Comic Foundry ends — UPDATE

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cfissue1 Comic Foundry ends    UPDATE
On the official Comic Foundry blog this morning, publisher and founder Tim Leong announces the fifth issue of the comics magazine will be the last one.

When we launched Comic Foundry Magazine it was a breath of fresh air to the industry and introduced a variety of coverage in types of stories never seen before in the comics press. We found praise and a fanbase that had a deep passion for the content we created. Together, my team helped changed the game. Comic Foundry means the world to me, which is why it saddens me to an unexplainable extent to say that our next issue will be our last. I’m sorry to admit that I’ve reached the unfortunate point where my career no longer allows enough time to do the magazine. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” my high school journalism teacher used to say. In this case, I’d rather cease publication than put out issues we don’t have time to devote to fully — less than 100 percent is not an option.


Leong also has a fulltime job as an art director at Complex Magazine, and we always wondered how on earth he had time to put out a glossy, ad-supported men’s magazine AND a glossy, feature-jammed magazine about comics. Apparently, he no longer has the time, which is a shame.

While Comic Foundry hadn’t achieved complete magazine satori, it was fresh, funny and informative. Its absence means that the print side of the comics magazine equation is left to Wizard, TCJ, CBG, Comic Book Artist, and the occasional TwoMorrows periodical. (We know there are some other print attempts out there, but none of them has made enough of an impression for us to remember them.) Certainly none of these magazines is what we’d call a “journalistic” enterprise. (And yes, we still think The Comics Journal is the best magazine about comics out there, but it gave up the news section long ago.) Does anyone really want comics journalism? Evidently not.

We’re sad to see Tim and his right-hand woman, Laura Hudson, leaving Comic Foundry behind, but we’re certain they aren’t leaving us behind entirely. It was fun while it lasted. Now on to the next thing.

UPDATE: Laura Hudson weighs in:

I’ve always been a bit of a hopeless idealist, and there are few things that make me as happy as devoting myself to something that I believe in — and for me, that was Comic Foundry. I looked at the comics world and didn’t see the comic book magazine I’d always wanted, so I got to make it. I can honestly say that every issue of CF was better and stronger than the one that came before it, and I feel incredibly proud of the work that I did there with Tim and our contributors. As Tim quoted in his post: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Comic Foundry was worth doing. And we did it well.

Comments

  1. Very sad news, but what a fantastic accomplishment. Continued success to Tim!

  2. GrantM says:

    It was the anti-wizard, god-fucking-dammnit

  3. Scott Rowland says:

    “Its absence means that the print side of the comics magazine equation is left to Wizard, TCJ, CBG, Comic Book Artist, and the occasional TwoMorrows periodical. ”

    The wording in this sentence is strange. The “occasional” TwoMorrows periodical, like Back Issue, which has published 30 issues? or Alter Ego, which is in the 80s? Also, since Comic Book Artist moved to Top Shelf, there have only been 6 issues published with the last one solicited in April of 2005. That sounds like it got canceled too, just without any fanfare. It’s a shame, because when it was good, it was great.

  4. That’s a shame. I met Tim and Laura last year at Comic Con. I thought they were very bright people. I hope they stay in comics.

  5. That sucks, I just bought an issue and it effectively provided a magazine between the far poles of Wizard and TCJ. I better go get those back issues now. Great achievement!

  6. Quality, not quantity.

    Ah well… the website continues, and there is always hope for volume two in the future.

  7. Firefly says:

    If anything was “occasional,” it was all five random issues of The Comic Foundry. And frankly, I didn’t think it lived up to any professional sort of standard journalistically set by TCJ or other serious publications (not to mention it was RIDDLED with typos). it was kind of like your average Wizard mag (except with a few more bones thrown to the established indies). No matter how you slice it, not that exciting.

    I agree with Scott Rowland, there’s nothing “occasional” about TwoMorrows and their quarterly Jack Kirby Collector or their bi-monthly Back Issue. Whether you consider it journalism or nostalgia, the TwoMorrows gang do a thorough job of covering their turf. I just read Back Issue # 31, the entire mag devoted to Steve Gerber of Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown fame, and it’s perhaps the best comics journalism I read this year!

  8. Never actually saw an issue of this one.

  9. Well, In France, we still have Scarce ,25 years and running anew in January (issue n°71) with interviews of Cynthia Martin, Paul Ryan, Mike Grell, Brian Postman ,Bob Mc Leod and Chris Warner!
    But you have to read french to appreciate it :p

  10. Firefly: you are The Enemy of Fun, my friend! COMICS FOUNDRY, you were a delight.

    This makes me so sad.

    Best,
    -R

  11. I’m sad to see COMIC FOUNDRY go, not just because I was a contributor but because I really think it was a happy medium in comics magazines. I grew up reading Wizard, but in college had a change when I started reading Indy books and never felt completely part of either my fanboy upbringing or the elite indy comics crowd.

    Also it was very hard to break into writing for the established periodicals and CF opened their arms to to me and many like minded individuals. I like many of TooMorrows publications, but I also found myself yearning for something differnet on occasion.

