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Author Topic: Classic look coming back...with a twist  (Read 2546 times)

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JonInIowaCity

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2017, 11:13:16 AM »
I wonder if Kevin, Reggie, Moose, Pop, Weatherbee, etc. will look more like their "Riverdale" counterparts?

I asked Dan about this on Facebook.

He replied: "No, they'll be more like their comic book counterparts. But some of the Riverdale influence will still spew over..."

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2017, 10:25:40 PM »

It's definitely a step in the right direction. It's too bad its a half of a step. Once again, we see Archie Comics trying to have their cake and eat it too. What a way of sub-dividing their brand! How many different Archies are we going to have? Reboot Archie, Classic Archie, New Classic Archie... Which of these is going to be the face of the company?

I have really mixed feelings about this. On the positive side, it's nice to see that Dan is getting more pages of work from Archie Comics. I'm not NOT going to buy it, because Dan isn't all of a sudden going to become a worse artist, but I could really do without yet another revamp. To be totally honest, I'd really have been ecstatic if the announcement had been that Dan's new story pages in all the digest titles had been expanded from 5 pages per issue to 10 pages, or that Dan was going to be doing a quarterly series of original 96-page classic Archie trade collections to be distributed through the book trade and regular newsstand distribution.

I'm a bit bored with "new look"s after 10+ years, and tinkering with Archie (and Sabrina, etc.) on a content level. Basically what this announcement tells me is that ACP is ignoring the real problem of connecting with its true traditional target audience. They're more interested in tying their success or failure to the traditional 32-page paper-covered periodical format, the traditional format favored by comic book collectors, and that format is ball-and-chained to the independent comic shop direct distribution system (you know, apart from the digital version).

The announcement may seem like great news if you're... well, us. "Comic book collectors", people who buy comic books and collect them, and do so by being customers of an independent comic book retailer (at a brick-and-mortar store, or by purchasing them online). But what about the 10-year-old girls? Are they suddenly going to begin making a monthly trip to a local comic book store? Common sense tells me "no". There's nothing wrong with classic Archie on a content level, as far as how Dan is writing and drawing stories for the digests. What's wrong is that the 32-page paper-covered periodical isn't reaching the right audience of readers.

And you know, I LOVE the fact that the dedicated comic book store network of independent retailers exists. It's great for ME. But maybe if you're a 10-year-old girl, not so much.

No, I don't think injecting a dose of "Riverdale TV fusion" is going to fix that issue.

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 05:06:15 AM »
I'm excited for this! Dan Parent is not my favorite Archie artist, but he is someone who's work I'm familiar with, and I know that he always does a solid job. I trust him with this new series. I wonder who's idea it was, his or the corporation's?


I agree with many others that this would be more exciting if it was purely in the old style. But it isn't. At least it is close enough to the old style, though, and it seems to match classic Archie more in terms of tone as well, which I will appreciate.


Vegan Jughead

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 06:48:30 AM »

It's definitely a step in the right direction. It's too bad its a half of a step. Once again, we see Archie Comics trying to have their cake and eat it too. What a way of sub-dividing their brand! How many different Archies are we going to have? Reboot Archie, Classic Archie, New Classic Archie... Which of these is going to be the face of the company?

I have really mixed feelings about this. On the positive side, it's nice to see that Dan is getting more pages of work from Archie Comics. I'm not NOT going to buy it, because Dan isn't all of a sudden going to become a worse artist, but I could really do without yet another revamp. To be totally honest, I'd really have been ecstatic if the announcement had been that Dan's new story pages in all the digest titles had been expanded from 5 pages per issue to 10 pages, or that Dan was going to be doing a quarterly series of original 96-page classic Archie trade collections to be distributed through the book trade and regular newsstand distribution.

I'm a bit bored with "new look"s after 10+ years, and tinkering with Archie (and Sabrina, etc.) on a content level. Basically what this announcement tells me is that ACP is ignoring the real problem of connecting with its true traditional target audience. They're more interested in tying their success or failure to the traditional 32-page paper-covered periodical format, the traditional format favored by comic book collectors, and that format is ball-and-chained to the independent comic shop direct distribution system (you know, apart from the digital version).

