In 1991 a small business operation run in the back room of a local comic-book store gave birth to “Wizard: The Magazine for Comics,” a publication that covered comic books, the industry that produces them and the fandom that loves them. With its updated comic price guide, feature articles and special exclusive comic-book illustrations and stories, “Wizard” saw the rise and fall of comic book publishers for about two decades before folding in the face of free information from comic book websites. However, six years after ceasing publication, “Wizard” magazine is going to make a start in the print media once more, in conjunction with an online comic-book news video series.

Digital and print

Wizard World Incorporated announced this week their intention to re-launch their iconic journalism magazine “Wizard” on both print and digital format. The digital version is a rebranding of its “Wizard World” online mag which launched in 2011 in the same month that the original magazine brought out its final issue. The new print magazine is projected to be published quarterly when it starts, compared to the monthly release of its predecessor. Brian Walton of “Nerdist” and head of content for Wizard World shall serve as Editor-in-Chief, with Luke Y. Thompson as Associate Editor.

At the same time, it will run parallel with a daily digital video newscast called “WizPop.” In fact, this service actually started this week, with its featured news being to announce the return of “Wizard” to publication.

The new magazine, “WizPop” and the Wizard World Comic Cons held across the country, are being pushed by Wizard World President and CEO John D. Maatta as a new “media triumvirate” of the company. He describes it as a 24-hour digital ad live experiential entertainment platform not just for fans of comic books, but of popular culture as a whole.

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Strong publishing pedigree

During its first decade in the 1990s, “Wizard” magazine became a heavyweight hit for comic book fans and nerds, reaching up to 100,000 copies circulating per month (more than some of the publishers it reported on). It covered not just the old pillars Marvel and DC Comics, but also the then-new blood of Valiant and Image Comics.

With the onset of internet websites and forums discussing comic books and related media without a price tag, subscriptions of "Wizard" dwindled throughout the first decade of the 21st Century, with the original mag folding in 2011. Many of its staff eventually found work in the comic book publishers they covered before.

While “WizPop” is already active online, the new quarterly “Wizard” comic guide magazine will be officially launched on August 25 at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. This was the same comic convention acquired by the publishers in 1997 that began its expansion into a multimedia business.