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Author Topic: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me  (Read 1260 times)

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Vegan Jughead

I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« on: July 11, 2018, 06:26:11 am »
I know most of y'all are into classic Archie only and a lot of y'all didn't get into RIVERDALE. 


I've bought all of the reboots except B&V Vixens.  I actually thought the Mark Waid written Archie was pretty good.  Not great, but some issues were, to me, well above average, while others were dull.  I loved Afterlife With Archie and liked Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but of course we know what happened with those.


This latest news about the main title, ARCHIE, though, is too much. To cancel the Waid one, then have this bizarre Archie 1941 series that's NOT drawn by a classic artist like Jeff Shultz or Dan Parent, and then follow it up with something that looks so non-descript and non-Archie is just weird. It's almost irrelevant to me what it's going to contain or what the quality ends up being.  It just seems like the company is drifting with no idea what to do next.


I understand why that would be the case. They own characters that most people find outdated and irrelevant and it can't be easy figuring out what to do.


Unlike a lot of y'all, I absolutely loved Riverdale, the TV show. The first season was awesome and the second season had plenty of good moments. But now I'm reading there's going to be some kind of cult leader.  I'll give season 3 a chance but it sounds like I won't be making it through the whole season if it's going to be about some stupid cult.


I've been an Archie fan for LONG time. Some people on here know that comics made by Archie Comics are the only comics I've ever read.  I'll continue to buy collections produced by ACP if they're done well and contain at least some material I don't already have.


I'm perfectly willing to jump on board if they come up with new ideas that look compelling but for the first time in my life I'm not subscribing to at least one new title of theirs and I'm cancelling my subscription to the flagship title.


I trust that if anything good happens, the well educated fans on this forum will let us know! 

DeCarlo Rules

Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 10:20:01 am »
I don't know if 'cancel' is really the right word here. As I understood it, ARCHIE 1941 is sort of a miniseries replacing ARCHIE after #32, and when that concludes they will revert back to the old numbering sequence with #700. I understand that the numbers didn't quite add up, so there will be a later-released #699 published retroactively.

I honestly can't see a huge difference between the Mark Waid & Audrey Mok ARCHIE and the one-shot issue 700 by Nick Spencer & Marguerite Sauvage.
I mean, stylistically at least, I don't see any huge difference, nor do a see much of a difference (apart from the time period setting) between those and ARCHIE 1941. What comes after those, they still aren't saying.

I don't see anything having essentially changed about the company's situation since the failures of the rebooted Jughead and Josie titles, which meant that their originally hoped-for plan of building an entire new line of Archie comics wasn't going to fly.

Tuxedo Mark

Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 04:53:33 pm »
I think part of the problem might be the fact that there isn't much perceived value in a 20-page comic book - at least, not as much as in a Middle Grade or Young Adult novel.

Up until recently, Archie Comics had been charging $3.99 per digital issue (including back issues of current series). While I was willing to fork over $3.99 for each issue of Vixens, even I was relieved when the prices dropped. $0.99 makes each issue a much better value - pretty much on par with an episode of the show, which contains approximately twice the story and costs $1.99 to buy digitally on Amazon.
However, consider this. Buying season 1 at once brings the per-episode cost down to $1.54. Buying season 2 at once brings the per episode cost down to $0.91. Yet Archie Comics is charging $19.99 for trade paperbacks, which contain (I believe) six issues. So you can get six 20-page stories or 22 40-minute episodes for the same price. The trades are a worse value than the single issues at this point!

There's a 280-page Riverdale prequel novel coming out on December 26. It's $5.99 digitally and $9.99 in paperback form. Either way, it's a much better value than any of the comics (around 2.14 or 3.57 cents per page versus 4.95 cents per page for a comic or *shudder* 16.66 cents per page for a trade).
Also, there seems to be not much crossover appeal between the show and the comics. When I was at the Riverdale reddit, the only interest, comics-wise, was in the Riverdale comics, which are in continuity with the show but less "bonkers". The massive success of Riverdale isn't translating into interest in more comedic iterations of the characters. There really isn't that sense of fan interaction that viewers of the show have. The show is successful in large part because it was engineered for the current Internet generation. With the comics, prospective readers are expected to pay up, read a 20-page partial story (or, in the case of Riverdale, two 10-page stories), and then wait a month or two to see what happens next; that's it.
What I think might be most successful, on the publishing side, is to do novels instead of comics. Maybe have the artists do covers and a few interior illustrations, but otherwise have the writers tell the stories. It doesn't have to be strictly like the comics or the show; just write stories that today's audience would be willing to buy. Do a 100-page novella and sell it for $2.99. Let different writers work on them and keep churning them out. Set up a print-on-demand option for those that really want it. I'm guessing they'd sell better than any single issue or trade collection of the comics.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 04:56:45 pm by Tuxedo Mark »
BV-kiss-small
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DeCarlo Rules

Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 03:10:16 am »
I think I have a good guess about what the thinking was behind ARCHIE #700 and the new direction, leading off with the issue written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Marguerite Sauvage.

