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Not to be confused with Wizards of the Coast.

Wizard Entertainment, formerly known as Wizard Press, is a New York-based publisher of several magazines in fandom: InQuest Gamer, Wizard, INPower!,and ToyFare, along with various special issues for each magazine and the annual Toy Wishes holiday guide.

Since the first issue of Wizard magazine was published in 1991, Wizard Entertainment has grown from a publisher of one monthly magazine to a multi-title publishing company with diversified interests in branded products and related convention operations. The magazine originally started as a price guide to comics but evolved into focusing squarely on pop-culture, specifically targeting young adult males. The magazine still features a price guide to comics and action figures in the back of the magazine.

The company's Wizard World conventions attracted more than 125,000 attendees in 2005,[citation needed] making it the second largest pop-culture event series in the country,[citation needed] only behind the Comic-Con International series of conventions (San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon, and APE). Wizard hosts three annual conventions in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The Comic Con tour has continued to expand and change cities such as Texas, New York and Toronto. Chicago and Philadelphia are among the larger comic book conventions in the United States, with Wizard World Chicago in second place behind the San Diego Comic-Con for overall attendance at a single event.[citation needed]

History

Gareb Shamus, the company’s CEO and Chairman, founded Wizard magazine in January 1991 shortly after he graduated from college. Originally based in Congers, New York, Wizard has grown from one monthly magazine to a multi-title publishing company with diversified interests in branded products and related convention operations. Wizard’s publications reach more than 2 million consumers a month, in 40 countries with translations into 5 languages.[citation needed]

Wizard’s first magazine debuted in July 1991. Wizard: The Guide to Comics was launched (the magazine would later be re-titled as Wizard: The Comics Magazine and again as Wizard: The Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture). The publication has grown dramatically since with a current[when?] monthly circulation of 200,000.[citation needed] Wizard has won numerous awards including four Folio Gold Awards for Editorial Excellence and has been voted “Magazine of the Year” thirteen years in a row by hobby shop retailers.[citation needed] Wizard has been awarded “TOP 10” magazine launch of the 1990s by Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni, a world-renowned magazine industry analyst.[citation needed]

A second monthly magazine was launched in 1995: Inquest Gamer. InQuest Gamer was a source for information about collectible card games, role-playing games, and strategy gaming. InQuest Gamer was one of the first in the United States to report on some of the world’s hottest hits, including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh.[citation needed] In 2007, publication of Inquest Gamer was canceled.

ToyFare: The Toy Magazine was launched in 1997. ToyFare is a Folio Gold Award winner and covers new toys including Star Wars, Spider-Man and Batman.

FunFare Magazine was launched in 2009. It is published semi-annually and features consumer toy products for kids and the young at heart.

Conventions

Wizard Entertainment purchased the Chicago Comicon, a comics convention in Chicago, in 1997 to expand from its core publishing business into trade/consumer conventions.[1] In just a few short years, the now renamed Wizard World Chicago event boasts a weekend attendance of over 58,000 people.[2] As of 2010, that number has grown to over 70,000 attendees. In 2005, Wizard World was the largest producer of consumer events in its industries with four annual shows taking place in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Texas and reaching over 125,000 consumers each year.[citation needed]

In 2008, Wizard began adding an academic forum called Wizard World University to include scholarly panels at their conventions, beginning with the November convention in Arlington, Texas.[3]

In 2009, Wizard canceled the Texas event and postponed the Los Angeles convention.[4]

In 2009, Wizard World acquired the Big Apple Convention, New York City's longest-running comic book, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and pop culture convention. Big Apple's last independent show was held on June 13, 2009 at the Hotel Pennsylvania. Big Apple had scheduled a show for November, but it was rescheduled for October 16–18 at Pier 94 in Manhattan and re-branded "Big Apple Comic Con."

In 2009, Wizard World also acquired the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, "a show that has been consistently awarded The Best International Comic Book Convention (non-USA) by ComicBookConventions.com, for the last five years."[5] The Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon was previoulsy owned by Peter Dixon of Paradise Comics.

As of 2010, Wizard Entertainment now produces a North American Comic Con tour. City stops include: Toronto,[6]Anaheim, Philadelphia[7] , Chicago, Big Apple, Austin, and Boston. Tour expansions are announced regularly.

Publications

Wizard also published TOY WISHES: The Ultimate Guide to Family Entertainment, a resource for what toys to buy during the holidays. Every year TOY WISHES appeared in over 100 TV interviews and in over 500 newspapers, including “The Today Show”, “Good Morning America” and USA Today. TOY WISHES produced “The Ultimate Toy Awards” TV show with Dick Clark that aired on NBC December 5, 2004.[citation needed]

Wizard launched Anime Insider, a U.S. magazine covering the Japanese animation and manga market. Anime Insider was discontinued in the spring of 2009.

In 2000 Wizard Entertainment forayed into the world of actual comic book publishing, creating the imprint Black Bull Entertainment, and the first comic title released was the miniseries Gatecrasher.[8] Despite attracting such talent as Garth Ennis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Mark Waid, Nelson DeCastro, and relatively positive sales for their respective titles[citation needed]: Gate Crasher (ongoing series), Just a Pilgrim, Beautiful Killer and Shadow Reavers, Wizard Entertainment has not pursued further publications through Black Bull, and the line is considered dead.

In 2006, Wizard relaunched its Web site, WizardUniverse.com, with a new design and a new focus on editorial content rather than convention or merchandise related content. That year, Wizard also relaunched its message boards. In 2007, Wizard announced[citation needed] it would revert to the original WizardWorld.com format, which it did for a brief time.

References

External links

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