The announcement may seem like great news if you're... well, us. "Comic book collectors", people who buy comic books and collect them, and do so by being customers of an independent comic book retailer (at a brick-and-mortar store, or by purchasing them online). But what about the 10-year-old girls? Are they suddenly going to begin making a monthly trip to a local comic book store? Common sense tells me "no". There's nothing wrong with classic Archie on a content level, as far as how Dan is writing and drawing stories for the digests. What's wrong is that the 32-page paper-covered periodical isn't reaching the right audience of readers.

And you know, I LOVE the fact that the dedicated comic book store network of independent retailers exists. It's great for ME. But maybe if you're a 10-year-old girl, not so much.

No, I don't think injecting a dose of "Riverdale TV fusion" is going to fix that issue.


You make really good points but I doubt this is aimed at 10 year old girls.  I think it's aimed at old folks like you and me and I'm totally excited about it.  I can tell you that Dan is really excited about it. 


It's also Archie Comics admitting without admitting that the reboot sales are sagging and they need to do something different.  Going back to the same house style Dan was drawing before the reboots would be admitting defeat.  They may eventually get back there or not, but this is a way to try to please the old time fans without coming right out and saying they were wrong. 


At least that's my take on it.  I'm actually a fan of most of the reboots, but I didn't think they were a long time solution.  I'm not sure there IS a long time solution.  Archie is an anachronism to the vast majority of people.  It's gonna be really hard to change that, obviously. 

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2017, 12:45:00 AM »
I guess the thing I'm not getting here is how ACP expects this title to sell much better than Archie was when it was cancelled with issue #666, if it's basically selling to the same audience of older classic Archie readers.

Sure, we can reasonably expect better sales at first because of being a new #1 issue, and just the freshness and 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' -- but what level does it seem like the sales will ultimately settle down to?

The makeover seems to indicate that they hope to attract some new readers to level-up sales from where they were on the old classic Archie title, but where would those new readers be coming from and who are they?

EDIT: Okay, I just read the thing about it being a miniseries, but the questions I'm asking here still apply in the sense that if "This Is a Test", then what kind of new readers are they fishing for among the customers shopping in comic book stores, besides those readers who previously bought the old classic Archie floppy comic format?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 01:33:05 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

Deb

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2017, 09:49:54 PM »
I think it's yet another indication that no one knows what made Archie work in the past.  There may not be a long-term solution, and we're just going to keep seeing gimmick after gimmick, reboot after reboot...But if you really look at Archie's Publishing history, these books were always changing and rebooting...They just weren't as obvious about it as they are now.

Tuxedo Mark

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 03:24:55 PM »
I'm not sure that there really is a long-term solution. When the direct distribution system was set up, comics became a niche product (nerds that are growing older). Back when there was a "local" comic shop around here (in the next county), I don't recall once seeing a kid in there.

In my 10+ years as a cashier, I recall selling only ONE digest. It was to a mom that was with her daughter. I asked who the Archie fan was, and the mom pointed at her daughter. So that's...something. Still, one digest in ten years. WTF?

And I doubt bringing the floppies back into the stores would help. Stores likely wouldn't want to carry them, and parents almost certainly wouldn't want to drop $4 on a 20-page story.

One possibility is printing collections in the size of typical children's/teens' paperback novels and stocking them in that area of the store. But even that's problematic because of the layout. At my Walmart, the children's, teens', and adults' books are pretty much all in the same area, and it isn't even next to toys (which would make sense). It's between the photo center and electronics. Sure, some gamers might walk over and browse...maybe, but I honestly don't even recall selling many children's or teens' books. It's all adults buying adult novels. And don't even consider a magazine format. Dead, dead, dead. Other than old people sometimes buying those pro-Trump tabloids, I never sell any magazines either. Each week, the magazine people come in, take back the unsold magazines, and put up new ones that won't sell.

