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Calgary Comic Expo w/ the Archie Crew!

Started by Jabroniville, May 02, 2016, 12:53:40 am

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Jabroniville

May 02, 2016, 12:53:40 am Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 01:18:16 am by Jabroniville
Hey all! I had a great time at the Calgary Comic Expo, and met a bunch of the Archie crew: Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Kowslowski & Gisele Lagace- I figured I'd share some of it with you.

* Fernando (who remembered talking to me last time) speaks highly of a couple of you- he says that B-Ko is "dead-on" with the interpretation of why Archie is doing the things they're doing as a company, and was complimentary to DeCarlo rules as well :) .


* They all say that Archie's biggest audience is still kids (which is why the Digests are still the biggest sellers), which is why Jughead sells the worst of the main cast, despite being by far the most-popular character with adults (they all seem to be selling more Jughead-related stuff than of any other cast member). The little girls in the core audience prefer the romance, so Archie, Betty & Veronica are the big-selling books.

* Everyone speaks highly of Craig Boldman's Jughead scripts.


* Dan hated the "Jughead dating two girls" years. I agreed- it was nice art, but it felt super-wrong. Also, both girls hanging off of a guy at the same time looks odd.

* Fernando shared some of the "No Ugly Characters" stuff he was ordered to do, which is probably why Ethel got more attractive with time. And more about the "Building Toni Topaz" topic, "thus creating the blandest Archie character ever!"

* I told Dan his "Kevin gives the chocolates" gag to Jughead (from Kevin's debut) is still the funniest thing I've ever read from Archie- he says the people at the company didn't want him to do it at first ("it's too slapsticky". FOR ARHCIE).

* I complimented Rich's inking- the guy goes over Fernando, Dan AND Gisele's stuff and manages to keep their styles intact! NOT an easy thing to do- it's a great tragedy that good inkers go unrecognized, because you almost never notice someone's inking unless it sucks (Christopher Priest has told a hilarious story about how he once asked an artist to "stop drawing Peter Parker's head square", realizing only YEARS later that it was the INKER doing it).

* Rich apparently wrote a full script for an Archie/Star Trek Crossover, but the Trek people were too loser-y to go for it, and held on to their license/control too tightly.


* Funny: Gisele's at the Archie group of tables, yet most of her stuff is themed towards Menage A 3, which is TOTALLY not going for the same target audience :) . My brother is a big MA3 reader, and even jumped in with a question. She drew some nice sketches in the books I got from her, too. And she did eventually get to meet T. Campbell, her Penny & Aggie co-creator, after the strip had finally ended.

* I grabbed some small Jughead portraits (yup- he's my favorite too :)) from Fernando & Rich, and Dan's Collected Art book. Plus three volumes of Gisele's work on Penny & Aggie (which was how I discovered her stuff). I was gonna talk to Fiona Staples too, but as she's both there at weird hours (only super-late) and was SUPER-popular (given that she's one of the most well-thought-of artists in the industry, AND a local to Calgary, so it never happened.

They had a big Panel discussion as well (no recording devices/flash photography allowed), which was mostly a bit about how they started at Archie, and then it became entirely a Q&A:


* Dan & Fernando were hired right out of school from the Joe Kubert academy of comic book art, Gisele was self-published and a graphic designer whose art was said to resemble Archie's (she was an old fan) and got into contact with them that way, and Rich was working on the Sonic TV series and SEGA was so impressed that they said "we want the guys who do THAT to do Sonic!"

* Everyone's Favorite Character? Jughead (Dan), Reggie (Fernando), Melody (Gisele) & Reggie (Fiona). I forget what Rich said.

* Rich joked that Fiona's "a NAUGHTY girl!" for liking Reggie the best. God I hope no Internet Rageaholic Types were recording these festivities, lest they make a mountain out of that :) .

* They good-naturedly answered some odd questions from kids, like the one kid who excitedly wanted a crossover between Archie, Superman and the Quik Bunny (?!?- apparently there was an old crossover he loved). They were nice about it. But seriously, why was a KID at a Panel from ARCHIE COMICS :) ?


* Poor Fiona was a bit out of place, having only drawn like THREE COMICS by that point, and was sitting next to the people who got booted out because of the "New Style". But she politely answered everything she could.

* Advice to aspiring Comic Book Artists? Dan: "RUN AWAY...!" Everyone admitted they had little choice- they were simply born to do it :) .


* Rich shared a funny story about Fernando's art, always including his initials in stuff like tree trunks ("I turned a couple of those "FR"s into "FR & RK"- that makes us Archie's first gay couple!").

* Canada is apparently CRAZY into Archie- the sales here actually match the United States's. Given we have a tenth their population, that's a lot.


