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                                                                                                IDW Publishing


Doomed (B&W magazine)

    1. cover, frontis & back cover: Ashley Wood/alternate cover: Jeremy Geddas (Oct. 2005)

                1) Ms. Doomed’s Introduction [Chris Ryall/Ashley Wood] 1p

                2) Bloodson [Chris Ryall/Ashley Wood] 15p   from the story by Richard Matheson

                3) Cuts [F. Paul Wilson/Ted McKeever] 15p   from the story by Wilson

                4) Blood Rape Of The Lust Ghouls [Chris Ryall/Eduardo Barretto] 15p   from the story by David

J. Schow

                5) The Final Performance [Chris Ryall/Kristian Donaldson] 15p   from the story by Robert Bloch

                6) Outlawed Legacies: Please Kill Me Now: The Life And Deathwish Of David J. Schow [Joshua

Jabcuga & David J. Schow] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                7) Ms. Doomed’s Farewell [Chris Ryall/Ashley Wood] 1p

                8) Next Issue Ad [Ashley Wood] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: $6.99 for 72 pages.  Publisher: Ted Adams.  Editor: Chris Ryall.  At last we see a return to the full-size B&W horror magazines of the 1960s-1990s!  IDW Publishing makes an admirable start here, adapting stories from four major horror writers.  The best of the bunch is Robert Bloch’s ‘The Final Performance’, adapted by editor Chris Ryall & artist Kristian Donaldson.  The story does a fine job of conveying the feel of a cross-country drive on very limited funds and the seedy, out of the way, diners and motels one might frequent as a result of those low funds.  The artwork is crisp and well laid out and I particularly like the idea of leaving the hero’s eyes in darkness throughout the story, except for one necessary panel.  Best story and art for this premiere issue.  The other adaptations are all worthwhile reading as well, with good work from Eduardo Barretto, Chris Ryall & Ted McKeever & very nice work by Ashley Wood, who doubles as the art director.  The influence of the Warren magazines is clear in the cover layout, which closely resembles the old Warren style, and in the use of a sexy hostess to introduce the magazine.  However, this hostess, Ms. Doomed, is not the pun spouting horror host of old, but a decidedly creepy lady with a major hate for men.  NOT somebody you’d like to ever actually meet.  Her dominatrix-style dialogue is loaded with bitterness.  Both covers were quite good, with Geddas’ art appearing to be somewhat in the style of Phil Hale’s, and greatly resembling a frame from a stop-action animated film.  Ashley Wood’s art work also appears to be somewhat of a cross between David Mazzuchelli & Jeff Jones and is quite good.  One thing I definitely did like was that, following the interview, a one page ad appeared for the interviewed writer’s (in this issue, David J. Schow) books.  Well laid out with informative information on each book, this is something I would really like to see continued.  The ads for IDW’s other books were also generally well done.  While I like the adaptations and certainly want them to continue, original stories would also be nice.  Here’s hoping we can have a good mix of both.  There’s a part of me that cringes at the price but, in reality, Warren was selling their books for $1.50 when regular four-color comics sold for 30 cents.  So in 1973 the cost of a Warren magazine was five times what the average comic cost.  The $7 price tag for this magazine is only double what the average 22 page {I don’t count ads} comic sells for today and you’re getting 60 pages of story & art, plus an interview.  This is a better buy for your dollar than either the Warren books were in the 1970s or new color comics are today.


    2. cover, frontis & back cover: Ashley Wood/alternate cover: Jeremy Geddes (Apr. 2006)

                1) Ms. Doomed Pin-Up [Ashley Wood] 1p

                2) Bagged [Chris Ryall/AShely Wood] 15p   from the story by David J. Schow

                3) Crickets [Scott Tipton/Mike Hoffman] 15p   from the story by Richard Matheson

                4) Warm Farewell [Dan Taylor/Alex Sanchez] 15p   from the story by Robert Bloch

                5) Slasher [F. Paul Wilson/Tony Salmons] 15p   from the story by Wilson

                6) Outlawed Legacies: F. Paul Wilson Interview [Joshua Jubcuga & F. Paul Wilson] 7p   [text


                7) Ms. Doomed’s Farewell [Chris Ryall/Ashley] 1p

                8) Next Issue Ad [Ashley Wood] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: Four more adapted tales from the same four writers presented in #1.  Best artwork was from Mike Hoffman, although his backgrounds {or lack of them} left something to be desired at times.  Best stories were the adapted Matheson & Wilson stories although the Schow tale was decent enough.  Unfortunately the Bloch adaptation seemed a bit obvious although the art was nice.  All in all, a decent issue.


