments:

  1. Obviously, lost jobs are never a good thing, but so-called "cheers" should not be taken personally. I haven't read Wizard in ages, and while it always had a bit of a juvenile bent (resorting to bathroom humor, for example), I enjoyed it while I did.

    Fact is, print publications are dying all over the place because they can't compete with the Internet. The slim slice of the public interested in comics is relatively Internet-savvy, and probably got more of what it wanted for free, immediately as news broke and more closely tailored to tastes.

    It was up to Wizard to change or get out of the game. While "cheering" is an extreme reaction you'd expect from the 'net, it probably stems from a generalized opinion that the magazine was no longer relevant and had been reducing in size for a while. They're not cheering the magazine's downfall so much as applauding themselves for being right when they thought it was just a matter of time.

    Hope you get your money back on that subscription though!

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  2. In Response to Siskoid: Yeah, the jubilation over Wizard's fall is indeed probably inspired by people feeling like they where right. But there definitely are people who are indeed VERY gleeful to see Wizard "getting what they deserve". Wizard wasn't helping it's self by ignoring the magazine more and more (in favor of conventions) and there where a lot of bad layoffs before this all happened, with lack of payments and abrupt dismissals. A lot of people see it not only as Wizard not having gotten with the times, but also of Wizard burning their bridges left and right. They built up a lot of animosity among some people.

    I just wanted to add my two cents of support to this wave of Wizard-bashing. That's all.

    Oh, and I actually have an update on that check I sent them. Wizard did cash it! (after the announcement, too) I've asked Rich Johnston at Bleedingcool.com to see if he can get any answers to what Wizard is going to do with subscribers - but so far all I know is that I just lost $24. He said he's asking, but no answers yet. I actually looked my post now, thinking maybe I shouldn't be giving them praise if their are indeed going to steal my money. But, ah, loosing $24 isn't the worst thing that could happen to me. Plus I have some hope regarding it, as once they do reorganize and put out their internet version of the magazine, maybe then I'll be able to get in contact with them and demand a refund. It still sucks, but it could be worse.

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