Lots of talk on the internets about the editor-in-chief vacancy over at Wizard Magazine, the slick market-leader in comics "journalism." I put that it quotes because it's not a very good magazine. Mediocre writing, poor presentation, editorial myopia, all of which add up to a sophomoric catalog for Marvel and DC.
I was reading Augie De Bleick's Pipeline column today, and he laid out some very valid points about what needs fixing over there.
For my part, I won't run down my litany of suggestions. And, no, not because I'm saving them for some job interview. I haven't been offered the gig and probably wouldn't take it if I was. (For lots of reasons, chief among them: they couldn't pay me enough to leave EW and stop suckling at the Time Warner golden teat; I don't particuarly wanna commute from Jersey to upstate New York; and going back into comics journalism would prohibit me from writing comics themselves.)
But I will say this: Wizard should aim to be the Sports Illustrated of comics. Bet you thought I was gonna say EW, right? No, our focus is too wide. SI, on the other hand, is all about sport, in every possible permutation. You get the meat-and-potatoes coverage you're expecting, of the NFL or the NBA or the or MLB or the PGA, but you still get stories about up-and-coming atheletes, veterans, sports you never thought were sports (spelunking, anyone?), and breaking news about sport (steroids, gambling, sex-offender high-school coaches, etc.). You get everything you could possibly want, as a sport fan: something about that particular sport you're interested in, something about sports you might not be, and a "deep dive" into a surprising arena you hadn't thought of.
So replace "sport" with "comics" and "athlete" with "creator."
Why isn't Wizard covering these reports of gender discrimination and sexual assault? Why aren't they doing a reported piece on the effect shipping delays have on readership? If you've gotta cover Hollywood, why not a piece on all the capeless comics that are becoming movies? Or the shift in the firmament that has occurred thanks to the old Hollywood gatekeepers—the ones who shunned comic flicks—dying and being replaced with younger ones that grew up with comics? All right alongside stories about the latest Marvel and DC books.
All I'm saying is that there's a way to make Wizard a real magazine, one that covers its industry without talking down to their readers, without pandering to the marketplace but still giving it what it wants. Yes, they will lose a few friends, maybe a few advertisers. But if what you're after is a legitimate journalistic enterprise instead of a PR outlet, then it's worth it.
Look, I did what I said I wasn't gonna do. Stupid blog.