So I got a fan letter for the most recent issue of “Invincible” (#27 for those keeping track at home). I get a lot of fan letters… I mean… a lot. Like, you know how you see those mailmen in movies carrying big bags of letters on their backs? I get that much… mostly digital, though. I’ll admit, 90% of them are from ladies who have seen my photos on line and don’t even know I write comics… but that leaves 10% that are about my comics. And trust me, 10% of a billion letters and emails is still over fifty or so fan letters… which is a lot.
So anyway, I got this fan letter, which isn’t uncommon, and it’s talking about “Invincible,” which also isn’t uncommon. This fellow reads Japanese, which is one of the few languages I don’t know backwards and forward. He says that in issue #27 of “Invincible,” on page 18 in the last panel, some of those scribbly shapes on the wall that are glowing are actual Japanese characters… and they say something. More specifically, they say something along the lines of “Kirkman is stupid” or “Kirkman is an idiot.”
I thought for sure this man was full of shit. Ryan Ottley, my brother in arms, fighting the good fight on behalf of the Invincible Nation, would never do such a thing. Right? I emailed him to find out… fully expecting him to say something along the lines of “No, brother–I would never do something like that.” (Ryan refers to everyone as “brother,” it’s pretty unsettling) Instead he says “Yeah, I was wondering how long it’d take someone to notice that.”
I actually cried.
And I haven’t cried since prom night… at least not like this. I was heart broken, devastated… upset. The thing is… I love Ryan Ottley. I really do. I’d take a bullet for this kid. Ryan Ottley has done more consecutive issues of a book with me than any other artist. I think he’s quickly becoming the artist I’ve done the most comics with– if he hasn’t already. Although, Charlie Adlard will always be neck and neck with him as long as “The Walking Dead” keeps going.
Ryan does a bang up job on “Invincible.” You guys know… you’ve seen it. He’s a total pro. It’s funny, too, because when Ryan took over the book with issue #8, he was still just a bit rough around the edges. Issue #8 in particular looks a little off to me now that I look back at it. But if you look at issue #10, it’s vastly different… and by issue #13 Ryan was nailing doors onto the comic just so he could blow them off with his massive talents. Now, man… I nearly mess my britches every time he sends me a new page. Ryan Ottley is amazing.
So yeah, I’ve got a huge soft spot in my heart for Ryan Ottley. He’s the fellow that brings my favorite superhero to life every month. I would never ever call him an “idiot” or say he’s “stupid.” And I’m not mad that he did that to me, in print… for all the Japanese to see, but I’ll tell you this much… this column would be a lot longer if he hadn’t done that.
I wonder if he knew I was joking when I told him he was fired.
Oh, well… you guys would still BUY MY BOOKS… right?