PiQ Magazine Debuts

I’ve been curious to see the response to the debut issue of PiQ magazine (the former Newtype) out now. I haven’t seen it myself, but response has been mixed, with many taking a “wait and see” attitude.

I admit, I have an ulterior motive in paying attention — I’ll be contributing to the second issue. I’ve written a review, some quick takes, and interviewed the charming Todd Dezago about Perhapanauts. I’ve had great experiences so far working with the editor and I hope to continue.

So, have you seen the first issue? What did you think?


31 Responses to “PiQ Magazine Debuts”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Hmm I’ll be curious about seeing it now that I know you’re a part of it. I used to see Newtype in Wal-Marts, Targets and book chain stores. So hopefully this has the same type of distribution.

    I’ve been looking for more manga coverage lately that matches my tastes closer. (I admire Ed and Rob’s work here, but our tastes/interests seem miles apart so far which is fine.)

    I’m really curious about some new manga series I’ve seen like Suppli, Sand Chronicles and Honey & Clover (plus I just picked up the HUGELY sized vol. 9 of Nana) so hope that more coverage in other places means more chance I see some I’m interested.

  2. Johanna Says:

    All of those titles you mention are on my review stack, actually — it’s just a means of finding the time!

  3. Retro Says:

    I have a copy of the new PiQ magazine and I’ve read it cover-to-cover and compared it with NewTypeUSA (feb issue), OtakuUSA, Anime-Insider, Protoculture Addicts, and NewType-Japan (Jan issue from Amazon.co.jp).
    I’m not surprised someone protesting PiQ by burning it and showing the video on YouTube.

    If you’re a former NTUSA subscriber chances are you’ll want your money back for whatever is left of your former NTUSA subscription (assuming you can get your money back).

    If the rest of the issues of PiQ are like the first one, you’ll be getting about 76 pages of anime coverage (38 pages in the first issue, if the next is the same than that’s 76) and 146 of non-anime in exchange for what was 160 pages of pure anime per NewTypeUSA issue.
    That’s a rip-off IMHO.

    PiQ is NOTHING like NTUSA, OtakuUSA, Anime-Insider, Protoculture Addicts, or Shonen Jump.

    PiQ is neither a good anime magazine, nor a good Sci-Fi magazine.
    It can’t compare to Wizard magazine or Starlog Magazine in the American Comics and Sci-Fi arena and it is a far cry from Anime-Insider (which is 88 pages of pure anime and only $4.99/issue US).

    And I for one and absolutely sick of hearing people say “give PiQ a chance.” Considering how lax they are with handing the refunding of our NTUSA subscriptions I am not inclined to trust them one iota.

    Mr. Gary Steinman put his name to the letter inside the premier issue which claims that the new PiQ magazine would be like “NTUSA…and much more!”
    That’s a lie, plain and simple.
    My advice to my fellow NTUSA subscribers is to dump this magazine and buy something else that caters to your anime tastes instead of allowing these people at PiQ to con/force you into accepting a substandard product.

    Demand your money back!!

  4. merulaae Says:

    I agree with “Retro”, PiQ is a total rip-off. I regret being one of those who were saying “let’s give Piq a chance” but I only did it because I thought since it was a replacement for NTUSA then it might be good but I was deadly wrong.

    PS:It was today that I bought the PiQ mag, good money wasted!!!!

  5. Marielle Says:

    I bought Piq magazine on March 14th. Returned it bright and early March 15th.

    That should tell you everything.

  6. Robert Says:

    “PiQ is NOTHING like NTUSA, OtakuUSA, Anime-Insider, Protoculture Addicts, or Shonen Jump.”

    Retro, your statement that NTUSA was “160 pages of pure anime” is false to begin with, so I’m having a hard time believing anything you wrote after that… Not only did NTUSA cover things besides anime, but you’d have to go back a few years to find an issue with 160 pages that didn’t include some number of ads.

    But thank you for stating what we’ve been trying to tell people all along. It’s never been our goal to make PiQ in the same vein as NTUSA. If it feels like something different, that’s the idea.

    If you’re expecting a refund from PiQ for your subscription, you’re barking up the wrong tree, friend. AD Vision will be handling all previous NTUSA business, so you’ll need to contact them about that.

  7. Retro Says:

    Robert, I was including the ads in the February issue of NTUSA.

    Though I am mistaken, there is a two page ad from Scion auto company in the front inside cover. So it’s 158 pages of pure anime (including the ads for anime related shops and Series available).

    I suspect you’re the Robert from PiQ so anything you say is suspect.

