Wizard magazine, the comics industry bible, and its sister publication Toyfare are to cease production immediately, according to reports circulated today. They are to be incorporated onto an online magazine under the banner of Wizard World, so the content will continue, but no longer in the print medium.
On the one hand this is devastating news, as Wizard has been THE comics industry magazine since its launch in 1992 (alongside competitor title HERO, which quickly folded while Wizard went on to corner the market) and a mainstay of the scene for very nearly twenty years, while on the other hand it's cool to see that an online only version is being seen as a viable concern.
It's going to be interesting to see how both the industry and the fanbase reacts to this news, and if their migration to a purely digital platform will work out in the long run. After all, you can't build a collection of website pages the same way you can collect a magazine, and despite advances in e-reading, you still can't roll a site up and stick it in your back pocket, can you?
While I can understand the changes, it's still quite a shock to think that those two magazines, the one-time lynchpins of geekdom for many people, are now no more. A massive decline in readership is to blame, which was kinda inevitable really with the rise and domination of the internet. it makes sense for Wizard's operations to move online. Still, it's a sad day for many people to whom Wizard was more than just a convenient back issue price guide. I hope it continues for a good long while online.
Oh yeah, they'd better continue Twisted Toyfare Theater, or there'll be riots in the streets ;)
For more details on these events, check out this post at Comic Book Resources.
EDIT: so Wizard and Toyfare are dead, and now Kevin Smith announces his retirement after his next film? Wow... the pop culture landscape I grew up on in the 90s is finally dying out completely :(