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Messages - Fernando Ruiz

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 16, 2016, 03:42:22 AM

The thing you need to realize is that all of the ACP alumni creators are specialists who have spent decades honing their talents in one particular vein of cartooning. Most of them have devoted nearly the entirety of their careers to working ONLY for ACP, not the half-dozen different outfits that those big-name reboot creators have.

We sure did... and, Brother! Was THAT a mistake!

Well, I can do do commissions for fans who want the characters drawn the way they're supposed to look like.

Quote from: BettyReggie on April 15, 2016, 04:19:24 AM
I don't think they ever looked better.

Ugh! Isn't it possible to praise this reboot without insulting the work that has come before?

I certainly think Betty and Veronica have looked better in the hands of Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo, and my pal, Dan Parent who drew the characters on model and with personality.

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 15, 2016, 12:10:56 AM
Sadly, I can remember back in the mid-1970s when the prevailing wisdom among comic book consumers had it that Jack Kirby was a hack, a has-been, washed-up.

I've been noticing this phenomena the last few years as we lose some of the Greats in our industry.

Solid reliable workhorses like Jim Aparo, Herb Trimpe and Nick Cardy are revered now after their deaths, but at the end of their lives, these guys couldn't get any work outside of commissions and convention sketches. It's only after these guys dies that all of a sudden their fans seen to roll out and sing their due praises.

Quote from: The Bee on April 14, 2016, 04:37:47 PM
I just hope when that day comes those artists like Tim & Pat Kennedy, Gisele Legace, and Fernando Ruiz tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.

To be very, very candid, drawing for Archie was a job that had been declining badly for the past couple of years. My salary was eroding by thousands of dollars. Last year, I complained that it was becoming financially impractical for me to keep drawing for Archie. I was given a very modest ten dollar per page raise. A short while later, the number of pages I was being given was more than halved.
By the very end, I was drawing two five page stories and maybe a couple of covers per month. If I was lucky, I got to write one of those stories. All this got me a little over a thousand dollars a month. As I relayed in my blog, this past January, after I'd handed in what would be my last story, I was told that I wasn't going to be getting any more work for the foreseeable future. This came from the production manager. None of the higher-ups spoke to me at all. After twenty-two years there, this was BEYOND insulting.

Apparently, there isn't enough money to keep me around... although they seem to be able to afford Adam Hughes who believe me does not come cheap!

So we're talking about a job that was deteriorating, paying poorly and getting worse, and where I wasn't valued or respected. Its also a job with no hope for improvement.

As it stands, there is only ONE new classic story a week. A five pager. I was told very directly that Archie does not believe there is enough retailer interest to support any new classic titles.

What, then, would I go back to if I was ever asked back? To eek out a five pager a month? Where is the future in that? What opportunities are there for me? It's a dead end!

A bad job where I'm not valued, appreciated or respected.

No. Thanks.
Quote from: Gisele on April 13, 2016, 04:37:55 PM
When I draw for Archie, I force myself to be a bit more on model ('cause that's what's expected of me,) but I try to make it my own (so people know it's me.) With that said, yeah, I CAN draw Archie not on model. It's actually easier! :)

Archie USED to value artists who can draw their characters on model. Not anymore!
One of the worst things Archie Comics ever did was put us in the position of having to categorize ourselves as "Classic Archie" artists. We ALL used to be just Archie artists and everyone knew what that meant. Now we're Classic Archie artists or Reboot Archie artists. It's horrible, horrible branding!
Quote from: Mr.Lodge on April 12, 2016, 08:47:18 PM
I know I'm going to get some flack for this but I'm willing to risk it.....

Does anybody think the artwork for the Archie reboots is really lacking compared to those in the past?  :-X

I won't say it's lacking, but I will say that much of it has been a very, very poor fit for these characters.

I don't blame the artists. I blame Archie Comics for this very ill-conceived and audaciously short-sighted idea.

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 10, 2016, 05:05:20 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 10, 2016, 04:32:05 PM

TALES FROM RIVERDALE DIGEST, once I discovered it, turned out to be one of the most interesting digest titles (IMHO) that ACP ever published, along with JUGHEAD & FRIENDS DIGEST, both of which were published concurrently for nearly 40 issues -- a fact that I attribute largely to your involvement in contributing new stories to each issue (or most issues, at any rate -- I've yet to read all of them), and to the fact that you were throwing new characters in there, like Raj and Wendy Weatherbee (I need to find all the stories beyond those two digests where she had a co-starring, as opposed to merely a supporting role in the story), and occasionally even featuring Bingo Wilkin (a personal favorite) in new stories.

JUGHEAD & FRIENDS DIGEST is the best of all the various Jughead digests I've read, not only because of the inclusion of the regular Wilkin Boy reprints, but because nearly every issue had a perfect blend of Jughead stories by Samm Schwartz (classic era), Boldman & Lindsay (late 1990s-2000s), and you (the new story in each issue, plus some other reprints of yours that seemed fairly recent). I'm currently working my way through those, and enjoying the heck out of each one.

Thanks. To me, those two titles, Tales From Riverdale and Jughead & Friends, were the Golden Age of my work on the digests. I especially loved Tales From Riverdale where I really tried my best to experiment. Probably my favorite character of the ones that I created was Wendy Weatherbee. I thought she had a ton of potential and I was looking forward to developing her more. Alas...

Sadly, it seems both Tales and J&F were the lowest selling digests of their time. This led Archie Comics to conclude that digests, other than the Betty & Veronica digests, HAD to have Archie's name in the title. This led to Jughead & Friends to be replaced by Jughead & Archie. Tales From Riverdale was replaced either by World Of Archie or Archie's Funhouse.