In the end, I think digital-only is the way to go for new stories. Older material can be collected and printed for those that don't want digital.
BV-kiss-small
Riverdale Reviewed
http://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com
Every episode of "Riverdale", "The New Archies", and "Archie's Weird Mysteries" reviewed.
My digital wish list
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/14FS742SI1R5I

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2017, 12:05:08 AM »
I'm not sure that there really is a long-term solution. When the direct distribution system was set up, comics became a niche product (nerds that are growing older). Back when there was a "local" comic shop around here (in the next county), I don't recall once seeing a kid in there.

In my 10+ years as a cashier, I recall selling only ONE digest. It was to a mom that was with her daughter. I asked who the Archie fan was, and the mom pointed at her daughter. So that's...something. Still, one digest in ten years. WTF?

And I doubt bringing the floppies back into the stores would help. Stores likely wouldn't want to carry them, and parents almost certainly wouldn't want to drop $4 on a 20-page story.

One possibility is printing collections in the size of typical children's/teens' paperback novels and stocking them in that area of the store. But even that's problematic because of the layout. At my Walmart, the children's, teens', and adults' books are pretty much all in the same area, and it isn't even next to toys (which would make sense). It's between the photo center and electronics. Sure, some gamers might walk over and browse...maybe, but I honestly don't even recall selling many children's or teens' books. It's all adults buying adult novels. And don't even consider a magazine format. Dead, dead, dead. Other than old people sometimes buying those pro-Trump tabloids, I never sell any magazines either. Each week, the magazine people come in, take back the unsold magazines, and put up new ones that won't sell.

In the end, I think digital-only is the way to go for new stories. Older material can be collected and printed for those that don't want digital.

Good observations, Mark. The "greying" of the comic book customer base is the major problem facing the comics industry (well, the print comics industry) today. With no (or at least very few) new readers coming in for ACP, that's a REAL problem, and one that arguably affects them more than it does superhero comics aimed at an older audience, because the superhero readers can be coming from other media that introduced them to the characters like animated shows and DVDs, feature films, or toys and action figures. Archie characters just don't have a big presence in other media and merchandising (apart from the new Riverdale TV series, which isn't really the appropriate vehicle for younger readers who might potentially be coming to the characters).

I totally agree with the idea that comics for younger readers should be stocked in bookstores or department stores right alongside other books aimed at younger readers. That should probably be Priority #1 for a company like Archie Comics, with the existing intellectual properties it owns. The have to get out of the insular ghetto of comic book stores, out into the real world where average people shop, where they can be seen and discovered by kids, right there on the shelves next to the book franchise characters they're already familiar with. If they can get in there and "brand" themselves so that they at least have recognition in the childrens' book market, that's the way to go. It probably wouldn't hurt to be thinking of branching off into prose stories, game/puzzle/activity, coloring and sticker books for the same market, either. An animated series would help a lot to advertise the characters. If they can't get one on a regular cable channel, what about a Flash-animated webtoon on its own YouTube channel? They need to partner up with some merchandisers to do this, probably.

I'd say the best that My Pal ARCHIE can hope for, since it's in the traditional comic book format and thus pretty well limited to comic book specialty stores, is to recapture a segment of lapsed older readers (nostalgia?) who may already be reading other comics. I doubt it would cause an older fan of Riverdale to seek out a comic book store for the first time, just based on liking the show. That seems like a forlorn hope. It wouldn't seem like there's anything but a superficial connection between the TV series and the makeover.

