201102071217.jpgWith 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.


  1. Well, the answer was “Wizard World will be different because it will include things you can do on a website that you can’t do in print”. But without any concrete ideas, it’s just meaningless blather. The whole interview is pretty much just vacant PR-speak, of a sort that tends to suggest that he doesn’t have much of substance to announce.

  2. Mushy-mouthed interviews like this one make me appreciate straight shooters like Image publisher Eric Stephenson all the more. You might not always like his answers, but at least he doesn’t speak in a steady stream of PR nothingness the way Shamus always has.

  3. I’m glad I’ll be jazzed up by this. Jazz is great, and jazzing things up makes things even jazzier, and oh wow has it been a long time since anything was really, truly jazzy (basically since Jeff was dj-ing for The Fresh Prince).

  4. Mr. Shamus, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  5. “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.”

    That article doesn’t mean what it looks like. It basically says that the web’s share of bandwitch is declining to video and other stuff.

    Well d’uh.

    First off it’s share and since bandwith is increasing actual bandwith is probably going up, just not as fast as video etc.

    Second off applications like video naturally take up more bandwith than text and photos.

    Third off it breaks out ‘video’ and ‘web’ which I don’t get since well, I find the internet videos I watch through websites.

    Fourth off, what matters to publishers and marketers is how much time are people spending on each? Email is a minute portion of bandwith but I spend more time on it than any of the other functions noted. A meaningful chart would ask how much of the day we spend on each type of net usage not how much bandwith they use.

    Sorry but misleading articles just piss me off.

  6. Charles Knight says: “A largely worthless interview that leaves the reader no better informed than when they started.”

    Just like Wizard Magazine, right? :D

  7. Heidi,

    You should have interrupted him, said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard all that. How do you feel about the huge number of people who hate you so much? Because *they hate you,* y’know.”

    That’s how to run an interview: O’Reilly style>

  8. @Mike B.risbois, Heidi didn’t do the interview. But yes, Valerie D’Orazio, should have said something like that.

    You gotta hand it to Shamus, he was able to make millions off of a shrinking comic economy. No easy trick. Suck it dry. I believe this is where all the anger from the fans originates. He is running a business. Not his hobby. Not a passion or obsession, a business. You’ll notice, even in this interview, he says the people “voted with their dollars.” Its all about the green for him.

    This is why comic people who are passionate about comics are generally loved by comic fans. So its no surprise that the comic enthusiast in me thinks this guy is a piece of sh*t with a sh*t-eating smile. (look at the photo, what a douche)

    And lastly, reading him refer to attendees of his comic shows as HIS fans makes me nauseous. I just decided to go to C2E2 instead of WWchicago this year.