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Messages - Fernando Ruiz

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 10, 2016, 12:31:48 AM
Quote from: irishmoxie on April 09, 2016, 05:26:11 PM

Judging by this message board I think most Archie readers are males in their 40s and 50s.

As much as I love you guys, you can't gauge Archie's readership by this one message board.

Most of Archie's readers are little kids. This is why the digests remain Archie's best selling product.

Quote from: The Bee on April 09, 2016, 02:22:59 PM
Quote from: Fernando Ruiz on April 09, 2016, 02:17:36 PM
Quote from: 60sBettyandReggie on April 08, 2016, 05:08:54 PM
Quote from: Great Gazoo on April 08, 2016, 04:04:23 PM
How about Tim & Pat Kennedy? I have always liked there work or have they also been shown the door by ACP?

If I'm not mistaken Fernando Ruiz said the only one still left is Dan Parent, so everybody else is gone :(

Yep. Dan is the last man standing.

The rest of us have been... Well, Archie refuses to admit that any of us have been fired or even "let go."
What word are they using then.......... Canned?

Amongst ourselves, we often joke sarcastically that we're all "on hiatus." Archie seems to like that word.

Quote from: 60sBettyandReggie on April 08, 2016, 05:08:54 PM
Quote from: Great Gazoo on April 08, 2016, 04:04:23 PM
How about Tim & Pat Kennedy? I have always liked there work or have they also been shown the door by ACP?

If I'm not mistaken Fernando Ruiz said the only one still left is Dan Parent, so everybody else is gone :(

Yep. Dan is the last man standing.

The rest of us have been... Well, Archie refuses to admit that any of us have been fired or even "let go."

Quote from: irishmoxie on April 08, 2016, 09:58:35 AM

Another thing which is interesting, if 75% of Archie fans prefer the old Archie why aren't sales reflecting that? Were these fans only buying digests and not the floppies? Why wasn't this enough to keep the old Archie alive even though they were probably making more money paying the artists less?

As I've said, the company's bread & butter is those digests. Sales have dipped on those but they remain Archie's financial rock. The problem with the 32 page books is distribution, which admittedly is NOT an easy problem to overcome they way things stand today! The 32's don't do well in comic shops and newsstand outlets don't want to carry them either. Unfortunately rather than look for alternatives to their distribution, Archie has utterly convinced themselves that the direct market is the only way to go!

A few years ago, one of the higher-up said to me "The five page story is dead" because they can't "promote it." I thought this was insanely incorrect. Their leading product, then as now, was the digests which was PACKED with five page stories. They needed MORE five-pagers! Not less! Ironically, today (at least as of the last time I was up at Archie) the ONLY new classic Archie stories being produced are only five pages long. Sadly, this is more because that's all they want to spring for than anything else.

Quote from: irishmoxie on April 08, 2016, 09:58:35 AM

Also I'm not sure why they bother with the trade paperbacks when sales of those are less than the individual issues.

I don't think they are much anymore. They really have cooled off on those. I think they were disappointed in the sales of everything except those Best Of books.

Thanks for spreading the word, Guys! I hope you like my stuff on Eerie Cuties.

More is on the way!

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 08, 2016, 01:26:40 AM
Quote from: kassandralove on April 08, 2016, 12:33:22 AM
I wonder what the ratio is of kids vs adult readers for Archie
Are teenagers actually reading Archie? Or is it us older fans who have been reading for years..

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Little kids still make up the largest share of Archie's audience. The digests remain their financial backbone.

Archie, however, is ignoring both of these facts by letting the digests deteriorate and by foolishly pursuing the adult audience of the direct sales market.

Quote from: Oldiesmann on April 08, 2016, 12:44:30 AM
I still wish they'd just use Dan or Fernando instead. Both have proven they can draw the "new" style just as well as the classic style.

Thanks but Archie does not believe that our names can sell a regular book. They've told us this point blank!! They are stupidly addicted to having a "big name" attached to every book.

It's not a very smart attitude considering that Archie Vs Predator sold an average of about 35 K copies per issue, a huge hit in Archie terms, and Archie Vs Sharknado completely sold out! Granted these books have the added hook of Predator and Sharknade, but the point is, our names didn't drive readers away. In fact, AVP was widely praised because it LOOKED like a classic Archie book!

Quote from: irishmoxie on April 07, 2016, 08:54:11 PM
Well this poll speaks for itself. I wonder why ACP doesn't go back to the old style.

In one of my last conversations with Archie (a couple of months ago now) I was told that Archie doesn't believe there is enough retailer interest to support a regular Classic Archie title. This excludes digests.

Now the rebooted Archie title is hemorrhaging readers every single month. Issue 6 sold around 18K copies which is down an insane 82% from Issue #1 in only FIVE issues! Of course there are a few factors that artificially inflate #1's 100K sales but that 82% drop is still there. All that having been said, even at 18K copies, the current Archie book is still selling better than the Classic Archie title. Keep in mind though that the Rebooted Archie book is a more expensive book to put out than the classic Archie. Mark Waid don't come cheap and as far as the art goes, all of the reboot artists are being paid far better than I was.

