Did ‘Wizard’ engage in insider trading with ‘Captain America #25’?

That’s what some comic book retailers are asking in the aftermath of the frenzy for copies of Captain America #25.

“If [Wizard] really had that much foresight to order that many more issues of this comic to sell on eBay, then kudos to them. But it seems that there was the equivalent of insider trading going on. Some information was passed that the rest of the retailing world didn’t seem to get.” — Jason Pierce, Alter Ego Comics

and

“And now we find out that Wizard Magazine has abused their privilege as one of comics’ media sources to get info on this book, get a variant for their convention exclusive the week after it’s released, and on top of that, have their sales arm of the company order way in excess of what any retailer was privy to and start selling them on ebay the morning the story broke — before many of us were even open to start selling the book to our customers.” — Dennis Barger, Wonderworld Comics

I really don’t need any additional reasons to find Wizard despicable, but this certainly doesn’t help.

Comments

  1. It would never have happened if Augie was running things.

  2. I agree with Dave. Augie would have never let this happen.

  3. I do think it just shows the change in focus that Wizard has undergone. Things like this make you realize they don’t have any respect left for comics and are just out to make money. They take advantage of a situation like this.

    Disgraceful.

  4. lets stand outside their offices with pitchforks and burning torches!

  5. Let’s boycott their magazine! Everyone that’s buying Wizard, stop!

    Everyone…? Anyone? Oh well.

  6. Actually that is incredibly disapointing. I know most people don’t like Wizard, but I like it. Oh it’s not perfect but it’s the best we’ve got in the industry for mainstream comics.

    If it’s true, and I have a feeling it is, that they used their media arm’s advanced knowledge of Cap’s death to stock up on the issue, then that’s disheartening.

    I doubt anyone will look into it, the government has bigger crooks to go after, but it’s a disgrace and a scam on the very industry that keeps them going

  7. What I haven’t heard anyone say about this: if it is true, and they did use inside knowledge to stock up on a bunch of the books… aren’t they going to take a bath on them now? The supply is ample and the demand lasted a day, right?

  8. just when you thought that they couldn’t get more embarassing

  9. Here’s an idea, all of the big time comic’s podcaster/CBR Columnist put out a monthly, subscription only fanzine. It wouldn’t require too much work because you guys could just use the stuff you’ve alreadyt written (like the POW, Pipeline, Lying in the Getters etc.)

    Just a thought.

  10. I’ve been toying with the idea of dropping Wizard for awhile but with the news of the maxim guy coming and this, Wizard will no longer get my dollar. It was this over hyped speculation that made me leave the first time around and in the last two years I’ve come back to enjoy comics.

    No more Wizard …Vote with your dollar

  11. You know, whether it’s true or not, it still tarnishes Wizard as a whole. It is really disgraceful that they would burn both comic fans and people who may have used the Cap issue as a jumping on point.

    I was never all that interested in Wizard to begin with, but now, for all I know, they don’t exist. Very low brow, very disappointing.

  12. “Here’s an idea, all of the big time comic’s podcaster/CBR Columnist put out a monthly, subscription only fanzine. It wouldn’t require too much work because you guys could just use the stuff you’ve alreadyt written (like the POW, Pipeline, Lying in the Getters etc.)

    Just a thought.”

    And you would not be the first Six Gun to have this idea. I have talked with Ron about it before and it is just not something they are interested in.

    But he knows who to call whenever they are. 😉

  13. I have talked with Ron about it before and it is just not something they are interested in.

    Well that’s not 100% Accurate – We’d actually be very interested in doing something like that, but the reality of the fact is that with our day jobs and our lives and lack of resources, it would be impossible to give it the attention it would deserve to be done right…

  14. I have a subscription, I’ve always been ashamed of it.

    It’s only because I got tired of giving them the full retail cost of the rag, so I give them a little less by subscribing.

    I wll NOT be renewing when the time comes. They have lost me as a customer because of this.

  15. You know what? I’ve had it. I’m DOne with Wizard. Sign me up for the Anti-Wizard club, Ifanboy-brothers, for I have seen the light… or darkness that creeps in the heart of Wizard.

    But seriously screw ’em. I will not support a magazine that refuses to support it’s customers.

  16. it would be impossible to give it the attention it would deserve to be done right…

    You could pull a Ben Urich and quit those dastardly day jobs.

    🙂

  17. I stopped buying Wizard after this past year’s Wizard World Philly. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at anything they do.

    What I don’t understand is why retailers are still selling their magazines.

