With all the changes at Wizard over the last year or so, CEO Gareb Shamus has been a tough interview to nail. Our own requests have gone unfulfilled for months, although everyone involved — including Shamus himself — has been friendly and professional about the matter. Thus it’s a great get for Valerie D’Orazio at MTV Geek to finally sit him down for a chat that covers the positives and negatives of recent Wizard moves. The entire interview is recommended but many observers are unlikely to be swayed by these kinds of statements:
Geek: How will your new Wizard World digital site be like – and perhaps unlike – Wizard Magazine?
GS: So we’ve ceased publishing Wizard and ToyfareMagazine, and my new company Wizard World Inc. will be publishing a free digital magazine called “Wizard World.” And from my perspective, it’s going to be very different from the kinds of things I’ve done in the past. And because we have a digital playground and format to work with, our reach will be significantly higher throughout the world. We’ve been reaching millions of fans throughout my two-plus decade career in comics and character-based media, and now I get to leverage that in a digital way. And I think people are going to be pretty excited and jazzed to see the kind of things we do in a digital format that I wasn’t able to do in print, for us to be able to reach out to our audience in ways that I haven’t been able to do in the past with a printed magazine. So it’s an unbelievably exciting time for me to be able to use the digital magazine as a digital canvas to forge ahead and to show people things they haven’t seen yet.
It might seem a little late in the game for that — both in terms of the now-dead Internet and Wizard’s own trajectory — but at least you can see where Shamus is going with all this.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.