    You say you’re not handling the refunds eh? Then why is it former NTUSA subscribers are getting two mags of P(retend) i(‘m) Q(uality) magazine for every one issue of NTUSA.

    Oh I know why. Because PiQ still has the money fromt the 15,000 or so former subscribers of NTUSA and you need the money from them to keep this substandard rag you’re peddling going.

    And you’re right Robert, PiQ does feel like something different alright. It feels like a cheap immitation of a once great anime magazine.
    I suspect it costs alot less in liscencing fees to publish the Adult Swim garbage, the Sci-Fi channel American shows, and American Comic books. Anime is expensive. Why? Because it’s a quality product.

    I forsee PiQ dying a quick painful economic death once people compare it to OtakuUSA and Protoculture Addicts.

    There are still good anime magazines out there, PiQ just isn’t one of them.

  8. Johanna Says:

    “Retro”, you sound pretty bitter. I know it can be frustrating when a magazine you were enjoying has to close/change, and I’m sorry you lost Newtype. Personally, I’m not looking for an anime magazine, but a manga/anime/Japanese culture magazine, so it sounds that PiQ is moving away from your tastes and closer to mine.

  9. Retro Says:

    Johanna, you have touched on the core of the problem.
    PiQ is for people looking for a magazine that is not about anime.
    And in that endeavor I wish them the best of luck.

    Although let me say I’m not bitter about NTUSA ending so much as I’m offended that Gary Steinman’s PiQ staff (knowing this was not an Otakucentric magazine) took it upon themselves to not only proclaim this new publication as being superior to NTUSA but essentially forced all of NTUSA’s former subscribers into an “honorary” subscription to the new magazine.

    However, the cosumer base that made up NTUSA’s subscribers were looking for a pure anime magazine. That’s why we were shelling out $90.00/year for a subscription.

    If the old NTUSA staff had given us the option of a full refund for our remaining NewTypeUSA subscription instead of simply signing us up for a magazine many of us Otaku do not want (or authorized them to send us) there would never have been a problem. In fact, I would never have started posting about this anywhere. Because I’d have whatever is left of my subscription (I don’t care it was just one issues worth) and PiQ could try and compete with magazines like Wizard, Starlog, Play, and OtakuUSA all they want.

    And we would all go about our business and that would be that.

    But as with many relationships in life (business or personal), there is the problem of money.

    The refund issue has yet to be resolved and with Robert Cortez (above) saying its ADV’s responsibility, it leaves me wondering where they got the money to issue 2 copies of PiQ for every 1 of NTUSA.

    I’ve contacted ADV about this and the Federal Trade Commission.

    I’ll wait and see what they have to say before I make any decisions on the next course of action.

  10. Robert Says:

    Yes, I am the Robert Cortez from PiQ, and I’m only trying to clarify some of the things you’ve commented on. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, but I’m just passing on what I know.

    As often happens when a magazine goes under, PiQ acquired the existing subscriber list from Newtype USA. Any financial situations or obligations of Newtype USA are a separate matter. As a way to offer something to those people who had already paid, PiQ is offering them two issues for every remaining issue on their subscription. For people like yourself that aren’t happy with that, they can always request a pro-rated refund from Newtype USA. I doubt you’ll ever get a full refund out of ANY magazine if you’ve already received issues.

    I can understand that you might not like the magazine. That’s fine. My concern here is for our contributors and that they not be bothered with people looking to simply trash our magazine and spread misinformation.

  11. Retro Says:

    “My concern here is for our contributors and that they not be bothered with people looking to simply trash our magazine and spread misinformation.”

    I am concerned for them as well.
    If it turns out that PiQ is the one responsible for the refunding of former NTUSA subscribers money then PiQ could be in trouble.

    Nobody here is trashing your magazine Robert or spreading misinformation and you know it.

    I have a copy of the first issue of your magazine in hand and I am critiquing it from an Otaku’s viewpoint.

    With it I have the February issue of NTUSA, I have a copy of NewType-Japan (Jan issue), Anime-Insider (March issue), and OtakuUSA (March issue).
    I’m comparing your magazine with its competition and with the old NTUSA (Feb).

    If you dislike what I’m saying I’m sorry but PiQ only has itself to blame. My criticism of PiQ is not harrassment, threatening, or in anyway meant to slander or defame PiQ. I’m simply pointing out the facts as I perceive them and I’m criticizing your magazine accordingly.

    Have you seen the “white sheet” that came with the first issue to NTUSA subscribers?

    If you have then you know that Gary Steinman made the claim that the new magazine was like NTUSA and much more.

