Just got my first look at the insides of Wizard #4 and, surprisingly enough, it's not just a Batman cover. The contents are truly and finally focused on the upcoming Batman film, with feature after feature devoted to the topic, and there's also discussion of the upcoming DC trading card series. I'll do a full review soon.
Still, of the first 25 issues of Wizard (that's all I have), this is the only cover featuring a DC character.
So It's going to take more than finally acknowledging an upcoming blockbuster film that fans are dying to hear more about to convince me that there isn't a strong bias in favor of Marvel.
Last Edit: Oct 15, 2014 19:38:58 GMT -5 by shaxper
]I do believe the '90s was uniquely bad for the industry. Comic books had always been a business, but this was the era where the industry truly learned how to adopt the worst behaviors of big corporations in order to better manipulate customers and turn over a shoddier product. Worse yet, it was a severe and lasting disruption in the continuity of the industry. Back in the 1990s, the comics from two decades earlier MATTERED. They contained continuity and developments that still affected the new comics on the racks, and they were sought after as a result. Ever since the anything-to-make-a-buck-THIS-month mentality that began in the 1990s, that continuity and legacy is gone. No one reading a book now has any interest in what happened in 1995 because every major event since then has been trumped by an even bigger one to the point that it's all white noise now, and every major turn of events has been undone, redone, and then done again in order to boost more short term sales. Gwen Stacey or Jean Grey dying would have absolutely zero impact on the comic world today -- just another hyped event that will soon be undone. The '90s gave us that.
The only problem I have with that accusation as far as it being unique, is that, not much has changed from that. And the ultimate goal of any corporation is to make money. Not saying that a corporation can't benefit from taking the time to listen to it's consumers, but when the vast majority of that voice IS the people spending money on the what is considered shoddier product. There were good things within the decade, and many I found on my own despite still immersing myself in the culture, which at that time with no internet, were magazines like Wizard and Fan. And there's "shoddy" product now, that is smushed into our eye sockets when we turn out PCs on and go to related websites. Everything is advertised, good and bad, in any industry that intends to make money of that product or service.
I continue to approach this thread with a question in mind, not simply seeking validation of an answer I've already arrived at. I remember Wizard as having strongly guided the opinions and buying habit of myself and nearly all of my adolescent friends at the time, but we may have just been dumber and more gullible than the general populace, and I definitely see a thoroughly shady bias towards Marvel in these early issues, but that will definitely fall by the wayside once Wizard starts obsessing over Image and Valiant. In short, we'll see.
And I intend too myself. Being that the 90's were the start of my reading, I have no first hand knowledge of how comics were promoted and distributed outside of the newsstands. Obviously though comics caught on to young ones and adults, and it was despite what we want to think the poxmark of the 9o's was, comics continue to flourish, despite it, or because of it. I fully expect to enjoy this conversation.
Bettie Mae Page -- April 23, 1923 - December 11, 2008 Prince Rogers Nelson -- June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016 “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." -- Charles Bukowski
Post by dupont2005 on Oct 15, 2014 23:18:17 GMT -5
I find it kind of like the difference between the Oscars and the Spike awards. If the Oscars could be bought the Fast and Furious franchise would have several dozen. People do buy/watch/read what has positive reviews and the most exposure. When a magazine, or website, or award show, or whatever gives the illusion of impartiality but actually is not, there's a problem. It would be like Gamepro giving all it's awards to Playstation games at the expense of XBox games, and pretending they were impartial.
I don't believe Wizard was secretly operated as a Marvel hype machine, but I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel was shelling out some cash for exposure early on. Remember when Image came out, they were at the top of Wizard hype. Also, at some point Wizard came out with the "Hot book you should buy right now" type column, forgot what it was called. I heard on another board from a supposed insider that the slot in that section was 100% bought and paid for by the comic publisher and not based on anything regarding potential demand. So most publishers would pay for a spot when they had a new issue, or a new character, or some sort of event for the extra hype. But then some smaller publisher decided to start paying for that slot every month for every issue of their comic. I don't know when this happened, I don't remember that section from the handful of early issues I bought, but it's what I read a while back on another comic forum. It doesn't sound like impartiality to me.
