I don't know about you, but I did not wake up this morning expecting to see the phrase, "Jughead relaunch from the writer of Sex Criminals." And yet, here we are.

Following up on the upcoming relaunch of Archie with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, Archie Comics announced today that they plan to expand the rebooted Riverdale through a Kickstarter campaign. The goal is set at $350,000, with the money going to a trio of rebooted comics: Jughead from writer Chip Zdarsky and an unannounced artist, Life With Kevin by Dan Parent and J. Bone, and, maybe the most surprising one of all, a new Betty & Veronica #1 written and drawn by Adam Hughes.

Archie Publisher Jon Goldwater referred to Jughead as "the most exciting relaunch in Archie Comics history," and it's easy to see why. After the cancellation of an ongoing series that lasted over 200 issues, Forsythe Pendleton Jones III has been conspicuous by his absence for a few years now. Zdarsky, who has exploded into comics this year after the success of Sex Criminals with books like Kaptara at Image, with Kagan McLeod, and Howard the Duck at Marvel with Joe Quinones, makes for a very interesting choice for taking on the adventures of Archie's offbeat pal --- especially considering that his official headshots from his past life as National Post writer Steve Murray show that he shares Jughead's fondness for Pop Tate's burgers.

 

Photo Credit: National Post

 

Life With Kevin, on the other hand, is much more expected, although every bit as welcome. Longtime Archie writer/artist Dan Parent introduced Kevin Keller as Riverdale High's first openly gay student back in 2010, and after a successful miniseries and a previous ongoing series, it seemed like only a matter of time before he returned to the spotlight.

 

 

Parent will be joined by inker J. Bone for the series. As Kevin's new beard suggests, the series is set a few years later than the last Kevin Keller book. According to Archie's press release, the series will "tell a tale of an older, more experienced Kevin as he navigates a new city, new romance and leaving home. "

The final announcement was the relaunch of Betty & Veronica by Adam Hughes, which, incidentally, will mean the cancellation of what is currently America's longest-runnning monthly comic, leaving the top spot to Sonic the Hedgehog:

 

 

Hughes has done some work for Archie recently, but it's mostly been limited to variant covers. Writing and drawing the new series will represent the first time Hughes has done interiors for Archie, and is one of the rare example of Hughes doing interiors at all.

Hughes is known for a very pinup-inspired style on his covers, which will be a pretty big departure from the usual Archie House Style, but it's not without precedent --- Dan DeCarlo, the artist who defined that style through his years at the company, did plenty of pinups in his time as well.

As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign for the relaunched Archie line has already raised over $10,000, offering backers physical and digital copies of the new comics as well as other rewards. If, for example, you have a spare $1,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can get a personalized letter from the Archie character of your choice.

The campaign will run through Wednesday, June 10.