How Wizard World Used To Market Themselves In 2001

Wizard: The Guide To Comics magazine and its comic convention spinoff Wizard World have been a) insanely successful, b) repeatedly controversial and c) came to a sticky end. At its height in the nineties, Wizard World Magazine was selling more than the comics it covered, matching sales with the likes of X-Men, WildCATS, and Batman. And in the noughties, the Wizard World conventions was the biggest comic con franchise in the world. A crashing speculator market, political infighting, and investor involvement ended up dooming the brand, more than the accusations of market manipulation, sexist "boys club" behaviour, and Frank Miller tearing a copy up during his Keynote speech at the Eisner Awards.

Many have found memories of Wizard Magazine which ran from 1991 to 2011, as a gateway to their comic book-buying behaviour, a reflection of fan opinion, and a gateway for insight to their favorite creators, scoops, and just plain silliness. But sometimes when you come up against it twenty years later, it can be a little shocking. Such as one Bleeding Cool reader who found an ad for their website WizardWorld.com, at the time an entertainment news website for comics with a sideline in selling merchandise. Asking us if Wizard really sold themselves like this?

How Wizard World Used To Market Themselves - In 2001

Turns out they did. Come and get it… download comic babe pics… sexy comic girls… and comic book collecting/selling services. It does seem like another world, it was a different time, etc etc etc. And indeed, checking the Wayback Machine for the site for 2001, it is the most read feature.

How Wizard World Used To Market Themselves In 2001

Month in…

How Wizard World Used To Market Themselves In 2001

Month out…

How Wizard World Used To Market Themselves In 2001

This is the kind of ad that went by without comment, it was just part of the general furniture of mass media. If folk start waxing nostalgic about a golden era, of comics, sometimes this is the kind of thing that is worth reminding folks about. And even more so, that it wasn't even commented about at the time, because of everything else that was going on.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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