F+W Announces Closure of Comics Buyer’s Guide

January 9, 2013 –F+W Media, Inc. announced today the closure of Comics Buyer’s Guide effective with the March 2013 issue. The Company cited the niche title’s small circulation and a steady decline in advertising as the primary reason for its discontinuation.

“Ceasing publication of a magazine is never an easy decision, but there are several forces that have worked against CBG’s sustainability,” said David Blansfield, President, F+W Media. “With vast amounts of freely available comics information online, declining paid circulation and advertising, and the costs and constraints of print, continuing to publish a monthly, small-circulation title like CBG has become financially and operationally unsustainable.”

Comics Buyer’s Guide (CBG) has been a wonderful resource for comics buffs,” said Scott Tappa, F+W Media Publisher. “We want to express our appreciation and thanks to the entire CBG community – to our staff and all our many contributors and partners, our readers and our advertisers – who have supported Comics Buyer’s Guide over its 30-year history.”

Current subscribers to the magazine will receive a two-for-one conversion to CBG sister publication Antique Trader: a biweekly that has served the antiques and collectibles community since 1957. (For every issue of CBG remaining in a subscription, subscribers will receive two issues of Antique Trader.) The www.CBGXtra.com site and its Facebook page will exist as an archived resource.

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

Stacie Berger, Communications Director, stacie.berger@fwmedia.com, 513.531.2690 x 11457
Scott Tappa, Publisher, scott.tappa@fwmedia.com, 715.445.4612 x x13428

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Brent Frankenhoff is the editor of Comics Buyer's Guide. Like what you've read here? Check out books that Brent's edited and thousands of others at Shop.Collect.com's comics section.
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24 Responses to F+W Announces Closure of Comics Buyer’s Guide

  1. davelathrop says:

    But I don’t want a subscription to the Antique Trader! Can I take the credit I have on my subscription and get one of the fine books that you publish instead?

    • Joeyf4g says:

      I also do not care about the Antique Trader magazine. Are there other options rather than that for the remainder of my CBG subscription?

  2. John Jackson Miller says:

    My history and remembrance of the title appears here:


  3. Luigi says:

    I just read the news today and, what a terrible news this is… another fine and very old print magazine that goes away… :(
    In the Nineties as an overseas reader it wasn’t easy to subscribe to the weekly CBG but I did it nevertheless! 😉
    Contrary to old readers, I loved (and still love, for sure) the big big monthly CBG, I still have almost all of these and I like to re-read them as possible, I fondly remember special issues # 1500 and # 1600 and it’s too bad that issue # 1700 won’t be published, too..
    I miss the old interesting CBGxtra forums too, it would be great if those ones could be saved as an archive too..
    for now…Goodbye old CBG! ^_^

  4. goodoldBR says:

    I just subscribed 4 months ago and never would have had I known this. Very disappointed.

  5. Bill Lewis says:

    Now I feel guilty for not renewing my subscription! My current run would’ve ended with issue #1700.

  6. petew says:

    I too, have twenty something years of fond memories of the articles & art in CBG. I luckily still have many of the early papers and milestone issues. But the news is just more proof that the good old days are gone. Yes, electronic screens are supposedly more economical & environmentally friendly but, nothing can replace reading through a paper in your hands, turning a page, leaving it on an end table to read more, the next evening. Thanks for the wonderful times! You all were the best! Peter
    PS… I would also prefer to use my subscription balance to buy 1 or 2 of the books instead of the substitute magazine.

  7. Paul Zuckerman says:

    I am very sorry to hear about the demise of CBG. I have been with it since nearly the beginning; my first issue was around number 4 and I’ve had a sub since about issue 7. I’ve sen it go through changes of ownership and changes in format. I guess I saw the writing on the wall a few years ago as it gave up its weekly format and went monthly, and then slimmed down even more recently. Although there were still interesting articles, it seemed a shadow of its former self, but I guess there really is no market for an adzine anymore, and the editorial content wasn’t enough to support its continuation. There are, in fact, no other general comic magazine around any longer–most are geared to targeted groups, like Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego or the companion Back Issue. Ah well. Hope the staff find new jobs soon that they enjoy. And, I also don’t have any desire to get the sub magazine–would prefer either refund or credit to a book.