Then I guess the other question would be: If print comics should cease to exist, what causes someone to initially seek out a digital comic, and what makes that seem worth 3 or 4 dollars to them? Where any theoretical all-digital model of comics publishing is posited, my apprehension is that digital comics readers choose that format for the convenience of purchasing, storage, and anytime/anywhere-access to their comics on whatever their platform of choice happens to be, but that presupposes that a decision to read comics has already been made beforehand -- this applies whether we're postulating this model for the industry as a whole, or merely for one particular publisher's copyrighted intellectual properties. Lacking the existence of any print product that allows casual prior familiarization with the medium itself, where would the new readers be coming from in terms of cheap or free exposure to the comics medium in order to bait the hook" for newer generations of consumers, since unlike print comics, digital comics have no "pass-on" readership?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 02:17:38 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2017, 08:46:41 AM »
Can someone link to an article that mentions Your Pal Archie will be a mini series? Articles below contradict this as even Dan Parent mentions it will be a new monthly title. There will be a special variant cover for the first five issues that connect to form a huge image of Pop's Chocklit Shoppe but I have not seen where it says it will be a mini series beyond this. I know you can only subscribe for 5 issues at the Archie Comics website but I am hoping its more than that as the articles are not very clear that it is only 5.



Article 1 from Archie.com
The following is a link to the announcement at Archie comics about Your Pal Archie and it mentions it is a new comic book series. There is no mention of it being a mini series beyond special variants for the first five.  This is a main new Archie series which could last for more than 5 issues.

http://archiecomics.com/yourpalarchie/
Classic Archie is back with a fun twist in YOUR PAL ARCHIE, a new all-ages comic book series launching in July from artist Dan Parent and writer/inker Ty Templeton.

Article 2 from Comicbook.com with quote from Dan Parent
In the following article Dan Parent mentions that Your Pal Archie is a classic monthly title not a mini series but specifically mentions it as a monthly title so where is the mysterious article that mentions this is a mini series unless we are guessing. I definitely like that they are taking inspiration from Riverdale for art as KJ Apa from Riverdale is HOT!! :smitten:



http://comicbook.com/comics/2017/04/17/classic-archie-gets-a-riverdale-twist-in-new-all-ages-series-fro/
Quote from Dan Parent:
“In addition to drawing lots of classic Archie stories for the digests, I've been working on the digital first series Life With Kevin, starring Kevin Keller. I had a feeling a classic monthly title might come back into the fold. So here it is!”



A series is not a monthly title if it only lasts for a few issues and is short term but referred to as a mini series which I have not seen in any articles I have read.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 09:28:40 AM by Archie Comics Collector(Kalell) »

Vegan Jughead

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2017, 11:43:15 AM »
Can someone link to an article that mentions Your Pal Archie will be a mini series? Articles below contradict this as even Dan Parent mentions it will be a new monthly title. There will be a special variant cover for the first five issues that connect to form a huge image of Pop's Chocklit Shoppe but I have not seen where it says it will be a mini series beyond this. I know you can only subscribe for 5 issues at the Archie Comics website but I am hoping its more than that as the articles are not very clear that it is only 5.



Article 1 from Archie.com
The following is a link to the announcement at Archie comics about Your Pal Archie and it mentions it is a new comic book series. There is no mention of it being a mini series beyond special variants for the first five.  This is a main new Archie series which could last for more than 5 issues.

http://archiecomics.com/yourpalarchie/
Classic Archie is back with a fun twist in YOUR PAL ARCHIE, a new all-ages comic book series launching in July from artist Dan Parent and writer/inker Ty Templeton.

Article 2 from Comicbook.com with quote from Dan Parent
In the following article Dan Parent mentions that Your Pal Archie is a classic monthly title not a mini series but specifically mentions it as a monthly title so where is the mysterious article that mentions this is a mini series unless we are guessing. I definitely like that they are taking inspiration from Riverdale for art as KJ Apa from Riverdale is HOT!! :smitten:



http://comicbook.com/comics/2017/04/17/classic-archie-gets-a-riverdale-twist-in-new-all-ages-series-fro/
Quote from Dan Parent:
“In addition to drawing lots of classic Archie stories for the digests, I've been working on the digital first series Life With Kevin, starring Kevin Keller. I had a feeling a classic monthly title might come back into the fold. So here it is!”



