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December 01, 2022, 08:55:37 AM

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Big Ethel Energy

Started by beatman10, December 07, 2021, 08:47:36 PM

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beatman10

Has anyone else been tuning in to Big Ethel Energy? I have, and I have to say my feelings are mixed about this series. I get and like that Ethel is being transformed from being '"the ugly joke girl who chases after Jughead" into a smart, attractive woman (and yeah, she is gorgeous here), But, I don't like what they have done with her personality and with the other characters.  Ethel was never shy, nor, I don't remember her ever being bullied by the others. If anything , Betty and Veronica tried to help her attract Jughead or other guys. In this story, Archie seems to be a loser. Even Betty doesn't want him. And Jughead is totally a jerk and unlikable. The only two likeable characters are Ms. Grundy and Moose. Anyone else have feelings about Big Ethel Energy?

Tuxedo Mark

I've read only the first chapter so far, so I haven't formed much of an opinion yet.
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#2
Quote from: beatman10 on December 07, 2021, 08:47:36 PMI don't like what they have done with her personality and with the other characters.  Ethel was never shy, nor, I don't remember her ever being bullied by the others. If anything , Betty and Veronica tried to help her attract Jughead or other guys. In this story, Archie seems to be a loser. Even Betty doesn't want him. And Jughead is totally a jerk and unlikable. The only two likeable characters are Ms. Grundy and Moose. Anyone else have feelings about Big Ethel Energy?

This is a more general issue I have with any of the rebooted Archie comics and Riverdale. I saw the ads for the series printed in the digests, and just did not recognize her as the same Ethel Muggs character.

So yes, in the Classic Archie mode, Big Ethel really WAS "the ugly joke girl who chases after Jughead" and it's kind of too late for apologies... because changing that makes her a different character entirely. The world today does not accept a gag-based comic filled with outrageous caricatures, so a rebooted Ethel must become a character with dignity and agency to modern readers. I guess their idea of that is to present the male characters as loser-jerks that Ethel can eventually triumph over somehow. Moose somehow escapes that because he's another example of a Classic Archie joke caricature ("big stupid massively strong, sometimes dangerously aggressive jock") that could be taken as maligning some real type of person, such as someone with mental retardation or a learning disability, or anger-management issues.

EDIT  Out of curiosity I had a look at the 1st webisode just to see, even though I knew pretty conclusively ahead of time this wasn't for me. And your criticism seems well-founded, with most commentators complaining about the characters being different than what they expected. With these New Archie reboots, even though they're not all pieces of a common shared-universe, I've come to expect it's a bunch of writers who have their own ideas about what sort of stories they want to tell, and change the Archie-derived avatars to fit that story.

beatman10

I'm not against stories that depict the characters as adults where they deal with more mature issues. I simply don't want to see their core personalities wiped out, which I think, stories like Big Ethel Energy have done. The characters seem less likable and just plain weird. Maybe, it's the artwork and trying to make them look more like real people instead of the classic Archie look.

Jabroniville

Oh wow, just checked this out. I'd literally never heard of it before... the art is really well done. Feels very much inspired by what's hot in webcomics right now... which is to say it's totally aping the style of "Lore Olympus" and other things, what with all the tall, handsome pointy-nosed guys and the distinctive way women are drawn, with the pronounced lips and wide eyes. The "Webtoons Style" comics have always been an odd thing to read, what with scrolling down instead of looking from side to side, with most panels being the same size. The characters almost seem a little bland in the stuff I checked out... but the blurb indicates that Ethel came back to raise hell but everyone else had changed too, so they're all just cool with each other? 

I did love seeing Trula, though! That alone indicates that the writer knows their "deep cuts", at least of semi-modern characters. I wonder if she shows up any more. 

It's more "Alternate Archie Universe" stuff, of course- I wonder how much money this is drawing into the main line of comics? 

beatman10

I check out this series every now and then to see how this story is progressing. It's very slow moving and I have no clue where the storyline is heading to. Moose and Ethel are a couple right now but, I don't get a feeling they will last. It seems like most of the girls want to hook up with this Seth guy. The artwork is great but I don't understand why characters are drawn like munchkins whenever they get excited or emotional.

Jabroniville

Quote from: beatman10 on November 28, 2022, 09:19:11 PMI check out this series every now and then to see how this story is progressing. It's very slow moving and I have no clue where the storyline is heading to. Moose and Ethel are a couple right now but, I don't get a feeling they will last. It seems like most of the girls want to hook up with this Seth guy. The artwork is great but I don't understand why characters are drawn like munchkins whenever they get excited or emotional.
That sounds like a very "anime" influence, looking at some of it. The big heads and such. A lot of artists like mimicking that even without the anime style.

What's funny is the 5 pages of comments on each comic (man, is this way more popular than I'm imagining it is? I had only just heard of it!) are full of complaining, mostly about how they rushed through all the recent storylines and blew off a lot of drama just in the past couple of issues.

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