A New Look for Archie
December 18, 2006 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Comic and cartoon, much parodied and subject to strange crossovers, Archie and Riverdale are getting a new look. (via Waxy.)
posted by interrobang (102 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Crap. "Punisher Meets Archie" is no longer where I had it bookmarked. Sorry.
posted by interrobang at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2006


Tantalizing thumbnails can be seen here, but I can't find it anwhere else. If anyone else can, please hope.
posted by interrobang at 8:52 AM on December 18, 2006


*sobs* I just died a little bit inside. I consumed a lot of that creepy american dream propaganda as a kid. Going to miss the weird little L shaped noses and the huge eyelashes!
posted by stray at 8:53 AM on December 18, 2006


Of course! The reason Archie comics were bland and uninteresting was because of the ART STYLE, not the boring-ass writing! This will change everything!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2006


New Coke.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2006


Well, Betty and Veronica look even sluttier now, which I suppose is a good thing.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2006


Cost of Betty and Veronica's Double Digest? US $3.69

Bet it took a whole focus group o' Freudians to come up with that price point.
posted by hal9k at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Nooooooooo! They can't do this!
posted by mds35 at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2006


Scott is not going to think this is KEWL at all. Not one bit.
posted by mds35 at 9:18 AM on December 18, 2006


God, they look like the crappy late-'90s "teen" porn stars. I mean, at least the '60s Archies had a good grasp of the fashios (if they were always a little extreme).

Recently, I went through and read some of the early Archies collections from the '40s and '50s and was amazed how much the art had suffered by the '80s (and how bizarre the plots had gotten). When they first debuted, they had a thick-line pin-up style that really worked well, and the jokes were fairly often pretty racy. As the story went on, they dealt less and less with lechery and drunkeness/substance abuse, and more and more milquetoast bullshit (though, in the '80s, they did deal with the problem of punk rock and had the Archies help a struggling rap band get started).
It's almost like the move into bigger money and iconic status led to less interest in making the comics worth reading, just like Disney and Mad Magazine.
posted by klangklangston at 9:22 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


This seems like an odd choice. I mean, if Archie has anything going for it, it's the iconic style. You can spot an Archie cover from 4 checkout lanes over. Now it's just... bland. And B&V look seriously underfed to boot. Isn't the market for this book middle school girls? That's an age group that doesn't really need any more anorexic role models.
posted by maryh at 9:24 AM on December 18, 2006


One word: plastic.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2006


duh...Stay outta Riverdale!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:27 AM on December 18, 2006


I was in the check-out line the other day and was surprised to see that Archie is still published. Who the hell buys it? I can't imagine a modern kid that would relate in the least. Hell, that shit was too cheesy for me in the 70's.
posted by 2sheets at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2006


Sabrina has enjoyed a healthy revival under Tania del Rio's manga look-and-feel and they're obviously doing this for one of two reasons:
  1. They think that Archie has, despite existing for a half-century with its current look, outlived its design usefulness.
  2. They're getting attention and will pull a "New Coke," bringing back the old look to much cheering from people who don't even read the comics.

posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:37 AM on December 18, 2006


And B&V look seriously underfed to boot.

Take a look at Veronica's waist in that first link, or Betty's waist here. They've always been skinny to the point of anorexia, except for the boobs.

Isn't the market for this book middle school girls?

It's mostly elementary school kids (boys and girls) who gobble up the digests whenever we have them in at our store. I don't think the makeover's gonna work; I bet the cartooniness is most of the appeal.
posted by mediareport at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2006


2sheets
My 16 year old sister has been buying Archie comics religiously since she was at least 13. It confuses me as well.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2006


Parents buy Archie comics. They're safe.

As for who actually likes Archie? Girls. It's a comic for little girls. (I made the mistake of dissing Archie in public once, and really upset a female friend. Minister's daughter. Archie might have been the only comic allowed in her family's house, for all I know.)

On preview: At least two people beat me to it.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 9:41 AM on December 18, 2006


This is wrong. So wrong. So very, very wrong. Wrong on levels to which wrong has not yet been measured on the grounds that it is so wrong.

