In the many, many reports of layoff at Wizard over the years, there was one name which never came up: Mike Cotton. Cotton had been at Wizard for 11 years as one of their most essential writers/editors, and it was commonly said that when Cotton left the Wizard ship it would be nothing but an empty hulk drifting the seas.

Well, that day has come — or it did on last Friday, according to a press release that Cotton sent out to several outlets.

Mike Cotton has left his position as Co-Chief Pop Culture Editor of Wizard World. Cotton’s last day was Friday, April 29.

Cotton announced the news via Twitter, stating @michaelcotton, “After 11 years and roughly 11,00 beers, I’ve left Wizard to pursue new opportunities. (And more beer.) Thank you to everyone who made the last dozen years amazing, exciting and creative. I owe you all some (more) beer.”

In March 2011, Cotton led the transition as WIZARD Magazine changed formats from a monthly print publication to a weekly digital product. As the Wizard company has evolved, Cotton has also decided to move into the next phase of his career.

“I’m excited about utilizing my time now on new creative endeavors, and I’m looking forward to different projects that I’ll be talking about soon,” Cotton said

Cotton is now pursuing new opportunities to bring readers the stories of the comic, movie and entertainment industries. He will continue to explore the core issues, elements, opinions and perspectives that fans care about through his entertaining and informative journalistic style.

Listen to Cotton analyze the latest pop culture news with Ralph Cirella and John Hein on Friday, May 6 as Feature Host of “GeekTime” on Sirius Radio channel Howard 101, from 12 noon to 2 pm.

In addition to his Sirius gig, Cotton has already shown up on Bleeding with a post entitled: Vengeance Is Mine: 10 Comics Where The Villain Gets It. IN a bio attached to the PR, he wrote:

Over his decade-long career covering comics and entertainment, Cotton has earned a reputation as a trustworthy source of pop culture information. His unique perspective is especially sought out by early adapters in the coveted Male18-34 demographic. (That’s marketing speak, people!) Through his unique industry access and his authentic connection with the consumer, Cotton is looking forward to continuing his mission of delivering fans the stories behind he stories they love.

So hire the guy already!

PS: For someone who was so ubiquitous and well known there are surprisingly few pictures of Cotton online, so we found this one from his Facebook page. Best of luck, Mike.


  1. Wow. A guy named “Goofball” leaves an uninformed and tactless message on a blog thread. I am shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you.

    In seriousness, Mike is one of the best in the business. Very excited to see what he makes happen on his own and glad he was able to go out on his own terms. Onward and upward!

  2. Wow. A guy named “Goofball” leaves an uninformed and tactless message on a blog thread. I am shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you.

    In seriousness, Mike is one of the best in the business. Very excited to see what he makes happen on his own and glad he was able to go out on his own terms. Onward and upward!

  3. I blame Cotton for a lot of things — the fact that I have the liver of a 70-year-old pirate, a severe decline in brain cells, and a few felonies I’m waiting out the statute of limitations on just to name a few — but blaming him for killing Wizard is friggin’ LAME. That dude was the heart and soul of that place for 11 years, and loved that mag and this industry more than anyone could imagine, all while taking boatloads of crap from total social asshats like you and your pal “Goofball” up there (not to mention all the BS he had to deal with from the shall-remain-nameless higher-ups at the company).

    In other words, “Bob,” might I suggest you stay the hell off the internet, because you suck on this message board, troll.

  4. How is it an uninformed opinion? Because it doesn’t match your opinion?

    Back in the days when I returned to comics, Wizard was a fairly decent magazine that covered comics and comic related merchandise (toys, video games, and the occasional movie or Tv show).

    Then they decided to start using their price guide to manipulate back issue prices so Shamus’s family could unload old Valient comics they speculated upon. They got more concerned with hyping movies (and not just comic related movies, just whatever they thought they could put on the front cover to sell that month). Take their coverage of Catwoman for example, they hyped the he’ll out of it, then as soon as it hit theaters, they couldn’t trash it enough. Very similar coverage with Fantastic Four. Neither movie was good, but to spend months hyping them, then when you realize thats your audience hated them, they completely change tone…

    When I worked at a comic shop, I would occasionally flip through the store copy, and evey month had fart joke, poop joke, toilet humor, and instead of being a comic magazine, was written for 12 year olds.

