UPDATE: And a statement from Jerry Milani, Wizard’s PR rep:
Wizard Entertainment is ceasing publication of the print magazines Wizard and ToyFare. Wizard World, Inc. will begin production of the online publication “Wizard World” beginning in February. We feel this will allow us to reach an even wider audience in a format that is increasingly popular and more readily accessible.
Numerous reports this morning that the print version of Wizard magazine is shutting down, effective immediately, with all staff laid off and
According to Bleeding Cool, ToyFare magazine will continue. And based on the number of tweets coming out of the Wizard World convention business, the Wizard World shows will also continue.
According to a press release just released from Gareb Shamus, Wizard will continue as an online “Wizard World” Magazine. In addition, the previous Wizard corporation is being replaced by Wizard World, a new public company, which is being traded as a penny stock.
In its 20-year run, Wizard Magazine defined an era, for good and ill. While bringing contemporary magazine techniques and graphics of the “Lad magazine” era was an innovation from the “mimeograph” era of comics fanzines, the publication’s Top Ten lists and price guides throughout the ’90s created a world where comics were collectibles based on hot, flashy artists who drew “good girls.” It was a juvenile, temporary phase for many people. At one time, Wizard sold more copies than any comic it covered but in recent years, despite several attempts to get a website going (including one over a decade ago) it just could not compete with the moment by moment breaking news of the internet.
In recent years, Wizard was mostly known for laying people off as it trimmed down to an ever more skeletal staff. The magazine itself started putting photos of celebs on the cover instead of art by former Image creators. The price guide was cut, leading to a slim, pamphlet-like magazine. That it is now going online only — although with what staff remains a mystery — is no shocker. The shock is that it took this long.
The Piemonkey Twitter feed had only 43 followers, perhaps a symbol of how far the Wizard brand had fallen as a newsbreaker.
As for the new venture, as a publicly traded stock, we look forward to reading the mandaory SEC filing for the company. However, that will have to wait a little bit — searching for GOEE.PK brings up something called “GoEnergy, Inc.”
Gareb Shamus, recently appointed President and CEO of public company Wizard World, Inc. (“Wizard World”) (OTC: GOEE.PK), today announced that the Comic Con Tour, which consists of pop culture conference events that provide high visibility marketing opportunities to pop culture brands and companies in multiple venues throughout the year, is now being produced by public company Wizard World. The Wizard World Comic Con Tour intends to cover 12 cities in 2011, including major cities such as New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin and New Orleans. The Tour will include sponsors ranging from major movie studios and TV networks to gaming and toy companies to content publishers.
In addition, Wizard World plans to launch in February 2011 an all-new digital magazine called ‘Wizard World’ that will appeal to pop-culture fans, the same audience to which Mr. Shamus has catered to, for over 20 years. Wizard World digital magazine will provide coverage of the world of comic books, toys and superheroes, and the personalities behind them.
“This is a very exciting day for Wizard World and the industries it serves,” said Shamus. “Having the Tour produced by a public company provides additional opportunities to expand and grow the Tour. The new digital magazine Wizard World will give consumers the content they want in a magazine format with which they are familiar, but distributed in a form that is always available at any time on any device. It is a natural evolution for us in this market.”
Wizard World Comic Con will begin its North American tour at New Orleans Comic Con held from January 29 to 30, 2011. The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Statements in this press release relating to Wizard World’s future plans, expectations, beliefs, intentions and prospects are “forward-looking statements” and are subject to material risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words “will”, “future”, “expect”, “look forward to”, similar expressions and any other statements that are not historical facts are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. Any such statement may be influenced by a variety of factors, many of which are beyond the control of Wizard World that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected, described, expressed or implied in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is contained in our SEC filings, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors.” Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or by contacting Joe Favorito at (917) 566-8345 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information set forth in this press release is current as of January 24, 2011. Wizard World undertakes no duty to update any statement in light of new information or future events.