Next month, the final issue of the Comics Buyer’s Guide – one of the most famous and influential publications focusing on the comic book industry – will be published. The reasons why CBG is ceasing publication are many – including the fact that much has changed during its forty-two year history, including the Internet becoming an important part of our lives for almost the past twenty years. However, it’s the same Internet and the technology associated with it that has helped bring an end to a number of various print publications (both newspapers and magazines) around the world over the past few years – including Newsweek – as they turn exclusively to the Internet and other aspects of the Digital Age in order to stay alive in an industry that’s still changing.
CBG – which initially began as The Buyer’s Guide To Comic Fandom – did more than offer the latest comic book news and reviews: it also offered various ads promoting various comic book dealers and conventions, sparking readers’ interest in comic books (both past and present – not to mention the future), as well as possibly encouraging them to attend said conventions and meet the creative talents behind the comic books (not to mention the stars of and talents behind various comic book, Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror-themed TV shows, movies, and video games) – with some of these same talents contributing to CBG over its long history, including Mark Evainer, Peter David, and Tony Isabella.
I should point out that I was not only a subscriber to CBG for a while – but also an occasional contributor to it as well (when I was starting out on my writing career), writing a number of articles dealing with the media histories of some of the greatest characters associated with not only comic books, but also comic strips and animated cartoon characters, something that I still do today, mostly on the Internet. During those years that I contributed to CBG (the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s), I also had the good fortune to frequently confer with longtime editor Maggie Thompson (whose association with CBG goes back to the early-1970’s when she and her late husband Don became first contributors to it, then its editors in the early-1980’s) via both phone and e-mail – and I have no doubt that Maggie was both the heart and soul of CBG throughout most of its history (and is probably deserving of a life achievement award from the various comic book and Sci-Fi awards committees).
The Comics Buyer’s Guide will be greatly missed – not only by those working in the comic book industry, but also generations of fans who considered it a part of their lives. We’ll probably never see anything like CBG again – what should (and does) matter is its overall contribution to not only the comic book industry, but also the complete fabric of pop-culture as a whole. Without publications like CBG – and the talents who helped make it possible – comic books would have never become the art form that it deserves to be. And more importantly, an American institution that helped to influence and change the entire world.
John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons (published by iUniverse/Writers Club Press) and Chameleons To The Rescue (published by Lulu Books/Highroad Books), and the recently published short story e-book collection Tales Of The Psychiatrist (published by Booktango), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (http://johnlavernoich.sharepoint.com), as well as his pages on Windows Live Spaces (http://cid-ef88d131988ab38f.profile.live.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), Twitter (http://twitter.com/JLav65), and WordPress (https://johnlav.wordpress.com). Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/JLav65?feature=mhsn), his own Author Spotlight page on Lulu Books‘ website (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Highroad), and his own Profile Page on Amazon Studios’ website (http://studios.amazon.com/users/59488).
©2013 John Lavernoich.