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Afterlife With archie

Ask Chris #187: Archie Gets Weird

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What's the weirdest thing Archie Comics has ever done, and why was it awesome? -- @darkmaple

A: It almost goes without saying at this point, but Archie's marketing strategy over the past few years has been nothing short of brilliant. All the stunts they've been pulling -- and I mean that in the most positive way possible -- have been designed to shake up the public perception of just what Archie Comics are. Most readers, even if they're casual fans of the actual Archie comics, tend to have this mental picture of Riverdale that's built around those eight-page gag strips where Archie has to run back and forth between two dates, and for good reason. That's been the core of the line for the past 70 years, so when they announce something like Lena Dunham dropping by to write a story or an adult-oriented horror comic where Archie's classmates are devouring each other's flesh, it immediately makes people wonder how it's going to work in the peaceful, idyllic world of Archie Comics.

But here's the thing: They've always been weird out there in Riverdale. They're weird as Hell.

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Archie Names Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Chief Creative Officer, Announces Story By ‘Girls’ Creator Lena Dunham

Archie Lena Dunham RAS main
Archie Comics

Comics fans know Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa from his work writing a handful of Marvel properties, such as Marvel Knights 4 and The Sensational Spider-Man and from the recent breakout hit Afterlife With Archie. But he's also a TV writer (for shows including Glee and Big Love) and playwright (the only reason Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ended up making any kind of sense), which is a big reason Archie Comics has named him its first-ever chief creative officer.

Aguirre-Sacasa's first move on behalf of the company is a big one, too: He's tapped Girls creator Lena Dunham to write a four-issue miniseries for the company, starting next year.

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Sabrina The Teenage Witch Returns To The Apocalyptic Hellscape She Created In ‘Afterlife With Archie’ #6

Afterlife With Archie #6, Francesco Francavilla

It's been pretty well established over the last few decades that when supernatural troubles erupt in Riverdale, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is usually at the center of it. In Afterlife With Archie, however, things have gotten a little more out of hand than they usually do -- it turns out that meddling in the incomprehensible forces required to resurrect the dead has far more dire consequences than dosing Harvey with a love potion in an effort to have a nice prom date. Like, say, a full-on zombie apocalypse that's already claimed a pretty sizable chunk of the Archie cast.

That's the situation that's been going on ever since Sabrina used the Necronomicon to bring Hot Dog back to life and got banished to a nightmare hellworld for her troubles. She's been missing ever since, but in the upcoming Afterlife With Archie #6, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla finally catch up with her. Check out the exclusive reveal of both covers, including a downright Tarot-esque variant from Andrew Pepoy, and a few answers from Sacasa below!

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Buy This Book: ‘Afterlife With Archie’ #1

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If you had asked me six months ago whether we, as a culture, ever needed another story that took a familiar story and added zombies to create wacky supernatural hijinx, my answer would've been a quick and definite no. It's a premise that's been done to death, shambling resurrection and death again, and when October rolls around, you can't swing a dead cat that feasts for the flesh of the living without hitting some bold new reworking of the zombie formula.

If, however, you then asked me if I wanted to see a zombie story about Archie and the gang written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, I would've probably done some pretty quick backpedaling. That is exactly what I want to see, and now that Afterlife With Archie is finally on its way for a spoooooky Halloween debut, I can confirm that it's every bit as fun as you want it to be.

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Check Out The ‘Afterlife With Archie’ Trailer [SDCC 2013]

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Because juggling two relationships wasn't enough a challenge, this fall Archie is taking on the undead. Launching in October is Afterlife With Archie, a new monthly series from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla about Archie, Betty, Veronica and the gang fighting off a zombie invasion in Riverdale.

Archie Comics will be showing a promotional trailer for the new series at a panel on Saturday, but The Hollywood Reporter debuted it today, and you can check it out below.

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Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Talks ‘Afterlife With Archie’: ‘Reggie Mantle Triggers The Zombie Apocalypse’ [Interview]

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Even with as strange as Archie Comics have gotten over the past few years, I don't think any of us ever expected to see an all-new ongoing series where Archie, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang had to contend with the apocalyptic rise of the undead. I know I didn't, and I'm pretty comfortable in saying that I think about Archie comics way more than the average person.

And yet, here we are: In October, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla are launching Afterlife With Archie, and I could not be more excited to see how young Mr. Andrews deals with trying to juggle two girlfriends and a ravenous horde of Zombies. I spoke with Aguirre-Sacasa to find out just what the tone would be, and why the whole thing is all Reggie's fault.

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