As many have noted this morning, the Wizard World website no longer linked to a subscription of Wizard Magazine.  The press release that Gareb Shamus would be taking the company public, and launching a digital version of the magazine in February fanned the speculation running through the Intardwebz.

We received the following moments ago from Wizard PR that confirms the rumor:

Wizard Entertainment is ceasing publication of the print magazines Wizard and ToyFare.  Wizard World, Inc. will begin production of the online publication “Wizard World” beginning in February.   We feel this will allow us to reach an even wider audience in a format that is increasingly popular and more readily accessible.

Wizard Magazine ran for 20 years before closing its doors (and apparently firing everyone involved in the process), so there is a tear to be shed there, but at the same time this should have been writing on the wall, as I don’t know a single person who still read the magazine after its last format restructuring a few years ago.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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27 Comments

  1. January 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    If this was six or seven years ago, when Wizard actually had content that wasn’t bought & paid for by the publishers, I’d be sad. Now? I give it a year before it folds completely trying to be the geekier Cracked.

    • Brother129
      January 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm — Reply

      Agreed. I’m saddened because Wizard used to be great. The last few years it has been a shadow of its former self, sacrificing content for pandering to publishers and buzz instead of creating its own. I am sure that cool, new, and independent websites like Major Spoilers didn’t help as it lost it’s ability to be “first” and current with news and reviews.

      Video killed the radio star indeed.

  2. Kirby
    January 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm — Reply

    Oh no. What will we do without Maxim-lite?

  3. Alisha Mynx
    January 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm — Reply

    Pity Wizard isn’t what it used to be. Sure, there are slivers of the old ways here and there, but for the most part I hardly recognize it anymore.

    I want to be sad. I know the online content is still gonna be there, but the magazine used to have all those fun little extras (Xavier’s Institute diploma, Avengers and JLA ID cards, etc) that you don’t get when browsing online.

  4. Kazziuz
    January 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Do they still do that “Twited Mego Theater” on Toyfare? That used to crack me up!

  5. January 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    Why not just go PDF/Web-based that so many other magazines.

    • January 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm — Reply

      Re-read – The print publication ceases publishing, the electronic/digital version launches in February…

  6. January 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    That’s hilarious. My wife bought me a one-year subscription for Christmas and I got my first issue last week.

    The gift was a surprise so I didn’t have the heart to tell her the magazine has been crap for years now even though I would buy it regularly.

    Some of their feature stories have been decent but I couldn’t believe how many more grammatical errors they’ve had recently.

    • January 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm — Reply

      Hopefully, they’ll give her a refund (though given some of their business desicions in the past, I doubt it).

  7. Dude X
    January 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    Wizard is cancelling their most beloved magazines and think that the public will buy into a dying company whose only purpose is to put on comic cons? Please. They lost me years ago when they changed the magazine’s format..less content and less pages and a bigger cover price. Way to ruin a good thing, Gareb. Thanks, Major Spoilers, for continuing the fun spirit that Wizard lost long ago.

    • January 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm — Reply

      Thanks, Major Spoilers, for continuing the fun spirit that Wizard lost long ago.

      Now with 34% fewer fart jokes!

      • January 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm — Reply

        FERT!

        • January 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm — Reply

          34% may have been a bit too optimistic, Matthew.

      • January 25, 2011 at 4:36 am — Reply

        And 99% more respect for female characters & readers. That’s a biggie.

        • January 25, 2011 at 6:16 am — Reply

          And 99% more respect for female characters & readers. That’s a biggie.

          I appreciate the hell out of that, Mela… :)

  8. Bob
    January 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    Stopped reading Wizard 3 years ago myself. No great loss, Wizard was like an advert for DC and Marvel. All the same news etc can be found online on fine sites like this. Comic Heroes in the UK is a far better mag anyway.

  9. IamtheWalrus
    January 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    I stopped reading Wizard when it became cover-to-cover advertorial. Hope the subscribers get their $ back…

    Sites like Major Spoilers make much more sense for this sort of fan base. What would you prefer:

    A model that covers a limited amount of material? A model that allows you to offer an opinion, which if you’re lucky, will be broadcast 3-4 months later, as a one shot, one way dialogue?

