What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed. ComicsAlliance has got your back; when it comes to comics, we never slow down, so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on.
New comics, new stories, new hirings, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
Courtesy of Archie Comics, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions, and graphic novels going on sale in March 2016 from the publisher’s Archie Action line featuring Sonic the Hedgehog.
I think we can all agree that if there's one big problem with superhero comics, it's that they are not a very good source for practical tips on vigilante crime-fighting. As fun as a character like Batman might be, for example, it's way more difficult than it seems to throw tiny metal versions of your personal brand with any kind of accuracy or stopping power --- and don't even get me started on how impractical it is to drive a rocket car in a major city when public transportation is far more reliable.
Fortunately, we have The Black Hood, and in the next issue of the series, Duane Swierczynski and Robert Hack are continuing their commitment to offering up more practical advice to would-be vigilantes. In the eighth issue, you'll find solid advice like "getting hit with a baseball bat really hurts" and "please, do not ever do this, it is a terrible, terrible idea." See what you can learn for yourself with a preview below!
Okay, before we get into it, here are the basics. In the late '80s, Archie Comics published Betty's Diary for 40 issues, putting the spotlight on the kindhearted girl-next-door with a series of stories that were nominally intended to tell things from Betty's point of view in a way to balance out her status as Veronica's perpetual runner-up. Now, as part of the company's celebration of its 75th anniversary, Archie's putting out a digital collection of the best of the series, set to hit digital shelves this Friday.
Now the part that you actually need to know: We have a preview below, and you are about to see Archie Andrews screw up his relationship with Betty as badly as possible, and not even know it.
Uh-oh. Jughead has been expelled from school, and grounded from video games to boot, in the pages of Jughead #3 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson. Archie Comics has released a six-page preview of the book, on sale Wednesday December 30.
The preview puts the focus on Jughead's father, Forsythe Pendleton Jones Jr, aka Jonesy. Mr. Jones attempts to fix Jughead's problems with the principal, and has a friendly encounter with Betty Cooper, in which he consistently fails to remember her name. This is the most we've seen of Jughead's dad since the reboot, and possibly the most personality he's ever displayed!
As we approach the end of 2015, I thought it would be a nice time to head back into the archives and find a good story about New Year's Eve and all the good tidings that go with it. There aren't as many as there are for Christmas or Halloween But there's a funny thing about going to look for holiday stories. Sometimes, you find a story about Auld Acquaintances, resolutions, countdowns and all that stuff.
And sometimes, you find a story that takes an inexplicable second act twist into mud-wrestling and then reveals that Cheryl Blossom exists in defiance of God Himself. Which, if we're being honest, wasn't actually all that surprising.
When it debuted in 2011, it didn't take long for Mega Man to become one of my favorite comics. The all-ages action of one of my favorite video game franchises was blended with storytelling that took the games' simple premise of a good robot battling against an evil scientist and used it to explore complicated questions of morality, forgiveness, and the nature of war. It never stopped being a fun, high action adventure, but it also never talked down to its audience, and that was a combination that made it great.
Now, after almost five years, the series is coming to an end this week with Mega Man #55. To mark the occasion, ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Ian Flynn about how his version of Mega Man came to be, and the influences he drew on to create those stories.
If you've been paying attention, then you already know that we are on the verge of finally getting to see Riverdale, a CW series about Archie getting buff, Betty on Adderal, and Veronica dealing with a scandal that finds her father in prison. If that show does make it to television, though, it won't be the first time that Archie and the gang have been on television. There was a time, my friends, when Riverdale ruled the airwaves, and to mark that era, the publisher launched Archie's TV Laugh-Out.
Despite its title, a bizarre parody of Laugh-In, Laugh-Out managed to run for a solid sixteen years with a focus on TV-friendly characters like Josie and the Pussycats and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and now, as part of Archie's 75th Anniversary celebrations, there's a digital-exclusive best-of collection coming next week. Check out a preview below for all the small-screen fun, including a weird little Star Wars parody that has some how become timely again!
With all the hubbub surrounding the recent relaunch of Archie and Jughead, one of the things that's flown under the radar is that brand new "Classic" style Archie stories are still being produced in the pages of the Digests, which feature a new lead story along with the usual reprints. And in those stories, young Mr. Andrews is still up to the familiar hijinx, which, at this time of year, take on a festive wintry theme.
Take, for instance, the story that we have in World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #55, "Take Your Cake And Beat It Too," in which Archie's attempt to find a date for Riverdale High's Winter Dance is blocked by viral videos and, amazingly enough, robots. Check out a preview, along with a quick look at this issue's reprinted stories, below!
If you've missed out on this year's Archie reboot, which saw Riverdale's favorite teenagers updated for a modern world of hashtags and selfies, then I'm going to assume you have your reasons. Sure, you've seen me talk about how much I like it here at ComicsAlliance, but maybe you have an overwhelming fear of change, or maybe Jughead's signature "crown" reminds you of your embarrassing history dabbling in monarchism in college. Or maybe, just maybe, you've been waiting for someone to collect the first three issues for your reading convenience.
I can't help you with the monarchist thing, but if it's that last one that's been holding you back, there's good news! Archie is collecting the first three smash-hit issues by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples in a "Collector's Edition" that will introduce new readers to the new versions of Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, and the new status quo of Riverdale.
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