I was never a big fan of Wizard Magazine. I picked up an issue or two, but it didn't seem to have anything I was especially interested in and I largely ignored it for most of its run.
The magazine debuted in 1991, when I was in college. My disposable income was pretty limited, so I focused on getting the few comics I could afford. So I didn't really take a look at it until it had a few years under its belt, and by then it had pretty well knocked all of its competitors off the market. And while I taken up a full time job (with the requesite increase in disposable income!) I had also gotten access to the world wide web, and any sort of news-type magazine seemed date to me even then. They had previews of books I'd already read about, creator change-ups were long-since confirmed or debunked, and even the snark/comedy was well-trod territory in various message boards. Just by the nature of printing a monthly magazine, they had very little that wasn't already out of date by the time an issue hit the stands.
I have a cousin, though, who did buy the magazine pretty regularly starting around 1995 and ending a decade later. And, of course, being a comic collector, he held on to every issue. A couple years after he stopped getting them, he offered them to me. (Mainly at the insistance of his mother, I think, who was trying to clear out her basement.) Which I happily accepted with the intent of using them for fandom research. Each issue provides a snapshot of not only what was going on in the comics industry, but how fans reacted and felt. It was barometer of comic fandom for twenty years.
(Weird aside: I just realized that I have now had about half of these issues in my possession longer than my cousin had them.)
Having recently gotten my comics library set up, I took some time to organize all my comics magazine. I've got a smattering of Comic Book Marketplace, CBG, Heroes Illustrated, etc. plus a good collection of Alter Ego but the ten years of Wizards outnumbers everything else combined. And while I haven't read the vast majority of them, I have pulled an occasional issue out while researching various projects.
And you know, they work exactly in the way that I had hoped. They stand as time capsules for whatever was going on in and around the industry at the time. I chose not to buy them originally because they had old news, and yet it's old news that is precisely why they hold value now.
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