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Author Topic: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica  (Read 3521 times)

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Offline jdh417

Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« on: September 28, 2011, 09:53:54 PM »
http://adistantsoil.com/2011/09/27/m-unpublished-betty-and-veronica-art-for-archie-comics/

These sketches look pretty sweet. 

It's hard to argue with Archie Comics success over the decades, but I can't help but think that opening up the characters to other artists' interpretation would only add to the franchise.  (The New Look doesn't count.  That was still way too controlled by editorial decisions.)  After all, there have been several versions of Sabrina on TV and I don't think that's hurt her popularity.  (Okay, not a great analogy.  That's all I got right now.)

Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 11:00:43 PM »
I'll be honest.  I really don't like them. 

I'm open minded about Archie using different art styles, but the key I think here is keeping the two basic variables behind the success of Archie's house style:  cartoony + sexy.  From Motnata to DeCarlo to now, that's what it boils down to imo.

As such, those sketches don't meet the sniff test.  That's also why the "dynamic new look" series was so bad.  These sketches could be used for something else though, like some unrelated romance series or something.

I also don't really like her tweaks to the characters either.  Veronica looks more like Bettie Page and the dog draws unwanted comparisons to Paris Hilton.  Betty's outfit and hair isn't really doing much for me either.  Big fan of tomboys here, but I don't know if that particular look really works as a cute tomoby look.

And didn't really mean to rip into these so hard, but I have trouble keeping my comments brief as usual.  XD

Offline Tuxedo Mark

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 11:26:14 PM »
I love the New Look art styles (well, some of them; I hated the "Matchmakers" version and didn't care for the "My Father's Betrayal" version), and I love these sketches!




Betty Cooper + Cheryl Blossom. It's inevitable.

Offline jdh417

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 04:26:48 PM »
There's the risk of trying out new art styles on the characters: some people like them, some people don't. 

However, having an editorial mandate for the art style is going to scare away a lot of good artists.  And, you never know when somebody's alternate take on the characters might become a big hit.

Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 05:26:51 PM »
There's the risk of trying out new art styles on the characters: some people like them, some people don't. 

However, having an editorial mandate for the art style is going to scare away a lot of good artists.  And, you never know when somebody's alternate take on the characters might become a big hit.

I think the real risk is that a lot of artists are going to assume that making it more "realistic" is the way to go, because it's an obvious contrast and they want to be more original or something.  However, realistic isn't really Archie Comics.  It takes away a good part of the allure, which imo is an escapist fantasy. 

I remember reading "No Baseball for Betty," a new dynamic look series, and being extremely bored.  Part of it I think it was pretty much impossible for them to do goofy visual jokes and all that in that art style, so they really didn't try much.  Instead, it was a rather straight forward drama on the extremely mundane and un-racy topic of gender equality in sports.  Maybe that story would have been more interesting with the other stuff there to supplement it, but as is, I don't think it worked.

So if you take out the over the top goofy comedy aspect of characters acting egomaniacal, chasing the opposite sex, getting fed up with each other in exaggerated ways, and other funny stuff, which intrinsically is drawn from the exaggerated cartoony art style, what are you left with?  A g-rated drama that will go no where with a boy that would rather play the whole field than choose between two girls?  People will get bored of that very quickly I think, at least in the context of how and where most of the stories usually take place in the world of Riverdale.

Offline Bluto

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 07:30:18 AM »
I agree with Ghidra!

Offline Tuxedo Mark

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 11:31:44 PM »
I remember reading "No Baseball for Betty," a new dynamic look series, and being extremely bored.  Part of it I think it was pretty much impossible for them to do goofy visual jokes and all that in that art style, so they really didn't try much.  Instead, it was a rather straight forward drama on the extremely mundane and un-racy topic of gender equality in sports.  Maybe that story would have been more interesting with the other stuff there to supplement it, but as is, I don't think it worked.

I think it worked. Heck, "Betty Cooper, Baseball Star" was the first "Riverdale High" novel that I read, and I loved it. Seeing it adapted as a comic with a more realistic art style was a real treat.

So if you take out the over the top goofy comedy aspect of characters acting egomaniacal, chasing the opposite sex, getting fed up with each other in exaggerated ways, and other funny stuff, which intrinsically is drawn from the exaggerated cartoony art style, what are you left with?  A g-rated drama that will go no where with a boy that would rather play the whole field than choose between two girls?  People will get bored of that very quickly I think, at least in the context of how and where most of the stories usually take place in the world of Riverdale.

