Once there was a time when comic book information wasn’t readily available on the net. You had to go for news through magazines, and mine was Wizard.
Growing up I lived on the Oregon coast, a very beautiful place to live though it was more than lacking in the comic shop department. The last one in my area also sold pogs so it had been awhile since we had seen one. So to find any information I had one option and that was Wizard magazine, which I came to in 1999.
The only place that sold any comics in the area was the Tillamook Fred Meyer department store, and their selection was limited to a couple of flagship titles from DC and Marvel and a very large grouping of Archie comics. The only way that I was even able to keep up with the happenings of the industry was through Wizard magazine that I could also buy at Fred Meyer. Through Wizard I could find books that I couldn’t get and see about ordering them online (if I had the money that was).
At that time Wizard opened up an entire new world that I didn’t know existed, books like Authority, Ultimate Spider-man, and Invincible was first shown to me in the pages of Wizard and left me wanting to experience them.
New creator names were opened up to me like Bendis, Millar, Johns and Ellis that I continue to follow to this day. Each month I greatly throw down my money to get these hundred plus pages of new information for a novice comic reader such as myself at that time. It even gave tastes of what was to come, I still remember how excited the one page teaser of The Dark Knight Strikes Again (though that was a bust in the end) was when it first came out, or the first announcement of JLA/Avengers I first witnessed in the pages of the magazine.
What I loved about Wizard was it was a mix of new, a bit of history given for upcoming events, and a humor a teen like myself found funny at the time. I loved interviews with creators, histories of the industry and the articles of breaking into the comic field. I continued to read the magazine and the family of titles that spun-off from it into the time I moved out to the Portland area and had a box, by that time comic websites had really started to come onto their own and were really rivaling what Wizard could do and they had no monthly time limit.
It was a shift in their focus that finally killed the title for me as they tried to rebrand themselves a “men’s magazine,” now I never read Wizard for movie news. I had a mix of sites that gave me all the information that I required for that, as well as any comic article they did became a list, which wasn’t why I bought it, I wanted something that the medium of magazine could do best and that to me was long in-depth articles about comics. I started to find these articles through other medium and so I finally dropped the magazine and wished for it’s best.
Today Wizard is all but gone; it lost its presence and has become a relic, as the webs comic news is not limited to monthly deadlines, yet I can’t stop to think about it each time I’m in a store looking at a magazine rack. Wizard was help when I was just returning to the world of comics and I don’t know without it I would be where I am today. So thank you Wizard I hope you work out your kinks and return to the comic world stronger than you were before.