    3. cover



                                               A 2005 Interview With Chris Ryall!



RA: What is your background in comics?


CR: I’ve been around ‘em my entire life—I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever read in my life was Fantastic Four 130. I got taken to a comic con when I was 5 and left there with Joe Shuster’s autograph, not that I knew who he was until years later; I used to work for Dick Clark, and one of the companies we worked with was the now-defunct Stan Lee Media; I wrote about comics for a while for Web sites like Kevin Smith’s Movie Poop, where I’ve served as Editor-in-Chief since June ’02. And I’ve been the Editor-in-Chief at IDW for the past 16 months, adding Publisher to my title as well as of October 1.


RA: As the editor-in-chief of IDW Publishing, what could you tell us about the intent & future plans of the company?


CR: The intent is a humble one—to just produce quality graphic fiction, whether it be stories based on licensed properties or creator-owned projects. Our future plans include doing much more of that.


RA: What other horror books does IDW do? 


CR: All kinds of things—our first big horror title was 30 Days of Night, and in the past four years, we’ve done horror of the creator-owned variety as well as adaptations of things like Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Land of the Dead, and videogame adaptations like Castlevania. And we’ve been trying to extend beyond just doing horror comics, in the form of running short prose stories in the backs of our comics, or doing little hardcover re-tellings of classic horror novels like Dracula and Frankenstein, and now Doomed.


RA: Where did the inspiration to publish Doomed as a B&W magazine rather than a regular 32 page comic come from?


CR: We intended it all along to be a revival/tribute to the old Warren publications of the past, so it was always designed to be a magazine, not a typical comic.


RA: Clearly, somebody at your company is an old Warren fan.  Is the cover layout and the female hostess a deliberate nod to that company?


CR: Absolutely. I’d say more than “somebody” is a fan, actually—pretty much all of us are, and we all grew up reading these magazines. So many great people got their first real break through these magazines.


RA: What kind of reprint magazine or book were you folks trying to do with the Warren stories?


CR: We’d considered doing some trade paperback collections of the stories, the same way we’ve collected things like Grimjack and Jon Sable, Freelance.


RA: Can you give us some background history on how the magazine moved from inspiration to published fact?


CR: The inspiration started with Ted Adams, our former Publisher (and current VP of Business Development) and artist Ashley Wood. They had been looking into the possibility of collecting some of the best of the old Warren stories, and when that didn’t quite pan out, Ashley Wood had the idea to just take the idea of doing an illustrated horror magazine and do it ourselves, paying homage to what’s come before.


From there, we kicked around various ideas, from soliciting new stories to trying to involve celebrated horror writers. It just made much more sense to adapt some of the great short horror stories by classic writers. It made sense not only from a commercial standpoint, but also because there’s just so much good material out there that many people have never read, and the idea of adapting these stories to comic format was really appealing to all of us.


So we started making a list of guys we really wanted to talk to—people who’ve been legends for years, like Richard Matheson and the late Robert Bloch, and some newer guys like F. Paul Wilson and David J. Schow. There were others we talked to, and the wish list is a long one, but these are the four we decided to go with for the first four issues.


RA: What determined the stories that you wanted to adapt?  What stories will we see in the future?  What's on your wish list?


CR: Like I say, it’s a long list. Beyond the four guys we’re currently working with, there are many others I’d eventually like to involve, if the project takes off. The key determinant in the stories we looked at were, basically, that they live up (or down) to the magazine’s title. There won’t be any happy endings in Doomed.


