Thompson Cover Nov08
The Beat has confirmed an LA Times report that Nickelodeon Magazine, the last studio kids magazine, has been canceled:

Viacom is shutting down Nickelodeon Magazine this week and will lay off about 30 staffers. Launched in 1993, the magazine, with a circulation of more than 1 million and a total audience of more than 6 million, was for many years an important promotional platform for the children’s cable network and provided a steady stream of cash. The magazine even once was a National Magazine Award finalist and also led to a few spin-off products.

The fate of comics editors Chris Duffy and Dave Roman isn’t specifically known yet. The loss of the magazine comes as a blow to the comics community — in addition to developing such popular comics properties as SpongeBob and Avatar: The Last Airbender, Duffy and Roman hired the cream of the crop of indie cartoonists, from Sam Henderson and Johnny Ryan to Laura Park and Jason Lutes. It was one of the few places where cartoonists of this ilk could get paid decent rates for their work, which makes it all the sadder. In addition, they published stand-alone comics collections and sponsored the first Kids Comics Awards.

While this leaves an obvious gap for kids comics, it leave a gap for comics in magazines in general — once a key way for cartoonists to make money and gain exposure, the implosion of the magazine market has taken this avenue with it. Or as Ryan Sands tweeted:

Nick Mag was a great venue 4 indie cartoonists: Laura Park, Jason Shiga, Johnny Ryan, Elio, Kupperman. Now there’s just vice, GR & arthur

GR means Giant Robot.

Above: A Richard Thompson drawn cover for Nick Mag’s comics section. Much more art and history of the magazine can be seen at the Nick Mag Comics LJ, which we urge all to visit as a token of remembrance of a great magazine. There is a post up just from yesterday with a LAURA PARK 3D COMIC.


  1. Regrets and sympathies to Dave and Chris! And to Drew Weing and all the others who’ve graced their amazing pages. So sorry to lose another kids mag, kids comics avenue, and overall fun read.

    I know you guys will be on your feet in no time.

  2. I really can’t believe it. I feel like a friend has just passed away. It really is a very sad day for all ages comics. I sincerely hope Chris Duffy and Dave Roman and everyone else at Nick will find other outlets for their talents as soon as humanly possible. I am personally indebted to them for many fantastic jobs over the years.


  3. I’m very sorry to hear this news, too, and especially for Dave and Chris, and hope they weather these events as well as can be expected at such an awful time…

  4. “While this leaves an obvious gap for kids comics, it leave a gap for comics in magazines in general — once a key way for cartoonists to make money and gain exposure, the implosion of the magazine market has taken this avenue with it.”

    I’m going to keep fighting a while longer, non the less. WHO’S WITH ME!!!

  5. Although I wasn’t mentioned in the article (there have been too many contributors to list them all) I’ve been working for Nick for 11 years, starting at the same time Dave Roman joined the staff, and worked closely with Dave, Chris, Tim Jones and others on many, many projects. It was a great time. It’s hard to close a long chapter of people’s lives. Big business doesn’t know and doesn’t care. Change is not always a good thing. But big business has hurt themselves badly in these last years and it serves them right for all the dirt they dish on the rest of us. I will miss Nick. I know all the reasons and Viacom can justify it any way they please, I still say they’re fools to close it down.

  6. Yeah, I hate to blame the internet, but I do agree that the last few generations never developed the fondness for periodicals like the older ones did. I loved getting MAD and CRACKED and monster mags, and just poring over every little detail. You can pretty much just log on and find anything you want to see now. It’s great and terrible.

    Chris and Dave: love you kids to death. Working for Nick paid for stuff when the going got tough, and your input, love of the medium and respect for writers and artists is something to be admired greatly. Best of luck in whatever comes next.

    I’ll miss Zelda.

  7. Just wanted to chime in re: Chris and Dave. Good people, and good comics people. I think Sarah and I have worked with them for about 12 years, now, and it was always a pleasure. Cripes. I hope they both win the lottery.

    An all-around bummer.

  8. Just talked to someone at Nick, and apparently they’re planning a big final issue for August, including a lot of the work that’s in the pipeline (including the illustrations I just completed for them).

    Still crappy, but here’s hoping they go out with a bang.

  9. This is really sad. Comics and kids’ magazines seem like an ideal combination; I remember the first time I saw Bone in Disney Adventures and thought it was a perfect fit.

    I think the problem is having to answer to a bottom-line-obsessed corporate overlord. Someone needs to come along and revitalize this form in an more indie vein. Maybe Toon Books can find a way to fill the gap.

