Doctor Who Insider cancelled
Doctor Who Magazine’s spin-off publication, Doctor Who Insider, launched last spring as a vehicle for promoting the franchise in North America, has been cancelled after nine issues, its publisher announced.
According to a report on the Doctor Who News Page, Panini – publisher of both DWM and DWI – announced in an e-mail on Jan. 27 that it was ending publication of DWI immediately, with Issue No. 9, which was first released to comic shops in Canada and the US on Dec. 8, being its final issue.
During its run, DWI ran a mix of articles on both the current and classic series, as well as large posters. Initially only available in the US and Canada, midway through its run distribution expanded to the UK and a special British-exclusive compilation of the first four issues was released there last summer.
As a regular reader of DWI, I felt it never really lived up to its promise. Launched amid fanfare as the first North American-focused (licensed) Doctor Who monthly, it very quickly became apparent it was simply DWM-lite. Offering shorter articles and extensive illustrations, it was pretty to look at, but always came off as lesser when compared to DWM (which, despite initial concerns it might not be, continued to be circulated to comic shops and magazine racks here, with DWI and DWM often filed side-by-side at places like Chapters and Indigo). And while DWI did turn the spotlight on some North American aspects of Who fandom, you were also just as likely to find promotional articles with little direct connection to North American fandom.
That doesn’t mean DWI didn’t have its moments, such as a great interview with Louise Jameson, and the final issue gave rare coverage to the Scream of the Shalka webcast. And unlike DWM, which suffers from a one-month lag between UK publication and North American sale (hence we got the Christmas issue of DWM in mid-January), DWI was able to provide more-timely promotion of upcoming episodes like the Christmas special. But, really, the magazine never seemed to find its place, not with it mostly covering stuff already covered in more in-depth form by DWM. Add to that the fact DWI was the only (licensed) Doctor Who-franchise magazine to offer no original fiction (neither comic strips – presumably disallowed due to IDW Publications having the rights for those over here – nor short stories), and it was a noble attempt always overshadowed by DWM, which during the same nine-month period released its first 100-page issue, two massive tribute issues to Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen, and several Special Edition standalones. Even though they shared some editorial staff, DWI just couldn’t compete.
At this point I’d normally bemoan the loss of yet another print publication and go into a woe-is-us tirade about the fading away of, to paraphrase what “Impossible Astronaut” alumni W. Morgan Sheppard once called as Blank Reg in Max Headroom, “permanent non-volatile physical media” like magazines, but in this case the magazine’s short life was wholly predictable. The good news is its demise will likely free up resources (editorial and otherwise) at the mothership, and reportedly subscribers are being offered a transfer to DWM. Which suggests DWM, now in its 33rd year and soon to hit issue No. 450, isn’t going anywhere, for now.
Nor is DWIN’s own Enlightenment, which recently published its 164th issue and which will continue to hold Canada’s end up for nationally focused Doctor Who franchise coverage.
Posted by Alex on Friday, January 27 at 2:41 am