Often considered the go-to source for comic book news for the last two decades, Wizard Magazine is rumored to be shutting down its print operation effective immediately. First reported by Rich Johnston, a veteran reporter with Bleeding Cool News, the rumors of Wizard’s shut down were swiftly followed by a press release from Wizard World, Wizard’s parent company, announcing the creation of a new online-only publication.
From the press release:
Wizard World plans to launch in February 2011 an all-new digital magazine called ‘Wizard World’ that will appeal to pop-culture fans, the same audience to which Mr. Shamus has catered to, for over 20 years. Wizard World digital magazine will provide coverage of the world of comic books, toys and superheroes, and the personalities behind them.
Wizard’s website and comic conventions appear to be unaffected.
With Wizard’s passing goes the last print publication covering the comic book industry. Much of that coverage has since moved on-line, and other traditional news outlets like the New York Times have begun paying closer attention to comic books, which may be a contributing factor in Wizard’s demise. However, the fact that print coverage of the industry is apparently unsustainable may have more serious implications for comic book publishers which still rely on print products.
Newsarama is now reporting that Toyfare will also be shutting down. This has been confirmed in an email from Wizard World PR, stating:
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.