It's Valentine's Day, and that means that our thoughts here at ComicsAlliance are turning inevitably to our favorite romances from comics. Well. Maybe that's not the right word, since I'm not sure that a high school love triangle between an indecisive klutz and two girls who would be better off without him really qualifies as romance, but you get the idea. Love is in the air, and when Betty and Veronica are involved, that's naturally going to include a little bit of competition.
That's certainly to be expected, but sometimes, it gets a little too intense. Like, say, that one time back in the '90s when Veronica turned to the darkest sorcery in order to win Archie's heart, and Archie wound up in the hospital.
The thing you need to understand about Riverdale is that people there don't react to things with the normal levels of emotions.
I mean, that's pretty obvious, right? The entire town --- the entire universe in which that town resides --- is built around the idea that this one teenager is so irresistibly alluring that it has resulted in a 75-year love triangle with dozens of characters caught in its orbit, and even if you're going by the upcoming TV show's version of Archie and his abs, that kind of all-consuming conflict is a little difficult to believe. In Riverdale, overreacting is just, you know, reacting. Which is how you get stories like the one where Veronica Lodge gets hit by a snowball and then very seriously threatens to murder an entire town.
Horror has been a big part of the Archie Renaissance, but in the classic Archie titles, the idea of Veronica being sent to a possibly haunted house still has all the charm and novelty that you want it to, and this week, that's exactly what we're getting when the Archie line goes Halloween for October.
Last week, Archie Comics announced that a new Josie and the Pussycats comic was on the way, and there are a lot of different directions the creators could take it in. They could head back to the original premise of a scrappy, up-and-coming but relatively unknown high school band, they could pick up on the movie's premise of the Pussycats as world-famous celebrities, or they could even do what the cartoon did back in the day and send them off to space.
Or, I suppose, they could put the focus back where it was in the early '70s, when they were constantly battling against Lovecraftian horrors and trying to cleanse the Earth in purifying flame.
In its latest step towards cultural domination, Archie Comics has teamed up with Chicago-based designer clothing website Threadless for a fashion line featuring and inspired by "America's New Teen-Age Boyfriend" and his pals.
With Archie and Jughead already part of the reboot, Betty and Veronica on the way soon and Sabrina the Teenage Witch reimagined as a gothic Lovecraftian horror story, the one major title that seems missing from Archie's current lineup is Josie and the Pussycats. It seems almost inevitable that we're going to get them at some point --- especially considering that we've been due for a Josie revival for coming up on fifteen years now --- but it doesn't seem like one is planned.
Tthat doesn't mean you can't catch up on the classic adventures of Midvale's greatest rockers with the latest installment of the Archie 75 Series. It's a 75-page digital collection set to collect stories from the long history of the Pussycats --- dating back to before they even were the Pussycats --- and you can check out a preview right here!
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.
The last year or so of Archie comics has been defined by one thing: the supernatural. Not only did we get Afterlife With Archie, which saw Sabrina the Teenage Witch dabbling in necromancy and inadvertently bringing about a zombie apocalypse that saw Jughead ripping out throats at a school dance, but it was so popular that we got a separate ongoing series about Sabrina dealing with the Lovecraftian horrors that result from witchcraft.
To the casual reader, this might seem like it's a pretty big departure from the usual Archie storylines about sharing milkshakes and having too many dates to the movies, but those of us who really know Archie Comics know that it's been there all along. Or, at the very least, it's been there since 1962, in that story where Betty Cooper literally sold her soul to the Devil so that she could make out with Archie.
Listen, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a complete sucker when it comes to Christmas comics. I love 'em, and the more heartwarming they are, the better, whether it's a thoroughly predictable ending where someone does a good deed for the less fortunate or a passionate, starry-eyed speech about peace on Earth and goodwill to others. I love that stuff, and as a result, I've never been a fan of Christmas stories that go dark. Call me a sap if you will, but in most darker Christmas stories, there's a cynicism that I just don't find all that appealing.
Every now and then, however, I run across a holiday story that's not just dark and not just cynical, but so utterly, shockingly grim that I end up completely fascinated by it, and this week, that is exactly what has happened. Everyone who has ever tried to make a jaded, pessimistic holiday story needs to step aside, because I have found the darkest, most shockingly violent Christmas comic of all time -- and it's a six-page Archie story from 1958.
Archie and the gang have been facing quite a bit of adversity lately. They've taken on the forces of the undead in Afterlife With Archie, covens in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and, perhaps most fearsomely of all, the creeping ennui of adulthood in Life With Archie.
In the center of this maelstrom is Dan Parent, longtime Archie writer and artist. It’s tempting to say that he is the placid, controversy-free sun around which the Archie system orbits, but that isn't exactly accurate — Kevin Keller, Archie’s first gay character, is his creation. In fact, Parent merges the opposing forces of change and status quo at work within the publisher into a harmonious whole. ComicsAlliance sat down with Parent at New York Comic Con to discuss the legacy he inherited, the present he’s shaped, and the future to come.
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