  8. oldcomicsguy says:

    This is a huge disappointment. Back in the day I devoured those weekly issues. I was saddened when the publication went monthly since it meant that the news was no longer current. Sure, there were other sources for comics news but it was always just so convenient to get everything in one place. Good luck to Maggie and Brent and the rest of the staff in their future endeavors. I, too, have no need for Antiques Trader. I’m sure that decision has been made but let me add my voice to those who said they would prefer getting one or more of those comics-related books that we got frequent offers for at sale prices. They could clear out their inventory a bit by doing that and people would feel more satisfied.

  9. russ says:

    Sad news. Been a subscriber since 1978. I join in wishing the best of luck to Maggie, Brent
    and all other individuals affected by the closure. I concur with those who would prefer to take
    comic-related books to an Antique Trader subscription. The two hobbies are not very closely

  10. Odie says:

    Sad news indeed. I remember discovering CBG when it was the weekly newspaper version published by Alan Light and then saw it move into Don & Maggie’s fine editorial hands. It was such a find to go to the mailbox and find the weekly issue and peruse the pages and pages of comic news and goodness!

    I want to thank Maggie and the staff for the many years of enjoyment that I got as well as the info that was provided. I will really miss the articles on the Golden Age books that Michelle Nolan and others wrote about as it was them that sparked a renewed interest in collecting the books from this era. Mr. Silver Age will be missed as well, as I remember that age fondly!

    Best of luck to all the staff, and again, thank you for the many years I’ve enjoyed the publication and the rereading of back issues that I now will do!

  11. I’m so saddened by this news. CBG had grown into one of the best source for the history of comics, old and new. I looked forward to each and every issue. I had wished that they’d go digital so I could take the books on my Kindle or iPad, but the paper mag was always a joy to read. I was one of those who started with the newspaper format issues and though my subscription lapsed, I never missed picking up a copy at the newsstand. I hope Maggie & all the CBG writers continue to write about the wonderful world of comics, past and present; and please post links so that I can continue to support them all. I will miss Comic Buyer’s Guide. Gone, but not forgotten.

    Shawn Granger

    • I should have said that my subscription lapsed time to time. I fixed that by adding 3-5 years at each renewal so that I would always be years ahead. I’m very sad to know that my next four years with be sans CBG.

  12. Chris Francz says:

    Ths news makes me really sad! I really looked forward to the new issue in my post office box each month.F&W couldn’t have allowed a fairwell issue? The sudden stop seems very, very unfair. Damn! This really sucks! Fairwell CBG, you will be missed!

  13. ATA204 says:

    Yeah, a bit tacky for them to get aced out without a goodbye issue. Just goes to show you how much F+W media are out of touch of with what the “niche” market would really want to see. Nothing angers and disappoints comic fans more than pulling the plug on a series without closure. Really poor taste. Thanks CBG staff for the twenty + years that I’ve been following you! Whether from a subscription or the local comic shop you always entertained and informed. Perhaps you’ll rise from these ashes and transform into a new form of media for us to enjoy…

  14. SadFaceComicGuy says:

    Concerning the cancellation of Comic Buyer’s Guide:

    This has come as a complete shock – as I’m sure it has to the many other subscribers of this fine magazine. Looking over what is now the final issue (#1699), I see no mention of this. My first news was the cover sticker on the (greatly inferior, imho) Antique Trader mag that appeared in my mailbox.

    Not allowing the staff and contributors (not to mention us, the public) a chance to have a “Final” issue, is unforgivable. Everyone involved needs that catharsis to be able to process this tragic event. Shame on you and F+W for greatly mishandling the situation.

    And speaking of disservices… What in the world possessed you to think that a token peace offering of a replacement magazine to ‘fill out’ our subscription fees would be the right thing? Definitely an insult to injury here.

    Do me a favor, keep your 30 coins and leave me alone. Better yet use whatever money is leftover from mine and others’ subs and let us all have that final issue we deserve.

    Scott Ashton Faulkner
    CBG Subscriber since the mid-90’s

    • mitchell2020 says:

      I am in agreement with you; I don’t want any of their other crummy magazines; and a final issue would have been most worthy. I do not give a fig about Antique Trader. Truly they are out of touch with the comics community.