  18. For anyone interested, or for those who missed out last wed. (like me), you can pick up a copy of cap #25 at midtowncomics.com, they got it in stock at cover price, so you guys might wanna check that out while they sitll have it, good luck

    http://www.midtowncomics.com/eshop/searchresult.asp?chkImage=Yes&skey=Death+of+Captain+America

  19. So why is people mad at Wizard because that people willing to pay these prices to Wizard for the Cap issues made this possible? Did Wizard report these prices in their price guide in advance? I wouldn’t have paid the money for them, personally, but if people like reading this magazine enough to buy it and keep it in business, is the magazine bad for writing and selling them what they want?

  20. So why is people mad at Wizard because that people willing to pay these prices to Wizard for the Cap issues made this possible? Did Wizard report these prices in their price guide in advance? I wouldn’t have paid the money for them, personally, but if people like reading this magazine enough to buy it and keep it in business, is the magazine bad for writing and selling them what they want?

    It is bad because, as is being alledged, Wizard Editorial was notified in advance of the death of Cap which allowed Wizard’s on-line retail business to buy a lot more issues than they normally would knowing that there would be a high demand (which they could then sell at inflated prices and make a killing) when no other retailers were told themselves.

    That’s called insider trading and if you do that on Wall Street with stocks you go to prison.

    It’s all in the article.

  21. Whew….Glad I got my copy slabbed and locked away so my daughter can it out one day and sell it…

    for $2.99…

    Thanks Wizard!

    *that was sarcasm and I don’t own a slabbed comic.

    But more on the point, some don’t think that this is wrong, but I do. I feel that this is insider trading. I was upset that regular retailers had it on ebay that day, but Wizard! Of course they knew.

    Maybe we’re all overreacting, but I don’t think so, this is wrong and I am done associating myself with anything Wizard does.

  22. As soon as captain america dies…old fashion values start to die too….

  23. Doesn’t Marvel Entertainment Group (!) share some of the blame? Marvel is the company supplying Wizard right?

    This was all prearranged for Gareb Shameus to make a quick buck. Maybe he’s splitting it with Joe Quesada.

    It’s not illegal, just slimy, and it’s not unheard of.

  24. Marvel and Wizard have always been too tight. How can you report on the industry and be best friends with half the editors at one of the two main publishers you cover? It is a clear unethical relationship.
    This price gouging is a clear conflict of interest and is borderline fraud because Wizard knew more stock was avaialable and price would drop over the next week.
    Wizard isn’t a magazine it is good old fashion propaganda!!!!!!!

  25. Not this time. Marvel needs Wizard to promote its comics so it needs to share information about writers, artists, and plotlines. Wizard is the leading print source for information on mainstream comics. Marvel wants Wizard to be talking about Marvel as much as possible. Also Marvel isn’t going to not sell Wizard comic books that the magazine is willing to pay for. Wizard did a bad thing here and the only way we can punish them is by stop buying there magazine, but are there people here still buying Wizard?

  26. I still buy it, at least I did. I won’t anymore. The problem is, no matter how stupid and childish it is, it’s the only hard copy magazine that covers comics to the extent that Wizard does. There are the magazines from Twomorrows, which are great, but it doesn’t really cover as much modern stuff as I would like.

    If it weren’t for the fact that I do like a magazine to hold, I could live without it. I get my news from Newsarama, opinions from podcasts like Ifanboy and Around Comics and then (honest) creator interviews from Wordballoon, Fanboy Radio and the aforementioned Around Comics.

    So, while I did still read it, I’m not anymore.

  27. I stopped buying Wizard at the end of ’06. It was one of many resolutions of mine. I figured between the Rama, CBR, and a half-dozen podcast subscriptions on itunes, I am getting the most info I can and not feeling left in the dark. I think the bottom line for me was that the mag just wasn’t serious enough. Sure, it has its moments, but for the most part, it is extremely childish to the point of annoying. I think humour and comics go hand in hand without question. The problem for Wizard is too much bad humour and not enough serious articles on comics. They’re dead in shortly if they can’t see this.

  28. I emailed Wizard

  29. They got all defensive about the whole Augie thing as well. Weird.

  30. The Wizard is kind of like porn to me. I buy it at Walgreens or something so no-one I know sees me buying it and I send it off to my brother in Iowa once I am done. And I don’t even know why…guess I want a good comic magazine and I think CBG will be getting my 5-6 bucks from now on.

