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Life with Archie (Warning: Possible Spoilers)

Started by SAGG, April 06, 2018, 11:30:32 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

DeCarlo Rules

#15
Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on April 13, 2018, 07:43:24 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 13, 2018, 01:08:49 AM
I forgot which timeline it was, but at the beginning didn't one of the Cheryls run off to Hollywood to be discovered as an actress, but then she winds up waitressing when she didn't make it (eventually returning to Riverdale humbled)? And why's Jason slaving away working for Lodge in some middle-management position in the Veronicaverse, if his dad is still a billionaire?

I don't remember Jason working for Mr. Lodge, but that does sound kind of familiar. All that I remember is, in the Bettyverse, when Cheryl returns home, she's living in a mansion. I might have to go back and flip through those issues.

In the Veronicaverse, Cheryl did indeed go off to Hollwood and ended up waiting tables. Same in the Bettyverse (albeit mentioned in retrospect instead of shown). The difference is, in the Bettyverse, Cheryl returns home due to her life being derailed by breast cancer, whereas, in the Veronicaverse, she comes home only when she's invited to Jughead and Ethel's wedding, and she's happy to pose for glam shots for Raj as he's recording her with his camera.

I guess my point there was that I couldn't see Cheryl waitressing (even if she failed to make it as an actress) or Jason working in some undistinguished position for Lodge if Daddy Blossom is still Mister Megabucks Techstartup-IPO; they'd expect handouts of cash, or dad's help and connections in establishing careers for themselves. Unless, as I speculated, he had disinherited Cheryl & Jason (perhaps not even with vindictiveness or malice, but in an attempt at character-building and teaching them a lesson about making their own way in life, even as he had to, when growing up).

Paul Kupperberg hadn't been a regular writer for Archie Comics prior to taking on the LWA gig, so it's entirely possible that in doing his background research on the characters for The Married Life, he hadn't even read the 2008 story from Betty and Veronica Double Digest where Mr. Blossom regained his lost fortune, and was still proceeding under the misapprehension that Blossom having lost his fortune sometime after moving to Europe, and being demoted to working for Lodge Industries after moving back stateside, was still the then-current status quo.

EDIT:  Thinking about this whole thing again just now, I realize it's both a mistake to blame Paul Kupperberg (because, as I picked up Book One of THE MARRIED LIFE and flipped to the opening page, I realize that I'd forgotten that Michael Uslan was also involved as a writer at the beginning of the LWA series). The mistake here would be in assuming that since LWA, the magazine series, began in 2010, the future storylines depicted in The Married Life should reflect the status quo as it was in the "main continuity of the Archieverse" (for whatever that's worth) as it existed in 2010. It doesn't, because The Married Life is actually an extension of "Archie Marries" (from ARCHIE #600-605), written by Michael Uslan and published somewhere around July or August of 2009. Since Uslan was also not a regular writer of Archie stories, it's fair to say he probably did whatever research he needed as a basis for projecting the supporting characters' possible futures months and months earlier than that, and in that event it's very likely he had never read the Cheryl story published in BETTY AND VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #166 -- the one where the Blossoms regained their wealth, which would have appeared somewhere around November of 2008. It seems to me that planning for a major event like ARCHIE #600 would have been in the works many months earlier than the normal production lead time of say, three or four months before the story appeared for sale, because of the need to coordinate and advance publicity -- hitting the #600 milestone mark was going to be a big deal for ARCHIE, so they would have taken to planning it the year before that. Something that affected a character like Cheryl's status would not necessarily have been considered important enough to impact Archie's marriage to Veronica and Betty. Thus, when Archie in the story decides to wander in the Yellow Wood, down Memory Lane, the point at which the timelines are diverging from the "main continuity Archieverse" is likely sometime in 2008, about as current as Michael Uslan could have been expected to read in published Archieverse stories before starting to assemble his notes and plot points regarding various supporting characters to be included in "Archie Marries".

beatman10

Quote from: SAGG on April 07, 2018, 09:59:51 AMAnd what happened to Miss Grundy in the AMV universe? She died in the AMB universe, but I didn't see her at all in the other one. I guess the writers had AMB be Riverdale High-centric for the AMB universe, and deliberately Riverdale City-centric in the AMV universe. So many loose threads remain, with Mirth and that woman with him. Hey, maybe we can get Mr. Ruiz to fill in the blanks, since he did one of the stories! Was the ending rushed, or something? Also, Bella Beazley was the scheming redhead in the AMB universe, while Cheryl Blossom was the now-sympathetic redhead in the AMV universe. 


