Publishing | More details have begun to emerge about the abrupt closings of Wizard and ToyFare magazines, and the announcement of a new public company headed by Gareb Shamus. ICv2.com reports that Wizard World Inc. was taken public through a reverse merger with a shell company, a failed oil and gas venture known as GoEnergy Inc., which acquired the assets of Kick the Can, a corporate repository for the assets of Shamus’ Wizard World Comic Con Tour. Following the acquisition, GoEnergy’s chairman and chief financial officer resigned and was replaced by Shamus. In the process, the new company raised capital through the issuance of $1.5 million in preferred stock. Meanwhile, an anonymous Wizard staff member reveals to iFanboy he was informed that the magazine had folded during a phone call Sunday evening, and was not permitted to collect personal belongings. A freelance contributors writes at Bleeding Cool that he learned about the closing through a Facebook message on Monday morning.
The comics Internet is swarming with reaction pieces: Andy Khouri points out the huge number of comics editors, bloggers and journalists who got their starts at Wizard; Heidi MacDonald does the same, noting that it was “a total boys club”; Albert Ching surveys numerous creators and editors; and Robot 6 contributor, and former Wizard staffer, Sean T. Collins comments on the magazine’s demise and rounds up links.
Publishing | Through some solid digging, Vaneta Rogers discovers that the Comics Code Authority and the the Comics Magazine Association of America, which oversaw it, appear to have stopped functioning in 2009, well before DC Comics and Archie announced they were abandoning the 56-year-old Seal of Approval. [Newsarama]
Business | Disney Interactive Studios, the video-game division of The Walt Disney Co., reportedly laid off nearly half of its 700 employees on Monday. That follows the closing earlier this month of Disney’s Propaganda Games unit, leading to the loss of 70 jobs. [CNBC.com]
Digital comics | Todd Allen crunches some numbers to come up with a rough idea of how much publishers make for each digital download, and how that compares to print. [Publishers Weekly]
Legal | The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property has ruled against DC Comics, which had objected to a Swiss company’s trademark for a logo that resembles Superman’s familiar “S” shield. Although DC had never filed a trademark for the Superman logo in Switzerland, it cited the Paris Convention for the Protection of International Property. However, Swiss authorities held that the Superman logo isn’t sufficiently known in Switzerland. [Marques]
Creators | James Kochalka will be appointed as Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate on March 10, an occasion marked by events across the state. Vermont is the first state to bestow the honor. “A cartoonist laureate is the kind of thinking outside-the-box that Vermont supports,” says Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Cartooning promotes literacy and literature, two things we can’t have enough of.” [The Beat, The Center for Cartoon Studies]
Comics | Three comics recommendations for Valentine’s Day reading. [Technician]