Monday, January 24, 2011

Are you a Wizard?

With news of Wizard magazine reportedly closing down, I figure this is a good time as any to tell this story. 

When I was around 13 or 14, after I had just moved to the United States, I used to read Wizard magazine. At this point in my life, I had read some comics, but I was in no way an aficionado, just odds and ends that my dad would buy me. I knew all of the popular characters, and read plenty of mainstream stuff, but I was still very entry-level in my reading. I think I accompanied my parents to Winn Dixie (that's a supermarket), and in the magazine rack I saw a familiar figure sticking out (probably Spider-Man, this was around the time the first movie came out), and they bought it for me. Inside, I think there was a big piece on the Ultimate universe, as well as some info on upcoming movies, and some "Top 50" characters of all time. 

In any case, for the next year or so, every time I would accompany my parents to the supermarket, I would look through the magazine section. I wouldn't buy any current comics (I had no idea where to find a comic book store at that time), but it was interesting to me to read about them anyway. I particularly remember a piece on the Milligan-Allred X-Force that made an impression on my mind. The prize guide in the back puzzled me to no end, though I enjoyed going through the names to see what caught my eye. After some months of reading, I actually wrote an email to the editor, answering a question that I think was about what franchises from other media I would like to see in comics. I figured some poor intern had to read through my poor English (remember, I had lived in the U.S. for about year at the time), and deleted it from their inbox.

Apparently, they actually published it in the magazine. 

To this day, I have not seen the actual letter printed on it, nor do I remember what I actually wrote. I didn't even know that they had printed it, until one day, months later after I had sent it, and after I had stopped buying Wizard, some like-minded fan sent me an email (I guess they published my e-mail too), just striking up conversation about the comics he was reading at the time. I remember he told me in what issue they printed it, but to be honest, I'm afraid to go back and look at it. Like I said, my English was probably definitely very poor, and my knowledge of the industry in general and the comic books published at the time was laughable. Some day, someone might even find it, recognize my name and ask me about it. But until then, I'm probably better off avoiding it.

In any case, I stopped reading Wizard around that time, with my interest going in other directions like video games, music, and girls. When I went back to comics, dedicated websites like Comic Book Resources were already in full bloom, and buying the magazine was a waste of money. I was snarky about it on Twitter but I guess Wizard could still be useful if it attracted kids like me in the magazine stands of markets, stores, and so on like it did with me.

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