They were obviously aware far in advance of the various titles (the original ARCHIE, the Waid/Flynn new ARCHIE, and the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries) whose aggregate numbering would add up to the milestone issue #700.

The insertion of the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries as sort of a buffer between the end of the current-numbered ARCHIE with issue #32 and the return of the legacy numbering with issue #700 indicates to me that they had this new change of direction planned out with lots of production lead time. Nick Spencer may be the writer only on that single issue (#700), or on a single short story arc, as it would appear he had time to complete a small number of scripts for ACP before taking on the full-time writing chores of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (which shipped to comic shops this past Wednesday). Traditionally, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has been Marvel's best-selling title, as years of continuous publication have built up a large loyal fan base for that character, and ASM is the main in-continuity title he's featured in. Only DC's main BATMAN title and Marvel's AVENGERS come close in total sales per issue, on average. That means the writing gig on ASM has to be one of the best-paying in the comics industry, and ACP simply doesn't have the deep pockets to pay those kind of rates to writers on an ongoing series. Nick Spencer isn't going to take on a long-term gig writing scripts for another publisher while he's getting serious money writing for Marvel, but he might easily have knocked out a few scripts for ACP before starting on the ASM run for Marvel. It's true that Mark Waid took on writing assignments for Marvel  (an AVENGERS flashback 5-issue miniseries, CHAMPIONS #1-18, and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695-704) at the same time he was being credited for writing ARCHIE, but they weren't Marvel's top-selling titles, with the exception of the 16-part "No Surrender" story arc in AVENGERS #675-690 (which was being co-written by Waid along with two other writers, Al Ewing and Jim Zub), and by the time that last Marvel story was published, Waid was only being credited as co-writer (as of ARCHIE #28) along with Ian Flynn. Waid is also atypically prolific as a scripter. He was being co-credited for writing both THE AVENGERS and ARCHIE, while at the same time turning in full scripts for CHAMPIONS and CAPTAIN AMERICA. We will probably never know the exact breakdown of duties on the shared-credit writing assignments, but I suspect Waid may just have been turning in plot outlines that the other writers then fleshed out into a full script.

Putting the RIVERDALE title on hiatus made sense, because even with the tie-in to the popularity of the TV series, it wasn't selling well. ARCHIE #700 doesn't seem so much like another complete reboot as it is picking up the continuity from ARCHIE #32, and steering the series more in a direction which aligns it with some of the plot threads of the television series. In effect, they're attempting to hybridize the former New Riverdale ARCHIE title (which was the better-selling of the two ongoing titles) with the direct adaptation RIVERDALE, and cancelling the latter entirely. That's just based on the circumstances of existing sales and my reading between the lines of Nick Spencer's brief statement that "I don’t want to blow things up or do anything that would upset the long-term audience. It’s more like finding some conflicts that have some stakes, upping the drama level a little bit." He added that he would play into the soap opera aspect of the characters and "depict that in a way that the ‘Riverdale’ audience can appreciate and enjoy."

My guess would be that after either #700 (or the short story arc of 3 or 4 issues beginning in that issue), Ian Flynn would return as the regular scripter, continuing to follow the new 'more like Riverdale' direction set up by Spencer.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 04:33:54 am by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 07:28:20 am »
The Diamond Comics Distribution solicitations for the month of October's Archie Comics are out:
https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog?pub=ARCHIE%20COMIC%20PUBLICATIONS

So they managed to sneak in the solicit for ARCHIE #699 ahead of #700, after all. And it's a $1.00 "the story so far" kind of catch-up issue, to try to entice those people who haven't been reading ARCHIE. I assume that that loss-leader cover price can only mean that this is a sort of cut-and-paste reprint comic, composed of various key scenes from pages and panels that previously appeared somewhere before during the run of issues from ARCHIE #1 to 32, with a minimal number of newly-drawn framing panels to stitch all the bits and pieces together. But it does go to prove what I suspected, that the #700 issue won't be another reboot, just a change in creative team and a minor course-correction to steer the title in a direction more similar to that of the TV series Riverdale.

Quote
ARCHIE #699



(W) Mark Waid, Ian Flynn (A) Various (CA) Marguerite Sauvage

Follow along as Archie reflects back on the past several years of storylines including: the much-talked about #LipstickIncident, the arrival of the Lodge family, the Riverdale Civil War, the machinations of the Blossom Twins, the near-tragedy of "Over the Edge" and more! This special issue sets the stage for next month's landmark 700th issue of ARCHIE! Based on stories by Mark Waid and Ian Flynn and featuring art by an assortment of ARCHIE talents.

In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
Diamond Code: AUG181571
SRP: $1.00

BettyReggie

Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 06:27:36 pm »
I can't stand the art in Betty & Veronica. It was awful. I had to give the ones I bought to the Thrift Store.

 


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