• As Comic Book Resources reported, Wizard Entertainment laid off seven employees yesterday: Senior Vice President-Operations Joe Yanarella; Operations Manager Jodie Westhoff; Junior Art Director Eric Goodman; Associate Editor David Paggi; and all three Wizard magazine staff writers, Kevin Mahadeo, Rachel Molino and Steve Sunu.
Wizard CEO Gareb Shamus tells ICv2.com the cuts, which amount to about 10 percent of the company’s workforce, come as the magazine expands its use of free-lancers.
“We have some really amazing writers out there that we wanted to be able to bring into the magazine,” he said.
Wizard also announced that Benji DeJohn, the company’s West Coast sales representative, will take over management of the Chicago and Philadelphia conventions.
The move comes on the heels of the postponement of Wizard Los Angeles show, the cancellation of the Texas convention, and the announcement of a competing event in Chicago from New York Comic Con organizer Reed Exhibitions.
• Heidi MacDonald reports that the Steve Geppi-owned Gemstone Publishing has closed its office in West Plains, Missouri, and laid off five staff members there.
• E.W. Scripps closes the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News today, leaving Denver with just one newspaper. The Daily Cartoonist notes that among the 230 or so newsroom staff members affected are editorial cartoonist Ed Stein and sports cartoonist Drew Litton.
The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna talks with Litton about the closing: “As a cartoonist, I’m greatly concerned about the future of what we do. I believe strongly we’re an important, vital part of the American newspaper. … [My role has] been doing a lot of local cartoons and it becomes ingrained into the community. I think that’s a good, ideal approach for cartoonists going forward — to weave yourself into the community.”
• Vaneta Rogers takes another look at recent comments made by DC Comics’ John Cunningham about e-devices and the future of comics.