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

August 11, 2006

Not Comics: Dissecting Wizard Magazine

I declined yesterday to recommend Tim Leong's latest video at Comic Foundry, this one castigating the nationally distributed superhero fan magazine juggernaut Wizard Magazine, for several reasons. First, I have a hard time working up any passion for or against Wizard (for those of you out there not aware of the magazine, imagine a men's glossy writing about nothing but superhero plotlines, comics creators, and geek consumables, with drawings of Elektra rather than photos of Anna Benson). Second, the video takes something like seven minutes to charge that the publication is sensationalistic and sexist. Third, the nature of videoblogging means more talking head than I can generally stand.

However, if you're interested in comics fan culture on any level, the video and the commentary linked to the video are a Mulligan Stew with lots of big, meaty pieces: Leong and others deploring the suggested ambassador status of Wizard, the presumption of judging Wizard according to journalistic standards that it's hard to imagine the magazine caring about or for which it would logically qualify, Frank Cho potentially making light of the dead (from an anecdote that kicks off an article that may or may not be real), a response or two insisting that the magazine used to be good, lots of truth-to-power right-ons, Wizard people accusing Leong of print-run envy, insults from the Wizard fan base that support Leong's general argument, and, finally, charges of hypocrisy (or a more direct plea to shush up) because of Leong's tartish magazine covers (sexism) and the slightly more hysterical parts of his video (sensationalism). You don't usually get all of that in one place.
posted 1:14 am PST | Permalink

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