    Now PiQ is backpeddling on that claim and saying its nothing like NTUSA.
    That could be construed by some as false advertising.

    PiQ is digging its own financial grave without any help from me.

    Hopefully this mess can be resolved in the next few weeks. I’ll keep on ADV about the refund issue. But understand that this situation with the 2 for 1 deal is very odd. Why would PiQ give 2 magazines out for every 1 of NewTypeUSA if PiQ doesn’t have access to the subscription money?

    I am curious how you could afford to do that as a new magazine with such a small subscriber base.

  12. Johanna Says:

    When magazines go out of business, it’s typical for them to not have any money to refund, and most subscribers are lucky to get any comp subscription to a similar publication. It’s not quite the same situation here, since it’s a retooling, but I don’t think anyone knows the financial details. (I had something similar happen to me last year, and complaining to the BBB and the publisher did absolutely nothing. It’s just what happens in publishing.) And as for why it might happen without PiQ having the sub money, magazines sometimes do starter subs at free or very reduced rates to hopefully get renewals. You’re entitled to your opinion about whether or not you enjoyed the magazine, but you’re going beyond that to speculating on a lot of stuff you have no concrete information about.

  13. Retro Says:

    [quote]You’re entitled to your opinion about whether or not you enjoyed the magazine, but you’re going beyond that to speculating on a lot of stuff you have no concrete information about.
    [/quote]

    Johanna;
    Pardon my propensity to speculate beyond the available facts but, there would be no speculation if PiQ was forthcoming with refund information. Whether that information was a link to ADV on their homepage too where all refund requests for NTUSA should be made or even a Banner on their website stating that they are not offerintg refunds for NTUSA because its not their responsibility now that they are no longer a part of ADV.

    But too ignore the issue entirely is to raise suspicion. It should be no surprise to anyone that someone is questioning where the money went or is.
    If they’re(PiQ) not responsible for the refunds then they should publicly say so on their site in a manner that is clear and concise.
    That would certainly help end any speculation.

    I’ve perused other magazine sites for information on what is typical with the cancelation of a subscription or the termination of a magazine. Normally the subscriber is offered a refund for the value of whatever issues are left. This was not done in the case of NTUSA so it is unusual.

    Finding out who is actually responsible for any refunds is also something of a chore in this case which is also unusual. This is far from the first magazine subscription I’ve ever had and I’ve seen magazines come and go (like Animag, Animerica, and Ronin Network) all of them issued me a prompt refund for the remainder of my subscription (which was considerably less than NTUSA) so why should this be different?

    Like I said already, I’ll wait and see what ADV has to say about this.

  14. Johanna Says:

    I’ve had four magazines cancelled out from under me. None offered refunds, because if they had that much money, they wouldn’t be ending. Your version of “normally” doesn’t match my experience. But as you say, you should wait and see instead of throwing around accusations.

  15. Retro Says:

    “I’ve had four magazines cancelled out from under me. None offered refunds, ”

    That sucks. I’m sorry to hear that (seriously).

    I agree that what we think of as “normal” is all a matter of experience.

    I enjoy CWR and have been a reader of it on and off for a little while.

    I admit I feel bad about dragging you into all this.
    No hard feelings Kay? :)

  16. Johanna Says:

    Oh, sure. :)

    I do hope you let us know what you find out when you get an answer. And thanks for reading the site!

  17. Retro Says:

    I will let you know as soon as ADV gives me an anwer (if they do). :)

  18. Christopher Butcher Says:

    Johanna- I’ll have a pretty detailed review up in the next little bit… I’m glad to hear you’re writing for them actually, because I think the writing is definitely an area where they can use improvement.

    Best,

    – Chris

  19. Johanna Says:

    Chris, I look forward to seeing it, since I’m more familiar with your attitudes toward things.

  20. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » Eye-openers for Monday morning Says:

    […] Draper Carlson asks what people think of PiQ magazine and gets a robust […]

  21. Gratta Says:

    Personally, I didn’t like it, but it’s not aimed at my demographic anyway so my opinion doesn’t really matter. I received a free copy through an order I made with RightStuf, and, since it was free, I figured I would give it a chance. Most of it was of no interest to me since my tastes are outside the US mainstream nerd subculture (including the anime coverage). Concerning the anime coverage, while giving a negative opinion of moe will probably please many, it turned me off to the magazine entirely. The same also goes for the US-centric approach the coverage took. Lastly, they accepted advertising from a known seller of unlicensed merchandise, Anime Castle. Of course, the unlicensed merchandise they sell might not harm ADV (CDs, character goods, import DVDS, etc), but it does harm the Japanese companies.

