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Archie Comics Digests... the origin story

Started by DeCarlo Rules, February 29, 2020, 02:07:12 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

DeCarlo Rules

In 1972, Tom DeFalco began his career in comic books working as an editorial assistant for ACP, where he began writing scripts on the side, but one of the earliest things he did was to conceive and develop the Archie reprint comics digest:



The Archie digest line would go on to become the company's most profitable format for decades. Tom DeFalco went on to work for Marvel Comics beginning in the 1980s, where he spent the next 20 years of his career. He later served as Editor-In-Chief at Marvel from 1987 to 1994, making him one of the longest serving individuals to hold that post, and later returned to write for Archie Comics in 2000s again.

Hats off to Tom for brainstorming that little digest of collected reprints that managed to make it into more retail outlets than any other comics published from the 1970s onward!

Captain Jetpack

I've rarely bought a floppy.
But these are great!
Pie is my favorite Vitamin.

ASS-P

...Those  certainly proved successful :D ~ and, I believe I bought all 3 of these NEW, OFF THE NEWSSTAND (and JUGHEAD WITH ARCHIE, etc. #1 too!!!!!!! ;D) - but they were NOT the first big-company digest comics!!!!!!!!! Both Gold Key/Western/Whitman and Fawcett enjoyed several years of success with the DISNEY COMICS DIGEST and GOLDEN COMICS DIGEST and DENNIS THE MENACE POCKET FULL OF FUN titles respectively, starting about the very late Sixties. DC even dabbled with them prior to DC!

DeCarlo Rules

Marvel did their own digests briefly, in the late 1980s, as well (before their most recent deal to have ACP distribute Marvel digests for them). I did manage to snag most of those DC digests back when they were doing them. Still, while Gold Key may have been first, it's Archie that went the distance and kept them running all the way up to the present.

ASS-P

...I miss-posted, meaning " ACP " to be the last word in my post above. Marvel, BTW, issued Dennis The Menace digests when they briefly picked the franchise up during Jim Shooter's regime. The " all the way up..., comment opens up a topic that I'll comment about above...

ASS-P

...I always found it kind of odd that digest titles tended to work out as being more or less exclusively for kid's titles...When Marvel made that late 80s attempt at digests Star titles and 80s toy tie-ins (G.I. Joe, Transformers) were IIRC all that there was - except for the umpteenth re-reprinting of Lee/Ditko Spider-Man stories, classic but maybe a little old hat.even as Reagan trailed off into GHWB.

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: ASS-P on May 16, 2020, 10:21:32 PM...I always found it kind of odd that digest titles tended to work out as being more or less exclusively for kid's titles...When Marvel made that late 80s attempt at digests Star titles and 80s toy tie-ins (G.I. Joe, Transformers) were IIRC all that there was - except for the umpteenth re-reprinting of Lee/Ditko Spider-Man stories, classic but maybe a little old hat.even as Reagan trailed off into GHWB.

What is ironic is I doubt many kids actually buy the Archie digests now. I mean, if given the money to spend, that's not what they'd pick to spend it on. Some parents may choose to buy them (for nostalgic reasons) FOR their kids, or for themselves, under the guise of buying them for their kids.

But no, you really can't imagine something like HELLBLAZER or PREACHER in digest format, can you? Comics only really work well at that reduced page size if the art is stylized in a cartoon way, and the panels aren't crammed full of detail and rendering. It has to communicate directly and unambiguously, without having to study the panels to decipher what's going on, or even to appreciate the amount of work the artist put into it -- the artwork must appear deceptively simple.

ASS-P

...The Marvel digest Archie put out included modern comic art of a certain sort, as about 1\3 of each issue, the back of the book, was filled up with Adventures " acceptable for kid's " stories of that issue's character, from this-century Marvel Adventures titles.

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