A series is not a monthly title if it only lasts for a few issues and is short term but referred to as a mini series which I have not seen in any articles I have read.


see my comments in the shoutbox

Tuxedo Mark

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2017, 04:22:33 PM »
It probably wouldn't hurt to be thinking of branching off into prose stories, game/puzzle/activity, coloring and sticker books for the same market, either.

I'd been thinking of an Archie novelverse idea recently: prose novels written by the old regular writers, containing original cover artwork as well as occasional interior artwork to visualize key moments (doesn't even need to take up a full page). Different characters could star in different novels. Maybe create a fact sheet / series bible beforehand, so details in one novel don't contradict another. Each novel could take place in a particular month, so twelve of them would cover an entire year (nine school novels and three summer novels). Maybe do that for four years to cover the entire high school experience - and then more in college if there's still demand. That should be around 45 novels (I'm thinking roughly 130 pages each).

The problem is finding enough subjects that warrant a novel-length story. There might have to be subplots with other characters to boost the page count. I had recently attempted a "Betty and Cheryl" fanfic series, the goal being 45 "issues" that covered all of high school, but I gave up after 4 issues - one because no one was reviewing or favoriting, but two because I started introducing plot points early than scheduled to make the stories a bit longer, which rendered some conflicts in future issues obsolete. I went for a stripped-down, grounded approach to the characters - with only a minimum of drama and conflict. Without "wacky situations" (and more characters to focus on) or drama, high school life is pretty boring for characters that don't aspire to temporary stardom.

An animated series would help a lot to advertise the characters. If they can't get one on a regular cable channel, what about a Flash-animated webtoon on its own YouTube channel? They need to partner up with some merchandisers to do this, probably.

Yeah. They could always throw "Archie's Weird Mysteries" on Netflix. That's the most non-embarrassing animated adaptation of the characters. Adding the Josie movie wouldn't hurt either.

Then I guess the other question would be: If print comics should cease to exist, what causes someone to initially seek out a digital comic, and what makes that seem worth 3 or 4 dollars to them?

I've noticed, while adding comics to my digital wish list on Amazon recently, a lot of the back issues from other publishers have gone down drastically in price (some to as little as 99 cents). The one publisher still at full price for back issues of current series? Archie.
BV-kiss-small
Riverdale Reviewed
http://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com
Every episode of "Riverdale", "The New Archies", and "Archie's Weird Mysteries" reviewed.
My digital wish list
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/14FS742SI1R5I

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2017, 09:09:36 PM »

Then I guess the other question would be: If print comics should cease to exist, what causes someone to initially seek out a digital comic, and what makes that seem worth 3 or 4 dollars to them?

I've noticed, while adding comics to my digital wish list on Amazon recently, a lot of the back issues from other publishers have gone down drastically in price (some to as little as 99 cents). The one publisher still at full price for back issues of current series? Archie.

Well, I guess that presumes that the price is the only barrier to new readers, but I was thinking about an even more basic question - how are new readers attracted to browsing the available digital comics on Amazon or elsewhere?

As applied to Archie digital comics specifically, if there were no longer any print versions, what would cause someone to seek out the digital versions if they had no prior familiarity with ACP's comics or characters, and no way of casually sampling them for free? In a store you can pick up a print comic and flip through it. Digital previews only show you 3 to 5 pages. Print comics get handed down to younger siblings or other relatives, loaned or given to friends, etc.

irishmoxie

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2017, 11:23:30 PM »

Then I guess the other question would be: If print comics should cease to exist, what causes someone to initially seek out a digital comic, and what makes that seem worth 3 or 4 dollars to them?

I've noticed, while adding comics to my digital wish list on Amazon recently, a lot of the back issues from other publishers have gone down drastically in price (some to as little as 99 cents). The one publisher still at full price for back issues of current series? Archie.

Well, I guess that presumes that the price is the only barrier to new readers, but I was thinking about an even more basic question - how are new readers attracted to browsing the available digital comics on Amazon or elsewhere?