* I was thinking of asking a question, but there was a line-up and I was stuck at the edge of a very squished-in panel room, so I waited until later. I asked some of the guys who they thought the most under-utilized characters were: I got Josie & Sabrina (Dan- though he admitted that Sabrina had her own book now, so maybe not) & Wendy Weatherbee (Fernando). We agreed that "Double-W" had some potential in her few Digest appearances (Dan: "Was she Mr. Weatherbee's love child?" Fernando: "Write your own Fan Fiction!").


---

Overall, the Archie stuff was the best part of the show! Thanks to everyone who came out- and thanks for listening to me go on about my own Archie fascination :) ! Totally the highlight of the show for me (it was a pretty minor year for celebrities). It's funny- the first year I was there just had Dan. The next year it was Dan & Fernando, then again the next one. Now it's even MORE people. We'll see if we can get Craig Boldman, Rex Lindsay and whoever else is still alive to come out next time- I promise to buy more stuff!

irishmoxie

Really interesting! Thanks for posting.

DeCarlo Rules

May 02, 2016, 12:48:45 pm #2 Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 01:09:38 pm by DeCarlo Rules
That was just an AWESOME report, Jabroniville! Very enlightening. I'm kind of shocked to find that Jughead is Dan's favorite character. I mean, no, it would be easy to guess that Jughead was his favorite MALE character, but I would have sworn he'd have picked either Veronica, Cheryl, or Sabrina as his favorite, as those are the characters that he's done the most work on and is probably more closely associated with (along with Betty, when B&V appear in their own stories together). But you're right about Kevin giving Jughead the box of "ruined" (by putting fruit in them) chocolates. Yeah, I can see how that's something that Veronica would like, and think Kevin would like too. But the way the visual gag plays out when Kevin rejects the chocolates and thinks "I'll give them to Jughead - he'll eat anything!" is just too hilarious for words. I keep saying it, and I'll KEEP saying it -- Dan Parent is the funniest writer that ACP has, and still one of the funniest it's ever had.


And in CALGARY, when there's an Archie Comics panel, the room is jam-PACKED! (Not so much, at U.S. conventions, I'm thinking.) I'd bet it's no coincidence that Canadians like Fiona and Chip were chosen to work on the New Riverdale comics, because it's obviously going to be the crucial audience for ACP to win over. That's a lot easier when there's a local hero to cheer on... (Fiona may be a Naughty Girl, but there's "The Naughty Clause", you know.)


To all the Toni Topaz hecklers, I can only say go back and read her original debut story written by Tom DeFalco. That character had TONS of potential, and the fact that all ACP managed to take away from that is "She's very eye-catching when we include her on covers, so let's do that a LOT", is shame on them, not on the character. She had as much potential as Wendy Weatherbee (another great character -- and shame shame on ACP for not putting her in more stories, back in the days when there were still more pages for her to be in). For a while there, there was a boom in new character creation, with a virtual floodgate opening when the New Kids hit the school. Those characters (all of the new characters) were helping, bringing new blood into the Archie universe and making it more interesting. But you can't just pack more and more characters into fewer and fewer new pages of comics, as titles continued to be cancelled over the last decade, so in a sense, the majority of those newbies arrived just in time to watch the sun setting on classic Archie. All that potential gone to waste.


I TOTALLY agree with what you say about inkers. I think Rich Koslowski is the greatest inker Archie Comics has had since Henry Scarpelli died. Scarpelli always made the pencillers he inked look good, too. And Koslowski does it all, over just about everybody's pencil art (let's not forget Jeff Shultz, whom you neglected to mention) except the Kennedy brothers (and I don't know who does what or how their process works between them, but I'm dying to know).


I would have killed to see that crossover with STAR TREK. I'm a huge Trek fan, and I'm already loving the Trek comics IDW has been putting out. Anyone catch Dan Parent's Star Trek cover for IDW's "Archie month" variants? (If you saw his variant cover for KEVIN KELLER's issue guest-starring George Takei, you'd have some idea.)


