BREAKING: R.I.P. Wizard Magazine – Shuts Down Immediately

We heard some startling but unsurprising whispers that made the rumor rounds this morning and now Bleeding Cool is confirming that Wizard Magazine is shutting its doors immediately. According to Bleeding Cool, all the Wizard staff has been laid off and the magazine will cease publication immediately.  This has not yet been confirmed by Wizard editorial or their public relations folks.

Wizard Magazine started in 1991, and for the past 20 years has been the leader in comics magazines, whether you liked it or not.  Many people identify Wizard with much of the success and strife of the 1990s, and for the past 10 years Wizard has struggled to maintain relevancy in the face of the growing comics media that found a home on the Internet (much like us). 

Personally this makes me sad.  I love magazines and I remember buying the first issue of Wizard back in 1991, and it's probably safe to say that I've bought and read 90% of their issues in their 20 year run.  Sure, sometimes their humor was juvenile and they had an odd obsession with values of comics and speculator-like things.  But it was still fun to read a magazine about comics, and with the recent changes to The Comics Journal and now this, we're not left with much in terms of comics media "in real life."  But this is a trend that the rest of the media world is dealing with as well, not just comics and I suppose it was just a matter of time.

UPDATE:

Gareb Shamus, Wizard's founder and President and CEO of Wizard World, just announced that he'll be launching Wizard World in February 2011, as an all-digital pop culture magazine, serving the same audience from the print magazine.

Additionally, the Wizard World Comic Con Tour will come to 12 cities in 2011.

Who will produce this magazine is still unknown, but unconfirmed reports suggest the entire staff was laid off. Obviously, this will still be developing.

UPDATE:

Toyfair, Wizard's sister publication about toys and such, will be shutting down too.
 

Comments

  1. KRYPTOTIM KRYPTOTIM says:

    Not going to miss this one , the last few years have been close to unreadable . They should have ceased production in the 80s ,

  2. I really liked Wizard back in the day (i.e. the 90s).  I feel like Wizard was one of those pro sports players that just didn’t know when to retire and in turn hurts it’s legacy.

    the Tiki

  3. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Source says conventions are unaffected. Does this mean I still have to make the rounds at WWPhilly each summer? Rats. 

  4. flakbait flakbait says:

    It’s been 5 minutes and I’m already tired of the “where else will I get [stupid news]” jokes.

  5. It’s been appalling for the last number of years but in it’s heyday it was great. Sad to see those working there lose their jobs, but I’ve mourned the loss of Wizard as a worthwhile magazine some time ago.

  6. mrlogical mrlogical says:

    Sad/not sad.  I devoured every issue when I was a subscriber in the mid-90s, but I picked up my first issue in 15 years a few months ago and was not at all impressed.  I liked the idea of this continuing to exist, but couldn’t support it in practice.  I imagine someone will eventually buy the name and put out a digital magazine. 

  7. JdRavnos JdRavnos says:

    Back in the 90s I loved this magazine. I don’t know if my taste mature or the magazine became less mature but on a lark I got a new subscription in the early 2000s… And it didn’t do anything for me. The humor wasn’t there, and any attempt at bringing comic news seemed pointless considering its competition with the internet, and the articles were just kind of there. I wound up flipping through each issue that arrived in my mailbox but never wound up just sitting down to enjoy it.

    It’s a shame, and there’s a nostalgic part of me that is sorry to see it go, but I can’t say I am honestly surprised.

  8. I remember that first issue, and Wizard was my go to back in the 90s. When i got back into comics a few years ago, my first idea was to check out Wizard to see whats going on….very disappointing. 

  9. trobinson79 trobinson79 says:

    This is no surprise to me.  The internet obviously had alot to do with it, but their articles were repeating themselves over the recent years and the jokes were too corny and juvenile for my liking.  Will miss the covers though – some really great original pieces from great artists.

  10. Jediaxle Jediaxle says:

    My first thought was “oh god what is Ron going to do?”

  11. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    @PaulMontgomery – Don’t despair, Philly is a great town!

    Although I haven’t been a reader of Wizard for years, I’m sad to see this on a purely nostalgic level. Wizard helpled me get excited about comics when I was first reading, and I’ll always love it for that.

  12. mikegraham6 mikegraham6 says:

    While I feel for all those folks who got laid off, I have to good riddence. I bought their latest issue on a whim just to see if it had changed at all over the past 5 years. It hadn’t. I’d say it was only about 60% about actual comics, the rest was tv, videogames and action figures. I didn’t care at all. It’s sad too because i was giving it a shot to see if it was going to be worth picking up more often. Also, i felt its humour was more making fun of fans than anything else. It gave comic fans a bad image.

  13. stuclach stuclach says:

    I’m a bit surprised, but probably shouldn’t be.  I don’t expect extremely specific magazines like these to survive for long given the electronic competition.

  14. MrPopular MrPopular says:

    haven’t read a Wizard magazine in god knows when.. but still, it’s sad to see it go. 

