Here's the bad news, via press release. My heart goes out to Brent Frankenhoff and Maggie Thompson. And we've all lost something unique. I'm too choked up to say much more, but here's a history of the magazine at former editor John Jackson Miller's Comics Chronicle site.

F+W Announces Closure of Comics Buyer's Guide

 

January 9, 2013 – Krause Publications, a division of F+W Media, Inc., announced today the closure of Comics Buyer's Guide effective with the March 2013 issue. The Company cited general poor market conditions and forces working against the title’s sustainability including the downturn in print advertising and the proliferation of free content available online for this highly specialized industry.

 

“We continuously evaluate our portfolio and analyze our content strategy to determine how well we are meeting consumer and Company goals,” said David Blansfield, President. ”We take into consideration the marketplace we serve and the opportunities available for each of our magazine titles. After much analysis and deliberation, we have determined to cease publication of Comics Buyer’s Guide.”

 

Current subscribers to the magazine will receive a one-for-one conversion to CBG sister publication Antique Trader: a biweekly that has served the antiques and collectibles community since 1957. The www.CBGXtra.com site and its Facebook page will exist as an archived resource administered by Antique Trader.

 

F+W Media, Inc., the leading enthusiast media Company, serves more than 20 niche consumer and B-to-B communities through its vast portfolio of events, ecommerce, online education, ebooks, emags, print media and more. www.fwmedia.com

Views: 1221

Comment by Jeff of Earth-J on January 11, 2013 at 3:59pm

I’ve been a subscriber to CBG since 1989 (and a reader for somewhat longer). The format changed somewhere in the middle of a three year subscription. I let my subscription lapse after that, partially because I didn’t like the idea of being “forced” to buy a price guide I didn’t use with every issue, but mainly because I just didn’t have the time to read it anymore. (I used to read it on the train during my daily commute, but since 2001 I’ve been driving to and from work every day.) Within the past year, however, I spied a stray copy at my LCS, noticed it had dropped the price guide, and re-upped my subscription. I’ve been enjoying it for many months now and will miss it now that it’s gone. CBG led me to this message board, and I’ve made many friends here, quite a few of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet personally. CBG is dead… long live the Comics Cave!

Comment by Emerkeith Davyjack on January 11, 2013 at 6:25pm

...Well , that twerp Frankenhoff finally put it six feet under , nyaah haaah haah haah . Okay okay okay . But it's nice to think thus , isn't it ???

Comment by Captain Comics on January 11, 2013 at 7:27pm

No, Brent's a nice guy and a good editor. I place the blame on F+W, which really had no idea what to do with the property.

Comment by Richard Willis on January 11, 2013 at 7:41pm

About a year ago I realized my CBG subscription had expired. I further realized that I had not received the last six issues of the sub.

After getting nowhere with the subscription people I sent a note to Brent. He went out of his way to find and send me four of the missing issues, which were the only ones they still had on hand. I of course resubscribed. If he hadn't been so helpful I might not have.

Comment by Richard Willis on January 11, 2013 at 7:44pm

Another problem they may have had was the title of the magazine. When we moved in 2006 I missed an issue. I think the Postal Service mistook it for a catalog, which they do not forward.

Comment by Emerkeith Davyjack on January 11, 2013 at 7:55pm

...Well , Frankenhoff ended , finally , my decades-long on & off relation with the mag when he tossed me off of the boards .

  I let my sub elapse after that .

  I had letters in it over the years , including at least as recently as that DVD-Rom?? of the first 36?? mag format issues - Unpaid , of course !!! - So , I am a " ontributor " of sorts .

  Still , I'm very much down .

  Think I might find the last issues someday ?

  Think Krause might try for a last-minute - not " rescue " but money-makinng soppiong-up " FAREWELL "  #1700 ? Newsweek , admittedly , didn't .

Comment by Captain Comics on January 11, 2013 at 7:58pm

Maybe we should do an issue #1700 here. Hmmm.

Comment by Figserello on January 11, 2013 at 9:36pm

I can't Imagine how you ever fell out with someone who edits prose for a living EKDJ.

Comment by Lee Houston, Junior on January 12, 2013 at 8:01am

Let's make something perfectly clear here.

While not everything (like the reality of the marketplace) is their fault, F+W is the party clearly responsible for things like the format change and shutting down the online forums at CBGXtra.com.

Brent, Maggie, and company were just the poor souls caught in the middle and the first ones who caught the flak when things went wrong. 

Comment by Mr. Silver Age on January 12, 2013 at 9:54am

While not everything (like the reality of the marketplace) is their fault, F+W is the party clearly responsible for things like the format change and shutting down the online forums at CBGXtra.com.

In that regard, I think they're fully responsible, because they didn't know how to react to the market changes (markets always change) and didn't put any, or at least enough, time into figuring it out. Shutting down the online forums was really the death knell, as any magazine that has any chance at a long life today has a strong online presence.

Ideally, magazines today create an online presence that drive people to their site, and then they offer a digital version of the issues as part of a paid subscription. Then, when the printed version is no longer viable, they have an existing base that was reading online regularly rather than once a month when the mailed version arrived anyway and they don't miss the print version so much. And they resubscribe because they're still reading the magazine, it's just on their tablet.

Keep in mind, CBG was the last general-interest comics magazine standing, and I would have bet on Wizard outlasting CBG. I don't know of anyone left, except for TwoMorrows, and I'm not sure how long they'll be around with print editions. So maybe comics don't lend themselves to a viable magazine format any more, with so many people giving away news and opinions for free on the web.

The Web is great for readers, but it's tough to find a way to monetize it. I have no idea where all that money that used to go into print ads has gone. It isn't going to web ads in the same amount. I'm betting that few people who talk about old comics are making money off it, but I'd be happy to be surprised.

EKDJ, I'm almost certain you're the only one who's going to be expressing delight at seeing CBG go down and wishing ill on Brent. As Figs noted, maybe the problems you had weren't all on Brent's side--and your comment pretty much indicates that.

Think Krause might try for a last-minute - not " rescue " but money-makinng soppiong-up " FAREWELL "  #1700 ? Newsweek , admittedly , didn't .

Brent thought it was better this way, but I think letting them put out #1700 would have been the best way to go and showed some class. If nothing else, all the contributors who had just submitted their copy for the deadline would've gotten paid full price for work produced to that point.

I don't know if you saw Newsweek's final print edition, EKDJ, but it was almost entirely a salute to Newsweek. The cover showed the Newsweek logo on their former building and said The Last Print Edition. All the columns and stuff inside were about how great and trailblazing and wonderful Newsweek had been--right down to a many-pages article on the Great Newsweek-Time Rivalry, as if we cared that much. Many arms were broken patting themselves on the back. So the difference between how Newsweek and CBG went out--especially when a major milestone was a couple weeks away for CBG--was like night and day.

And, of course, Newsweek didn't disappear, they just shut the print edition and still offer their weekly digital "issue." My problem--besides not owning an e-reader--is that I'm not sure that, once I decide I want my weekly analysis of news from the Web, I need to buy it from Newsweek. I think Wizard discovered that, and I don't know that CBG would have fared any better with a digital version--probably less so, considering CBG's audience probably skews older.

Maybe we should do an issue #1700 here. Hmmm.

I thought of that, too. I certainly intend to put up my final column--it was ready to go at the deadline, so why not? We could send out a word and see who responds. I don't know that everyone would--obviously, PAD may not, unless he'd written ahead a little, and Tony Isabella might just put it up on his blog instead. OTOH, we could always link to any of those that show up, and others might come here. We could set up a temporary section or something a month from now, let the columnists know and see what happens.

-- MSA

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