Krause Publications announced this morning that, after 42 years, it will shutter Comics Buyer's Guide, the longest-running publication reporting on the U.S. comic-book industry. The March issue, the magazine's 1,699th, will be its last.
In a press release, the company cited poor market conditions, a downturn in print advertising, and the increasing availability of free online content.
Founded in 1971 by Alan Light as a monthly tabloid newspaper, Comics Buyer's Guide quickly moved to twice-monthly publication and then, by 1975, weekly. It was purchased in 1983 by Krause, which hired veteran columnists Don and Maggie Thompson as editors. Don passed away in 1994, but Maggie remained as editor until 2007, when she became senior editor and longtime associate editor Brent Frankenhoff was promoted to his current position. She was announced just last week as a monthly columnist for Comic-Con International's new blog Toucan.
"The magazine business is in worse shape than the comics business by far, and while there is still a market for the right magazine model (Alter Ego, etc.), there evidently wasn’t another evolution left in CBG," former employee and columnist John Jackson Miller writes in a lengthy overview of the publication's history. "The staff received news of the cancellation just after the new year. Issue #1699 had already gone to press, so there will be no anniversary issue, nor acknowledgment in the magazine. The last thing in the magazine is, as always, a column by Peter David, who suffered a stroke at the end of 2012. I expected such an announcement sooner, as FW/Krause had already folded Comics & Games Retailer and the much more lucrative Scrye several years ago; still, I am deeply saddened to see it come to pass, both for the history of comics and for the friends and neighbors who worked there."