Sunday, February 1, 2009

Scrye magazine ends with #131 (April 2009)

Well, it is finally breaking publicly what I have known for a little while. Scrye magazine is shutting down, its last issue to be #131 (April 2009).

I haven't been associated with Scrye since F+W Publications canned me back in July 2007, but I've remained friends with the crew there ever since. For the last year or so, it was down to just Joyce Greenholdt, the editor, and frankly the writing was on the wall when they went from full-color to a single color signature and a whole lotta black and white newsprint.

I joined up with Scrye the first time back in 2000, back when it was still Krause Publications. I had been in regular contact with Joyce and then editorial director John Jackson Miller at various times prior, discussing the impending release of Mage Knight and other game issues. When they ended up needing another editor, I jumped at the chance. And so in late October I made the trek up to Iola from Madison, where I had until then been employed as the marketing director at ACD Distribution. My first impressions of north-central Wisconsin were similar to what I had, over the years, come to believe Conan's Cimmeria to be like: cold, snow-swept, and gray.

I would find as time passed that indeed, it could get warm and sunny and green, for a few days in the midst of summer at least. But when I arrived, in the midst of the bleak onset of winter, I was also dropped into the grinder, as we began the process of putting together the first Scrye Book. As they say, this was one of those times that try men's souls. But I survived, and together with Joyce and John put together a damn fine book. And we even put together some really quality issues of Scrye, as well.

And so things went for some time, and I finally felt that I had found a home, after wandering for several years from company to company, seeking a proper niche. And then the offer came from WizKids, the kind of once-in-a-lifetime-offer that you just can't refuse (though in retrospect, probably should have). And so in early 2002 I took the position with WizKids.

That didn't work out so well. I worked with some really great folks there, but it just was not meant to be, and ended by the end of the year.

2003 and early 2004 were a time of trials and travails. Fortunately, I found a safe haven again in Iola, this time working first for Comics Buyer's Guide, then again for Scrye, and finally as editor of Comics & Games Retailer (all three at once, actualy). And for a time, again, I thought I found the place I was meant to be. But as with most things, in my experience, life just didn't turn out the way one expects, and one fine day in July 2008 I walked home from the old Krause building one final time and never, ever looked back.

But in the years that I worked with her, Scrye was a whole lot of fun. A lot of blood (mine and others), sweat, tears, no little pain, and much, much lost sleep... but still overall in the balance, great fun, and an experience I will always remember.

My only regret is that after we picked up Gaming Report in late 2006, we were never really given the resources to turn it up to 11. Dan Sivils and crew had done an amazing job building the site into the #1 site for gaming news on the Web, and with the support, time, and resources we were given by F+W (i.e., absolutely none), we just were not able to continue on their legacy. I hope that wherever Gaming Report ends up, its new owners are able to do it justice.

I wish Joyce and all the writers from Scrye nothing but the best in their future endeavors. They have a tremendous legacy to follow.


Christian said...

When I played MtG and competed in a local league, I used to pick up Scrye all the time. It was a great mag. All the giants - Dragon, Dungeon, etc - keep falling. I wish there was a way to keep them all in print.

Matt C said...

Sad news indeed.