Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Chris Ryall, IDW Editor-In-Chief

Originally serialised within the pages of the self-published Glamourpuss #1-26 (2008-2012), The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an as yet uncompleted work-in-progress in which Dave Sim investigates the history of photorealism in comics, specifically focusing on the work of comic-strip artist Alex Raymond and the circumstances of his death on 6 September 1956 at the wheel of fellow artist Stan Drake's Corvette. Dave Sim has recently announced plans for The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond to be serialised in a monthly comic-book published by IDW.

Actually, that's for THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND No.1.  It's my attempt to revive the idea of a letters page in comics. Only obviously, people -- except me -- don't send letters any more, so it will be a "tweet and e-mail" page. Only, I have no way of getting tweets and e-mails so what they're going to be is FWEETS AND FE-MAILS. That is: people will be given an address where they can tweet or e-mail Chris and he'll convert them into faxes and send them to me (a tweet that is faxed is called a "fweet" and an e-mail that's faxed is called a "fe-mail").

I thought it was, you know, very POSH to have the editor-in-chief of IDW running my FWEETS AND FE-MAILS page so I figured a good way of making sure that Chris did it and not someone else was to do a photorealistic drawing of him at the top of the FWEETS AND FE-MAILS page and have him saying how much he likes doing this in Joe Kubert font. If you look like you were drawn by Al Williamson and you're saying how much you like doing this in Joe Kubert font and you're ANY kind of comic fan, you're just going to, you know, BECOME that way. Even though it's not part of your job description and will just be a useless headache imposed on you by Dave Sim.
Chris Ryall, IDW Editor-In-Chief (2013)
Art by Dave Sim

So I found a picture of Chris on Google Image. Which turned out to be from his wedding. I deleted the suit and put him in a THE COLONIZED t-shirt. Chris has no idea how a picture of him from his wedding ended up on the Internet, but (quite reasonably, I think) he's decided the NSA is behind it.

I say: let them PROVE they didn't!

And, in an effort to go all the way back to the good old days of Julie Schwartz when he instituted the letters pages in his DC books with addresses and actually ended up creating comics fandom, we're going to be giving away artwork! Pictures of Alex Raymond drawn by Chris Ryall!!

No, wait.

That's not it.

What am I thinking?

Julie GAVE AWAY Carmine Infantino's artwork -- he didn't draw it himself! Heh heh! Silly me! So we have to stick with tradition!

No -- they'll be finished transfer pencil tracing drawings that I used in producing issue No.1 and if your fweet or fe-mail is picked to be in an issue (which Chris and I will be rating in order) you get to pick from the IDW website which tracing paper you want and I'll personalize it and send it to you along with an autographed STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND issue. Top fweet or fe-mail gets first pick.

Of course on the first issue, there won't be anything to fweet or fe-mail about because you won't have read it yet. So the FIRST ISSUE is going to be "in-house": editorial and executive staff at IDW suggesting their best 140 characters or fewer "tag line" for THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND. The one I pick, gets first pick (which I'm betting will be the tracing paper of the No.1 cover). And the suggestions will be faxed to me without the name of the person who came up with it so I don't KNOWINGLY pick Ted Adams...or Chris Ryall...or Scott Dunbier...or The Amazing Marci!

I like to refer to Marci as Amazing because she's the one who gets stuck with shlepping my faxes around the IDW offices to Ted and Chris. Marci is Amazing because that means I don't have to get e-mail!