I’m filled with all kinds of emotions and have been all day after hearing about the closing of Wizard and later ToyFare as print publications very early this morning. To make matters worse, the missus woke me up very early because she was having trouble starting her car. I don’t know jack about cars, but tried starting it myself, coming in after it felt like my fingers were going to fall off. I took my car to the gas station, filled the flat-ish tires with air and brought it back for her to drive to work. I don’t like waking up early and actually wasn’t able to sleep in this weekend, so I was feeling kind of punch anyway, especially because I had planned to head over to the storage unit place and move our junk from the smaller unit to the new one. Anyway, that’s all a long way to go to tell you that I was already feeling pretty weird this morning. Then I got the news and was floored. I had actually just started writing for Wizard again, though I don’t know whether the piece I finished will ever run or what the deal is. It was fun to write about comics again.
My history with Wizard is similar with a lot of other peoples’ up to a point. I discovered the magazine at a bookstore in the mall. The issue had a Rob Liefeld/Jim Lee Heroes Reborn cover and announced the new JLA lineup by some guy named Grant Morrison. I instantly fell in love with the mag which was my only source of comic book information and soon enough I devoured each monthly issue. I read the mag all the way through college, never leaving it for the internet. Heck, I didn’t even know there were comic book websites because Wizard was the perfect amount of everything for me. I’m not obsessed with comics, I just wanted to read something fun and find out what’s coming up. My junior year of college I sent a lot of letters and resumes around to Marvel, DC, Rolling Stone and also Wizard to try and score an internship. I heard back from Wizard and that’s when it all began. I spent nine weeks working for them that summer. In addition to being on the inside of a lot of interesting meetings and cutting my teeth writing about comics and doing interviews, I met some rad dudes.
I went back to school, graduated and sat around Toledo for a while before finally hearing back from Wizard, they had a job opening and were offering it to me. Soon enough I moved out to New York and had a gig working in the research department. Like any other job there were ups and downs, but there’s no way I’d be where I am right now without someone at that company deciding to give me chance. Eventually I worked my way up to being an associate editor for ToyFare. I rocked that job and learned a ridiculous amount for a year before being laid off. Sure, I had problems with aspects of that as well and can empathize with the mysterious former employee who talked to iFanboy. But, even then, I was immediately offered the opportunity to write huge chunks of ToyFare, which facilitated my freelance career. I’m hoping that things work out for everyone who’s still there and for everyone who’s not. Again, I can understand that post-firing/lying off feeling and it’s awful and I hated hearing this after I got bounced, but they’re solid dudes who will quickly bounce back.
So, while battling feelings of sadness for the end of an era, compassion for my now jobless friends, fear for the ones I didn’t know about and worry about my own standing with the company that makes up a huge part of my income, what did I do? I built a dresser from Ikea. It helped keep my mind off things and gave me something to do because I had planned to work on my next Wizard feature today.