    I must admit I did find the article by Mr. Konno interesting. However, with space being limited as it is, I chucked it into the recycling bin since one interesting article doesn’t make a magazine.

    But again, I’m outside their demographic.

  22. Christopher Butcher Says:

    Johanna: Well, it’s up. It’s a little over 6500 words… Probably the longest article I’ve ever written for my site.

    http://comics212.net/2008/03/17/piq-issue-1-post-mortem

    Let me know what you think.

    – Chris

  23. Johanna Says:

    … Wow, that’s complete. I hope the editors see it and find it helpful. Sounds like there are some basics that could be firmed up.

  24. Retro Says:

    Hi Johanna,

    I finally got a response from ADV/PIQ (and yes, they are still the same company but ADV is handling all of NTUSA’s former business).

    This is a copy of the email they sent me;

    “Hello [Redacted to protect my privacy]

    Thank you for your email!

    PiQ has cancelled your subscription. Refunds are not being processed at this time.

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

    Thank you and have a great day!

    Kind Regards,

    RJ Kato”

    Well I can’t complain, at least they responded. Hopefully this means I’ll get some kind of refund in the future (but after what you told me about your experiences with cancelled magazines, I’m not going to hold my breath :) )

    PS: I’m sure you’re article in the next issue of PiQ will help them clean up their act. You’re a very professional journalist/writer and the staff at PiQ.LLC could certainly learn from your example.

    Thanks again for being here, lord knows the alternative-entertainment-culture needs people like you.

  25. Johanna Says:

    I’m sorry for you, but I’m not surprised. Thanks for letting us know what you found out. And I appreciate your faith in me.

  26. Wayong Says:

    I’m guess I’m an oddity because I like PiQ Magazine because I’m not looking to replace Newtype. I used to read Newtype years ago & enjoyed it, but at the time, my interests in anime were limited at the time. I don’t see PiQ as a an “anime” mag, but rather a mag that fits a certain demographic that may like certain types of anime, manga,etc.

    Interesting that someone mentioned that they were turned off by the “anti-Moe” mentallity… I discovered Tweeny Witches through PiQ (maybe not typical, but I consider it moe).

    I’m probably outside the target age, but I guess I’m a pretty immature adult & mostly only watch Cartoon Network, Comedy Central & some scifi shows…

    I think the zine is packaged nicely… I have yet to find a alternative zine to replace World Art (Hi Fructose comes the closest, but still). I would like to see more depth along the lines of World Art (I could dream).

    The price tag for the heft of the zine is a bit pricy, in my opinion.

  27. James Schee Says:

    I bought the first issue Johanna had contributed to. It was okay, but since I know almost nothing about anime I don’t really see myself buying it regularly.

    I did happen to skim through the latest issue though, and liked Johanna’s page/piece on Halo and Sprocket and Alex Robinson’s new book. It was a cute/fun drawing of Johanna too! lol

  28. Johanna Says:

    I haven’t seen the newest one yet! Glad to hear it was cute.

  29. lo Says:

    it’s misleading that PiQ state it self as a NTUSA successor yet it doesn’t do half the job NTUSA does. The magazine is trying to cover everything but fails at covering anythng. And for fuck sake, there are more ads than anime content.(at least they are anime ads) Given the numerous competitors out there, if PiQ doesn’t sort their shit out and actually focuses on something, it wouldn’t last long. And for people who keep saying give it a chance, i’ve given 4 chances, and they are just dissapointment after dissapointment. i don’t live in north america so i have to get my copy air freighted, and that ain’t cheap! but until my local Boarders start to import the much heard about Otaku USA, i guess i don’t really have much of a choice

  30. Johanna Says:

    You’re WAY behind. PiQ magazine is defunct.

  31. Abel Says:

    I’ve just been reading up on this whole ordeal and I completely agree with Retro. So far PIQ has done nothing but disappoint! I personaly am insulted at the fact that PIQ magazine would even think I’d want this garbage excuse for a anime mag. Newtype was great in everyway that PIQ has failed in. I first viewed Newtype in 04′ and I’ve never wanted to turn back until now. Halfway trough deployment I recieved my last issue of Newtype, when my first issue of PIQ arrived and I read the message in the front me and my fellow sailors knew that a great thing had died. We depened on Newtype to support us through the seven long months out to sea but now all we can do is mourn the loss of our one real security in the quiet hours of combat. I am a otaku in the navy and though I cant speak for every otaku sailor I can speak for me and my shipmates. Newtype USA magazine will be deeply missed.




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