Also again, did anyone notice that the ending of LWA coincided with the beginning of the "new" Archie? I think LWA was the "farewell" for Classic Archie (outside of the new stories for the digests), and it fulfilled the "what if" scenario of fans wondering what it would look like if Archie and his friends grew up and dealt with the Real World. Hey, DR, everybody, which story did you prefer? AMV? AMB?
Hi everyone. I'm new to the the forum. The 3 "Archie Marries" stories (Will You Marry Me, Life With Archie, and the 10th Anniversary) got me back into Archie comics after 30 years. I was curious to see how the gang would be as grown ups and, of course, Life With Archie is the epic story having spanned 4 years and 37 issues. In the AMV side, Miss Grundy, is standing next to Mr, Weatherbee at Kevin Keller's wedding issue #16. There is no mention if they are married, dating, or just friends. I do have to say, I prefer the AMB side more and not just because I think Archie in the long run will be happier with Betty. I felt the other characters showed more growth and the couples' bonds were stronger. That's probably why the AMB side faced more tragedies than AMV. The AMV side had more tension between couples, break ups, threats of divorce, etc. I felt an important lead up was left out in the beginning of AMB. That is, when did Midge come on board to help Jughead at the Choc'lit Shop?   In AMV, she breaks up with Moose after closing her nail salon and very quickly, her and Jughead become an item. But in AMB, there is no mention of her befriending Jughead. We finally see her in the middle of issue#2 at the Shop reading a business book when Reggie walks in after quitting a dead end job. Her and Jughead do not officially become a couple until later on,  although it's obvious she's in love with him. I just felt those two should have gotten a better background story at the very beginning since they got married in the Betty-verse.

beatman10

Quote from: SAGG on April 06, 2018, 11:30:32 PMI just finished reading it through Comixology in the volumes. I'd recommend using the Unlimited service to just "borrow" a published book, then when you finish it, "return" it. You'd pay a monthly fee. I think it's worth it, but I digress. On to the story, or in this case, stories, since there are two of them, with Archie either marrying Betty (AMB) or Veronica (AMV).


Both universes had good stories in the soap opera style, if you're into that sort of thing. LWA was unique in that it showed The Gang & Co. all as adults, not as a dream, but as actual, real stories. I found myself referring the AMB universe as the more realistic storyline, though the AMV one may have been the more exciting storyline with the Fred Mirth angle. However,  I wonder what happened to him? Did he vanish from the face of the earth? Dangling plot device unanswered.


That little crossover between the two stories was interesting, but I had some confusion because Archie seemed to be all over the place as he and his other self switched places. Seeing Ambrose was nice, but having him as the "connection" between the two realities was strange at best, but I  guess the writers had to explain how the realities merged. I think I'm glad he settled in the AMB universe. He seemed far better a fit there.


I'm speeding it up a bit to the end, obviously with Archie's death as the main plotline. I noticed that the writers shrewdly "merged" both universes because I couldn't tell which one was which. Maybe it didn't matter, which was the point.


I've obviously skipped several points, which I hope others here will chime in on. What do you guys think? Thanks....
I believe Fred Mirth was extradited back to the U.S. in issue 35 and Veronica was going to testify against him

beatman10

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 07, 2018, 09:26:36 AMOne thing that stuck out in my mind is how in the Bettyverse, Betty turns into a workaholic and a neglectful spouse, her "responsible" side just totally subsuming her personality... she's got so many things going on and so many commitments that she's forgotten how to live and enjoy life, instead being dominated by her "Type A personality" achiever-oriented goals. That struck me as a little out of character for Betty, or at least kind of sad. Of course it's also true that people DO change, so who's to say for certain.
Yeah, I believe that whole Betty (type A personality) storyline was created to put tension in her marriage to Archie. And this storyline began soon after Archie and Veronica finally reconciled in AMV. Betty was always a people pleaser, so she wanted to show she was up for the job. She also realized getting the Vice Principal position would mean a substantial raise in pay. She just went about it the wrong way. And despite her and Archie were having issues, I never got the feeling it would get to the point that they would split up for good. Unless, of course, Archie decided to hook up with Bella Beasley.
  Did anyone else notice that sometimes a character would unknowingly make a reference to something that was happening in the other universe? For instance, in issue#15 AMB, Archie mentions to Jughead that "if he married Veronica instead, then maybe she wouldn't have gotten on that plane that was lost." Jughead tells him if he married Veronica "he would probably be divorced by now". At that time over on the AMV side, Veronica had filed divorce papers against Archie. Also, again on the AMB side, issue#5. Mr. Lodge reveals to Archie that he is the one destroying Archie's and his friends' lives unless he leaves Betty and marries Veronica. Archie imagines how his life would be with Veronica and envisions himself in a loveless marriage with her. Which was kind of what his marriage in AMV had become.