Obviously though comics caught on to young ones and adults,
The comics of the 90s also turned away a lot of fans, though. There was a mass exodus starting around 1994, and I was part of it. Looking back, I came to comics as a nine year old in 1989 expecting something more akin to the Silver Age and finding comics that were too dense and brooding for me, but I pushed on, assuming I'd eventually understand and appreciate them if I kept reading. By the time this started to happen, the overwhelming majority of comics became immature and substance-less. I was buying just to collect, and I think that was true for the majority of the customer base. That's another thing that made the '90s different: many people really weren't buying what they liked. They were buying what they believed other people would like enough to pay a lot of money for later on.
I never did have that moment in time where I really got into anything I was buying off the racks. I only really enjoyed what I picked out of back issue bins, which probably explains why I'm a classic comics fans, more in love with comics that were published before I was even born.
and it was despite what we want to think the poxmark of the 9o's was, comics continue to flourish, despite it, or because of it. I fully expect to enjoy this conversation.
For a long time after the bubble burst, comics weren't flourishing. The late '90s and early 2000s were a scary time for comics sales, both back issue and current.
Also, at some point Wizard came out with the "Hot book you should buy right now" type column, forgot what it was called.
There were two: Wizard's Comic Watch and the Top 10, both of which were there right from issue #1.
I heard on another board from a supposed insider that the slot in that section was 100% bought and paid for by the comic publisher and not based on anything regarding potential demand. So most publishers would pay for a spot when they had a new issue, or a new character, or some sort of event for the extra hype. But then some smaller publisher decided to start paying for that slot every month for every issue of their comic. I don't know when this happened, I don't remember that section from the handful of early issues I bought, but it's what I read a while back on another comic forum. It doesn't sound like impartiality to me.
Big changes in this issue as Wizard finally and comprehensively begins to focus on the non-Marvel properties that are big news at the moment. As to why this happened, there's a lot of possibilities. Obviously, you've got the Batman Returns movie slated to hit theaters in only a few months' time (though, oddly enough, with all the emphasis Batman receives in this issue, the film never gets mentioned), you've got Robin II: The Joker's Wild as the top selling book of the previous month, you've got the DC Universe trading cards about to hit stores, you've got the buzz surrounding Valiant Comics starting to explode with the release of two new titles (Harbinger and X-O Manowar), you've got Star Trek 25th Anniversary mania sweeping the nation and beginning to translate into mass merchandizing and licensing, and (as only the Market Watch section discusses) there's a significant letdown being felt by Marvel fans over the departure of Todd McFarlane, and even McFarlane's Spidey and Hulk books are quickly decreasing in value. Plus, after the release of a new Spidey title and two new X titles, Marvel had effectively milked its only particularly hot franchises (Ghost Rider and Deathlok weren't big enough to support second titles yet) and didn't seem to have anything else particularly exciting on the way. And, let's not forget that Claremont's departure right after the big X-Men makeover was casting serious doubts as to whether the rebranded X titles were going to have any staying power.
So it would seem that, in this case, Wizard was forced to reflect the market, as Marvel was beginning to show some signs of weakening (and the market report also shows Marvel had dropped from over 60% of sales to 48% in a single month).
Still, it's worth noting that this and issue #24 are the only covers of the first 25 issues to feature DC characters.
Hindsight glimpses into the comic industry:
Marvel is losing its choke-hold. See above.
Also, Valiant is beginning to get more attention with its release of Harbinger #1 and X-O Manowar #1, as well as a small but loyal fanbase that has been espousing the company's work for some time now. Solar's covers have been displayed in the "Shipping for __________" section since issue #1, and Magnus was mentioned as becoming a hot back issue commodity last issue.
