The year was 2001, and a young college student named Deanna (who also happened to be a comic book nerd) needed an internship to finish out her English degree. Wizard: The Guide to Comics was the answer.
I joined the staff as an editorial intern, learning the ins and outs of publishing and how to “make it sexy” from then Editor-in-Chief Joe Yanarella. I sat in editorial pitch meetings, watched staff members play ridiculous pranks on each other, and learned very quickly that interns were assigned the crap no one wanted, like organizing the comic library in the attic.
Once my internship ended, I worked in the Research Department for a short time, eventually going freelance before ending my time with the magazine. But it was an important part of my life, shaping my career path. I also made friends, and 20 years later, I still see and speak with some of those guys regularly.
Recently, WIZARDS! The Podcast Guide To Comics held a reunion Zoom panel to celebrate the publication’s 30th anniversary. I joined in, reuniting with staff members and reminiscing about the crazy times in Congers, NY. I didn’t work with everyone on the panel. Some came before and some came after (the magazine was in circulation from 1991 to 2011), but it was fun to hear how similar all of our experiences were.
On August 18th, you can watch the Wizard 30th Anniversary Reunion Roundtable, which was recorded live on August 7th via Zoom. Participants besides yours truly included Brian Cunningham (former DC Comics Editor), Doug Goldstein (Robot Chicken/Devil May Care), Zach Oat (Diamond Select Toys), Rob Bricken (Former Editor Topless Robot/io9.com), Justin Aclin (Star Wars: The Clone Wars-Defenders of the Lost Temple, Former ToyFare editor), and many more.
During the panel, we re-created a Wizard bullpen pitch meeting as if we were going to publish a 30th-anniversary special issue to commemorate the big birthday. Moderated by Cunningham, we shared stories, laughed about pranks and inside jokes, recalled memories good and questionable, and even discussed how influential the publication was during its time.
The Wizard 30th Anniversary Reunion Roundtable will be released on August 18th and presented in video format through the WIZARDS! The Podcast Guide To Comics YouTube channel as well as in an edited audio format via the website. This audio version will also be available for download on Apple Podcasts and the WIZARDS! The Podcast Guide To Comics podcast feed on all other major podcast platforms.
About WIZARDS! The Podcast Guide To Comics:
A fan-produced, podcast appearing on The Retro Network that re-examines the ’90s comic book boom through the pages of Wizard The Guide To Comics, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday. Hosts Adam Pope, Michael Cannetti, and Steven Tsapelas assemble each episode to discuss an issue of Wizard Magazine in detail, conduct interviews with former staff members on The Wizard Files podcast series, or revisit the early days of cinematic comic book adaptation on ’90s Super Cinema. WIZARDS! The Podcast Guide to Comics was launched in January of 2019 through The Retro Network and is not affiliated with the owners of Wizard The Guide To Comics or WizardWorld conventions.