    I wish Tim, Laura and the other contributors the best of luck!

  12. Firefly says:

    As the guy Ross Richie has proclaimed the “Enemy of Fun” (in other words, someone not thinking in lockstep with the room and actually offering an alternative opinion), I now take the “O” out of “Foundry” and turn the magazine’s title into “Comics Fun Dry!” Boo-hiss!

    (Help! Where’s Letterman when you need him?)

  13. Firefly says:

    PS — I’m not saying The Comic Foundry was not without some merit, but I personally feel it wasn’t as good as its promise, and that sites such as this one, the Comics Reporter, Journalista, etc., offer a lot more to me than Comic Foundry and (yeeps!) Wizard (and let’s not even bring up Newsarama). And a lot more immediate as well.

  14. How come whenever people bring up print publications about comics, no one ever mentions Comic Shop News? Sure, it’s not exactly hard-hitting journalism — it’s basically just Newsarama on paper and without the impossible-to-navigate interface — but it’s always packed with long-form interviews and its weekly schedule make it far more up-to-the-minute than your Wizards of the world.

    And oh, yeah, it’s free.

  15. That’s just too damned bad. They were on to something, those crazy kids….

  16. I miss Comicology.

    -Steve!

  17. If you’re not reading the output from TwoMorrows Publishing, you’re missing out on true comics journalism-meets-fandom in its finest form. From the Image Comics: Road to Independence mag, all the Companions, Back Issue!, Rough Stuff and more, they are putting out the best a comics magazine can offer.

  18. Alexa says:

    Can I buy it from them?

    And will somebody who knows anything about publishing magazines come work for me for free?

    Seriously though, this magazine is too awesome to see die.

  19. I know how hard it can get, putting out your own magazine. It’s only for the love, that you do something like this, and at times it can be way more work than love. Getting that ad space filled is never fun, and getting a good interview can be like pulling teeth. (Thanks to those who have given me great interviews) My hats off to the people of Comic Foundry Magazine. May you live long, happy, and full lives.

  20. FIrefly says:

    One thing’s for sure: even though I didn’t enjoy Comic Foundry that much, I certainly would’ve preferred to see it stick around over Wizard, which is so rah-rah over the Big Two and the lesser versions of those companies to the exclusion of almost everything else. But from the scuttle I hear, Wizard’s on its way out anyway. If anything’s come closest to being a thinly veiled monthly collection of press releases, it’s Wizard. Their departments, such as their Hot Writers/Artists lists, has got to be one of the dumbest exercises of fanboyish expression this side of Trekkies!

  21. Jason – You’re right by the way, I grab CSN every week at the shop and read their long pieces on the subway. I had forgotten about this, it is a staple.
    And again on the Two Morrows note, I’ve loved every issue of Back Issue that I purchased, a great magazine.
    I still hate seeing Foundry go, they were doing some really interesting stuff, and would have only gotten even better over time.

  22. Michael says:

    Doesn’t look like there was that much journalism in the issue shown, just from the cover. The “manga revolution” story looks like the closest thing to news in it. Really, it looks like standard entertainment fare (which I don’t really consider journalism, since it rarely involves asking questions, doing research, and digging up facts), just perhaps geared towards people with taste, as opposed to people who buy whatever’s hottest right now.

    Still, always a shame to see the comics mag market shrink.

  23. FIrefly says:

    As Torsten Adair wrote, “Quality, not quanity.” I’d rather see the comics mag market shrink a bit if it means just having a few quality publications to cover the comics industry. Quite frankly, I’m not sure how many such publications are really needed. About five good ones will do if they cover enough ground. The Internet sites will do the rest.

  24. My sister picked me up that exact same t-shirt at Target last year for my birthday!!

    ~

    Coat

  25. Some of the articles of Back Issue are PURE journalism.

  26. James says:

    Scott Rowland and FIrefly already said what I was going to post.

    I’ll just add that BackIssue! is the best comic magazine out there and my only gripe with it is the price.

  27. Firefly says:

    The price is a little high, but for Back Issue! it’s worth it because it’s almost always a cover-to-cover read. Besides, divide the price by 2 since it comes out bi-monthly and it’s like you’re paying $3.50 per month. That’s not bad, given how thick each issue is.

  28. Tom C. says:

    I agree re: the TwoMorrow publications, Back Issue! and Alter Ego are my two favorite comic mags (been buying/subscribing since issue #1 of each and always read ‘em cover to cover).

    However, I think of mags like those as different from pubs like Comics Foundry, in that TwoMorrow’s stuff primarily looks backwards (which I love, don’t get me wrong!), while CF, TCKJ etc. look to the present and future.

    I really dug CF as it was shaping up as way more mature & intelligent than Wizard, which has become an embarassment (or maybe I’ve just grown out of its target demo). I intended to subscribe to CF, too. Bummer.

  29. Sad to see this magazine go.

    I remember meeting Tim early on in CF’s infancy when it was but a mere thought in his head and felt a sort of pride at watching his fledgling website evolve over time into becoming the magazine.

