In the new Axel-in-Charge feature at CBR, Axel Alonso announced that the most senior editor at any comics company anywhere is retiring:
Axel Alonso: After 35 years of distinctive service, Senior Editor Ralph Macchio is retiring. Ralph’s a living legend who’s edited some of the most important titles we’ve ever published — from Frank Miller’s “Daredevil” to Walter Simonson’s “Thor” to the early Ultimate line to the Stephen King series. He’s also one of the world’s true gentlemen — and I mean that from the bottom of my heart — and a master impersonator whose “Tom Brevoort” has to be seen to be believed. While Ralph’s closing the door on his editing work, he’s opening the door to another — expect to see him back behind the writer’s desk, soon.
Macchio’s 35-year career got its start as a letter hack (along with fellow editor Mark Gruenwald, Macchio’s name can often be found in ’70s Marvel letter columns) before joining the legendary Archie Goodwin on the budding black and white line. From there he took on an incredible array of projects, such as those listed above, that spanned all the eras of comics.
Through it all a few things were true of Macchio: Unlike just about every other major editor of the era, he kept an incredibly low profile. Even pictures of Macchio at conventions are almost impossible to find.
Also, as this picture of Macchio and King from the New York Comic-Con in 2007 shows, Macchio barely aged, maintaining a legendarily youthful appearance.
Oddly he shared this trait with the OTHER Ralph Macchio, who starred in THE KARATE KID, and who tweeted today:
When Macchio began working at Marvel, comics were sold on newsstands only and were considered a garbage medium by most culture guardians. Now they’re sold in a dedicated array of shops, taught in schools and have taken their place as a respected artform. Surely Macchio’s work over the years helped at least a tiny bit with both those evolutions.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.