    • WSadler says:

      Why did F&W think offering a ‘replacement’ (HA!) magazine would console CBG subscribers? Probably because–despite the remarks about the magazine being a wonderful resource for comics buff, as for as they’re concerned, a magazine is a magazine is a magazine; as a corollary, since comics fans collect ‘old’ comics, why, they’ probably want to collect ‘old’ stuff in general QED.

  15. mitchell2020 says:

    What really ticks me off is that the so called “powers-that” be could not find it within their “hearts” (I doubt that they have one) to allow there to be an issue #1700 where we could say good-bye to a magazine that has been part of fandom since the 1970s. I agree with some of the other writers; I will never buy I single copy of any of the other “great”other publications from this publisher.

    Thank you everyone else for forty years of a great publication.

    This is Mitchell (been reading TBG & CBG) Rentzler, since 1975 signing off.

  16. WSadler says:

    No matter how much one may read about the decline of print magazines, and the Net as the primarily source for information about comics, the sad and sudden loss of a periodical which, in its four major formats under three publishers, has provided so much to comics fandom may not come as a surprise to some here, but it should come as a welcome surprise to no one here. Although my subscription begin during the DynaPubs era and I let it lapse during the Krause days and never again subscribed, I never failed to grab current and back issues when I came across them at comics shops–this was during the later ‘full cover tabloid’ days–and was highly pleased when a discovery of a CBG magazine some years ago in a book store meant that it would have wide and reliable distribution. And how even that is gone. True, Wizard still remains, but we know it’s not the same (admittedly, it has its own virtues and I don’t dismiss it… but we know it is not the same.)

    What will also not be the same–with the departure of Comic Buyer’s Guide–is the dispersal of so many writers, including historians and critics, who assembled there each month. Yes, I have added ‘Maggie’s World’ to my bookmarks; and I suppose Brent already has a website, or blog or whatever; as does Craig Shutt et. al. . . . but having to travel all over the Net in search of them isn’t like having them in one place: a situation that is not improved by the announcement that “The http://www.CBGXtra.com site and its Facebook page will exist as an archived resource.” In other words, we will even lose this site as ‘The online meeting place…’ referred to at the top of the page; it will become–albeit not known as–The FORMER online meeting place.’ And guess what, boys and girls? At the present time the Internet Archive’s ‘Wayback Machine’ already ,er, archives much of cbgxtra, going all the way back to 2005 –so if there are some things you missed,or have missed, by all means check it out.

    My apologies for this lengthy nattering. I join those who wish the best for the CBG editorial staff and contributors and express hope that they’ll find reasonably satisfying work elsewhere. If I were really naive I could express a hope that John and Pamela Morrow could see fit to squeeze in one more occasional publication in their already-vast inventory (paper or digital) . . . but they already have enough on their hands and in their budget, I’m sure.

  17. quincyjb says:

    My condolences to the staff who lost their positions. It is never easy to be released from your position.

    I started reading CBG in 1983 or 1984. I let my subscription lapse occasionally, and switched back and forth from a mail subscription to a comics shop pull-list subscription. But I think I’ve read 90% of the issues from the past 30 years. I will miss it.

    W.r.t. the conversion of my subscription. I’ve sent a letter to the publisher asking for a refund on the remainder. I think they’re obligated to honor it. Sending me something other than what I paid for would be a bait and switch tactic, and I’m reasonably sure that’s illegal. Where is Bob Ingersoll when you need him? :-) NOTE: Bob wrote the popular The Law is a Ass column for CBG.

  18. roselandpete says:

    I subscribe to both the CBG and Antiques Trader. I can see how many CBG readers would not be happy with a subscription to AT. If F&W wanted to salvage some of its CBG subscriber base, why don’t they add a comics section, a few comics related pages, or some CBG columnists to the AT?

    • quincyjb says:

      I guess they have decided to ignore my request for a refund. I received my second issue on Saturday.

      I think both issues have had one page or so of comics content. This month it was a write-up of how much money the earliest Superman or Batman appearances have sold for in recent auctions. Doesn’t matter to me — I still want my money back. I have no interest in this type of coverage. If I don’t hear from them, I guess it’s time for a letter to the Better Business Bureau. I know, I’m throwing my time away. But I don’t like businesses that pull this type of nonsense. F&W are crooks as far as I’m concerned.