My god, this is wrong.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:44 AM on December 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


"Parents buy Archie comics."
Of course - that would explain why they are in the check-out line with the tabloids and Reader's Digest.
posted by 2sheets at 9:46 AM on December 18, 2006


so the 5th horseman of acopolyspse finally shows its two sided face. about time.
posted by Stynxno at 9:46 AM on December 18, 2006


I had a kind-of-Pavlovian reaction to an Archie comic when I was a kid.

It involved Jughead eating a lot of pizzas (?) and this invariably made me very, very hungry also. Salivating, the whole deal.

Anyway, I disapprove of this new look.
posted by Merlyn at 9:52 AM on December 18, 2006


It's mostly elementary school kids (boys and girls) who gobble up the digests whenever we have them in at our store. I don't think the makeover's gonna work; I bet the cartooniness is most of the appeal.

When I saw the headline I was expecting another cartoony manga makeover ala Sabrina. The article mentions they are moving to longer stories, I wonder if they're trying to move in a more shojo manga direction.
posted by bobo123 at 9:53 AM on December 18, 2006


Horrible. It looks like a shit promotional comic for a line of dolls. Which I suppose comes next.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:55 AM on December 18, 2006


Through the years of desolation and loneliness I have had one recourse - one voice cutting through the din of a culture I no longer understand; a vision of a world that makes sense to me. As a child, when the other children would tease me for how my parents dressed me and I ate lunch alone behind the library, there was one place I could go where everything was bright and comprehensible - for a few minutes each day, as i turned the pages of those Archie Comics, I could lose myself. I could feel what it must be like for the popular ones, the pretty ones, the funny ones with friends.

Decades later, on my way to work - with baloney sandwiches premade in my bag so the other actuaries have an excuse to not ask me to go out to lunch with them - I stop and acquire my fix at gas stations and supermarket checkouts. In the drawers of my desk, stacks upon stacks of bright colored, cheery faces lie frozen and organized in spotless plastic sleeves. When this world of terror and unbridled teenage sexuality becomes too much, I can always retreat a few moments to Riverdale - to a world where people date for years rather than coupling wildly in the gutters the way I know the youth of today are always doing. A world where teachers are good and safe without the weapons and escape plans I know everyone maintains.

And this morning? What do I find this morning? Nubile, drug-skinny temptresses in the place of my wholesome virginal goddesses? Archie and friends doing cocaine in the school bathroom and thuggishly beating their less popular classmates no doubt. Speaking slurrily of "gootubes" and "shizzles", cutting themselves while they listen to "emo" rock and roll. Gone I am certain are the bicycles and skis, replaced with the waterboards and sex-sandwich parties I hear about on the demon television.

There is nothing left for me in this world, no respite, and I am coming for you Archie Publishing Group. You have betrayed me.
posted by freebird at 9:55 AM on December 18, 2006 [20 favorites]


"The article mentions they are moving to longer stories, I wonder if they're trying to move in a more shojo manga direction."

Yaoi's next.
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 AM on December 18, 2006


There's a wonderful on Jaime Hernandez sketch that shows Hopey and Maggie pointing at two gringas and laughing their fool heads off. The gringas are perfectly realized copies of Betty and Veronica -- looking very scared and offended.
posted by lodurr at 9:59 AM on December 18, 2006


This looks astoundingly awful, but can it really be any worse than this?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2006


Oh, jeez. And Steven Butler is a terrible, terrible artist. Clean line but no sense of movement. Every image is a pin-up or photograph.

FoB, I didn't think it was that bad, with the exception of Jughead's rap version of "Sugar, Sugar.", which was execrable.