  10. I think I started out in issue # 1 (1990) & hung around for a couple of pieces this year. Nick magazine was one of the last print venues left that paid appropriately for comics and always treated the contributors right. Chris & Dave are both pros and I’m confident will both land solidly on their feet.

  11. It’s true, Chris and Dave were a couple of the best. Easy to work with, and they knew their stuff. Gave a lot of us a chance to do some cool and fun stuff. They deserve so much better than to have some dumb organization say “Thanks, but we’re not doing that anymore.” This is why I’ve always detested that old saying “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Maybe sometimes it needs to be personal and not be business. With Chris and Dave you felt that way. The suits can go…well, I’ll keep this classy and not say.

  12. This is terrible. Nickelodeon Magazine was like a friend to me when I was growing up. How will future generations get their Ooze News now!?!?!?

    Hopefully we’ll be getting some of these comics in print form, in a nice fat Fantagraphics collected edition and… well, let’s hope somebody fills the hole left by this. A good moderately priced

    Also, lest we forget, Nick Magazine was a good bastion of weirdness for kids, what with Zelda the Roving Reporter and the fill in the speech balloons to the ancient monkey in a sailor suit photo, something that’s unfortunately gone from the market (again, hopefully not for long).

  13. Nickelodeon supplied steady work for me as a cartoonist since 1994 or 95. This REALLY sucks. I love the magazine, and it’s a source of pride for me. My 8 year old will not take this well. It’s a strange time for a cartoonist. The printed page is getting to be a rare place. It’s just not the same to read comics online. It hurts the eyes after a while, and the sharp details are not as apparent. I want to say thank you for all the great issues and opportunities. Maybe this will create an opportunity for a new kid’s mag? There NEEDS to be one.

  14. I had the joy of doing a few projects with Chris and Dave, and can only add my appreciation of their work. Definitely some great editors, I hope they and the rest of the Nick mag crew will get back on their feet very soon. Also wishing best of success for all the more regular contributing artists.
    Sad to see another kids publication disappearing. Looks like Nick Magazine had better sales numbers than many regular comics.
    Viacom has just shot itself in the foot by losing one great way to reach an audience.

  15. For those of us in the small press, the kind of numbers Nick Mag was selling was like an impossible dream. We celebrated if we got one one hundredth of their circulation. For a bloated conglomeration like Viacom, success isn’t good enough.
    If the meek shall indeed inherit the earth, perhaps in that great by and by, we’ll finally be free from wealthy, bottom line thinking CEO’s once and for all.
    But Dave and Chris will be there with us.

  16. How sad. It’s a shame the parent company stands on greed, instead of making a reasonable profit and producing a positive magazine like this.

    Couldn’t they lower the publication frequency instead?

    It’s sad to see good magazines go down the drain just because of lower numbers or kids addictive internet usage.

  17. What’s even sadder is that, most probably, nothing people say will change their mind. And we’ll all think a little less of them for it, and they won’t care one iota.
    Money money money is the be all and end all and that’s all that ever mattered to them.

  18. I can’t believe this is happening! I’ve been a subscriber to Nick Mag for years! I remember reading my first issue when I was five. . . good times. When I heard about this today I was so sad I almost wanted to cry. I especially feel bad for all those artists who might never get a chance now that their magazine is canceled. Good bye old friend. You will be missed. :(

  19. Mannnnnnnnnn! I remember I got my first Nick magazine for my 7th birthday. I turned 13 in September and I STILL read them.
    When I got my last magazine in the mail today I cried. I will save that magazine forever. Nick Mag gave me a passion for reading that will never go away. Nothing will ever replace this magazine. It was the best one ever.

  20. OMG! i’m in tears i love to read this dont get rid of nick mag it’s so funnny i love it pleaz i need it so dearly. I got them all the time and the wre like the ONLY thing my parents could get me to read and they sorta still are! :*( pleaaaaz nick mag I LUUUVVVVVVVS U!

  21. My seven year old grandson was in tears and inconsolable when he found something on the internet tonight about Nickelodeon Magazine shutting down. I’ve very sorry to hear this.

  22. I can not belive this. If only I can find the last issue. I was a reder for 5 years so this is a part of my childhood. This is so sad for me to hear that it is actually gone. Maybe, if everyone calls Nickelodeon (their numbers on Google if you type in Nickelodeon on Goggle Maps), maybe, they will understand that there is a way to keep every business going. They could cut down on production. If it can restore whats lost. I don’t care what it takes.

    PS if anyone knows where to get the last issue please comment below this… please :(

  23. The final issue of Nickelodeon Magazine has a cover date of December 2009, so you should try magazine sellers that have sold the mag in the past. Used copies will be available on eventually.