Farewell Wizard (and Toyfare)

Like a lot of fanboys I read Wizard religiously in the heyday of the ’90s, and have pretty much never picked up an issue since. The so-called Guide To Comics magazine started in 1991 and was selling hundreds of thousands of copies – fifteen years ago. For people like me, it was the be all and end all of comics knowledge. It was how I got my awareness of new series, comics history and awesome books I should be reading, and then the internet happened and us geeks latched onto it with such force and immediacy that Wizard was never going to have the same esteem again. I’ve had my own dabblings with comics mags and I believe there is still some room for a more arty mag, especially as every comics mag that has launched since Wizard has lasted only a handful of issues. The press release is here, and surprisingly it makes no mention of the Wizard mag, but does mention its new digital version.

The last few years have seen Wizard become an object of much hatred, as rumours of founder Gareb Shamus’ greed and bad dealings with staff attained legendary status, the mag became pop culture hungry instead of comics-focused, and their love of growing a convention empire grew. Plus, their Price Guides and Top Ten lists were always controversial.

However, it’s vital importance in the history of comics awareness, plus the careers of professionals in the press and creators themselves can’t be denied. Plus, it’s always sad when people lose their jobs of course.

You can (and definitely should) read two accounts from ex-employees here and here.

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