McFarlane has left Marvel, but something has happened between the writing of this issue and its publication. Market Watch mentions McFarlane leaving Marvel, but there's no indication made of where he's going next nor of any other artists following him. Yet, the second ad in the book is for two VHS tapes of Stan Lee interviewing Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefield about their works, and the covers feature Spawn and some Liefield creation I don't recognize who, I suspect, is from Youngblood(?). This confuses me on so many levels. Had they left Marvel and somehow gotten Stan Lee's endorsement, or were the covers added after the fact? Whatever the case, we're clearly in a transition period and will likely be hearing all about Image in the next issue.
Precious little. It seems increasingly true with each issue that Wizard spends more time looking back at what just happened than at what's coming next. Really, the only big thing they ever discussed in detail before it happened was X-Men #1 in the first issue, and any idiot could have told you that was going to be a big deal.
Wizard shaping the comic book market?
Definitely not this time. This issue is the most honest reflection I've seen in Wizard's pages of what was ACTUALLY a big deal in comics and fandom at the time. Little to no manipulation/distortion, though I do find it odd that the Wizard Comic Watch is still emphasizing the New Warriors.
Letter from the Publisher: This section is becoming increasingly disjointed in its presentation of unrelated thoughts. Two of those thoughts which are of interest are that Shamus has been speaking with a lot of lawyers recently and that Marvel's publisher, Carol Kalish, has passed away, and Shamus recalls having spent a lot of time with her, mostly at San Diego Comic Con, where they shared several elevator and cab rides. Fuels the "being in Marvel's pocket" theory a bit.
"Pursuing Justice in a Dark Knight," interview with Bart Sears about drawing Batman, by Patrick Daniel O'Neill. A one-time Legends of the Dark Knight artist gets Wizard's attention, and Norm Breyfogle does not? I simply don't understand Wizard's preference in artists. I guess there was nothing particularly new nor hype-worthy about a stable, reliable artist who'd been working on Batman for half a decade by this point.
"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," interview with Denny O'Neil about Batman, by Patrick Daniel O'Neill. I'll eventually discuss this interview in greater length in the Batman #300 and up review thread, but this is an extensive and somewhat informative interview. I personally found it interesting when O'Neil provided some hard facts about Bruce's post-Crisis Origin: he was still eight when his parents died, and he became Batman fifteen years later. Also, O'Neill outright trashes Doug Moench's Pre-Crisis run (though he never mentions Moench nor editor Len Wein by name).
Andy Mangel's Hollywood Heroes: The worst written article I've yet seen in Wizard, it amazes me that Shamus has built such a high profile magazine around a woefully inexperienced staff that looks like they just got out of college and, in some cases, might still be attending high school (see Shamus' brother, who runs the Trading Cards section), but Andy Mangel is the worst yet. His writing is utterly unreadable at times. And why in the world WOULDN'T this section discuss the upcoming Batman Returns in an issue so thoroughly devoted to Batman? Instead, he writes about the Captain America film that no US distributor wants to release.
"Defining the Dark Knight," by Henry T Colonna III: Reiterates all of my favorite misconceptions about Batman, including the idea that Frank Miller was the first to make him dark. My favorite part, though, is when the writer praises Mike Barr's "Full Circle" and goes on to suggest that "Barr would make an excellent choice for the regular Batman title." Head-smack.
"Hey Batfans Get A Load of This" (sorry, that was how it was punctuated): An attempt to list every appearance Batman has ever made outside of his own titles in a single page.
"John Byrne II: Mutants Aren't Everything (Sorry Charlie)," interview with John Byrne, by Patrick Daniel O'Neill: Continues the interview from last issue, but whereas the first part was tucked into the back of the book and was presumably directed at old X-fans who'd be interested in Byrne's thoughts on returning, this article gets the lead feature treatment and focuses more on how much Byrne is making from X-Men (I swear, Byrne keeps bragging about how this is paying his mortgage) and the other work Byrne is doing aside from X-Men with a special emphasis on Nextmen.