And I am sad that I remember that bit. [Shudder.]
posted by solid-one-love at 10:12 AM on December 18, 2006


Nothing is sacred vs. the slightest chance of profit.
posted by JWright at 10:15 AM on December 18, 2006


If they are going to parody youth culture, why not start with the Paris Hilton look? (Doesn't this fit perfectly with the intent of the comic?)
posted by luckypozzo at 10:26 AM on December 18, 2006


Good golly, B&V look like Paris Hilton. As if we needed more evidence that Hilton is the antichrist. Is there nothing she cannot ruin?
posted by Western Infidels at 10:26 AM on December 18, 2006


Yeah, this is gonna last...
posted by brundlefly at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2006


As for who actually likes Archie? Girls.

My wife teaches high school English in a tough part of the Bronx. Some of her students who have difficulty with reading skills show improvement if they read a lot of comics, so she would pick some up for them occasionaly. She asked one kid what kind of comic he preffered and rather than the expected Batman/Superman/X-Men, he said 'The Archies!' and several of the other kids concurred. I guess it's a sweet fantasy of teenage life.*

I occasionally pick up an Archie comic simply because I find it comforting that they still exist. I used to watch the animated cartoon when I was a tyke and in CCD we used to get Catholic Themed Archie comix as well, so I'd occasionally pick up a book. Also, "Bang Shang A-Lang" is a terrific pop song.

As for the new Archies? The new Betty looks like some Britney-wanna-be, and I admit the new Veronica is kind of sexy, the old style was better if only for offering the timeless continuity that made looking at them occasionally so neccessary.

*oddly, there's a (wealthy) section of the Bronx called 'Riverdale.' Coincidence? I dunno.
posted by jonmc at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2006


Also, I always related to Jughead for some reason.
posted by jonmc at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2006


When I was a kid my dad gave me all his old Archie comics from the 60's, and I bought my share of the modern (at the time) ones. I used to read them with amusement mixed with absolute panic, trying to imagine what my life as a teenager would be like, and how I would get people to like me. It seemed so impossibly dreamlike that people would be kissing one day, just friends the next, and that attractions could be so openly alluded to but so rarely consummated. Betty and Veronica were always drawn so alluringly, and I used to scan the males' bodies for traces of that same sexuality and comparing myself to them. Everything in their world seemed so bright and safe and tantalizingly simple, and then suddenly someone would have an embarrassing personal problem that threatened to end the world as they knew it. It was so stressful to read!

Needless to say, in my case a few friends or a little more watchful cynicism would have cleared most of this right up.

The new look isn't very different. They're still recognizable. Wish I could see the guys too and see whether they've been given new abs or hairstyles as well. And whether Jughead's overeating has resulted in lesson-teaching obesity.
posted by hermitosis at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2006


Archie comics gain a strange gravitas when one takes white-out to the vertical portions of the exclamation points that end nearly every sentence in those goddamn things.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


This has got "Coming directly to DVD" written all over it.
posted by hal9k at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2006


New Archie is the new old Archie.
posted by srboisvert at 10:42 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I always related to Jughead for some reason.

Oh yeah. There's a character whose motivations I understand.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:44 AM on December 18, 2006


Because Jughead is awesome. A level-headed foil for Archie's girl-craziness and schemes, Jughead still has the best adventures (meeting aliens, time-travel, etc).

The new art-work bothers me, especially the new Betty.
posted by Snyder at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2006


Who the hell buys it?
My 11-year-old daughter loves them. She doesn't ask for much, but every time we're in the grocery checkout, she asks for them. I usually comply, and it makes her so very happy that I'll likely keep doing so. She's at the age where she's really starting to worry about body-style and fashion, so I might reconsider, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2006


Other than the color of the eyes and hair, Betty and Veronica appear to have exactly the same face.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:47 AM on December 18, 2006


IMO this new look will prove a disaster. The characters are now drawn far too realistically: this makes it far more difficult for the reader to self-identify with the characters. And as the stories in this thread indicate, identifying with the characters and situations is what the Archie universe is all about.

IOW, the Archie style should be more like Charlie Brown or Calvin and Hobbes; not like Mary Worth or Prince Valiant.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:47 AM on December 18, 2006


I always related to Jughead for some reason.

Oh yeah. There's a character whose motivations I understand.