There was a very, very brief moment where ALL the digests were going to be replaced by "Super Digests." (I swear that's what they were going to be called! Very quickly, though, someone got cold feet about using the word "super" in a title so they were going to be called something else at one point.) These were going to be larger, bigger digests. It actually sounded like a bold idea, but as I said this was a very brief moment. For reasons I never learned, the "Super Digests" idea was scrapped and the digests remained the size they are.

Quote from: The Bee on April 10, 2016, 01:11:51 PM

So if the determination to go with a first season will be made sometime in mid to late May, does that mean the CW will be airing the Pilot to the public sometime early next month?

No. I believe the hope has been for this show to find a place on the CW's Fall schedule. Just recently however, the CW renewed I believe just about ALL of their current line-up. I don't know where that leaves a brand new pilot like Riverdale (IF it's picked up which it hasn't been yet!). If it's chosen as a mid-season replacement, it probably wouldn't air until 2017 which I imagine would be very frustrating for Archie Comics.
Poor quality and even worse distribution.

Video games and the Internet get a lot of blame but if the quality were there and comics were easier to find by the casual impulse buyer, they would be wider read.

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 10, 2016, 01:10:26 PM
Quote from: HarryLuceyFan on April 10, 2016, 01:06:54 PM

Fernando, should you ever choose to write an autobiography, I'll be first in line to buy it.

It would be the saddest, least remarkable autobiography of all time, Harry... but I got stories. Boy! Do I got stories!

Quote from: Oldiesmann on April 10, 2016, 12:42:48 PM
I'm actually a bit surprised at all the hype this pilot is getting because The CW isn't a big network, nor has it ever been.

Keep in mind "hype" is a relative thing. To those of us with an interest in Archie who are following this, it might seem like a good deal of exposure, but most of the World has no idea that this is happening.

The CW is probably the best chance this thing has to actually happen. Unlike the major networks, the CW has a much, much lower threshold for what constitutes "a hit." The pilot, from my understanding, has actually been pretty expensive due to the large cast. It's doubtful that such an expense would be paid without someone making sure it at least airs SOMEWHERE!
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 10, 2016, 01:00:44 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 10, 2016, 06:17:04 AM

Raj first appeared in TALES FROM RIVERDALE DIGEST #21 in 2008 - in a story written and drawn by Fernando Ruiz. I don't know if he's responsible for creating the character himself... maybe he'll see this and comment on that.

Ahh... Raj...

Archie started noticing that their books enjoyed an exceptional popularity in India. I can't remember exactly when this was but 2008 sounds right.

Victor Gorelick came to me and told me that Archie Comics were popular in India so they wanted to give Archie an Indian friend and they wanted me to create him. I don't know why he chose me for the job. It may have been because I was regularly writing and drawing the new story in Tales From Riverdale at the time and that's where they wanted to introduce the character.

Now since I knew almost nothing about India, I started doing some research and I relied heavily on an Indian student I had at the time. (How ironic! This student was Indian by way of Canada!) I came up with Raj and his family who were going to be new arrivals in Riverdale. Initially, I named Raj "Kiran" after my student and gave him the family name of Singh. I gave him a father who was supposed to run a candy store in Riverdale. Immediately, I was told that this was too stereotypical, but I honestly just wanted to give Riverdale a new landmark and the gang a new place to hang out. This was immediately changed to Raj's dad being a doctor... (which I guess an Indian doctor isn't so stereotypical...?!?) Kiran's mom was supposed to be a scientist who worked for Lodge Industries. She was going to be the source of lots of wacky experiments and sci-fi adventures. Kiran was also supposed to have a sister named Priti, who was younger than Kiran but she was supposed to have skipped a grade in school so she could still be in classes with the Archie gang if needed. I gave Kiran the interest in special effects and film making and the trademark of the Hawaiian shirt. I also drew sketches of all the characters.

My whole proposal was run by someone Archie was doing business with in India. Most of my ideas were left intact except for the afore-mentioned candy store and everyone's names. "Singh" was considered to be too typical so they changed the family name to Patel.

We did a couple of Raj stories. I don't remember how many. One day, I received a phone call from Michael Silberkleit himself. This was VERY rare. I think the man called me TWICE in all the years I worked for him. He told me that Raj was getting some popularity in India and that the Indian press my try to get a hold of me. He said he really thought Raj was something "special" and he "really needed to be handled right" so if I received any calls from the press I should direct them to him. I told him I would but I never got any calls until years later when I was called for an interview and I handled it myself. I don't remember if Michael was still living when I did that. The entire fiasco with Dan DeCarlo was a public relations trauma and still very fresh in everyone's memory at that point so I suspect Michael was very interested in not associating me as a "creator" of Raj Patel and locking up the public perception of that property as completely Archie-owned with no room for doubt whatsoever. I always thought that was pretty shady.

That's my Raj story.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 10, 2016, 12:35:03 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 10, 2016, 01:55:59 AM

In a few news stories from 2009, they made mention of the fact that ACP was about to open its first branch office in New Delhi, India (don't know if it actually happened, or if it's still open; I suspect not), which attests to the popularity of Archie in India.

I never heard this one before. I don't think it ever happened. Archie does have exceptional popularity in India and for a little while, Archie was doing some business over there. I don't know if they still are at all. At any rate, this popularity did lead to the creation of Raj Patel, which brings me to my next response...

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 10, 2016, 04:17:58 AM

I guess if the company could survive the To Riverdale and Back Again TV-movie in 1990, they can live through another awful TV pilot. It's not as if they're tying up their own money in it.

For whatever reason, Archie is betting A LOT on this pilot. They really believe this show will improve things for the company. I don't know how those dots connect but that's what they're saying.

Deep, deep, deep down, my secret belief is that, as with all of their premature announcements, the pilot is intended to give the company enough of an illusion of relevancy that they can sell it. That's just my theory though.