"X-Forcing the Issue," interview with Fabian Nicieza, by Patrick Daniel O'Neill: Nicieza also discusses how the best part of working on the X titles is the money.
"Valiant": A two page, black and white write-up on the emerging company, written by someone who clearly doesn't get it. The unknown author gives equal attention to the Nintendo and WWF publications as the emerging Valiant Heroes Universe. Interesting here, however, is a black and white photo of what must have been an original unused cover for Harbinger #1, in which Peter and Kriss fly out of a giant explosion.
Wizard Comic Watch: The beginning of the scramble for X-Men #201 (remember when that was a huge deal?), and more emphasis on the first appearance of the New Warriors.
"Toying Around," with Brian Cunningham: Discussion of the new Toybiz Venom Figure (that's right; not the exciting Marvel Series II in general -- just Venom), American toy collectors were first becoming aware of the Brazilian Super Powers figures (no mention of The Riddler yet, though), and, holy crap, Cunningham and I frequented the same comic shop when on vacation in Southern New Jersey! Also, it would appear that Cunningham was getting all of his pricing information from three comic shops that he gave special thanks to at the end of the issue. Seems like standard practice for Wizard to have a small cadre of dealer friends from which they based all of their prices. Makes price-fixing easy and tempting, whether or not that was ever an explicit goal.
Contest: Win a Whilce Portacio Punisher #10 autographed. I don't remember this issue ever being a big deal, and I'm still not sure what made it special.
Comic Book Intelligence Quotient (CBIQ): The first time this appeared in the magazine. It was always one of my favorite features. Tough questions, even for a widely read fan.
Gamepro: While the Return of the Joker for NES is discussed, the big emphasis is on the JVC Star Wars and Star Trek: The 25th Anniversary games.
"The Wizard of Cards," by Stephen Shamus: Shamus is still largely discussing sports cards, though his brother inserts as many pictures as possible of the DC Cosmic Cards into his section. Stephen gives the upcoming series exactly two lines in his final paragraph. He also mentions the upcoming Jim Lee X-Men cards (which was different from the X-Men cards that came out a short while later and were a much bigger deal). The price guide also gives a full page to the Star Trek 25th Anniversary trading cards.
"Picks from the Wizard's Hat": Of the six big picks, the first four are all DC and Valiant. Oddly enough, X-O Manowar #1 gets picked while Harbinger #1 does not. Beyond that, nothing too exciting appeared to be slated for the coming month.
The Top 10: Holy smokes. They actually gave #1 to Robin II: The Joker's Wild #1, and Magnus Robot Fighter #1 has emerged at the #10 spot. The rest are the same old key X books.
The Top 100: More DC titles edging their way onto the list this month, but Marvel's X titles still clearly hold the lead.
Shipping for the Month of November
Wizard Report Card: reader survey
Wizard Market Watch: Marvel's hold on the industry is falling fast, and McFarlane has left Marvel.
Complete Crossover Collection: An index of most major crossover events
"Collecting Comics in the 90's," by Pat McCallum: For the first issue, he discussed how awesome incentive covers were; for the second, he discussed how awesome second printing variants were. For this fourth issue, he discusses how awesome incentive covers AND second printing variant covers are. He even proudly shares the statistic that:
Pat McCallum (aka 'Mr. Everything That's Wrong with Comic Collecting') said:
Studies have shown that covers account for 85% of sales of magazines on the newsstand.
He's right, of course, but does he have to celebrate this fact and encourage others to consciously buy/invest based solely upon this rather than...you know...buy comics in order to read and enjoy them, or even collect in order to build a collection that has substantive meaning to you personally?
Price guide: Holy gosh. There are ALMOST as many DC covers displayed as Marvel covers this time!
Back cover: worth mentioning that this is the first time the back cover isn't a Marvel ad. This time, it's for Advance Comics.