  31. So wait, you send your brother in Iowa your porn when you’re done with it.

    Funny story: when we got a mention in Wizard, I wanted a copy, but didn’t want to go buy it myself, so I sent someone by proxy.

    How fucking shallow can I get?!

  32. The guy from Wizard emailed me again. He mentioned he’s new to Wizard, so maybe they are trying to fix things over there. I got the impression from his last email that he’s got good intentions.

    I still would like to know if they have any mechanisms in place to ensure that the (don’t laugh) journalism side doesn’t feed information over to the retailing side giving them an unfair advantage. The whole Captain America #25 thing looked extremely shady.

  33. So wait, you send your brother in Iowa your porn when you’re done with it.

    Yeah, I feel kind of dirty keeping it around once I’ve had my way with it.

  34. I knew that brothers in Iowa shared bib overalls, but porn too? The things you learn on the Internets.

  35. Well, all you can really get in Iowa is either farm or crop porn and after looking at the same pictures of hot, suculient fields of alfalfa a half dozen times or so, you kind of want something with a little more substance to meet those needs. My brother says Wizard beats out Tractor Wife Cornography Monthly, but just barely. He reads Wizard for the articles, says he. John Holmes? Bah! Try a John Deere!

  36. When I buy Wizard, take it home and tear all the nearly naked women pics out of, all the horror movie gore action figures, and then let my kids (girls 10 and 8, boy 5) thumb through it. Besides the Johnny DC and kiddie Marvel stuff, its not easy to get comics that are kid safe. Mouse Guard is only going so far … So I let them see the art and movie stuff hoping to spark something. I used to walk past a thousand spinner racks as a kid, now I need to make it a “Grand Day Out” to take my kid into the City and check out Midtown Comics.

    More wholesome than sharing porn with them. Hey Jeff, maybe I can send your Bro those “nearly naked women pics” that I tear out???

  37. Ok, my last post looked obscene on the home page blurb, so let’s put this in its place.

  38. From Brian Hibbs’ new column.

    http://www.newsarama.com/Tilting2_0/Tilting38.html

    Finally, I think there

  39. Wizard has pretty much admitted to “insider trading”.

    From Lying in the Gutters:

    Last week I spoke to Wizard Entertainment’s Director of Corporate Communications, Drew Seldin on the phone. Drew wanted to make it clear that Wizard was one company and didn’t have any walls within its organisation regarding sensitive information – that all departments “rely on each other and work together as one unit.” So, yes, the online store orders were based on information received by the magazine and this was “never a back room deal, the information was definitely talked about. We knew there would be demand for the books that retailers wouldn’t be able to match, we wanted to make the books available.”

    The rest is in the link.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=13

  40. “It’s not illegal, just slimy, and it’s not unheard of.”

    Actually, it could be illegal. But one thing for sure, from the view of someone who deals with people who work with big corporations frequently:

    RANK AMATEURS. Like a corner dope dealer that thinks he’s “Mr. BIg” until the cops shake him down for being so blatant about being a cheesy crook. Pretty pathetic, actually.

    Ron’s communications with the one guy who tries to be nice, and then the interviews and the email saying Ron’s questions were just “an attempt to attack Wizard.” For a company to not even get its PR line straight, consistent, and control what the company position actually is, well, that is just really pathetic and like a big RANK AMATEUR. And then imply they acted on inside knowledge to make a profit while maintaining some other position, that could actually be illegal, and if I were Wizard’s lawyer, I would tell Mr. Seldin to STFU.

    Here is a good title:
    Drew Seldin
    Wizard Entertainment’s Director of RANK AMATEUR Corporate Communications

  41. And this all just proves a point made by Donna Barr: Comic artists and writers are wonderful people, the fans and readers are great, but the people handling the business end are far too many times cheesy lowlifes that could not survive for 48 hours in any other industry.

  42. Ron’s communications with the one guy who tries to be nice, and then the interviews and the email saying Ron’s questions were just “an attempt to attack Wizard

    Rick. Rick not Ron. 🙂

  43. Thanks for the correction Conor. You should take over as Director of Corporate Communications at Wizard. I got the names mixed up, but not the mixed messages Wizard keeps putting out. I think you would do a good job getting people in line, putting out a consistent message, and doing a much more professional job.

    If I had my way, iFanboy and Auggie would just take over the whole damn magazine. The joke is, these unpaid “amateurs” would do a much bettter job than so-called “professionals” getting paid — oh, I don’t want to know how much Wizard people get paid, that would really turn my stomach.