    I wish him and Laura luck in their future endeavors and hopefully I’ll still bump into them at the comic shop or at cons occasionally.

  30. I loved Comic Foundry.

    I want a Comic Foundry Annual, in the British tradition.

  31. Firefly says:

    What’s really sad is that they never credited the female model on the above cover of issue # 1. To heck with Tim and Laura, I wanna know who this cutie is and where SHE’S going next! Yowza!

  32. It’s always sad to see a comic mag fold.

    I’ve never seen a copy of CSN but I always used to pick up a copy of Comics International. A great cover to cover read, the website’s a bit rubbish though. comicsinternational.co.uk

  33. This one breaks my heart. This was easily the most accessible comic periodical out there, and I’m very sorry to see it go.

  34. Very, very sorry to see it go. After leaving comic-related mags behind a long time ago in favor of web-only coverage, it was the launch of Comic Foundry that got me to buy one again. Picked up every issue (the latest one just last weekend), and was looking forward to many more.

    Nice work while it lasted, Tim and Laura. It was appreciated.

  35. Firefly says:

    You guys are ultimately right in that the TwoMorrows titles are very excellent and The Comic Foundry was at least good enough to stick around longer than it did and evolve into something even better.

    Let’s put it this way- I doubt Wizard magazine will generate this much people paying tribute to it when it finally coughs up its last gasp. So Tim and Laura did something right!

    I’m sure Tim and Laura will be back with a new project…and if not, hey, that’s five issues better than all hundreds of issues of Wizard combined.

  36. Steve Flack, I love you.

    — Former Comicology Contributing Editor

  37. shawn williams says:

    All comics related periodicals, CBG included, can learn from CF’s tone. Inviting, and fun. They never tried to make comics an elitist club, but something anyone can pick up and enjoy at any level, casual or hardcore. CF made comics seem like just another socially accepted niche.

    I’m the graphic designer for COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE and obviously have a bias, but we are doing pretty good over here! The Beat herself has contributed to our mag many times over the years. And I even wrote Alex Robinson (Too Cool to be Forgotten), and Andy Runton (Owly) interviews in the last 2 issues respectively.

    It is sad to see CF go, I liked their in-depth stories. And love their site.

  38. Tom Spurgeon says:

    In the end, I’d like to think Tim, Laura and Comic Foundry for this opportunity to talk about how awesome our own projects are.

  39. Skyhawk says:

    Hate to see CF fold, but the sad fact is there is so much coverage of the industry on the web and it’s a matter of economics for me to buy comics or trade magazines. I occassionally pick up a CBG but other than that I wish things had worked out for the CF crew.

  40. Firefly says:

    Re: Shawn —- “All comics related periodicals, CBG included, can learn from CF’s tone. Inviting, and fun.”

    Perhaps….but I would say all except the TwoMorrows titles, or at least Back Issue! and the Jack Kirby Collector.

    I would take exception to these titles being elitist in tone, despite the narrow, niche subject matter. For sure, Back Issue! is always playful, inviting, self-deprecating. I credit editor Michael Eury for setting that loose tone. It may not be as thorough as CBA Vol. 1 in its coverage, but it’s still enjoyable and informative.

  41. Jesse Post says:

    I really loved this magazine — this is such a shame! The main point of distinction was that CF treated comics culture as a lifestyle, not a series of properties and objects to get excited about or criticize. It’s the only comics-related magazine I have at home that regular folks would pick up and say, “Wow, this is cool!”

  42. shawn williams says:

    Re: Firefly —— I agree with you. Perhaps elitist (a loaded, over and misused word) isn’t exactly what I meant. Often CF readers didn’t need a vast comics continuity or history.

    I guess what I mean is I could see someone who wouldn’t call themselves ‘comics people’ pick up CF more than most comics related publications. Perhaps not.

    But I don’t think anyone would disagree, ‘insiders’ or not, that readers of WIZARD, CBG, BACK ISSUE, TCJ; have all felt slightly lost or alienated at times.

    Very generally COMICS FOUNDRY, like Julie Schwartz at DC, was one of that best at remembering that each issue (or comic) could be somebody’s first.

  43. Well I only just read issue 4 and had to order issues 2 and 3 when I read this. I had meaning to ge tthem but I didnt realize it was going away so fast. I look at online comic news and articles all the time but its just not the same as having a magazine with a bunch of articles in one place.

  44. Firefly says:

    Shawn, thanks for the explanation. I guess you meant accessible and breezy to a general reader or casual fan that perhaps is not so bookwormish about comics. In that case, I agree, it succeeded in that department. The other mags may not be elitist, but they automatically assume that you have some deep knowledge/interest in comics.

  45. Tim Baldwin says:

    I’m surprised to see Heidi include Comic Book Artist among surviving magazines about comics. It’s been 3 years since an issue was published, and 4 years since it could accurately be called a periodical. It was great while it lasted, but its best days were under the TwoMorrows umbrella.

    I bought the first issue of Comics Foundry and was underwhelmed, particularly with the tone, which I found to be a bit snobbish. From the comments above, it apparently improved so I am also sad to see it go.

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