They better not have fucked with his hat.
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


They better not have fucked with his hat.

Bet you $10 he's either hatless or wearing a backwards baseball cap now.
posted by maryh at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2006



God, they look like the crappy late-'90s "teen" porn stars. I mean, at least the '60s Archies had a good grasp of the fashios (if they were always a little extreme).


Fashios? Is that like Bathos?
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on December 18, 2006


More like pistachios.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2006


Betty and Veronica look even sluttier now

Just like real life girls!

(I have to go now, the old folks' home only allows a half hour of emailinet per day.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2006


I actually like the new artwork. It's still very classical comicbook. These days it seems like comicbooks are all hopped up with the photomashop and whatnot, so the new Archie is both new and classicaly comforting.

I'm glad they didn't go manga style, I liked anime as a kid but the Americanized form of it is like, they take the over-emotional responses and way overdo it. It just dosn't look right.
posted by delmoi at 11:19 AM on December 18, 2006


When I was a camp counselor, I got a group of girls (12 and 13) to cut up their Archie comics and make a new one. I was impressed.

Basically, Archie ran over Veronica in his red convertible. Then he kissed Reggie. Then Jughead kissed Reggie and Veronica (who had somehow come back to life) got mad and somehow managed to shove her arm and a tennis raquet up Jughead's butt while Jughead was wearing pants. Later, Archie was walking down the street and found Betty's severed head on the sidewalk and found her torso while he was fishing with the black guy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:32 AM on December 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


I mean, at least the '60s Archies had a good grasp of the fashios

Huh? Archie drove a jalopy and hung out at the Malt Shoppe at least into the 70s.

On preview: dear god, what I wouldn't give to see the Camp Curley storyline developed as a comic. Strangely, the events he describes already seem to have an inherent narrative structure just waiting to be expanded.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:38 AM on December 18, 2006


Curley, px plz.
posted by undule at 11:39 AM on December 18, 2006


> I mean, if Archie has anything going for it, it's the iconic style.

This makes as much sense as redrawing Bugs Bunny as an actual rabbit.
posted by jfuller at 11:41 AM on December 18, 2006


Huh? Archie drove a jalopy and hung out at the Malt Shoppe at least into the 70s.

What's a hot rod but a hopped up jalopy? and malteds are eternally cool.

As far as fashion goes, maybe they'll give Jughead some tattoos and a few piercings. I seem to recall him and betty going mildly hippie in the 60's.
posted by jonmc at 11:41 AM on December 18, 2006


I wonder how Principal Weatherbee will take the transition from jolly cartoon fat guy to morbidly obese realistic depiction guy.
posted by davelog at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2006


Oh noes! They've changed Chick!
posted by martinrebas at 11:50 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


well, at least the new archie doesn't reflexively make me want to punch him in the face anymore.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2006


While the DeCarlo look is iconic, it isn't how Archie & Co. have always been portrayed.
I wonder if there were a bunch of 30 year olds who hadn't read the comics in 15+ years grousing about it when he started illustrating in the late '50s.

(Remember when they reprinted stories with wavy-haired Reggie in the Double Digests? That always messed with my head.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2006


I still have my Archie comics from the '60s and my girls have read them. It isn't the first time they have tried to change Archie comics to try to keep the gang up with the times, they were a lot more subtle - not a complete overhaul.

I just hope they aren't going to kill the whole series after being around for this long. I have had many debates on how awful the whole concept of what the comic is teaching, I just hope that they don't change the storyline. It's a fun, simple read. LEAVE it at that!
posted by dreamzweaver at 11:52 AM on December 18, 2006


oddly, there's a (wealthy) section of the Bronx called 'Riverdale.'

I actually moved to Riverdale a few months ago. It really does feel like a small town and a world away from the rest of the Bronx.

