Jon Goldwater Talks ‘Archie Meets Glee’ Crossover [Interview]
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has released some pretty unexpected comics, not the least of which was the recent crossover with KISS. Now, they’ve unveiled their latest surprise: A crossover with Glee, FOX TV’s musical drama about a high school glee club, set to run in upcoming issues of Archie.
In addition to art by Dan Parent, who’s been at the center of Archie’s new initiatives in titles like Kevin Keller, the story will be written by Glee writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who may be best known to comic book fans for his work on Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. It’s an interesting move for both properties, but one that makes an awful lot of sense, and to find out a little more about how it’s all going to come together, we spoke to Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater.ComicsAlliance: How did the ‘Archie Meets Glee’ crossover come about? What was the process that led you to decide to pursue it?
Jon Goldwater: Over the past couple of years, I’ve become rather friendly with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. He’s the guy they brought in to fix Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway, he completely rewrote that script, he’s one of the head writers on Glee, and on top of that, he’s just a tremendous crazy Archie fan. As a matter of fact, the last Halloween party he went to, he told me he dressed as Archie as a costume.
So this past October, he stopped by the Archie booth at New York Comic-Con to say hi, and we started talking, and I was updating him with what was going on with Archie and what’s going on with the company, and he was updating me with everything that was going on with Glee, and we were just having a very friendly conversation.
He said to me, “What I’d really love to do, I’d love to write an Archie/Glee crossover comic book,” and I said, “are you serious?” He said “Oh yeah, I’d love to do that,” and I said “You know what? We’d love to do that as well.” That’s kind of how it all started.
We talked about it a little more that day, and he went back out to LA and met with the folks from Glee and the folks from Fox, and he made it happen. Here we are, and I couldn’t be any more excited to do this.
CA: You guys have done some very notable crossovers in the past. Alex Segura recently wrote Archie Meets KISS.
JG: Yes, he did.
CA: And of course there’s my favorite, Archie Meets Punisher.
JG: That is the all-time classic.
CA: But this feels like the first time that you’re actively going for a crossover with an ongoing narrative property.
JG: You know, it’s funny. The way I looked at things when I came into Archie, my mantra was “Archie’s open for business.” And that meant that not only are we open to doing our own storylines and building on those and making those as vibrant, fun and relevant as possible, but we’re also open to really all sorts of creative ideas. Out of that was born Kevin Keller and that whole character, out of that was born Alex’s brilliant Archie Meets KISS crossover, and to me, this is just sort of a continuation of a different mindset.
I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re actively pursuing these things, but because we’ve sort of changed the way we’re doing things a bit here at Archie, these sort of opportunities frankly are coming to us, and we’re very interested in them. When something makes sense, we jump on it, and nothing makes more sense than Archie Meets Glee.
The folks who create Glee, those guys are just completely beyond supremely talented, and more than that, they run a primetime network television show, and these guys are so courageous in not just the characters they’ve created, the storylines they run with. They are relevant, they are timely, they reflect what’s going on in the world, and that’s what we try to do here at Archie in Riverdale as well.
Here at Archie, our characters, we want them to maintain the integrity of who they are, but Riverdale is changing. I think Glee sort of reflects the changes that are going on today, and those guys create incredible fun storylines and in the middle of it they break into song. And it works. It doesn’t seem out of place or out of step. It’s just part of a brilliant sort of storyline that they create. So for us, the way they view the world and where they’re coming from, I find it very similar to what we’re trying to do here at Archie.
CA: You talked about breaking into song, and in comics, that’s a much more difficult thing to pull off. Are there plans to incorporate music into the comics at all?
JG: I think in a certain sense, and I’m not saying this because Alex is sitting here, it’s sort of the challenge that he had writing the KISS crossover. KISS, they’re a rock band, you know? Granted, they’re personalities and they’re famous in their own right, but that’s what they are. They’re a rock band. The way that story was written, even though you literally couldn’t hear the music come off the page, you felt it. You felt the music was always part of the storyline, it was always there, and that’s the same kind of feeling you’re going to get with the Glee stories. Even though you’re not literally hearing the music, you’re feeling that it’s part of the storyline. It’s something that’s brilliantly written, and when you read something great, it’s such an experience that you can feel it come off the page.
That’s what’s going to happen with this Glee thing: Literally, you won’t hear the music, but you’ll feel that music’s part of the whole thing.
CA: With Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the comic and also being a writer on Glee, was there a lot of input from the Glee side of things, or did they just let him go and do his own thing?
JG: You know, I’d have to let Roberto answer that. I could assume that he probably ran the ideas past them and they gave him the thumbs up, but everyone’s on board with what he’s doing.
CA: Can you tell us any of the stuff that we’re going to see? I’m going to assume that we’re going to get an Archies vs. New Directions rock-off at some point.
JG: That would be cool. You know what, I will tell you that it’s a four-part mini-series, Dan Parent is the artist on the book, and Dilton is a major, major figure in this. So keep that in mind: Dilton Doiley, the resident Riverdale genius, is a central figure.
CA: That’s pretty intriguing. As a guy who loves Archie comics but is sort of rooted in super-heroes, the first thing I thought of when I heard of this was “I wonder if it’s going to be in Glee continuity?” Is there a chance that we’ll turn on Glee and hear them say “Hey, remember when we went to Riverdale and met that kid, Archie, and those girls?”
JG: I hope so, man. That’s all I can tell you. I don’t know exactly where it’s going just yet, but boy, that would be fantastic. I hope so.
CA: You talked about Glee being a natural fit, but are there other properties? Do you have a list of dream projects that you’d love to see Archie cross over with?
JG: This is going to sound like I planned this answer, but honestly, Glee was always top of the list. It just was. We always talked about it, we talked about it for three years now, almost since I came in here. When we talked about potentially doing crossovers, Glee was always number one. The fact that we’re there is just an honor and it’s remarkable, I’m just thrilled to be part of that world.