All this means is that Archie Comics... right NOW... is probably happier with the current Archie title than they were with the previous one. The new title is still doing better than the old one and it gets them some "buzz." At the very least, they have the illusion of being a "hip, happening" company. If sales continue to ebb on that book though, some realities are going to have to be faced very soon.

I know I'm not exactly objective here, but there's no question. Classic Archie all the way.

The Reboot could've co-existed alongside the Classic Material much like the Married Life did, but to completely displace the classic material the way it has is one of the biggest mistakes this company has ever committed. It is absolutely suicidal.

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 07, 2016, 11:09:14 AM
Quote from: old_jughead on April 05, 2016, 09:43:46 PM

The point is Archie Comics has always been diverse right from the get-go and everyone was accepted for who they are. There were old people, young people, fat people, skinny people, ugly people, beautiful people, nerds, jocks, freckled people etc. Then over the years they added more diversity like having black characters such as Chuck as the look of America started to change and now we have a gay person with Kevin Kellar. Diversity isn't new with Archie, it's just been updated to include more diversity in races to represent today. If the show was set in the 50s, that would be a different story, but it isn't.

A couple of years ago, Archie made the internal declaration that "little kids don't find old people funny." This was almost a direct quote from one of Archie's key higher-ups. The "old people" label covered adults, fat people, nerds and anyone other than young hot model types. We were told that "kids want to read about attractive people." I don't know what sort of scientific survey Archie conducted to arrive at these conclusions but this is what we were told.

As a consequence of this decree, anytime we had any sort of background person in a story... like a shop owner, passer-by, etc... they all had to be young hot people. Sometimes I'd be drawing pages in the office and this certain higher-up would look over my shoulder. If I'd drawn a fat old guy in the background of the streets of Riverdale, this person would say, "Can't you make that a cute girl instead?" Ultimately this started to undermine the little Samm Schwartz style background gags I liked to include in my stories. Let's face it a young girl slipping on a banana peel just isn't going to be as funny as a fat guy slipping on a banana peel. Eventually, unless directly ordered to make a change or a specific inclusion, I just ignored this mandate and just drew whatever I wanted.

The same higher-up also had a similar obsession with race and diversity. Riverdale, we were told, was too "lily white." (That's the actual term used.) Thus we were encouraged to use Chuck as much as possible. This isn't really a problem and usually an easy enough request to accommodate but eventually, this grew into shoe-horning Chuck into every possible situation... especially on covers. This is where this became a pain. You just don't have a whole lot of room on covers (especially those digests covers!) Often I'd submit cover ideas and the feedback I'd receive would be "Could you add Chuck?" Or Nancy. If I included both, I knew I'd hit a home run. There were more than a few covers I did where Chuck has nothing to do with the gag and he's just there smiling (Another Archie mandate: "Everyone HAS to smile on covers ALL THE TIME!")

At some point, we were suddenly told to ease off on Chuck. I guess Chuck didn't prove to be Archie's "Wolverine" or "Punisher" after all. The word came down all of a sudden that "Chuck was boring." This led directly to the creation of Trey and one of our favorite recurring gags among us artists on the inside, Toni Topaz. I don't know much about Trey, but I was in the Archie offices when Toni Topaz was created literally by the entire office staff! They wanted a hip black chick and that sat around throwing out ideas and off-beat name ideas. I don't remember the rejected names, but I remember Toni Topaz was really the best of the bunch. They wanted a colorful catchy name, but everything made her sound like a stripper. Since I was there, I was asked to make some initial Toni Topaz sketches. I had a magazine with me that had a picture of Rhiannon in a pink hat so that's what I drew and that's what became Toni Topaz.

Toni appeared in about two stories before one of the massive cutbacks in the new material came down. Archie Comics still, however, insisted that she appear on as many covers as possible. I have no idea if they're still demanding this.

My understanding, as of the last time I was at Archie which was a couple of months ago, was that the plan going forward would be that there would be ONE new digest a week and that digest would contain ONE new FIVE page story. (No more of those luxurious six-pagers, Folks!) These stories will ALL be written by Dan Parent. You might see an occasional story written or drawn by someone else, but this might just be an old "inventory" story.

Keep in mind that at the end of last year, a number of digests were put together but at the last minute... for "reasons"... they were pulled and never saw the light of day. Those new stories intended for those books, since they were technically never used, are being filtered into the new digests now. This is why you might still see a "new" story by me from time to time even though I haven't done anything for Archie in months now.

As for the story in this book, I couldn't tell you if it really is new or not.

All About Archie / Re: Die Kitty Die #2
April 03, 2016, 08:28:11 PM
Thanks to everyone who's been supporting us so far.

If anyone else is interested in picking up Die Kitty Die #'s 1 & 2, both are available digitally from Gumroad.

You can also still pre-order the deluxe hardcover edition which will have exclusive material such as an exclusive cover by the awesome Darwyn Cooke and a Kitty & Friends story drawn by the incredible Gisele Lagace! You can order yours from my website FernandoRuizeverybody.com.

All About Archie / Re: Riverdale TV Series
April 03, 2016, 08:21:37 PM
Quote from: Archiver123 on April 03, 2016, 02:25:16 PM
I wonder wha will happen if the TV SHOW doesn't pan out.

Archie Comics is wondering this too.