As you may have heard by now, Tim Leong’s COMIC FOUNDRY magazine has been rejected at Diamond for being in B&W and having a high price point, although other B&W magazines about comics have the same price point.
Now we’re not trying to pick on Diamond; they do a fabulous job and part of that job is keeping the entry point high. Of course, they’ve made a few mistakes along the way, but these have been quietly corrected — or sometimes not so quietly, in the case of Dan Nadel and House of Sugar, the last two products to go public after rejection. This isn’t the cry for a lynch mob; it’s a look at the point we find ourselves at.
Tim showed us the mock up for the magazine the other day and it was smart, sophisticated and modern. Instead of being a dense package of interviews with comics historical figures — a format which we very much like and value — it was a clever, topical look at the medium, kind of like…a real magazine, with features, FOB and BOB sections and all that other stuff. There was one photo layout in there which could have been in Men’s Health or Complex or any of the actual print magazines that Tim works for in his day job — it was clever and a LOT of work.
Now, we’re friends with Tim, and we’ve often tried to dissuade him from sticking with the dying world of print, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do — it’s the medium he loves and works in. And you know, we don’t think that print should go away. If there is room for magazines that focus on cars, and rifles, and black women’s butts (actually there seem to be a lot of those these days) there could be a magazine that focuses on comics as a facet of the entertainment business, not as a hobby.
But it is tough out there — the recent reshuffling and rebranding at Wizard Magazine, the category leader, shows that. The men’s magazine field has been considerably winnowed in recent months, and launching a new magazine these days is perilous. But surely there is room for Comic Foundry. The emerging medium needs a new magazine of record. If there isn’t room for something this sharp, we’re all in trouble.
PS: WE’re not the only ones who feel this way, as Top Shelf’s Brett Warnock throws down:
Tim’s content and design feel more to me like a “real-world” magazine, with sharp, staccato content mixed with a handful of lengthier articles and interviews, ala Wired magazine. And his editorial tastes are superb. This is the ONLY magazine on comics that i feel would appeal to the nascent populist comics readers, new to the medium. They might buy the magazine at a Border’s and then pick up a graphic novel there as well. But if and when said reader evolves into a passionate fan, they will eventually find their way to a full-service comics shop (one supplied by Diamond), where the product selection is far-superior than a chain bookseller.
In fact, i’m such a fan of this magazine, that Top Shelf actually gave serious consideration to publishing it. In the end, the main thing holding us back, was our commitment to Jon Cooke’s Comic Book Artist, and we felt we couldn’t give to the proper support to two mags at once.