Most of the (wealthy Jewish) kids in the neighborhood try to dress and talk like they're from tougher parts of the Bronx so maybe this makeover makes sense.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:53 AM on December 18, 2006


The Archie comics were very different from the "Betty and Veronica" comics. I used to read Betty and Veronica when I was a kid, the main reason being that each issue had paper dolls of the girls with new outfits. Apparently they stopped that in the mid-90s, which is really sad. I never really liked the Archie comics, because Archie was boring as hell. The girls lived exciting lives, though. It seems like Betty and Veronica have always kept up with fashion trends, but Archie's stuck in the 50s.

Anyway, I still vote that Betty is the hotter one.
posted by sarahnade at 11:59 AM on December 18, 2006


Anyway, I still vote that Betty is the hotter one.

No. Bottle blondes are a dime a dozen, and those pigtails look silly on her. Dark, sexy brunettes are where it's at. (I felt that way about the old B&V and it goes double for the new ones)
posted by jonmc at 12:04 PM on December 18, 2006


Basically, Archie ran over Veronica in his red convertible. Then he kissed Reggie. Then Jughead kissed Reggie and Veronica (who had somehow come back to life) got mad and somehow managed to shove her arm and a tennis raquet up Jughead's butt while Jughead was wearing pants. Later, Archie was walking down the street and found Betty's severed head on the sidewalk and found her torso while he was fishing with the black guy.

Raise your hand if your first thought reading that paragraph was "there's a black guy in Archie comics?"
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Fine. Mess with my Archies. Just don't alter them Little Archies.

I officially go on record as a boy who enjoyed the Archies in the early 80s. Betty, Veronica, etc. had first womanly female form that I could "legally" stare at for hours. Pre-pubescent boys will go out of their way for anything of the sort.

Sad. And true. Man, if this is just Monday, this is going to be a tough week...
posted by diastematic at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2006


I just find the fact that ACP follow the "WFOP" principles very, very funny.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2006


Okay, after clicking sos's link above I find that the school braniac/geek type is named "Dilton Doily". I wonder if they realize that in a real high school that would have been permanently abbreviated to "Dildo" on day one.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:55 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


The "black guy" in Archie Comics is Chuck. I remember him from some crowd scenes.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 12:58 PM on December 18, 2006


> This makes as much sense as redrawing Bugs Bunny as an actual rabbit.

Or the opposite.

A manga version of Archie would be interesting. But I'm thinking more like this than like that.
posted by ardgedee at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2006


Cherry Poptart
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:19 PM on December 18, 2006


Okay, this is bizarre. I just had a very long convversation with by cartoonist roommate about Archie, a lot of which focused on it's appeal. It's not just out-of-touch parents who buy Archies (thank you to all who pointed this out). It's simple and comforting to those who read it too. I remember being really upset when they introduced Cheryl Blossom becuase she was manipulative and much more physically forceful. With Archie's relationship with Betty and Veronica, you never saw or even got a hint of anything beyond kissing.* In Middle School, the idea that you wouldn't have to sleep with someone you liked was really quite comforting to me. It looks really corny or cheezy now, but it's a very comforting pre-teen fantasy about what it will be like to be older.

I make fun of Archie comics plently, but it's mostly for poor punctuation and rediculous plot lines. The vitrol here is kind of weird to me. I realy feel like Archie comics do serve a purpose for a lot of kids. They really aren't that much more corny than any other comic. I feel like they often just get bashed since their intended audience is teen girls. Get over it.

Thanks for this post, it's really great (even though I don't know if I like the way this new style looks). Suck it, all you jerks who wanna hate on Archie becuase it's trendy to.

*There were the occasional PSA cartoons in the 80's advising safe sex, but those were somehow different.
posted by piratebowling at 1:31 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair ardgedee, the original Termite Terrace designers simply lacked the technology that enables us today to make wabbits weally, weally pointy.
posted by maryh at 1:32 PM on December 18, 2006


There is NO WAY that this new look can be worse than those damn Little Archies. These storylines were always such a waste of a perfectly good Double Digest.

