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Sunday, October 11, 2009 

NY Post sugars it up for Wizard

The New York Post has written a sugary article about the publisher of Wizard magazine:
Pop culture is finally catching up with Gareb Shamus.

Shamus, 40, grew up around his parents' Nanuet, NY, comic book store and loved the fantasy genre so much that as soon as he graduated college he started Wizard magazine -- a monthly dedicated to comic-book characters and the world they live in.

Shamus was animated about comic books before comic books were cool -- and tremendously profitable.

Today, Shamus' Wizard Entertainment still publishes the thriving 19-year-old title, along with ToyFare, a 12-year-old monthly spin-off that focuses on action figures, and 11-year-old FunFare magazine, a twice-yearly magazine that covers the toy industry.

Take a look around, though. As comic book and other fantasy character content has exploded into the center of pop culture over the last decade -- some of Hollywood's recent highest grossing films, Transformers, Dark Knight, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Superman, Star Wars -- Shamus is branching out.

After dipping his toe into the comic book convention, or Comic-Con, business when he bought the sleepy and financially struggling Chicago Comic-Con in 1994, Shamus has been on a buying spree.

[...]

His timing couldn't be better. While the economy is taking its toll on many forms of entertainment -- from professional sports, to television to Hollywood -- Comic-Cons across the country are ringing up sales gains of 15 percent, and more.

These aren't your older brother's Comic-Cons -- those sleepy, hotel-based two-day affairs that draw 3,000 hard-core comic book geeks who drool over top comic book illustrators and swap insider hero tales.

Today, Hollywood has taken over these Comic-Cons and, along with a new generation of promoters, like Shamus, are turning them into festival-like affairs complete with mega-watt celebrity appearances, sneak previews of upcoming films, videogames, TV shows and toys.

You might have to look hard to even find a comic book.
Well isn't that the problem? Aside from that, Shamus's Wizard monthly is a sham, a magazine that's dumbed-down the perception of comics for many years now, and I'm very sad they've chosen to overlook that.

And despite what they say, the public attendance of comic conventions is still very iffy, and if Tinseltown continues to take over, it's not certain comics will ever regain true recognition. Especially if "news" sources Wizard continue to give such a poor perspective.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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