beatman10

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 07, 2018, 01:41:17 AM
Quote from: SAGG on April 06, 2018, 11:30:32 PMI'm speeding it up a bit to the end, obviously with Archie's death as the main plotline. I noticed that the writers shrewdly "merged" both universes because I couldn't tell which one was which. Maybe it didn't matter, which was the point.

Well, obviously the two universes couldn't actually be merged, because then you wind up with the Schrödinger's Cat-like probability paradox of a universe where Archie is married to both Betty and Veronica... but I do take your meaning, as the "Death of Archie" final story arc of LWA was being intentionally vague in details to the point where it could have been taking place in either, or both, the Bettyverse and the Veronicaverse. Oddly enough I remember 'way back on the old (pre-server crash) forum where someone else (I've forgotten who, now) argued that there were definite clues placing the DoA story in (I think it was) the Bettyverse, and I don't remember what those clues were or if I even recognized them.

In general, as the series neared its end and it became obvious that it would be necessary to wrap up the long, convoluted plot of many details and characters, there seemed to be lots of bits either summarily explained away rather casually, or forgotten altogether and left dangling. Things had gotten very science-fictional about three-quarters of the way through the run, and then they gradually moved away from that to end it all with Archie's death.
To me, the way how the other characters' story outcomes were left dangling was pretty sad.  We never find out if Reggie gets engaged or married. Do Moose/Ilana, Ethel/Dilton or Mr. Weatherbee and Louise get hitched. And how are Jughead/Ethel  doing after a year of marriage, or Jughead/Midge seeing their son take his first steps? I felt Miss Grundy's death actually had a bigger positive impact on Archie and the gang than Archie's death because of the the story ended. I don't blame Paul Kupperberg. He wanted to keep the story going at least to give a more complete ending.

beatman10

Quote from: beatman10 on September 08, 2022, 02:16:07 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 07, 2018, 01:41:17 AM
Quote from: SAGG on April 06, 2018, 11:30:32 PMI'm speeding it up a bit to the end, obviously with Archie's death as the main plotline. I noticed that the writers shrewdly "merged" both universes because I couldn't tell which one was which. Maybe it didn't matter, which was the point.

Well, obviously the two universes couldn't actually be merged, because then you wind up with the Schrödinger's Cat-like probability paradox of a universe where Archie is married to both Betty and Veronica... but I do take your meaning, as the "Death of Archie" final story arc of LWA was being intentionally vague in details to the point where it could have been taking place in either, or both, the Bettyverse and the Veronicaverse. Oddly enough I remember 'way back on the old (pre-server crash) forum where someone else (I've forgotten who, now) argued that there were definite clues placing the DoA story in (I think it was) the Bettyverse, and I don't remember what those clues were or if I even recognized them.