(Sorry diastematic)
posted by Sheppagus at 1:35 PM on December 18, 2006


No. Bottle blondes are a dime a dozen, and those pigtails look silly on her. Dark, sexy brunettes are where it's at. (I felt that way about the old B&V and it goes double for the new ones)

Pipsi Blue.
posted by srboisvert at 1:38 PM on December 18, 2006


I used to be quite an Archie afficianado until Archie's publisher screwed Dan DeCarlo over on the Josie and the Pussycats movie. DeCarlo put 40 years of style and grace into the company... the man virtually created their modern house style and drew hundreds of covers and thousands of pages for them over the years. (His influence also played a big role in Jaime Hernandez's work on Love and Rockets.) He carried that company.

The thanks DeCarlo got was walking papers after he dared asked for a share of the character he created and named after his wife. Sadly, he passed away just weeks after his last legal appeal.

In my opinion, this is just Archie Comics stomping on Dan DeCarlo's grave. While I hardly have my fingers on the pulse (or any other parts) of the Archie target audience, I predict this will go over about as well as Superman's lame-ass electric blue costume. Like any comics "event," it'll be good for a few month's bump in circulation and that will be it.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:59 PM on December 18, 2006


My only experience with Archie comics was when I had Mono (and Pneumonia...dang!) as a kid. I was stuck sick in bed. Bored out of my mind. This was before video games. Before cable. I think we had the wheel. But I can't be sure. I do know that Archie was forbidden to boys.

FORBIDDEN!

I'm so sick. I was sequestered from the rest of humanity for weeks. In and out of fever I'd plowed through every comicbook I had at least twice. Mostly Marvel like Conan, F4, and the Avengers. Laying there watching Gene Rayburn and Matchgame 75 pleading with my mom to buy me some comics. I give her strict goddamned instructions. I even gave her some prized samples to go by... "Marvel" I say. "Only Marvel" And I tell her please, please, buy me some Oreos.

We were stationed in England in Mildenhall. We lived on base. The base PX actually had a great comic selection... even overseas. I was about four issues behind on everything. So I knew they would have several weeks worth.

Man. I lay there waiting and waiting. I here her come in downstairs. I close my eyes. "Please oh please oh please oh please." She comes in my room. "Oh. Honey I got you a big stack of funny-books"

"COMIC books" I correct.

She hands me a huge bag. It takes a scond for my eyes to focus on what I am seeing and my brain even longer to register it.

Archie. FUCKING ARCHIE! And. Hot Stuff. Richie Rich. Casper. And. Get this. Little Audrie.

"Wha... about Marvel... I said Fantastic Four and... uuuuhhh."

I couldn't even be mad. I knew this was the end. I was gonna get sicker. And I was gonna die reading goddamned Archie. And at my funeral my Mom would bury me with my “Favorite” Archie comic and all my friends spit on my treasonous grave.

"Well those other comics you like are too violent. These are nice."

And then she hands me a bag of cookies. NOT Oreos. HYDROX! HYDROX! The sham "Oreo" knock-off cookie made of dust and dry wall!

"Here you go sweetie."

Plainly my parents were indeed trying to kill me. The only upside was that when I found the strength I could jerk of to Veronica.
posted by tkchrist at 2:06 PM on December 18, 2006 [12 favorites]


Great. Now I'm going to have to stop wearing my 'Betty Loves Veronica' t-shirt. It's Girls Gone Wild appeal just isn't keeping up with the times.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:06 PM on December 18, 2006


I thiink the usual age of archie readers is somewhere around 7-10. We used to have a big box of comix in our room, which got added to here and there, but much of which was 'inherited' from older friends or cousins or whatever. It was about half superhero and half archie-etc. Just like reading spidey was a fantasy about being a grown-up (he had real life problems!), archie was a fantasy about being a teenager (crushes and adventures but nothing complicated). My sister used to ask for new archie digests; I wasn't usually interested enough to want to add to the collection, but on a rainy day I'd definitely read what we had...

this makeover looks terrible; I think the draw has always been that they live in a completely cartoon world. I absolutely hated soap operas as a kid but I liked the archies. This seems to make the archies into too much of a potential soap opera, which would've turned me off.
posted by mdn at 2:09 PM on December 18, 2006


tkchrist - her name was spelled Little Audrey.

