201102280316.jpgFormer Wizard editor and comics retailer Rob Samsel died suddenly on February 18th at the age of 46. He’s survived by his wife, Leslie, son, Rob Jr., and three step-children.

As a staff writer and editor for Wizard in the ’90s, Samsel was a familiar figure in the social scene of the time. After leaving Wizard, he remained in comics in various capacities, and ran several comics shops in Connecticut, including Fantasy Comics and Fantastic Cards and Comics. He was a keen and savvy observer of the business, read The Beat regularly, and commented occasionally.

Brandon Seifert has a nice tribute:

Rob was someone I got to know relatively well while freelancing for Wizard and he was a brash, funny guy who was definitely part of the madcap chemical energy that made Wizard what it was in the early days. He always had some hilarious story or bit of industry skuttlebutt that he couldn’t wait to pull you aside and tell you. Rob was just about the most well-connected guy I knew in comics in those days, 20 years ago now. Or so it seemed to me at the time. The guy knew everybody.

In our time we hoisted many a brew with Samsel, and he was a funny, fun guy who leaves behind many friends. My sincere condolences to his family.

[Thanks to TC Ford for passing along this information.]


  1. Two shots to the gut in a short time, First my buddy, Dwayne McDuffie and now Rob Samsel.

    When I think of the 1980’s and 90’s in comics, I think of Rob and all the fun he brought to the party. Always upbeat and always entertaining. He knew his stuff and everyone in comics. Rob was also the guy that was there to pass the good word and back you up when you needed it. He made my time at Eclipse Comics, Image Comics and McFarlane Toys a bunch of fun at the Cons.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Those of us that knew Rob will miss him a lot.

    Beau Smith
    The Flying Fist Ranch

  2. Rob also was a regular contributor to Combo Magazine. I recall bonding over Wreckless Eric and Ian Dury lyrics when I first met him. Always hoped to run into him again someday.