Monday, September 28, 2009

Wizard: Implied Facepalm

I guess the real issue for me is that Wizard is obviously trying to go the Maxim route with the tone of their magazine – yet these "Laddie" magazines are bleeding readers left and right, whereas less racy mags like Men's Health are posting gains. Do you know why these Maxim-type magazines are losing readers? Because you can get all the boobies you want for free on teh internets.

I repeat: you can get all the boobies you want for free on teh internets. You don't need a magazine about comic books to get boobies. Do you think the average guy looking for a porn fix says to himself: "gotta get that latest issue of Wizard! They're going to print content from other comics accompanied by the ribald commentary I've come to expect from those slap-happy jokesters! And when I'm finished, I'll just wipe myself with the price-guide section!"

So really, that's what concerns me about all this – that Wizard is basing their editorial slant on a print strategy that is hemorrhaging readership across the board. If anything, Wizard should start an online soft-core comics site with nothing but boobies, thus snagging the all-important "free porn" online community (which is huge). <---the sad thing is, that's actually a viable business idea.

(goes back to reading newspaper)


  1. I stopped reading Wizard ages ago after their initial price hike and binding change. Print media loses valuable ground to online sources making it a rehash of everything CBR already posted, plus their comedy just hasn't been funny in a long time.

    Some things get better with age.

    Wizard ain't one of 'em.

  2. I didn't realize they still published Wizard. Seriously, not doing schtick - I'm surprised they can still move enough copy to print.

  3. Wizard has already gotten rid of 95% of the (talented and overall delightful) people who were there when I worked there. It's circling the drain and everyone who's seen their business up close knows it. This is just one more sign, I guess.

  4. Yes. I stopped picking Wizard up when I'd listen to them hype something for half a year, kiss the creator's ass, and then pan it in the letter pages after it was out. At least when I was younger, if felt like reading it might actually lead me to things I wanted to read, and give me a few laughs with some potty language thrown in.

    I think, to this question, that cheesecake and fan service are always going to have some place in comic books, and naturally, writing about them, but it's groan-worthy when they're heralding this as a reason to buy a book. Even Wizard used to review stories down for this, and as Valerie
    has astutely pointed out, why promote and advertise something that people are more than capable of getting for free? And why buy the Wizard when the art they're doing these "recommendations" with is in the [cheaper] book, or CBR, in High Def resolution?

    Really, the whole thing about comics having pinup art and weird anatomy, and breasts every page with camera angles vagina-high is a weird gray area, and even I'm not 100% comfortable with my own remarks about fan service in this comment. I guess I should thank Wizard completely for ignoring the delicate issues and just going vulgar with it.

  5. Yes, you can get all the boobies you want free on the internets AND you can get them with less encumberance than the Witchblade costume. AND they are living, breathing woman boobies, not artistically drawn boobies.

    This tactic seems like a desperate grasping at straws for Wizard Hey, the format change didn't bring more young men in, let's get racy! Something's got to work!

  6. Good lord! I breezed over that "pull list" comment the first time. Did they actually print that?

    Wow. I knew that Wizard was going the freelance route in order to save a some dough. But I didn't know that they were hiring Junior High Boys to make up their staff. I hope the tykes' working papers are in order.

  7. The whole thing of what Wizard magazine has become the last few years just makes me sad.

  8. Anonymous7:27 PM

    The strategy that I've seen going around that says to STROKE THE HARDCORE FANS is both disturbing and deterimental. Comics are getting more popular, yes, but I'm seeing the gap between comics that can honestly be called literate and BAM POW widen.

  9. You know why I started reading Maxim?

    They had an article in the first issue I read on what it was like to drink absinthe (when it was illegal). There were other things, too, that I only vaguely remember. I think there was one on what it was like to be a genuine mercenary.

    No other magazine I'd ever read had articles on issues that were as wide-ranging or intensely interesting. These topics may have been touched on in other magazines, but never in a way that was as detailed or genuine.

    I stopped reading it when the "Hot 100" started coming out, and the magazine became all about new reasons to show women I'd never heard of in underwear.

  10. You hear a lot about how Wizard has "changed" or "deteriorated" over the years, but the more likely explanation is that those who once liked it where 13-year-old and they're now 24-year-olds.

    I suspect straight-on masturbation jokes and "knowing"/ironic anatomy humor are part of the same go-to strategy Wizard has always used to lure in the 13-year-olds.

  11. I almost spat out my coffee at the "wipe yourself with the price guide line." I know that sounds like a hyperbolic cliche, but in this case, it's true.

  12. I haven't looked at an issue of Wizard in years. Haven't they always been obsessed with boobs? That hardly seems a new obsession for them.

  13. Sad. Just very, very sad.

  14. I get the concept. Hardcore comic fans probably look very similar demographically to Maxim readers in terms of age, gender and other demographics.

    However, it is a classic of lame comic book marketing to jump on the hip trend fifteen years late. Pairing women in their underwear, lifestyle content and wry double entendres is very mid-90s. Adding witlessness to the mix certainly doesn't help.

    Wake me when they have a burst of patriotic fervor in five years.

  15. Anonymous11:01 PM

    The comic with Hulk, Spider-Man, and The Smurfs was genius. It was hysterical and smart.

    Oh wait that was ToyFair.

    Nevermind, move along...

  16. It boggles the mind that they haven't figured this out for themselves yet. I really feel sorry for the people who would buy Wizard exactly for that reason when there's actual superhero porn on the internet.

    Buuuut maybe that's because there's also superhero porn where the superheroine is actually enjoying sex and isn't tied up or being assaulted, which completely ruins it for them. ^_~

  17. They stock Wizard at the Yajimaya bookstore here in Hamamatsu. You know how much it costs with the exchange rate?


  18. Wow. I just read the sub-head. They're actually suggesting their readers should buy these comics to masturbate to them. That's even sadder and more pathetic than when Moe the bartender was hooked up to a lie detector and revealed he planned to stay home that evening "ogling the ladies" in a Sears catalog.

  19. First, to address your main point, I have never read an issue of Wizard in my life, but I cannot believe they printed that. It seems like a joke.

    Also, isn't Men's Healths for gays? Maybe metrosexuals if that term is still used. Seriously, based upon the cover copy, I cannot imagine a straight guy buying them.

    The thing about Maxim is it was actually funny and along with the celebity femles in underwear, lingerie, swim wear, and fetish wear, they had articles on cool gadgets and an irreverent attitude.

    And to all you free porn watchers out there. If you want quality stuff, you have to pay for it. Cheapskates.

  20. For the record, I'm straight, and I read Men's Health on occasion. And no, I'm about as far removed from "metrosexual" as one can be.

    So there you go.

    Wizard has killed itself with its attention to unimportant stuff and bad investments, in my opinion.

    I first picked up Wizard as a young teen because of the attention to the creators, interviews, and the fact that they did cover stories on occasion that did not involve Marvel and DC alone. I think my favorite issue was the one with the Dark Horse wraparound "jam" cover. That was probably my favorite era. It was then that I can remember editorial replies to horny letter writers telling them to get a life (in a funny way). And that made sense to me; how else can you respond to a question like "who would you date of the X-Women if you could?"

    Ah, the good old days...

  21. You know, rereading this, the truly genius element is "Boobs!" As if the bad pun in the first sentence did not hit the nail on the head.

  22. Actually, I think "Boobs!" is a reference to Wizard's readers.