CSI: The Big, Fat Sell

Wed, August 30th, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Chris Ryall, Guest Contributor

IDW's Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall Presents His…

"Reasons to Pick Up CSI: DYING IN THE GUTTERS #1 Today That Have Nothing To Do With The Fact That He Appears As Himself In The Issue"

And with that unwieldy title, let me open up this guest-written take-off on Robert Kirkman's BUY MY BOOKS. Since Robert actually appears in the issue, it seems okay to emulate his column's raison d'etre. But, to paraphrase another CSI guest-star/murder suspect, I digress.

This Wednesday sees the release of "CSI: Dying In The Gutters" #1 (of 5), the first issue of our latest CSI miniseries. The hook on this one is one you might've seen or heard in the past couple months. In the story, we're killing fellow CBR columnist Rich Johnston. Killing him violently (not as violently as some creators suggested as we were developing this book, but still, he doesn't just go gently into that good night).

And if the appeal of seeing Rich J. bite it isn't enough impetus to check the book out, I thought I'd offer some more reasons:

  1. The killer is definitely a comics industry pro. There's not going to be any sort of last-minute cheat where the butler (or, since this takes place at a comic con, a retailer or fan) is responsible. And we're not going to have, say, a Lazarus Pit-dipped John Buscema return to do in Rich. No, the killer will most definitely be someone you know and love, a current comics creator.

  2. The list of creators who agreed to play along with the tale is long and distinguished. Among the people who might've killed Rich: Joe Quesada, the aforementioned Robert Kirkman, the afore-eluded-to Peter David, Chuck Dixon, Beau Smith, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Phil Jimenez, George Perez, J. Michael Straczynski, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Ben Templesmith, Ashley Wood, Gail Simone, Jim Mahfood, Stan "The Man" Lee, and me. The series also features cameos from folks like CBR's Jonah Weiland, writer Tony Lee, and others that astute readers might notice. And if that's not enough, Marvel chief Joe Quesada was even good enough to hype the book at his first blog at Marvel.com, too. That can't just be because he was happy to see Rich dead, can it?

  3. It's a CSI tale first. Those expecting a comic book in-joke will be disappointed to know that this is a solid CSI tale before anything. While the premise is fun and involves a lot of great creators as suspects, this story (and the "B" story that runs alongside it throughout the miniseries) would stack up nicely with any other CSI mystery. The writer is Steven Grant (CSI: Secret Identity), who knows his way around writing suspenseful comics as well as navigating the tricky waters of a comic convention. Really, Steven's perfectly suited for this kind of comic, since he's such a good, established crime writer, knows all the participants, and has been a regular on the con circuit for decades. He's joined by Irish artist Stephen Mooney on this one.

  4. There's more CSI available today, too. Since I'm already a-pluggin' here, I should also mention that the first volume of CSI: CASE FILES is available today, too. It's "Essential-ly" our attempt to "Showcase" our older CSI tales-350+ pages of CSI stories (three complete tales, fifteen issues) in one $20, b&w volume.

  5. The story ties in to both "52" and "Civil War." No, really. And also to "Atlantis Attacks," "One Million," "Planet Hulk," "Armageddon," "Final Knight," "Invasion," "Maximum Clonage," "Millennium," "Unity," "Mutant Massacre," "Secret Wars I and II," "Zero Hour," "X-Tinction Agenda," and "Amalgam." Alright, maybe not… but all five issues will be released when scheduled, anyway.

  6. If you guess who killed Rich, and why, I'll give you a little something. Since there are only a couple dozen or so suspects, a list that quickly gets narrowed down to a handful (it would've been great to have big roles for everyone in the book, but the story came first; otherwise, we'd just be doing glorified cameos at the expense of telling a good mystery). Which means it might not be that difficult to pick the correct name of the killer. Ahh, but the motive - that's where the money is. If you e-mail us your guess, and guess correctly, you'll win a CSI prize pack:

    • "CSI: Case Files," Volume #1

    • "CSI: Dying In The Gutters" #1 variant covers from J.K. Woodward and Ben Templesmith

    • "CSI: Dying In The Gutters" #2 variant cover by Jim Mahfood

    • "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: New York" trade paperback collections

Simply put "I know who killed Rich Johnston" in the subject of the e-mail, and have at it. One guess per person. The contest will run from August 30, 2006 through the release of CSI: DYING IN THE GUTTERS #4. Everyone who guesses correctly in this period will win the prize.

Want to know how Rich gets killed? Check it out in "CSI: Dying In The Gutters" #1, which ships to comic shops today, August 30th.

Want to sample before you buy? No problem. Check out the 10-page preview right here on CBR.

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