It would appear that Wizard knows which way the wind is blowing and has adjusted sail (at least for the time being). The fact that they interviewed Denny O'Neil is also a sign that they seem to finally have some kind of working relationship with DC now. For what it's worth, the Batman cover was planned prior to issue #2 even seeing print (it gets mentioned by Shamus there), but I'm not sure how the licensing for that would have worked. Could they have obtained the rights to put Batman on their cover without having a working relationship with DC?
Whatever the case, this truly was the first issue of Wizard (and, who knows? Maybe the last as well) to accurately reflect the diversity of exciting comic franchises and companies that were catching people's attention at the time.
Last Edit: Jan 22, 2017 13:56:46 GMT -5 by shaxper
Holy crap. I just googled Pat McCallum and learned he's now an editor at DC.
What a sad, sad world we live in.
That explains SO much.
My experience with Wizard is a few years later than these early issues. I bought some issues at a 2nd bookstore chain in Maastricht (a large chain which sadly no longer exists. It was always nice to go through the bins there to find something). At the time I was reading mostly dutch translations of American comics and European stuff. The American stuff itself was not as handily available, though some news-stand type shops did carry a few American comics (no longer), but the prices there were like 50% more than in the comic shop I knew. The shop closest to me that specialized in American comics was about 20 kms away (and a lot further away by public transport), though they opened a store a bit later a lot nearer to me.
I mostly remember that Wizard had a feature in one issue on foreign editions of American comics; the covers appeared as images in their pricelist, they just translated the title and named the country. The funny thing was that they had nearly every single country wrong (for as far as I could tell.) As it was my mirror into the things that were happening in the American comic book world pre-internet, I did enjoy the magazine for the few issues that I had. I got into Evan Dorkin thanks to Wizard, so they weren't all bad.
Just realized that, in addition to the entire Wizard staff being made up of inexperienced kids just out of (or still in) school, and in addition to the obvious nepotism of Shamus giving a section to his brother, every single one of these writers is Irish: Shamus, O'Neill, Cunningham, McCallum.
On the one hand, with Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 about to hit stores, this issue could have easily slipped back into Marvel-mania. It certainly does feature a Ron Lim Silver Surfer cover, a write-up on the history of the Surfer, and an interview with Ron Lim, but it also takes a step back from the hype to do two interviews that focus, not on over-hyped artists, but rather on time-tested writers (Peter David, and Walt and Louise Simonson -- who discuss writing far more than art). In both cases, these interviews reflect extensively and thoughtfully on the disturbing trends of current comic collecting, with Peter David lamenting that comics are all about covers and interior art now; any hot artist can also be his own writer without having to submit any samples first, and the Simonson's outright predict how the comic book investment bubble is going to burst. Really interesting stuff for Wizard to be focusing on.
On the other hand, Gareb Shamus' letter column is headed by a picture of him palling around with Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefield. He explains he just flew back from visiting them in Seattle. At a time when we saw public sentiment turning against McFarlane (or at least growing indifferent to him), he was flying Shamus out to his Seattle home to get him in on the ground floor of Image. There's no article about their meeting here; head staff interviewer Patrick Daniel O'Neill isn't mentioned as having been there (and isn't in the picture). The purpose of the trip wasn't an interview -- it was a business deal. Image Comics is coming soon; talk us up big. We need Wizard behind us. Judging by the picture, Shamus was all ears.
Minor detail: for a comic so devoted to hyped art, something went really wrong with their printing this time around. It looks like they tried to utilize more colors and somehow got murkier, uglier ones, and fuzzier color images throughout the issue. Yeck.
Hindsight glimpses into the comic industry:
NOW comics is still running ads on the inside cover of each issue, desperately trying to be a contender again, but they never get mentioned in the magazine at all.
Valiant continues to get attention in this issue, this time with Market Watch commenting that their back issues are trading hands furiously. However, Magnus #1 falls off of Wizard's Top 10 this month.
Still no announcement about Image Comics yet, even though an image of Spawn and of some Liefield Image creation appeared in an ad last issue.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 is on the way. Robin II is topping the sales charts, and Jim Lee is being called the next Todd McFarlane.
James Cameron has been hired to direct a 1993 Spider-Man movie???
