I’m not even going to explain that quote. Just watch the new Doctor Who. It’s awesome TV that you are missing right now.
News is, Wizard Magazine is closing after 20 years. I understand that the magazine has had quite a troubled recent past. They’ve already laid off people, but holding on to a few for an online transition to “Wizard World”, a pop culture web magazine. It truly is an end of an era.
To be honest, I’ve never read Wizard magazine in years. I’ve never picked up any of the new format Wizard. Probably the last one I bought was like 6 years ago? I haven’t even missed it.
But for some reason, this bit of news saddens me. There was a time that Wizard was the center of my comic book fandom. This was of course, before the Internet and the world was still completely different. I was still a rabid comic book reader (I still am, but not so much), and a struggling comic book artist.
During the time I first met Whilce Portacio, he helped launch a branch of Filbar’s at Glorietta. Me and my comic book friends like Oliver Pulumbarit went there and we were blown away by one of Whilce’s drawings on this new comic magazine. The drawing impressed us so much that we bought our own copies of the magazine. Ever since then, Wizard became essential monthly reading. My monthly stack of comics always came with a brand new issue of Wizard. And during that time, I never missed an issue.
I read that magazine from cover to cover, reading everything from the letters pages, to the little trivia things in the price guide, the articles, the ads, and most specially, “Amazing Artists” which published artwork sent in by readers. Me and Leinil Yu would be on the phone and talk about nothing else but the magazine and the stuff we saw there. Pretty soon, we were sending artwork there ourselves. He managed to get a few in, and I managed to get a couple in.
Wizard was the very first to publish anything of mine. I did a rendition of Conan in oil and pen, which appeared in Wizard #15, cover date November 1992. In it, I fantasized about drawing the cover to Wizard #50, which to me seemed to be in the far far future.
My work next appeared in Wizard #21, cover dated May 1993. It was a drawing of Cable, which came in as a runner up in their Cable Cover contest. I actually started to get letters after that drawing saw print, and for many years people tell me they still remember me from that cover. In this same issue a lot of other future pros had their work published. There was Tim Townsend, Ken Lashley and Raff Ienco, who also submitted entries to the contest. Nick Manabat’s first published work appeared here in a Cybernary Ad. Jeff Matsuda’s art was featured in the “Letter Art” section.
My interest in Wizard waned over the years, beginning during the time I get steady work in comics, and with the arrival of the Internet. We used to wow at the breaking news we found at Wizard, which then became old compared to the news breaking online.
Perhaps there was some way Wizard could have adapted. Perhaps if they concentrated more on interviews and more in depth articles on issues concerning the industry, rather than up to the minute news and what was hot (and what was not), it could have evolved into a magazine that had lasting value. I believe that’s the direction The Comics Journal is taking, in an effort to remain relevant and essential.
But now the magazine is gone and I do feel sad, and I do feel bad for all those people who lost their jobs.