Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wizard's Folly

So, Wizard is claiming to be the number one men's magazine? I read it first here, and then again, here. And both make valid points. But to be honest, I'm not sure I would've even noticed. Sure, it's a big banner across the top, but I would've seen the latest Wizard on the rack, checked to see what alternate covers there were, and picked the one I wanted. I like Wizard. Not because it's a great magazine -- far from it -- but because it's got nice illos and updates on books, with some useful reviews. There have been good interviews, too, especially with DC creators about upcoming projects. Should I not buy it because of the asinine, sexist proclamation? Should I not buy it because they're proclaiming something that writes off their female readership? Do they even realize or care that they have a female readership?

I might not have ever bought Playboy, but I've read it. I remember my mother asking my father to pick up the recent issue on his way home from work, so she could read the Mel Brooks interview. I've read many issues of Playboy over the years. The interviews were topnotch and the cartoons were mostly funny. And of course, there were plenty of laughs in the advice columns.

But, you say, Playboy is designed to appeal to men primarily, while a mag covering comics is designed to appeal to comics readers and these days, that's both sexes. Should I boycott Wizard because of this foolishness on their part? Would a boycott change their mind, hit them where it hurts, be noticeable? Would they care? Because, after all, I and my fellow females, aren't the intended audience, because, after all, *everyone* knows women don't read comics.

Or do I continue to read what I want, regardless? Because tomorrow when I pick up my comics, a new Wizard will be waiting and there will probably be an article or two in it I'll want to read and I don't know any men who will have it for me to borrow.



  1. "...a mag covering comics is designed to appeal to comics readers and these days, that's both sexes."

    See, I think the point of that banner is to announce that they want to be more than a mag covering comics. They probably smell money outside the Geek Ghetto, and there are worse ways to chase that money than setting yourself up as the Seth Rogan version of Maxim.

    "Or do I continue to read what I want, regardless?"

    Of course! Roman Polanski's legal issues don't stop me from watching Rosemary's Baby. GWB's incredible stupidity doesn't stop me from applauding on the odd occasion when the administration does something right.

    If we deny ourselves a random moment of happiness (or deny others their momentary successes) on the basis of unrelated offenses, we're only hurting ourselves.

  2. A lot has to do with whether or not a boycott can be an effective tool. If you have a large enough pool of consumers who boycott, then yes, it could be. But in this case, the pool isn't likely big enough to make a difference even if every female refuses to buy the mag.

    But I'll be looking over the content carefully to see if I'll be continuing to buy the mag. If they skew too far into things that don't interest me, I guess I'll have to find another print source of info because I still prefer reading print than online sources. Easier on my eyes.

  3. So far, Shelley, yours is the opinion closest to my own. I have been reading Wizard for a pretty long time, and by and large, I've enjoyed it, although I must admit that it has been going downhill lately. That may have to do with the fact that they fired a crapload of people.

    Nevertheless, it is something of a smack in the face to see that I'm apparently not valued as a reader.

    It also used to be a lot funnier. Sophomoric humor, granted, but it's trying too hard nowadays.

  4. I agree, Sally, the quality has gone down. It was Wizard including the first issue of the current Wolverine comic (when he was out of costume) that got me to start reading that comic. They've done wonderful articles on 52. I love the reviews and the "casting the movie" features. There was a real sense of fun, even if I was never really the intended audience. I guess my continued reading will depend on content and if it keeps going downhill, that will be the deciding factor.

  5. "I remember my mother asking my father to pick up the recent issue on his way home from work, so she could read the Mel Brooks interview."

    Your mother wins one million cool points.

  6. RAB, my mother was very cool. She and my father never censored my reading.