From the Publisher: Best buddies Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefield, and Gareb Shamus. Awww.
"The Silver Surfer, A History," by Patrick McCallum
"Silver Gauntlets," an interview with Ron Lim, by Michael Berry
"Go Ask Galactus for Your Own Column: Hungry Humor," by Steve Behling: Written like a 12 year old did it. How is the quality of Wizard's content getting worse at this point?
"X-Factoring the David Equation," interview with Peter David by Patrick Daniel O'Neill: David talks X-Factor, but also discusses his growing distaste with the artists-first mentality of the comic industry at the moment, and how that's affecting content.
"Andy Mangel's Comic Book Heroes": Still terribly written. The focus this time is on Star Trek VI. Again, I ask why he hasn't spent ANY time discussing the production of Batman Returns. Surely, there are scripts, rumors, etc?
"The Simonsons' Interview," by Patrick Daniel O'Neill: Definitely an interview with reading. Though I've never really gotten into either's professional work, I love their personalities, and this interview captures them tremendously well. That they spend a third of the issue raising concerns about the rising speculator market now driving the comic book industry and cautioning about where that's going to go only makes me respect them more.
Contest: Win a Ron Lim Autographed Silver Surfer #50
"Science Fiction Heroes, Part I: The Man with the Raygun," by Lawrence Watt-Evans: Watt-Evans is back, and he's once again adding substance to the magazine. Great history of comic book sci-fi.
Wizard Comic Watch: Star Wars #107 gets picked, not because it's the scarce final issue, but because it was Whilce Portacio's first work. And we're back to telling people to worship artists over characters, franchises, writers, or anything else. Also, Fantastic Four #67 (1st Warlock) is an appropriate selection.
"Toying Around," by Brian Cunningham goes completely off-topic this month with Cunningham waxing nostalgic for his favorite childhood Christmas presents.
Wizard Word Search and Word Jumble are new additions this time around.
Gamepro does yet another review of the NES Batman: Return of the Joker, and also discusses TMNT 2 and Terminator 2.
Draw Your Own Wizard Cover
"Wizard of Cards," by Stephen Shamus, once again spends most of its time discussing sports cards. DC Cosmic Cards (again) get two sentences, though that might be appropriate as the two sentences explain that their release has been delayed, and it looks like I was mistaken: The Jim Lee X-Men cards referred to last issue are, indeed, the X-Men Series I trading cards. Apparently, Shamus is unaware that there was a set of cards collecting Jim Lee's art on the X-Men slightly prior to this time as well (I used to have them).
"Picks from the Wizard's Hat" remains suitably diverse while also recognizing that Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 and Marvel's Hearts of Darkness (team-up of Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Wolverine) were going to be the top sellers of the month. Respect for including Batman: Master of the Future and Valiant's Rai #1 -- definitely more mature choices that don't fall into the hype that Wizard gave so much attention to in it's first three issues.
"Collecting Comics in the '90s," by Pat McCallum: this one is just embarrassing as McCallum inappropriately uses his space for commenting on collectibility with (one would hope) objectivity to defend Wizard's price guide values and its speculation on hot new comics. Wow. Even folks writing in at this point were accusing Wizard of attempting to influence the market. Nothing McCallum says in defense really allays any of these concerns. Maybe that's what's caused Wizard to take a step back in these past two issues and provide a more balanced view of the industry.
Market Watch: Jim Lee is in; McFarlane is old news, X-books still sell very well, Valiant is getting stronger, and Marvel's hold on the market is still slowly slipping (41% of sales last month), though, a longer histograph is also provided, showing that Marvel has fallen back to where it was before releasing X-Force #1. The hype now over with, Marvel is back to where it's supposed to be. DC has been significantly down for nearly a year now, but there's a dramatic rise currently happening, likely due to Robin II: The Joker's Wild, as well as the Batman crossovers with Judge Dredd and Predator.
Top 10: Robin II #1 falls to the #2 spot, and everything else is X titles once again. I believe this is the first time New Mutants #87 takes the #1 spot.
