Wizard: R.I.P.

Well, it’s official: Wizard is dead.

Or at least, the print side of it is.

News is breaking all over the internet that Wizard: The Comics Magazine has folded, closed its doors and layed off most of its staff, and has announced that they're switching to digital (oh the irony). Reactions ranged from ‘Feel's bad, man’ to ‘Good riddance’ to 'Wizard's still here?'. For me? Well, we have to go back to 1999, when this poor Filipino boy who was hungry for comics news got his hands on Wizard #98.

The day I got a Wizard was the day I became a part of a greater collective. Wizard was a godsend for me. My aunt in the US would sporadically send me issues, or wealthy friends would lend me some, and I devoured each and every issue, late stories be damned.

I read this stuff from cover to cover. The articles were informative (for its time) and freakin' hilarious. I shared Jim McLaughlin’s pain in answering all those crazy letters. Basic Training taught me how to draw better, while the gorgeous fan art over at the Drawing Board and even in the Letter Art taught me that I suck at drawing. I enjoyed answering the C.B.I.Q. (Comic Book Intelligence Quotient) quizzes, and I learned so much from all the trivia strewn all over the magazine.

I guess that’s what I’ll miss about Wizard, how they never took themselves seriously. Back then, it read like a literal fan magazine, as if it was Open Mic Night for comic book fans. And it showed. It wasn't the ugly face of 90's comics consumerism, of infantile comic book fanaticism, to me. Wizard was just this funny magazine about comics I read, and for all the negative stuff people said about the company and their business practices, I bet no one can dispute the impact Wizard had in all of us during its heyday.

Of course, the internet came, and they morphed into this larger, stapled magazine format with less articles and more Hollywood stuff, and Wizard and I just fell apart. With this sad bit of news, it's come full circle. At least I’m left with good memories and back issues of Wizard. They will say January 2011 was the end of an era. I say the era really ended when Wizard stopped being that thick, funny, perfect bound magazine.

Sending out some good luck and good vibes to all the people who lost their jobs that day, and I guess the only thing you can do to make the situation a bit lighter is to do the same. Thanks for reading.

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  1. Wizard was never a magazine I liked, It's high-school toilet humor I found very off putting. I much prefer Comic Buyers Guide. Still, it's a shame to see it fold.

  2. Welcome to the blog, JoeMD! I've never read the Comic Buyer's Guide (they probably don't reach where I am). How good is it?