The thing is I often read Archie stories that contain "over the top goofy comedy aspect of characters acting egomaniacal, chasing the opposite sex, getting fed up with each other in exaggerated ways", and I just roll my eyes whenever I come across it and think "Oh, here we go again." THAT kind of stuff bores me quickly - and sometimes angers me to the point that I want to scream at the characters.




Betty Cooper + Cheryl Blossom. It's inevitable.

Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 12:00:47 AM »
Quote
I think it worked. Heck, "Betty Cooper, Baseball Star" was the first "Riverdale High" novel that I read, and I loved it. Seeing it adapted as a comic with a more realistic art style was a real treat.

Not saying this plot was an automatic fail.  I just think they material was approached too dryly.  There was also a lot of baseball related exposition I think, but the art style definitely contributed to the "chore to read" factor for me.

Quote
The thing is I often read Archie stories that contain "over the top goofy comedy aspect of characters acting egomaniacal, chasing the opposite sex, getting fed up with each other in exaggerated ways", and I just roll my eyes whenever I come across it and think "Oh, here we go again." THAT kind of stuff bores me quickly - and sometimes angers me to the point that I want to scream at the characters.

Depends on how its executed.  I find them amusing when they work.  Some Archie comedy misses the mark, but when it's good, it's good.  I also think the characters being detestable is part of what makes it entertaining.  If they're detestable in a realistic setting then that's not going to work as well I think.  It has to be played up for comedy.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 01:06:10 AM by Ghidra »

Offline RiverPhoenixDale

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 01:02:23 AM »
I never, ever like it when Archie attempts drama.  Good drama for me is The Wire or Friday Night Lights, not "Pop Tate might lose the Chok'lit Shoppe unless the kids pitch in and help him."

Archie can never push their drama far enough to interest me.  But a funny story will always be a funny story.

Offline Captain Hero

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 01:15:56 PM »
I never, ever like it when Archie attempts drama.  Good drama for me is The Wire or Friday Night Lights, not "Pop Tate might lose the Chok'lit Shoppe unless the kids pitch in and help him."

Archie can never push their drama far enough to interest me.  But a funny story will always be a funny story.

I can see what you're saying about too much drama in Archie comics being a bad thing, but I think that it could work if there was an equal balance of drama with comedy.  I know when I posted a fan fic here a few months ago, I tried to do this, and one example that I can come up with that blends comedy with drama was the House Of Riverdale story that they came up with for Halloween '95.  Stories like that are much better.

(Of course, this is someone who admittedly loved the retro '70s Life With Archie stories too.)  ;)
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Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 03:10:29 AM »
I never, ever like it when Archie attempts drama.  Good drama for me is The Wire or Friday Night Lights, not "Pop Tate might lose the Chok'lit Shoppe unless the kids pitch in and help him."

Archie can never push their drama far enough to interest me.  But a funny story will always be a funny story.

I can see what you're saying about too much drama in Archie comics being a bad thing, but I think that it could work if there was an equal balance of drama with comedy.  I know when I posted a fan fic here a few months ago, I tried to do this, and one example that I can come up with that blends comedy with drama was the House Of Riverdale story that they came up with for Halloween '95.  Stories like that are much better.

(Of course, this is someone who admittedly loved the retro '70s Life With Archie stories too.)  ;)

They can do drama wihtout comedy, maybe, but I think there's a few things:

1.  It needs an Archie-esque art style.  The art style is part of building the fantasy.  Comics, cartoons, etc. are not about "suspending disbelief" like a movie. It's about producing an immersive experience.  Having an art style that does that is important.  Trying to make them look like "real people" is both not possible and I think counter productive.  This is why anime characters look like anime characters instead of real people.

2.  Archie can't pull its punches.  This is why the drama is usually weak.  The issues characters face sometimes seem extremely tame and have a Seasamea Street + after school special feeling to them, because I think the editing policy was really keeping things too toned down.  You can't have g-rated drama with no real danger, negativity, harsh feelings, etc.

Offline jdh417

Re: Colleen Doran's version of Betty and Veronica
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 12:01:48 AM »
Trying to do issue drama in a teen story tends to quickly become an after school special sort of moralizing.  However, letting teen characters display real emotions in their interactions with each other would keep them from coming off as flat or as just a bunch of goofy clowns.  A character showing a little genuine heart goes a long way.

Back to the art.  I still say letting other artists try their own interpretations would be good for the company.  The readers (including myself) are always going to want to see the house style predominate, but there should still be some room for experimentation to keep the look fresh and to attract new talent.  With that willingness, perhaps a few big name artists might be motivated to submit their work.  That kind of publicity will attract more collectors.

 

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