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:
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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.


  1. Respected artform? Since when?

    What other business does a competitor ask that it’s competitions products be ripped up and sent in for special product?

    I love comics but let’s not make them something they aren’t…it’s a dying medium that certainly gets no mainstream respect…

  2. Last year I was in the Marvel offices and had the great honor to meet Ralph Macchio. I told him how much I loved his infamous “Project Pegasus” story and how much I wanted to draw a sequel if he would write it. Ralph got a good chuckle and he was kind and encouraging and the most professional person in comic books I’ve ever encountered. A true gentleman.

  3. Congratulations to Ralph for 35 years at Marvel. That’s an impressive superpower. Best wishes, Ralph, for whatever you choose to do for the next 35!

  4. “Respected artform? Since when?”

    Since Maus, or perhaps Perspepolis. Hell, pretty much anything that isn’t hack superhero trash is treated with some measure of respect these days.

  5. I love this guy. He’s been at a Marvel the entire time I’ve been reading comics….and that’s a LONG TIME. I’ve exchanged a few emails with him and he’s printed a couple of my letters. He’s a truly nice guy and he’s been involved in some really great stuff over the years. He will be missed for sure. I hope he writes some Solomon Kane for Dark Horse.

  6. Much like being an orderly at Arkham, being an editor at Marvel is one of those jobs I figured no one ever actually had the opportunity to retire from. Congrats and much thanks for his years of service to Mr. Macchio.

  7. Congrats to a successful run! Enjoy the future!

    Hmmm… have Ralph Macchio and Paul Levitz been seen in the same room together?

  8. “Having served around him as an intern, Ralph was the only senior guy who would give us the time of day. He is a hero in my book.”

    We had entirely different experiences then, he came across as an arrogant @$$clown when I was one…

  9. Ralph wrote the Project Pegasus serial from Two-In-One? That was outstanding — I still remember Thundra’s goodbye at the end of it.

    Congrats on surviving 35 years of Marvel’s “change partners and dance” re-organizatin’. That’s quite the feat.