It seems that the Wizard Universe Message Board, home to seditious postings on bad customer service, personnel changes, joyless conventions and other, hoi polloi, topics, has been shut down, part of a total reworking of the Wizard Universe family of sites. Ex-Wizardeer Sean T. Collins has more:
The board was launched in 2006, at the start of Wizard’s often-shaky attempt to maintain a web presence in a comics-news scene increasingly dominated by online outlets. The WUMB was a priority for then-Editor-in-Chief Pat McCallum, who mandated daily posts from all editorial staffers as a way to increase the sense of community with readers of Wizard’s publications (at the time, there were four monthly magazines). McCallum and many other high-ranking editorial figures — among them, Wizard Editor Brian Cunningham, ToyFare Editors Zach Oat and Justin Aclin, VP Joe Yanarella, Anime Insider Editor Summer Mullins, WizardUniverse.com Editors Rick Marshall and Jim Gibbons, and Wizard and WizardUniverse.com Managing Editor, uh, me — posted on the board frequently, even though its hosting on an outside company’s server prevented its hits from being counted toward Wizard’s main site.
As mentioned, the move comes in the midst of many format changes and relaunches for Wizard roducts both in print and online. For instance, the long running price guide has also been dropped from the print magazine:
However, as the WUMB thread shows, many of Wizard’s most die-hard devotees saw the section as key to the magazine’s identity — a magazine about comics, as the opposed to general nerd-friendly pop culture touted by Wizard over the past few years and at Shamus’s GeekChicDaily e-newsletter. Coupled with the apparent move away from comics-focused conventions toward nerd-celeb-heavy shows that seems to be the Shamus/Wizard strategy for its Con War with Reed Exhibitions, the price guide’s elimination is another step away from the traditional Wizard brand, and a step toward some future Shamus 2.0, less dependent on the comics industry and its customers.
WUMB spin-off Panels on Pages has its own eulogy by Jason Kerouac.
Finally, in other Wizard-related news, Comic Foundry makes a zombie return from the dead with Last-minute Halloween Costume! Be the SCARIEST CHARACTER IN COMICS! MEEEEEow.