Wizard Magazine Ends, Wizard World Goes Public

Wizard Magazine, which covered the comic book industry for nearly 20 years, has announced it is closing its doors, effective immediately. Gareb Shamus, head of the company, announced yesterday that Wizard would cease to exist as a print magazine, and nearly all of the magazine's employees were immediately fired. The current issue will be the last, although according to Shamus, it will be replaced with “Wizard World Magazine”, an online publication of some kind. While wildly successful in its early years, in recent times Wizard suffered as internet comics news outlets became more popular. However, Wizard also runs the Wizard World series of comics conventions, and in an unusual move, Wizard World Inc. took this opportunity to go public as a penny stock. More details are available on Heidi MacDonald's The Beat here and here.

DC Pulls Out, Comics Code Authority Closes

The Comics Code Authority, the voluntary comics industry self-regulation group in force since 1954, has shut down after DC Comics announced it was pulling out, earlier this week. Marvel already left as of 2001, Bongo stopped using the seal in 2010, most newer publishers had never belonged in the first place and DC had been publishing adult comics without the CAA seal for years. This week's announcement, however, marked DC's complete break with the controversial code authority. Soon thereafter, Archie Comics pulled out as well, leaving the Comics Code Authority defunct and without members. DC will be replacing the seal with a comics rating system similar to that used by manga publishers and the movie industry.

The Comics Code Authority had rules similar to Hollywood's Hayes Code and was formed as a reaction to the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings, which focussed on comic books as a potentially dangerous influence on children. It has been considered by some to be the cause of the end of the Golden Age of Comics. More details are available here.

GLAAD Comic Award Nominees Announced

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, as announced this year's nominees for their annual media awards for best depictions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people including their nominees for Outstanding Comic Book. This year's nominees are Avengers: The Children's Crusade, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fogtown, Veronica and X-Factor. More details are available on the GLAAD Media Awards site.

Man Sentenced to 15 Months for Adult Simpsons Art

Steve Kutzner of Boise, Idaho has been convicted of possessing child pornography and sentenced to fifteen months in prison – for x-rated cartoon images of young characters from The Simpsons. While Mr. Kutzner was a school teacher and supposedly involved in a live-action child pornography distribution ring, no actionable evidence could be found, leading to the Simpsons-related conviction. The case continues the disturbing trend in recent years of underage cartoons and drawings being treated as if they are photos of actual children in the law. More details are available from Brigid Alverson here.

Wonder Woman TV Show On NBC

The Wonder Woman tv show pilot from acclaimed television creator David E. Kelley, originally scheduled for the CW and subsequently cancelled, has found a new home on NBC. It is currently said to be a reimagining of the Wonder Woman mythos with Diana Prince as a successful business woman and secret vigilante. More details are available here.

Duncan the Wonder Dog Comes to Digital

Surprise hit graphic novel Duncan the Wonder Dog, which has sold out its original print run and will be reprinted later this year, has now become available in a digital format through MyDigitalComics.com. The digital comic will cost $9.95, $15 less than the print edition. More details are available here.

This Week @ Good Comics For Kids

This week School Library Journal’s blog Good Comics for Kids covered the 2011 Sydney Taylor awards and the 1/19 roundup of good comics for kids and a Keep to the Code No More themed links roundup from Brigid Alverson.

This Week @ The Beat

This week PWCW editor Heidi MacDonald’s blog The Beat discusses Marvel and DC's cost-cutting measures, the Golden Age Women-In-Comics wiki, James Kolchaka becomes Vermont's first-ever cartoonist laureate, and this years winners of the International Manga Awards.