Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nickelodeon Magazine 1993-2009

In my sixteen months of blogging, I have never been so jarred by a publishing industry news story that I was compelled to post a response immediately...until now.

Word broke today that Viacom is shuttering Nickelodeon Magazine.

The print magazine industry has been under siege for some time, so it should not be a surprise to hear of any one publication folding. Yet if there was a list of magazines that I would have said are immune to the digital invasion, I would have guessed Nick would be on it.

The apparent end of Nick Mag is sad for multiple reasons.

The magazine editors are a remarkably accomplished (and nice) bunch. I have full confidence that they will soon find (or be snatched up by) other outlets that recognize their talent. I had a rewarding relationship with Nick since my first sale to them, in 2001; thanks to my work for the magazine, I was able to segue into writing for other divisions of Nick.

For the past five years, I've made a point to praise Nick at literally every school (and most other venues) I've spoken at. Some elementary educators and librarians could not get past the celebs and licensed characters on the cover to discover the smart non-licensed content it always featured as well. It was a simple yet savvy (and, to me, defensible) strategy—hook kids with familiar faces and then ambush them with other less glam (but often more enjoyable) content inside, such as theme-based nonfiction and humor. My only quibble with the magazine was that it accepted advertising for junk food. But I understand the realities.

I know almost nothing about Nickelodeon the cable network. I know almost nothing about their characters. I have never watched an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants (and to the disappointment of many kids at the schools I visit, I can't draw him, either).

Yet I know that the passing of Nick Mag is a genuine loss for kids. It was one of the most consistently quality products (in any medium) for young people. It did die once before, in the early 1990s, but it came back. I hope that one day soon, it can pull that off again.


Chris Duffy said...

And you, Marc, were one of the most fun writers to to work with. Thanks for building the Nick Mag experience with us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I will really miss the great expressive comics that filled the inside.

Anonymous said...

This makes me want to cry!! I have been reading Nick for years, and as an adult still loved it.

Anonymous said...

do any of you know where i could buy nick magazines from the 90's to 2005? i have all of them from 2006 and up. i am a HUGE nick magazine collector/fan.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Hi Anonymous - I don't know of anywhere other than the obvious (ebay, maybe amazon or craigslist). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

the saddest thing about nick mag. folding is that i didnt find out out 3 years after they folded! i got curious about because i haddent received an issue since 2009. and it was 2011. :( :(:(

tkgioia said...

Julie winterbottom mr lewman ms Bernstein and you were the best! Thank you for writing fun songs!