Top 100: DC is getting more books higher on the list, but it's really mostly Robin, Batman, Spider-Man, and X titles dominating the list.
Show and Convention Calendar
Wizard's at a tough crossroads. Clearly, there's a significant number of folks writing in, complaining about Wizard's speculations and meaningless price guide, and clearly, Todd McFarlane has recruited Shamus to sing Image's praises when it is unveiled in a few months' time by doing more of exactly what these fans are asking Wizard not to do anymore.
Going larger, though, Marvel has played its trump cards and is now scrambling to create more hype, and Robin II aside, DC doesn't seem interested in following suit. Todd McFarlane is old news, and comicdom is moving on, plus intelligent people are beginning to see where all this hype and speculation is going to take the market in the long run. It really seems as if a year and a half of excessive hype and speculation (beginning with McFarlane's Spider-Man #1) are winding down. Maybe it all would have ended here if Shamus hadn't been in Seattle, planning to cause a whirlwind frenzy of hype supporting Image Comics.
If they sold so well then why cease publication? I guess because of the internet, but they could still have built a website with a price guide and featured columns. It could have remained profitable as far as I can see.
Originally, their plan was to do just that, but then there was a falling out between Shamus and his bosses, the online content was all removed shortly after it first went live, and Shamus resigned.
I'm no fan of Wizard, but I did read it for the 1st few years it was out. I think some of the articles being written on a kind of 12 year old level actually made sense. This was probably the audience they were going for. Jr. High to early high school age kids. The magazine appealed to me at the time because I WAS a dumb 12 year old kid. And what other choices were there? Comics Journal was a solidly adult magazine that showed a lot of contempt for superheroes. Wizard was one of the 1st comic magazines that I was exposed to that unashamedly embraced superheroes.
This period of the 90s is the only time I ever remember comics being extremely common in school. I never saw any kids reading comics or wearing comic book t-shirts during the 80s. Kids may have been reading them but nobody really discussed them. With the rise of the "kewl" characters of the 90s like Ghosts Rider, Punisher, etc... suddenly even the cool kids and jocks got in on it (for a brief period anyway). Cool kids were suddenly wearing Wolverine shirts around. Also the metal kids got into all of the skull imagery of stuff like GR and Punisher. I remember a lot of 12 and 13 year old speculators around my school swearing that their copies of X-Force #1 would make them millionaires in a few years. The Marvel trading cards were huge at the time as well, everybody was collecting and trading them. And yes, I remember seeing lots of copies of Wizard floating around at the time. Our LCS always pushed them, especially towards the Marvel kids.
Another thing I wonder about (and this could probably be it's own thread) is if the early 90s boom was the last period a lot of younger kids were attracted to getting into comics in a big way?
With the rise of the "kewl" characters of the 90s like Ghosts Rider, Punisher, etc... suddenly even the cool kids and jocks got in on it (for a brief period anyway).
It's funny, actually. Check out any online comics community devoted to the '90s today, and most of the members are still those cool kids we grew up with in the '90s who loved the mainstream stuff but never delved deeper and never broadened their horizons.
Another thing I wonder about (and this could probably be it's own thread) is if the early 90s boom was the last period a lot of younger kids were attracted to getting into comics in a big way?
I'd imagine the answer is a solid "yes," especially as the indirect market vanished in that decade, meaning the target audience suddenly became LCS regulars.
Post by dupont2005 on Oct 17, 2014 22:52:59 GMT -5
Of course NOW closed up shop not long after this, but I don't see their not being mentioned in Wizard as a sign that things were bad. Did they even have super hero comics? They had a few licenses and one hit creator owned series. I doubt Fantagraphics got mentioned a whole lot in Wizard either, right? Did anything that didn't involve a super hero get much talk? Maybe Vertigo, and much later Bone, but only after Bone got picked up by Image. And even then, it wasn't "much talk." When Robin II is getting more mentions than you, that's bad.