    Or a model that covers a much broader spectrum and allows for IMMEDIATE dialogue and on-going discussion between equally interested parties?

    Print no longer makes sense in this particular case. Here’s to the rise and rise of the internet forum.

  10. January 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm — Reply

    There wasn’t a bunch of meat to the average Wizard magazine. It was definitely coasting on momentum it enjoyed many moons ago. I do have to point out that in the last year or so, they had taken some steps towards improvement. For example, they FINALLY returned to including some editorial when discussing upcoming TPBs. Also, they had at least one guy who conducted interviews for them on a freelance basis who could really write. I even looked him up online to contact him with a hearty ‘congratulations, you totally DON’T suck!’

    I think the only way they could have stuck out the digital revolution is if they had continued to improve their writing and offer insightful interviews, behind-the-scenes, etc. Unforunately, that all requires some credibility…something Wizard has wrestled with for quite some time.

    It’s sad to see another paying venue for comics journalists closing up shop. RIP to the big crazy bunny.

  11. January 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    Wizard in it’s heyday of the mid to late 90s always represented the very worst of comics. Chromium covers, ‘hot’ artists writers and characters, and the speculator mindset/overpriced back issues/false scarcity were all factors that damaged the industry and the hobby and all were problems egged on by Wizards editorial voice.

    I was actually surprised when I heard this today, because I honestly thought they’d ceased publication long ago…

  12. Brainlock
    January 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm — Reply

    No, they did NOT fire “everyone in the process”, but apparently let all the freelancers go, with the permanent staff staying on to manage the digital version of the magazine.

    for one, this doesn’t really surprise me, as I finally dropped Wiz last year after I had enough of the lessening content for more moneyand “(insert kewl name here)” issues over regular numbering.

    I was still getting TF, tho. mostly for having actual reference pics to the coming product. and hey, they gave a couple pages up for noting the sudden passing of Eddie Wires last summer. Props for that.

    Any word on when the final issues are out?

    • January 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm — Reply

      I believe the final issue of Wizard is out this week in print. Don’t know about ToyFare

      • Alisha Mynx
        January 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm — Reply

        I plan to buy both (if I can find them) since I also have the first issues of both. Not for any value except for memories and something to show in the future.

        “What’s that paper thing, grandma?”
        “A magazine, sweetie. People used to read those before the internet.”
        “Was that back when dinosaurs were around too?”
        “Yes, dearie, and we walked uphill in the snow both ways, too!”
        “Mom!! Grandma’s off her meds again!!”

  13. tubcat
    January 25, 2011 at 1:05 am — Reply

    I would have been saddened by this long ago. Wizard, to me, has exemplified the best and worst in comic trends.

    Pros: Industry inside stories, historical articles, original art pieces, great humor
    Cons: Pushed 90’s glut, filled with advertisements, hipster geek-chic, trend driven

    For my money, most of these pros are found online OR in publications like Back Issue. I love nostalgia and I love meaty magazines full of text and not ads (back catalogue for ordering more cool mags is fine by me). Forget Wizard and their magazines, I’m a TwoMorrows man now.

  14. venomous_duck
    January 25, 2011 at 1:25 am — Reply

    I was just telling my wife the other day how disappointed I was in Wizard. I picked up an issue after not having read it for many moons. The center pages were falling out and there was absolutely nothing to read. She said I should write them and now this. Oh well. I’ll miss the days of the Wizard themed covers, when it was the size of a Cosmo or Maxim, when you had a letters page with responses from Darkseid. Now its just a hand full of pages about the latest movie. There was hardly any comic book content at all. Farewell Wizard.

  15. hermit
    January 25, 2011 at 10:24 am — Reply

    does that mean no more Twisted Toyfare Theatre

    god damn it.

  16. January 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm — Reply

    My wife got an email from Wizard World refunding her for the full $28.

    • Alisha Mynx
      January 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm — Reply

      Good to hear. I didn’t expect them to “take the money and run”, but sometimes things get lost or forgotten in the shuffle (as a magazine I used to sub to ceased publishing and I never received compensation despite their assurances that it would be).

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