    I even downloaded their free app, to give them another chance, and the 3rd or 4th page of the first issue had some dude sitting on a toilet. Nope, nothing had changed over the last few years.

    So you like Mike Cotton, I associate him with fart jokes and the decline of Wizard. Potato vs. Potahto. To each his own. Doesn’t mean that my opinion is uninformed.

  5. Question to Goofball — have you ever worked at a nationally distributed, advertising-supported magazine? Let me guess — no, right?

    First of all, the mag has ALWAYS been focused primarily on comics. Maybe there wasn’t stuff in there you personally liked or read, and maybe Wizard had to incorporate other stuff like video games and TV shows to try and keep up with the times, but flip through any issue and I guarantee it’s at least 75% comics or comic-related media. But feel free to bust out the ol’ “I haven’t read Wizard since issue #28” argument or whatever, because I haven’t heard that one a billion times. (heavy sarcasm)

    Your whole gripe about “hyping movies” was because comic and genre based movies were popular at the time — and still are last I checked. Wizard had to pay the bills somehow and found out that people actually bought copies of the mag when they used a ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘X-Men’ cover — truthfully it’s a fairly common sales tactic that all periodicals use. Maybe to someone of your discerning taste they were pedestrian, but believe it or not, there were thousands of other people who subscribed to the mag and actually wanted to know about ‘Catwoman’ or ‘Fantastic Four’ both from and for a comic fan’s perspective. And having gone on my share of set visits, the movie studios know exactly how to make even crap like ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ seem like Oscar contenders during production (I speak from personal experience on that one). And hey — we sat through every end result and saw, just like you, how bad these things were — would you have preferred it if we were all, “No, Ang Lee’s Hulk was a MASTERPIECE! You fans are the ones that are clearly wrong!”

    And even when we knew a movie was gonna be a steaming pile going in, you just don’t bash it when they paying your checks for the month through ads and giving you exclusive interviews and info — and again, that’s not just Wizard practice. Seriously, name one other nationally distributed magazine that has ever gone on record saying something to the effect of, “Ugh, that Catwoman movie is gonna SUCK” prior to its release — I could be wrong, but I sincerely doubt any publication — from EW to Time to Premiere — has ever done that.

    And I hate to break it to you, but those fart jokes that you find ever-so-offensive to your delicate sensibilities were in there long before Cotton’s first by-line. In the mag biz, we call that a “voice” and Wizard’s voice was ment to be accessibly humorous to a targeted 18-35 male demographic. Farts are funny — granted not the Voltaire-level satire and wit that I’m sure you’re used to — but funny to us knuckleheads who don’t take ourselves (or our comics) so damn seriously.

    And I can tell you Cotton also had absolutely nothing to do with the price guide other than making sure it was in the mag every month, but I believe anyone who was ever a price guide editor will be the first to refute the whole “Shamus’ manipulating the prices” argument.

    Lastly, I doubt anyone ever held a gun to your head screaming “BROWSE LAZILY THROUGH WIZARD WITHOUT BUYING IT,” so I can’t stand that whole “I would occasionally flip through it and it would suck” typical cliche statement. So what?! I flip through my mom’s copies of Good Housekeeping when I visit , but you don’t see me wasting my time posting on message boards bemoaning the same casserole recipes and menopause medication ads every month!

    Did Wizard have its flaws — oh hell yeah, and sure, there’s no such thing as a “wrong” opinion per se, yours is just riddled with the same boring — and Kiel’s right, completely uninformed — arguments.

  6. A person who has devoted much time to the comics industry has embarked on a freelance career. The Beat’s policy in these situations is clear: we are to wish the person good luck and not slag them mercilessly.

  7. I couldn’t find a byline on this article so I don’t know whom to thank; but thank you anyway for the info. (Do you not normally get credit or was there an error?)

    WIZARD gave my b/w “indie” comic book BRU-HED the first PR of anyone, way back in issue 25–even before CBG did. I’ll always be grateful for that.

    Although I was not part of their demographic, I have nothing but the sincerest congratulations for Mike and his new gig!

    There is a plethora of us who would gladly accept such an opportunity; the fact that he earned it speaks volumes to his abilities and popularity.