  15. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    When i got back into comics in 2001, Wizard directed me to Green Arrow, Codename Knockout, Alias and Daredevil. When I tried to read for suggestions of stuff I haven’t checked out in 2010, i found it trite and hollow and lacking in any sense of “specialness” that should make a print magazine worth it. Not at all surprised nor really sad to see it go.

  16. srh1son srh1son says:

    I was a long-time subscriber in the late 90s/early 2000s but left Wizard behind as I moved away from comics.  When I was a subscriber, I found myself pouring over each issue, often keeping up with other books/creators/publishers that I wasn’t reading and learning.  I also gained a great deal of comic book history via Wizard.  I’ve picked up a few issues from the newsstand more recently, and found them wanting.  The content seemed very brief by comparison.

  17. Impossibilly Impossibilly says:

    I was a regular customer at the Shamus’s store in Nanuet, NY, when they first came up with the idea of the magazine and was given the chance to proofread the first issue before it was published. That, and having a letter about The Guardians of the Galaxy published in a very early issue are my favorite memories of Wizard.

  18. JesTr JesTr says:

    I used to love Wizard but gave it up years ago with all the changes to the magazine. I picked up an issue months ago and realized I made the right choice. I prefer to get my comics info on great internet sites like this one, however, I will always be fond of Wizard of the 90s.

  19. rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

    Wow in a weird way I’m going to miss wizard magazine

  20. Sad to see it go a little bit. Haven’t read an issue in a long time but when I got back into comics it was a nice place to figure out what was going on in the industry.

    Was the it most serious source for comics ever published? No, but it was a lot of fun to read in it’s hey-day and if anything it was always a good starting point for new readers. 

  21. tschafer tschafer says:

    I’m in the magazine publishing industry, my sympathies to Wizards laid-off staff.  It be hard times

  22. Impossibilly Impossibilly says:

    During my teen years in the 90s, I was obsessed with trying to get the Wizard Image Special signed by all the Image founders. I think the only two I was missing were McFarlane and Portacio.

  23. cenquist cenquist says:

    All digital?  Interesting.  

  24. Dan Dan says:

    I was still a sometime-reader of the mag, and while it was at times juvenile and “girls have boobies” jokes, they did a fair job of changing their coverage over the last few years – more profile pieces than breaking news stories. Plus their lists (Best trades, best finales, that kind of thing) were really some of the more interesting aspects of the magazine over the last few years. It’s sad to see the entire staff let go, and I personally will miss flipping through the issues.

  25. Jason Wood Wood says:

    The most mind boggling part of this announcement is that he just took Wizard public via a reverse merger with an OTC shell company. That’s mystifying.

     

  26. ericwilder ericwilder says:

    When I got back into comics this past decade, you guys replaced Wizard for me.

  27. AquaPimp82 AquaPimp82 says:

    Issue 37 was my first. It had a bitchin’ Rob Liefeld Youngblood cover. (I was too young to know any better) The humor may have been juvenile and crass sometimes, but it was pretty much the only place to go for comic news at the time. I kind of soured on them when it was revealed they were in on the whole Sentry hoax thing. I’ll always remember the good times as well as Keep Squeezin’ Them Monkeys Lad. R.I.P. Wizard

  28. RABinRVA RABinRVA says:

    But will my Silver Surfer 1/2 issue and collectible Darkchylde holofoil card skyrocket in value?

  29. convoy83 convoy83 says:

    i loved wizard back in the day, it was my goto source for exposure to more than what i could find at the walmart magazine rack, but i feel really over the last decade it went from a trusted source of news to a big long commercial for what ever industry leaders are willing to pay for. This never seemed clearer than when I first found ifanboy, cbr, and other such sites. That and when the wizard bunny disappeared they lost me.

  30. gwiz gwiz says:

    And not a single thing of value was lost.

  31. All-digital is the first good idea Gareb Shamus has had in years.

  32. zenman zenman says:

    The end is nigh kiddies.

    Yes, the magazine quality declined over the years.  However, this is just one more sign that the printed comic industry continues crawling towards a slow, painful death.

  33. JesTr JesTr says:

    OK the digital thing makes more sense. I’m surprised they didn’t make this move sooner.

  34. electricv01 electricv01 says:

    I loved Wizard when I started reading comics in the late 90s.  Haven’t read it since I would guess 2003 though, so I’m not really surprised.  It just kept getting thinner and thinner each year, and any important news hit the web much faster than waiting for print. 

  35. Bendrix Bendrix says:

    Mercy kill. But back in the 90s, it was alot of fun and helped me a lot in become a fan of US comics. Was always looking forward to the newest Wizard magazine.

  36. AmirCat AmirCat says:

    First Thor the Mighty Avenger, Now this?

    LOL

  37. froggulper says:

    Wizard gets such a bad name for no good reason. Sure, in the last ten years it became basically an advertising outlet for sci-fi media, but during the ’90s Wizard was pretty damn good. I learned about so much back then through Wizard. I read articles about Sandman, Garth Ennis, Manga, Bone, Strangers in Paradise, Alan Moore and so much more. Sure, there was the speculator side of it, but that was just one side. You constantly had in-depth articles about indie books. You always had articles focusing on quality comics, everything from Alex Ross right when he was coming on the scene, to Astro City, to Morrison’s Invisibles, to Stray Bullets. It was all there. Yeah, some of the humor was juvenile, and sure they were into commercialism–but a LOT of comics websites are just as juvenile at times, and commercialism is all over the place now too. Wizard might have been obsessed, at times, with the speculator market, but the comics internet is just as obsessed with consumerism. And that’s fine–whatever.

