Monday, June 8, 2009

You're a Wizard... um... Wizard...

I generally get Wizard and Previews each month due to the dearth of comic related magazines available to me. I know that Wizard tends to get a lot of hate from the online comics community in general, and it's not entirely unmerited in my opinion. For me, the negatives are mostly in the form of the juvenile and sophomoric tone that has historically run through the magazine, as well as to some degree it's emphasis on comic values. I think the 'near death' of comics in the speculation craze of the the 90's also left a bit of a sour taste in the mouths of those that genuinely love and care about comics as a medium and an industry and an art form, for the magazine that may still seem to some to be the torch bearer of that destructive mentality. So the 'evils' of Wizard are two-fold: It seems to promote speculation, and crazy pricing, which is bad for comics. The second thing is that its 15 year old boy mentality may ostracize everyone that comics could really benefit from NOT ostracizing. One could say, that while Wizard magazine may not be BAD for comics, at the very least it hasn't helped much in the past.

I usually find some news and some sort of enjoyment in Wizard. I usually find something to roll my eyes at as well, but I buy it, and I enjoy it as some might enjoy People magazine or other such major magazines that don't really contribute a whole lot save for entertainment value. This month was different. Issue 213, dated July 2009, despite having an Obama variant cover and an Obama related feature in it, was a pretty good magazine, and a better than average Wizard.

Here is a rundown:
  • one page on the Outsiders
  • one page on the upcoming Green Lantern animated feature
  • half page on the back-up features running in a number of DC comics
  • 2 pages on the Goon ten year anniversary event
  • 2 pages on BPRD 1947
  • 2 pages on Obama in comics and comic related TV
  • 5 page 'sketchbook' on Ultimate Avengers
  • 6 pages on Fantagraphics
  • pieces on the Surrogates, Mice Templar v2
  • 5 pages on upcoming 'Indie' releases
  • 2 pages on the Marvel Oz comic...

And there was a good bit more than that to it as well. This was a really good issue that looked at things covering the very wide range of my comic interests. Nothing leapt out at me as overly insulting, etc. It was a nicely balanced issue. I hope this represents the direction this magazine is heading. Maybe Wizard is going to grow up some. Maybe they took advice from Comics Foundry and 'sucked it'... Just kidding, but it would be nice if they shot for a bit of the legitimacy that CF seemed to bring with it while it lasted. The final option may be that Wizard is teetering on the brink of collapse because I was moved to say good things about it... That's a trend in my life, especially with teachers and day-care providers.

Me: We just love miss so and so... She's the best! You should give her a raise!
Them: Yeah... We just fired her because she eats her bread butter side up...
Me: I knew I shouldn't have complimented her!

That's only a slight paraphrase, sorry Wizard.

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