Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Magazine Me XVI
Paul O'Brien penned a thoughtful analysis of the state of comics journalism -- pegging his piece on the success of Wizard magazine -- that parallels the publishing opportunities for the industry to that of music journalism, primarily in the UK. He riffs off of a recent column by Warren Ellis, who contends that comics journalism should possess the same passion as music journalism -- as well as cover as much ground genre-wise.

While Warren and O'Brien's points are well-taken (and the idea is attractive), the rub is that music -- and other popcult media segments -- have mass-market audiences. There are enough music fans in general that a magazine like the Wire (O'Brien's lame jab at Norwegian jazz, aside) can survive serving a small segment of that market. Comic books don't have that mass market, so while the industry struggles to support even one high-profile general-interest magazine (anyone remember Comics Scene?), I don't think it's possible to support more than one.

Instead, we're left with smaller-scale magazines -- Wizard and the Comics Journal the most visible, at least on the newsstand (and Hogan's Alley, and...) -- and, well, the fanzines, which seem to be doing a fine job. I'd rather read an issue of the Comics Interpreter than a back issue of Comics Scene any day.

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