I kind of let my reading of PixieTrix webcomics slide a bit after they finished up the most recent volumes of Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks, which for a while I was reading kind of intensely trying to catch up. As it happens, I managed to catch up right before they took a little break to do a new Kickstarter for the print versions, and I kind of drifted off a bit, distracted by other reading. I never really did get much into reading MA3, because the single-strip format (as opposed to the manga page format, like in EC, MC and Dangerously Chloe) kind of put me off it a little. It's not as convenient for me to read that way as webcomics (or save to read later), since I don't remember to check up on the site regularly, and there was already a huge backlog of older MA3 strips to catch up on. One of these days I'll give it another go, as I didn't get all that far the first time.

invisifan

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on May 02, 2016, 12:48:45 pm
I kind of let my reading of PixieTrix webcomics slide a bit after they finished up the most recent volumes of Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks, which for a while I was reading kind of intensely trying to catch up. As it happens, I managed to catch up right before they took a little break to do a new Kickstarter for the print versions, and I kind of drifted off a bit, distracted by other reading. I never really did get much into reading MA3, because the single-strip format (as opposed to the manga page format, like in EC, MC and Dangerously Chloe) kind of put me off it a little. It's not as convenient for me to read that way as webcomics (or save to read later), since I don't remember to check up on the site regularly, and there was already a huge backlog of older MA3 strips to catch up on. One of these days I'll give it another go, as I didn't get all that far the first time.
But surely you are reading the current EC?  Colour, the page format you prefer, and by Fernando ... ::)

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: invisifan on May 03, 2016, 07:12:57 am
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on May 02, 2016, 12:48:45 pm
I kind of let my reading of PixieTrix webcomics slide a bit after they finished up the most recent volumes of Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks, which for a while I was reading kind of intensely trying to catch up. As it happens, I managed to catch up right before they took a little break to do a new Kickstarter for the print versions, and I kind of drifted off a bit, distracted by other reading. I never really did get much into reading MA3, because the single-strip format (as opposed to the manga page format, like in EC, MC and Dangerously Chloe) kind of put me off it a little. It's not as convenient for me to read that way as webcomics (or save to read later), since I don't remember to check up on the site regularly, and there was already a huge backlog of older MA3 strips to catch up on. One of these days I'll give it another go, as I didn't get all that far the first time.
But surely you are reading the current EC?  Colour, the page format you prefer, and by Fernando ... ::)



Just have not gotten to it yet (or the 2nd issue of Super Suckers, either). I fall behind on various things from time to time, and it's even worse when it's stuff that isn't in the pile of stuff I wind up taking home from the comic shop every week. With the PixieTrix webcomics, I do prefer reading an entire complete chapter if possible.

Gisele

Quote from: Jabroniville on May 02, 2016, 12:53:40 am
* Funny: Gisele's at the Archie group of tables, yet most of her stuff is themed towards Menage A 3, which is TOTALLY not going for the same target audience :) . My brother is a big MA3 reader, and even jumped in with a question. She drew some nice sketches in the books I got from her, too. And she did eventually get to meet T. Campbell, her Penny & Aggie co-creator, after the strip had finally ended.


I had all of the work I did for Archie & more on display. I just haven't done that much for Archie. The little I've done is liked but I couldn't stand there with barely nothing at my table, so yeah, I'm gonna push my own work as well as the Archie work. I tried my best to keep the Ma3 stuff up high, and properly rated, so kids wouldn't get to it. :)
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

BettyReggie

🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧 I can't wait for your Archie Meets The Ramones. I wish it come out soon 🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧.

Gisele

Quote from: BettyReggie on May 06, 2016, 06:14:54 pm
🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧 I can't wait for your Archie Meets The Ramones. I wish it come out soon 🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧.


If all goes well, it should be out early October of this year. :)
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

irishmoxie

Quote from: Gisele on May 06, 2016, 06:27:34 pm
Quote from: BettyReggie on May 06, 2016, 06:14:54 pm
🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧 I can't wait for your Archie Meets The Ramones. I wish it come out soon 🎧 🎼 🎵 🎶 🎤 🎧.


If all goes well, it should be out early October of this year. :)


Great news! Finally. ACP is starting to deliver on their promises.

Jabroniville

Quote from: Gisele on May 06, 2016, 03:54:00 pm
Quote from: Jabroniville on May 02, 2016, 12:53:40 am
* Funny: Gisele's at the Archie group of tables, yet most of her stuff is themed towards Menage A 3, which is TOTALLY not going for the same target audience :) . My brother is a big MA3 reader, and even jumped in with a question. She drew some nice sketches in the books I got from her, too. And she did eventually get to meet T. Campbell, her Penny & Aggie co-creator, after the strip had finally ended.


I had all of the work I did for Archie & more on display. I just haven't done that much for Archie. The little I've done is liked but I couldn't stand there with barely nothing at my table, so yeah, I'm gonna push my own work as well as the Archie work. I tried my best to keep the Ma3 stuff up high, and properly rated, so kids wouldn't get to it. :)
Yeah, I figured as much. Fiona Staples's table was mostly Saga-related, so you weren't the only one. It's totally understandable. And you weren't the only one with risque content- Dan Parent's art book has some... noticeable sketches in it as well  :).


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