  38. queenrikki queenrikki says:

    I used to buy this religiously when I was a kid.  I’m kind of sad to see it go even though I found it unreadable these last few years.

  39. ChrisB ChrisB says:

    @KRYPTOTIM  was this just a cheeky way to say they should have quit before they started?

  40. kennyg kennyg says:

    Not surprised. Back when there were few other sources of comic news, I read it faithfully. Once they began the price climb to $6 for like 40 pages, I had to drop it. Haven’t read it in years. They cut and cut and cut the magazine down to nothing. There used to be some interesting articles about the history of comics mixed in with the poop jokes. Sad for the employees who lost their jobs, but the internet made this obsolete.

  41. kennyg kennyg says:

    @froggulper  Exactly. Back in the day they had articles that spanned several pages that you could learn something about comic history, writers, characters, etc. That was one of the best parts of the magazine for me.

  42. Simon Simon says:

    It’s sad for what it means, the tradition, the downfall of print, etc. However Wizard had become useless with sites like Newsarama, comicbookresources and ifanboy, among others. Let’s hope they can reinvent themselves as a digital magazine to success. 

  43. Gilgabob Gilgabob says:

    I actually was still subscribing to Wizard but I am not suprised to see it fold. They got away from covering comics and tried to be Entertainment Weekly.

  44. odare77 says:

    I do remember the good days, and it was a big part of my comics reading not long after it began, which in turn ties it quite closely to my high school days.  It was one of the few ways we could keep in touch with the actual comics scene from this small corner of the UK pre-internet.  It’s just a shame that it changed so much.

  45. Jeff Reid JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    For a while, I had a spreadsheet made of all my comics, their cover price, and the price that WIZARD said they were worth. I updated it once a month when the new issue hit.

    Oh, 1994. What a strange time you were.

  46. Jesse1125 Jesse1125 says:

    @JeffR   how much time did that take you?
    @kennyg  I last bought an issue about 2 yrs ago and was surprised by how thin it was. I will miss all the fan art which was cool.

  47. kaufman1972 kaufman1972 says:

    This is sad. I had thought about getting the latest issue just the other day.

  48. rafterman rafterman says:

    If they relaunch as an iPad app, I may pick it up. For me, the magazine just became too expensive (since it’s an import here) and the content was never as up-to-date as sites like iFanboy. It’s hard to compete when the fans want news now now now. Sad for the staff, though. That blows.

  49. captamerica101 captamerica101 (@Autobot_Hunter) says:

    toyfare was a funny and well writen magazine and it will be missed. i did not read wizard but, for those who did, i’m sorry.

  50. Am the only person who didn’t hate Wizard magazine? I read it every month. Yeah, it wasn’t as good as it used to be, but I still enjoyed it, and liked their previews of upcoming movies and video games and stuff. Plus, I can only read so many articles in Comics Buyers Guide about how great Uncle Scrooge is. 

  51. Jeff Reid JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Jesse1125  Well, I was 12 at the time, so it didn’t take me long. I only had about a long box worth of comics.

  52. jessidee jessidee says:

    Although I haven’t read either magazine in years, I’m more upset about ToyFare shutting down than Wizard. I’ll miss Twisted ToyFare Theatre.

  53. excalipoor excalipoor says:

    wow. I’ve read it since my high school days. Even when I was out of comics, i still havd Wizard subscription. Without Wizard, I wouldn’t be introduced to Y: the last man and Runaways, to name a few. But I stopped subscribing a few years when I was able to go to my LBN to read them for free. I’m glad I made that decision since the quality of the content wasn’t good anymore and it’s the same time when I start reading iFanboy. RIP Wizard.

  54. okamido okamido says:

    Not being a big indie comic guy when I started reading, lo these many years ago, Wizard introduced me to some things I may never have known about. I haven’t read it since they changed their format and raised prices a few years back, but it was a fun rag in its’ day.

  55. NawidA NawidA says:

    Nothing of value was lost.

    I’m sorry for those who lost their jobs but they had to see the writing on the wall from a mile away. 

  56. Dude says:

    I looks like I’m on my own here but I’m pretty bummed about this. Sure it has lost a lot over the years but I still loved picking up wizard each month. I know it was all old news by the time I read it but kickin back in the spa with a bottle of wine and a half soaked wizard was a treat. Goodbye old friend you will be missed.

  57. I loved reading Wizard when I was a teenager, then I grew up. Since then I would, on occasion, buy an issue just to see what it was up to and then would promptly find myself being disappointed and annoyed. I’ve spent a little over a decade not relying on Wizard to find great comics. Sorry for those that lost their jobs, but it felt like Wizard wasn’t really growing with its audience. It certainly didn’t grow with me.