A particularly pleasing thing to come out of all of this, for me, is my discovery of Robert Bloch’s short fiction. I’ve read a little Bloch in the past, and most people know him as the writer of Psycho, but his short horror prose is stunning, and there’s so much of it. I’ve read a lot of Matheson, and read my share of Wilson and Schow as well, but Bloch was one I’d just never really explored to any great degree before. What a mistake that was! His writing is so strong, so direct, and it feels so timeless. The greatest thing that could come from this magazine would be if it got others to seek out his writings, or Matheson’s, or Wilson’s and Schow’s. The most I can say about Doomed is, if you at all enjoy the stories contained within it, then seek out more work by the original authors—you’re in for quite a treat.


As for others on the list, there are so many—Harlan Ellison, and Jack Ketchum are two I’ve spoken to before, and I’d love to tackle short stories by Stephen King (of course), and even guys like Dean Koontz, people who aren’t really so known for their short stories. So many others—Poppy Z. Brite is great. There’s no way I could list everyone; instead, I’ll just hope again that Doomed can last long enough to give me a chance to work with some of these people. 


RA: Will you begin doing original stories at some point as well as the adaptations?


CR: Right now, I’m much more interested in adapting these great existing stories.


RA: Who created Ms. Doomed?  I'd better be upfront here and let you know that I found her intro & outro anti-men speeches a good deal creepier {and not necessarily in a good way} than some of the stories adapted.


CR: That’d be Ashley Wood, who designed her look, and gave me a few ideas about her backstory. Her words themselves came from me, so if her intro/outro was creepy in a bad way, I’m probably to blame. Although I’d ask that you explain that just a bit more…


RA: Why is Ms. Doomed such a man-hater?  Are you folks planning a full-length story examining her background?


CR: Well, we did that, I think, with her first bit of dialogue.  Explained why she hates men so.  Men have always let her down, and when she lost her eye because of a man, well, that was the proverbial straw that broke this vengeful camel’s back.  We just thought it’d be more fun to have the angry, contemptuous host rather than a jovial, welcoming type.


RA: What info can you give us about your artists?  Whose art will be appearing in future issues?


CR: Ash Wood will adapt a story in every issue, and the second one will also include stories by Mike Hoffman and Tony Salmons, among others. Beyond those names, there are many people I’ve spoken to who’ve expressed interest, it’s just a matter of finding the right material for them. I’d love to involve people who worked on the old Warren publications. You asked about my wish list—tops of my artistic wish list would be Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta (a wish, like I said) and Richard Corben (who I’ve worked with in the past and talked to about this, but his schedule was a bit full).


RA: Are you striving for a more psychological type of story or would the occasional monster story be considered?  Is anything in horror fair game for this title?


CR: I’m staying away from Lovecraftian monster stories in Doomed, for now, but anything else is fair game.


RA: Both Skywald (publisher from 1970-1975) & Warren (publisher from 1965-1983) had distinct publishing approaches.  Skywald had the 'Horror-Mood' which was characterized by a feverish, almost hysterical, type of storytelling, inspired largely by the works of H. P. Lovecraft & Edgar Allan Poe.  Warren started out as a bit of "What EC would have been if they continued into the 1960s" crossed with the Hammer & Universal monster movies, which gradually evolved into a much more general and wide ranging outlook on horror.   Do you have any special approach or intent as to the type or style of horror that you'll be publishing?


CR: Nothing so grandiose, I’m afraid. Like I say, I want stories that have a “doomed” theme, that’s about it.


RA: How frequently do you hope to publish the magazine?


CR: We’d hoped for bi-weekly, then quarterly, and now the second issue is due in April ’06. Which is a couple months past quarterly. But all things willing, we’ll go quarterly in ’06. We could definitely use a boost, though, if the magazine is to continue. It’s a tough marketplace right now, if you’re not doing superhero comics. We definitely want to do different and interesting things like Doomed, and just hope the market will encourage such things.


RA: Any final words?


CR: Just that fans of horror prose, or comic books, or just fun, grim, tales of woe, would all enjoy Doomed. Hope people give it a look. And if not Doomed, like I say, go read the original tales by these great horror writers. Don’t wait as long as I did to discover Robert Bloch!


RA: Thank you, Chris Ryall!




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