Um, I think. I mean, that's what someone told me.
posted by yhbc at 2:15 PM on December 18, 2006


Who the hell buys it? I do, and I have on and off for the last 30 years. I'm not a collector by any means, but I pick up at least one B&V Double Digest per year. I could so some armchair analysis on the twin archetypes represented by Betty and Veronica, but the real reason I buy it (and the real reason I have a Veronica Lodge magnet in my cubicle at work) is that Veronica kicks ass.

Seeing the upcoming changes made my heart feel a couple of sizes smaller today.

.
posted by likorish at 2:21 PM on December 18, 2006


"While the DeCarlo look is iconic, it isn't how Archie & Co. have always been portrayed. "

Maybe so, but it's highly ironic to me that now that Dan's been dead a few years, they actually stop ripping him off.

"DeCarlo put 40 years of style and grace into the company... the man virtually created their modern house style and drew hundreds of covers and thousands of pages for them over the years. (His influence also played a big role in Jaime Hernandez's work on Love and Rockets.)"

And lots of other people, too, myself included. I actually think Sabrina in manga style works for them because manga was influenced in not-insignificant ways by Dan's work on Archie!

"In my opinion, this is just Archie Comics stomping on Dan DeCarlo's grave."

It's probably not going to get them far. Can you imagine a "reboot" of Peanuts drawn by Jim Lee? It's kinda like that. I think they'll be unpleasantly surprised by how integral Dan's look is to the success of the comic... which unfortunately will probably lead to them going back to ripping him off.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan DeCarlo at ComicCon the year before he died, and got to express my appreciation. I bought one of his art prints and he did me a little Veronica sketch. He was really nice, just sitting in his own booth, and I was stunned that there wasn't a line all the way around the hall to see him. Truly an underappreciated giant of the comics world...

And yeah, it's all about Veronica. Brunettes are the bomb! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 2:26 PM on December 18, 2006


tkchrist - her name was spelled Little Audrey.

Your BUSTED! Send a check or money order and I will not breath a word.


Derail correction: Oh.. I have to correct something. We didn't get Gene Rayburn till we moved back to the states.

I remember the show that freaked me out on the BBC when I was sick now... it was that one with the whistling pink creatures that lived on the moon... the Klangers or something. Dang that was wierd. All those BBC shows for kids were bizzare. Anyway.

The only UK comic I remember was "Core!" and it was pretty cool. But Archie would have gotten your ass kicked.
posted by tkchrist at 2:41 PM on December 18, 2006


> the original Termite Terrace designers simply lacked the technology that enables
> us today to make wabbits weally, weally pointy.

maryh, that was throw-up-in-the-ice-bucket funny. Gasp, wheeze! Fuller offers low bow usually reserved for four-engine pilots.
posted by jfuller at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2006


Archie Meets The Punisher
posted by Superfrankenstein at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2006


I can't believe nobody has yet said it, but lordy doesn't Betty look like B. Spears?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:49 PM on December 18, 2006


Can you imagine a "reboot" of Peanuts drawn by Jim Lee?

Yes. It was awesome.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:56 PM on December 18, 2006


GAHHH!!!!

Don't ever do that again, Faint. I mean it.

That's just... wrong.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:00 PM on December 18, 2006


I spent a year at a school that specialized in training cartoonists, illustrators and animators, and I wass led to understand that there wass one guy in every class whose burning ambition was to draw an archie comic. Now, I can't throw too amny stones, but can you imagine having a portfolio that contained nothing but characters drawn in the Archie style? Ugh.

That said, the style is really all these comics have going for them. If they lose that all you have is nth-rate teen drama.
posted by lekvar at 3:30 PM on December 18, 2006


So wrong. So very very wrong. At least they aren't being drawn manga-style, though.