As applied to Archie digital comics specifically, if there were no longer any print versions, what would cause someone to seek out the digital versions if they had no prior familiarity with ACP's comics or characters, and no way of casually sampling them for free? In a store you can pick up a print comic and flip through it. Digital previews only show you 3 to 5 pages. Print comics get handed down to younger siblings or other relatives, loaned or given to friends, etc.


They're banking on Riverdale attracting new readers. I know when j see a movie I really like I seek out the source material. It's pretty easy with the overlap between anime and manga .

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Classic look coming back...with a twist
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2017, 12:18:17 AM »

Then I guess the other question would be: If print comics should cease to exist, what causes someone to initially seek out a digital comic, and what makes that seem worth 3 or 4 dollars to them?

I've noticed, while adding comics to my digital wish list on Amazon recently, a lot of the back issues from other publishers have gone down drastically in price (some to as little as 99 cents). The one publisher still at full price for back issues of current series? Archie.

Well, I guess that presumes that the price is the only barrier to new readers, but I was thinking about an even more basic question - how are new readers attracted to browsing the available digital comics on Amazon or elsewhere?

As applied to Archie digital comics specifically, if there were no longer any print versions, what would cause someone to seek out the digital versions if they had no prior familiarity with ACP's comics or characters, and no way of casually sampling them for free? In a store you can pick up a print comic and flip through it. Digital previews only show you 3 to 5 pages. Print comics get handed down to younger siblings or other relatives, loaned or given to friends, etc.


They're banking on Riverdale attracting new readers. I know when j see a movie I really like I seek out the source material. It's pretty easy with the overlap between anime and manga .

That's a motivation that works for readers of Star Wars comics, and might arguably work to some extent as far as the comic book series adapted from Riverdale published by ACP (although I would argue to a lesser degree).

I use Star Wars as a particular exemplar of a connection between film and comics because the action/epic adventure themes and the genres of sci-fi/fantasy and superheroes have a strong association with a comic book sensibility to the general public. Things like Star Wars can be called 'ready-made for adaptation' to comics, because comics can easily duplicate the kind of effects that are expensive and technically difficult in movies and television, while incurring no extra expense for production. The same is true for fantasy/adventure and sci-fi comic books which are later adapted to films and television.

Marvel's first Star Wars comic book appeared for sale even before the film premiered, and almost didn't happen at all. At the time Marvel's comics weren't selling well, and when George Lucas' company approached Marvel to do a comic book adaptation, they almost didn't take it. It was felt that with the comics selling poorly, a licensed adaptation had built-in overhead costs that would make the comic unprofitable. In the end, Lucas allowed them to do the adaptation for free, because he really wanted to see a Star Wars comic tie-in to his film, and the legend goes that the comic wound up making Marvel so much money that it became known around the editorial offices as "the comic that saved Marvel Comics".

On the other hand, down-to-earth reality and ordinary people and situations are not something the public automatically associates with a comic book sensibility, so anyone with no awareness of Archie Comics might not see anything particularly "comic-booky" in Riverdale the television show. Television and films are also arguably better, in actual practice, at capturing the nuances of realistic situations (facial expressions, emotion, relationships) better than the comic book medium, all things being equal (although there are no actual hard-and-fast limits on what comics can do, or can't), while comics might be said to more easily lend themselves to the expression of an exaggerated type of reality (including certain types of comedy).

As far as how much a TV/film-to-comics connection might work in a more vague, general sense for publishers like Marvel, DC Comics, or Archie Comics, it's debatable how much there is a direct correlation. I would say it has a lot to do with how closely the details of the comics and the adapted media reflect each other, and how familiar they feel to the reader coming from another medium like television or film. Star Wars is a strong example of a media tie-in comic book inspired by an original film property, but there are far more weak examples when the property being adapted flows in the opposite direction, from comics to film or TV. The schism apparent between what is in the Riverdale TV series and what is in the Archie Comics it was inspired by is a larger gap than what you would normally see between the details of a superhero film and a superhero comic.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 01:45:21 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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