Front cover of Shadis issue #48, June, 1998.
|Publisher||Alderac Entertainment Group|
Shadis was an independent gaming magazine that published articles on role-playing games. Started by Jolly Blackburn, it began as an independent gaming fanzine in 1990, and was later transformed into a quality small-press magazine in 1993. Published by Alderac Entertainment Group, 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.
The magazine was a three-time Origins Award winner, and is also notable for featuring the first appearance of the long-running RPG comic strip, Knights of the Dinner Table. This strip was initially intended to fill a blank spot in the magazine, but later took on a life of its own. In late 1994, the magazine received its biggest success by making available random Magic: The Gathering cards at a time when booster packs of the card game were scarce, causing many players of the game to buy multiple issues of the magazine in hopes of getting a rare or out-of-print card.
Shadis "went on hiatus" in 1998, and effectively ceased publication. In a 2000 interview at the Gaming Outpost web site, John Zinser, the owner of Alderac Entertainment Group, said that he wanted the in debt company to grow at a faster pace than Jolly Blackburn was comfortable with. Hence, a split was agreed upon, with Jolly Blackburn leaving with the rights to Knights of the Dinner Table and a few other properties. In drawing lessons from this magazine, 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.
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