I loooooved Archie when I was young. I have many fond memories of buying Archie comics back in the 70s and 80s. I thought they had the best life and hoped high school was really just like that. I still have some of them. Double Digests were the best.
posted by SisterHavana at 4:20 PM on December 18, 2006


Oh man. Even though I grew up in Asia surrounded by manga and anime I took a shine to the comics drawn by Dan DeCarlo or in his style. I used to write so many letters to him as a kid. I think he answered just to stop me.

While I wasn't a big fan of the entire catalogue of styles used to draw Archie comics and it's been an extremely long time since I last bought one, it's making me sad since that's what I consider familiar. But that preview of the new look just looks so off for some reason besides being unfamiliar. I guess whatever generation grows up with this will think that's normal or like it, I suppose.

I'm not even going to try and discuss the "manga-style" Sabrina because I'm afraid I'll go into an apoplectic fit.
posted by kkokkodalk at 4:20 PM on December 18, 2006


I'm not even going to try and discuss the "manga-style" Sabrina because I'm afraid I'll go into an apoplectic fit.

The problem is, of course, that the Sabrina revamp is selling very well to its target audience. The target audience that you are, presumably, not part of. Sometimes, these people know what they're doing.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:38 PM on December 18, 2006


"The article mentions they are moving to longer stories, I wonder if they're trying to move in a more shojo manga direction."

Yaoi's next.


And after that the Yuri.

Betty/Veronica 4ever
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:41 PM on December 18, 2006


This is just plain tragic. Like many others, I spent most of my formative years reading crappy Archie comics from the supermarket checkout lines. It was always a case of candy or comics, and I invariably chose the comics. The Riverdale crew never did me wrong.

Also, minor pet peeve, people with black hair (like the lovely Veronica) are not brunettes.
posted by nightchrome at 5:42 PM on December 18, 2006


GAH!

I grew up on Archie comics. They were a staple in the household when I went to visit my cousins in Bangladesh (a big hit there, go figure - even if we were years behind schedule). I was just reading part of an Archie comic yesterday at the mall.

This will not go down well.
posted by divabat at 5:42 PM on December 18, 2006


Bangladesh (a big hit there, go figure

like I said, it's a sweet fantasy of what middle-class american teenage life is like.
posted by jonmc at 6:10 PM on December 18, 2006


Huh? Archie drove a jalopy and hung out at the Malt Shoppe at least into the 70s.

What's a hot rod but a hopped up jalopy? and malteds are eternally cool.


I swear they did at least a few stories in which Archie's jalopy was replaced by a '70s style T-bucket, complete with giant blower scoop. Now he drives a shittily drawn Mustang and it just ain't the same.
posted by arto at 8:54 PM on December 18, 2006


The problem is, of course, that the Sabrina revamp is selling very well to its target audience. The target audience that you are, presumably, not part of. Sometimes, these people know what they're doing.

I certainly wasn't trying to sound like I could do a better job of whoever makes the decisions at Archie Comics. I'm certainly not denying that I'm no longer part of the target market. I freely admitted that I don't buy the comics anymore. Like I said, I'm sure whatever generation is reading it now likes it just fine. After years of being used to one style, it just looks weird to me is all.
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:23 PM on December 18, 2006


jonmc: "Also, I always related to Jughead for some reason."

It was the hat. I always wanted a hat like Jughead. That and a propeller beanie. What I had instead was a balaclava.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:04 PM on December 18, 2006


This took a bit to find... here's Jay Kinney and Paul Mavrides' comic called "Kultur Dokuments", featuring "Anarchie" which is a punky take on the Riverdale gang. [link: .pdf file] The scan's not the best, but it's readable.
In searching, I found this too - Betty & Veronica in 'She's Goth to Have It.' which isn't too bad, as they look good as goths.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:40 AM on December 19, 2006


For clarity - Paul Mavrides and Jay Kinney.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:50 AM on December 19, 2006


Dammit, forgot to check all the links. Ignore the 'She's Goth to have it' one. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:34 AM on December 19, 2006


Manga Sabrina looks cool. It suits the magic and craziness.
posted by jb at 4:09 AM on December 19, 2006


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