Wizard Magazine

Thank You for the Memories, Wizard Magazine

In Comics by Gino Carteciano4 Comments

I stopped reading Wizard Magazine a few years ago for two reasons: 1) the magazine started to lean more towards comics-based movies and TV shows, leaving less room for actual comics content, and 2) THE INTERNET. It just lost its appeal. I just stopped caring and sometimes, I even find myself rolling my eyes when I see an issue on magazine stands. However, now that the magazine is shutting down, I just can’t help but reminisce about the good ol’ days when I would just shut everything out, sit alone in my room and enjoy a few hours reading it. I still remember the time when I bought my very first issue.

The last time I went to the U.S. was in 1996. I was in my second year of high school. I was only a couple of years into my hobby of collecting comic books. I wasn’t fully committed yet. We were grocery shopping somewhere in San Francisco when I saw a rack of magazines. I saw this magazine called Wizard and it had Captain America and Iron Man on the cover. It looked like a bunch of people have already browsed through it, rips and folds everywhere. But it was the only copy left and I just had to have it because it was so colorful and mesmerizing. I asked my mom for a few bucks and bought it — like a boss. After reading the entire issue on the plane ride back to the Philippines, I knew I would be buying the next issues. I knew that I would be in this whole comic book reading business for the long haul, all thanks to this magazine with a lot of comics industry news and pie jokes.

For the next 10 years or so, I would buy all the issues of the magazine I could find. It was expensive so I actually had to cut down on my comic book purchases just so I could buy this magazine that was as entertaining for me as the comics it featured. I slowly lost interest in it when it started to feature more content about upcoming comic book movies, overshadowing news and features about the actual comic books. And then the Internet rose to power, offering more breaking news, an endless flow of reviews and insight about the comic book industry straight from insiders and PR goons. More content delivered faster for free? Internet – 1, Wizard – 0.

Wizard Magazine

This is the stack of Wizard magazine issues that I’ve collected from May 1996 to January 2007. The one on the top left is issue #57, the first one I bought. The one on the top right is issue #182, the issue I thought was the last one I bought. After taking this photo, I realized I actually have issue #183, which is on top of that stack. I’m an idiot.

I still browse through these old issues every once in a while for the exclusive art, interviews and comedy gems. Sometimes, I do it just to give myself a dose of nostalgia. The magazine was a big part of my teenage life and it was a big factor in the development of my obsession with comics. Farewell and thank you, Wizard! Good job, Internet!

Comments

  1. Big part of my childhood right there. Also, I used to go crazy over the exclusive #0 or #1/2 comics that they offered via coupons. Ah, memories.

  2. I never really bought Wizard Magazine because I couldn't afford it. But I've been to a couple of their conventions, and, like their magazine, they became more focused on pop culture. Marvel and DC weren't even attending anymore and the grounds looked like a flea market. Then, last year, they had our ex-governor (Illinois) attend and he was signing autographs for $50.

  3. @Larry: Oh yeah! I love those freebies!

    @Skron: Was your ex-governor at least cosplaying? $50 is a lot of comics.

  4. That was one hell of a heartfelt blog post, Baddie. Loved reading this.

    I did not collect Wizard, but when I was in grade school, my bro and his classmates passed these mags around and some of them would end up in our household, kept by us permanently. Few issues also ended up in my bros' friends. They became shared properties.

    I remember Wizard used to be one of the goofiest, unabashedly aimed-at-teenagers mags in publication, and WE LOVED THEM. They had these "artists of the month power rankings" that we constantly read about, and Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, J Scott Campbell and Todd McFarlane seemed stapled on these. Their "girls of the month" are also a guilty pleasure. I don't know if you have that issue that had Vampirella lying (facing down) as its first page. Kinda embarrassed to say that I was turned on by that, haha.

    All in all, sad day for comics, but I thank them for the memories.

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