Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 15, 2011

New Wizard Digital Effort To Launch February 23, TCJ/Fantagraphics Has Something Planned For March 1

This could end up being an extraordinary next few weeks in magazines that cover the comics industry, as one all-time heavyweight in that field announces a firms launch date and provides a few spare details as to the nature of that effort, while another in that general weight class (less financially, more historically) say today they have their sights set on something announcement-worthy at the beginning of next month.

In this interview at iFanboy with Wizard's Gareb Shamus, we learn that the new digital Wizard magazine is set for launch on February 23. We also hear Shamus' disdain for the web site model that wasn't exactly kind in terms of previous, abortive efforts from the company to move on-line, and not much else very specific besides that. Shamus' rhetoric is interesting in that while extolling the virtues of digital publication in magazine form has currency right now, it would seem to me an even bigger job to put together something unique like that so quickly, particularly given that I believe in order to meet various financial benchmarks in the company's financial reconfiguration they cut ties with all work in the pipeline and therefore will have to generate brand-new content to fit the brand-new format. The relative funding of such an effort should be a huge point in its favor, and Shamus is quick to point out the key partnerships and endorsements Wizard's decade-plus success in print has garnered the company.

As for The Comics Journal, this note at recently departed affiliated blog Hooded Utilitarian states that the site was given a two-week deadline to set up shop elsewhere, which would have meant a deadline at the end of February (the site moved early). A query sent to a Fantagraphics representative about whether or not March 1 was a re-launch or re-vamp date, and if not what the affiliate drops mean, confirmed that they will have an official announcement "in about two weeks" but declined to comment on exactly what that might be. "You'll just have to wait until March 1."
posted 8:00 pm PST | Permalink

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