Shadis is an independent gaming magazine that was published in 1990–1998 by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG). It initially focused on role-playing games.

Issue 48 (June 1998) cover
PublisherAlderac Entertainment Group
FounderJolly Blackburn
Founded1990; 33 years ago (1990)
Final issue
November 1998; 25 years ago (1998-11)

Publication history edit

Shadis was conceived and started by Jolly Blackburn[1] as an independent gaming fanzine in 1990. In 1993, Blackburn formed Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) to publish Shadis as a quality small-press magazine, and brought on John Zinser and David Seay as partners. Printing of the first three issues was paid for by Frank Van Hoose, a friend of Jolly's, who also wrote for the magazine. A year later, in late 1994, the magazine received its biggest success by including a random Magic: The Gathering card in each issue at a time when booster packs of the new card game were scarce; many players bought multiple copies of each issue hoping to find a rare or out-of-print card. Many readers were also drawn to a small comic strip, Knights of the Dinner Table,[1] which was initially intended to fill a blank spot in the magazine, but later took on a life of its own.[2]

In 1995, Blackburn left AEG because he felt that Zinser and Seay were too focused on the new collectible card game (CCG) industry while he wanted to keep the company fun and small and focus on Knights of the Dinner Table.[3]: 263  Blackburn departed with the rights to Knights of the Dinner Table and a few other properties.[4] In a 2000 interview on the Gaming Outpost web site, Zinser explained that he had wanted the in-debt company to grow at a faster pace than Blackburn was comfortable with, hence Blackburn's departure.[4]

In 1998, Shadis went "on hiatus" and publication ceased.[5]

In drawing lessons from this magazine's demise, Wolfgang Baur, the editor-in-chief of Kobold Quarterly, thought it was a mistake for Shadis to rely too heavily on content that was not focused on fantasy in general and Dungeons & Dragons in particular.[6]

Contents edit

Each issue contained a variety of articles covering many different aspects of role-playing game systems and genres. The series included game reviews, adventures, fiction, maps, gaming advice, and cartoons.[7] In addition to Knights of the Dinner Table, comic strips Fineous Fingers and Bright Future also proved to be very popular.[8]

Reception edit

In the August 1994 edition of Dragon (Issue 208), Lester Smith wrote a favourable review, saying "A truly independent publication, it covers a wide range of topics in the gaming hobby, and always entertains."[8]

In a retrospective review of Shadis #15 in Black Gate, John ONeill said "it is no longer being published, and the industry is poorer for it. It was an incredible magazine, with the joy and wonder of role playing spilling off of every page. I'm glad we had it for as long as we did, and back issues are still available at various online outlets, including eBay."[9]

Reviews edit

  • Dragon #212 (December 1994) p94

Awards edit

During its five-year existence, Shadis was the winner of the 1994, 1995, and 1996 Origins Awards for Best Professional Gaming Magazine[10][11][12]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Varney, Allen (November 1998). "ProFiles: Jolly Blackburn". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (253): 120.
  2. ^ "Jolly Blackburn". Chicago Comic Con. Wizard World. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  3. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ a b "Interview: John Zinser". Gaming Outpost. 2000. Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  5. ^ Panzeri Jr., Peter F. (2006-07-01). "32nd Hall of Fame Inductees Announced" (PDF). Talsorian. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  6. ^ Baichtal, John. "Enter the Kobold". Geek Dad. Wired. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  7. ^ Rundquist, Thomas J., ed. (2000). "The other games magazines, part two". Substitute Teacher Survival Activities. Nova Media Inc. 1: 59. ISBN 188423951X.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Lester (August 1994). "Roleplaying Reviews". Dragon. TSR, Inc. (208): 95–96.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1994)". Archived from the original on 2008-03-17.
  11. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1995)". Archived from the original on 2008-01-02.
  12. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1996)". Archived from the original on 2007-12-21.

External links edit