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Former Wizard employee paints grim picture


Over at iFanboy, one of the former Wizard employees has given a tell-all exit interview that’s pretty juicy. Here’s how the employees found out what was going down:

Former Wizard Employee: Actually its pretty screwed up what they did. They gave everyone off on Friday (very strange) then last night at 6:30 PM (right before kickoff [of the Jets/Steelers playoff game]) they called me and told me the magazines were no longer in publication. I was asked to go get my personal belongings and they told me the office was closed and moved to a different location and they would let us know when it was okay to get them. When I asked about severance or unemployment they shrugged me off and quickly dismissed me. So, I still have no idea what is happening in those regards.

Setting aside the heartache of the Jets/Steelers game, this former employee gives an even more screwed up account of how things were done, including am embargo from Marvel after Wizard published a collection of Marvel comics — without Marvel’s permission.

When Marvel asked them about they simply refused the calls and never paid them a cent. Once I heard this I realized that these people did not give a shit about anyone or anything. I was never given any numbers on how the magazine was doing but I am sure they have been consistent in the sales as they are a very niche magazine.

According to this staffer, Wizard owner Gareb Shamus has given up on GeekChicDaily, the daily newsletter formed as a joint venture by Wizard and Peter Guber. Some employees remain on staff to run the new web magazine, but the new format hasn’t been decided on.

  1. “I really wanted this post to include a an image of The Thing done in oils.”

    I’m pretty sure some Wizards I got in the mid 90s came polybagged with trading cards with that exact thing.

    Bot mostly Wolverine and Spider-Man done in oils.

  2. Sounds like Marvel had grounds for a lawsuit here, if Wizard/Shamus did indeed reprint Marvel comics w/o their permission.

    But w/the mag now being defunct, looks that idea is gone…

  3. Even though “Wizard” magazine was never my cup of tea, and never something I read with any regularity, the loss of any comics-related publication — especially one that directly or indirectly provided jobs to comics industry folks — is a sad one.

  4. Joe, since the company is not going under, any full time employees on staff would automatically be eligible for unemployment when they were layed off.

    Which isn’t as good as a severance package would be, but that would depend on what contract they were working under.

  5. For Shame-us! Wizard had a habit of treating Golden and Silver Age creators like garbage, and apparently now their own employees? The “karmic boomerang” strikes again. You get what you give, and now they get theirs. What a shame.

    They were the first to print my press releases and promote my comic back in ’93 yet they decided to venture down the wrong path. I am grateful for those from the 90s but the current crew? I haven’t been to a WW show in ten years and probably won’t for another.

  6. Any potential Wizard had to turn the whole ship around seemed to evaporate once Pat McCallum, Brian Cunningham, and Joe Yanarella were let go.

  7. Anybody working there who is shocked by what’s happened and the way business was conducted can only have had their head in the sand for the last 3-5 years. If you were caught there at the end and expected otherwise then shame on you for not managing your career better. You simply weren’t paying attention.

    Who stands around on a sinking ship with a crazy captain and then is shocked when he pulls out a gun?

    Interesting to me is if we’ll ever figure out how much money was bled out of the magazine over the last year buying all those cons? The conspiracy theorist in me says this was the end goal from more than a year ago. Establish the brand elsewhere using the cash flow from the magazine, then shut down the magazine once its been starved to death.

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