Wizard News Roundup: Magazine Returns, New Shows Announced, More

Wizard World logo

My gracious, Wizard World has been announcing quite a lot lately. Let’s hit the high points.

Wizard Magazine Will Return

Before the conventions, Wizard was a magazine. One that pandered to fanboys and featured a price guide that focused on speculation and promoting comics that they said would be hot (thus valuable). One that ceased publication in 2011 after almost 20 years of print.

Now, with the hiring of Brian Walton (formerly of Nerdist) as their Director of Content, they’re relaunching. In print, Wizard will be “a premium quarterly magazine” (details to come). But WizPop will be a daily “news service” in video form (weekdays, so far, anyway). Here’s the first one. But then, they haven’t officially launched yet — the official date is this coming weekend’s Wizard World Chicago.

They promise they will be “reporting on the biggest stories of the day in pop culture, entertainment, and fandom” and “also feature a weekly round-table reviewing the relevant news of the week… in Wizard’s distinctive snarkily-smart voice…. From ‘Casting Calls’ to ‘The Drawing Board’, classic Wizard Magazine columns will be revived as web-based articles and regular video features.” It’ll be interesting to see if these projects can make inroads at a time when there are so many other options for the latest press releases and other comic news.

Wizard World Hall of Legends Adds More Men

Wizard World Hall of Legends logo

The first two nominees to the Wizard World Hall of Legends kept a nice gender balance, but since then, the third, fourth, and fifth inductees have been men.

Jeff Smith (Bone) was added at Wizard World Comic Con Columbus at the beginning of the month. Mike Grell (Green Arrow, Warlord) will be inducted at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago on Thursday, August 24. And next will come Guy Gilchrist, artist of the Nancy comic strip since 1995, added at Wizard World Comic Con Nashville in early September. Basically, the nominees seem to be the biggest name they can get at any particular show, although I wasn’t particularly familiar with Gilchrist’s work.

Wizard Launches Two New Shows

In July, Wizard cancelled two conventions with relatively short notice but promised they’d be adding more. Now comes word that they are adding these two shows, both first-time Wizard Worlds:

* October 20-22 in Montgomery, Alabama
* November 10-12 in Springfield, Missouri

As well, “additional shows for 2017 will be announced very soon.” Based on their website, that will include a show in Biloxi, Mississippi, October 13-15 and Winston-Salem, NC, December 1-3. Those join the previously announced:

* October 27-29, Oklahoma City
* November 17-19, Austin, Texas

Many of these are smaller markets, where the blend of comic retailers and various pop culture stars will attract an audience who may not have been exposed to this kind of show in their area. I’m not the target audience for a Wizard show, since I’m interested in different kinds of comics, but I remember a co-worker who hadn’t had that much experience with conventions absolutely loving the day he spent at the local Madison show with his kid. Speaking of which…

Wizard World Madison Moves to Fall, Stan Lee Guests

After launching in 2015 in February (not the ideal time for a show in the upper Midwest) and then moving to April, the next Wizard World Madison (Wisconsin) will take place next month, September 22-24. (Which snuck up on me!)

The lead guest is Stan Lee, who will appear Saturday only. He will also guest at Wizard World Austin (on Saturday, November 18) and Wizard World New Orleans (on Saturday, January 6, 2018).


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