The year 2011 isn’t messing around. Just days after the end of one era (and see here for an addendum to that story), we’re met with another.
According to various reports Monday, comics and pop culture magazine Wizard: The Comics Magazine will cease publication effective immediately. Sister publication ToyFare has also been discontinued. Both now join the ever-growing list in the much theorized death of print newspapers and magazines. (Magazine Death Pool has yet to come out of retirement for this.)
While Wizard, which debuted in 1991, faced more than its share of criticism and derision (Frank Miller famously ripped up an issue during a keynote speech in early 2001), plenty of it I think justified, the magazine was easily the most high profile coverage of mainstream North American comic books in its heyday. For a while, the magazine was so successful, it outsold most of the comic books it covered. In the late 1990s, I knew several people who had given up reading comics for whatever reason, but still read Wizard Magazine so they could keep tabs on what was going on. During a time when comics had otherwise vanished from newsstands, it was the industry’s only mainstream and most accessible presence.