August 12 - I just remembered another reason why I don't really enjoy WizardWorld Chicago as much as I used to enjoy its Chicago Comicon predecessor; Wizard is the main market competition to Comics Buyer's Guide. Sure, the Internet is probably the main competition to both, but, on the racks at comic book stores, it's Wizard vs. C.B.G.. Look; long before I had any contact with anyone at C.B.G., I became a loyal reader. I was buying the old newspaper version on a regular basis by 1982, when I finally talked my parents into purchasing a still-ongoing subscription for me as a Christmas gift. When Wizard came along years later, I realized pretty quickly that my insular world of the Secret Club of Comics Geeks had been exposed to the larger world. Here, in real stores and on regular newsstands, was a magazine ostensibly aimed directly at me. At first, I admit, I was so happy and proud to have been part of a suddenly discovered, now so important demographic. It was like someone saying "Hey, you were right all along!" Almost too late, however, I realized that I, and others like me, had merely been hijacked, led astray toward the worst, most base aspects of fandom by the siren call of the accepted mainstream. "Who's the hottest comics babe" all too subtly replaced discussions of "who's the best writer." Crude humor, sexist attitudes, worthless hype, and meaningless attention to only the top selling titles and creators became Wizard's standard practices. Meanwhile, the informative pages of old-school C.B.G. were consistently both entertaining and in-depth. I really don't like being pandered to, and enjoy even less having my intelligence (whatever there may be) and "fantegrity" insulted. It didn't take long for me to kick Wizard to the curb where it usually belongs (near the gutter). Then they bought "my" Chicago Comicon. In so doing, they also systematically relegated the annual C.B.G. presence there to smaller and more inconvenient (often degrading) locations and involvement in the show. Heads held high, the C.B.G. staff never showed a sign of how this must have hurt them, financially and spiritually. I suppose that all is fair in business, and comic book fandom is big business. Still, I don't enjoy seeing this titan of integrity treated like just another small press nuisance on the fringes of the "real" convention features. But, whatchya gonna do? Things are as they are. It's like anything, from Jay Leno vs. David Letterman, to Harley-Davidson vs. Indian; the biggest in ratings or sales is seldom the one with the most integrity. Well, gotta go to work. Here's your latest Mystery Theme Comic Book Character of The Day - The Thing!