In general, as the series neared its end and it became obvious that it would be necessary to wrap up the long, convoluted plot of many details and characters, there seemed to be lots of bits either summarily explained away rather casually, or forgotten altogether and left dangling. Things had gotten very science-fictional about three-quarters of the way through the run, and then they gradually moved away from that to end it all with Archie's death.
To me, the way how the other characters' story outcomes were left dangling was pretty sad.  We never find out if Reggie gets engaged or married. Do Moose/Ilana, Ethel/Dilton or Mr. Weatherbee and Louise get hitched. And how are Jughead/Ethel  doing after a year of marriage, or Jughead/Midge seeing their son take his first steps? I felt Miss Grundy's death actually had a bigger positive impact on Archie and the gang than Archie's death because of the the story ended. I don't blame Paul Kupperberg. He wanted to keep the story going at least to give a more complete ending.
I recently revisited the "Death Of Archie" storyline (Issues 36 and 37) because I wanted to check to see if there were clues to which universe the ending took place in. And, yes, the clues point to the "Betty" timeline. Some of the things I saw were:
1. After Archie thanks Mr.Weatherbee  earlier that day, he says "Hi" to Cheryl Blossom, who was wearing the head scarf that she wore during her chemo treatments. Cheryl only got breast cancer in AMB
2. At the afterparty ,one panel has Mr. Weatherbee sitting at a table with his fiance', Louise. Their pairing only happened in AMB. Miss Grundy was alive throughout the "Veronica" timeline although her relationship with Weatherbee was never clearly defined there. The faculty was reduced to cameo appearances in AMV.
3. Jellybean!! Jellybean only worked at the Chock'lit Shoppe in the "Betty" timeline to relieve Midge. In AMV, she made only one cameo as a bridesmaid at Jughead's wedding. Here, in DOA, she's dressed as if she had been working, probably helping brother Jughead prep for the party. After that, she was seen taking pictures of the partygoers.
I remember seeing a previous post stating Archie was wearing a wedding band while Betty and Veronica weren't. That was because Reggie never married "the girl Archie didn't marry". However, Jughead was also wearing a wedding band and it was more obvious who his wife was. I saw a couple of panels where Ethel and Dilton had their arms around each other (They were dating in AMB). And the end when Archie dies, Ethel is standing next to Dilton, But Midge and Jellybean and embracing each other which makes them more likely to be sisters-in-law. I doubt if the "Veronica" Midge would even be at this event, since she had moved away from Riverdale.
There are two people who didn't attend; Jughead's parents. That could be because they were home babysitting their new grandson for a few hours.
These were just some of the clues I found. I'm sure there are more.

DeCarlo Rules

While the preponderance of clues do indicate the AMB timeline, it does make me wonder if they were completely consistent about that or if they messed up by putting something in there that could only have indicated the AMV timeline.

beatman10

Maybe you could make a case that Jughead only hired Wendell the busboy/shooter in the AMV timeline but I did see Wendell in AMB lurking in the shadows in one panel.And it wouldn't be the first time an event was shown happening in only one timeline but later on, happened in the other also with no explanation. Take Sam the dog for example. Ilana is shown giving Sam to Moose only in the "Betty" timeline to help with his anger management. But I later saw Sam with Moose in the "Veronica" timeline as well. No explanation on how he got the dog. Also, the AMB Jughead was going to be down two helpers. He was going to lose Jellybean when she leaves for college. And wife Midge would be out on maternity leave taking care of their son. So Jughead had to hire someone soon.
   The only other clue pointing to the Veronica side was in #37 was when Mr. Lodge was seen with a beard. He grew a beard in the last issues of the AMV timeline.

Fernando Ruiz

#23
The Life With Archie Magazine sprang from the success of Michael Usulan's "Archie Gets Married" storylines which ran around the six hundredth  issue of the venerable flagship Archie title.

Now before Roberto Sacasa, his Archie Meets Glee story, Afterlife With Archie and Riverdale, Michael Uslan was Archie Comics' big hope for some type of Hollywood deal. The company desperately wanted a movie or TV project in the worst way and they were willing to do anything to court whoever could get it for them. Circa 2009, that was Mike Uslan, a longtime comic book fan and a fan of Archie in particular. Since I wasn't involved at this point, I don't know who went to who first, but Mike Uslan wrote the Archie Gets Married story which was a big hit and gained the company something it always hungered for... attention and some smidge of relevance. Incidentally, this storyline would also directly lead to the end for poor Stan Goldberg, the artist of Archie Gets Married, but that's another story...!!   

Archie and Usulan followed up the success of Archie 600 with a proposed spin-off of the Archie Gets Married storyline. Now I still wasn't involved at this point, but it was a big deal around the office and so I was aware of its development. Early on, the idea was for TWO 44-page regular on-going series, one would focus on Archie's marriage to Betty and the other would follow his marriage to Veronica. Again, I wasn't involved yet so I was only following this from the sidelines, but this seemed like a bold idea to me. Keep in mind that at this time, the thirty-two's (what we in the office called the regular monthly comics. Don't get me started on the term "floppies!" UGH!) were starting to seriously go away. Once reliable titles like Betty, Jughead and Archie And Friends were either outright cancelled or they were on the chopping block. The idea of launching TWO double-sized monthlies sounded crazy and brave to me, but I was all for it. Anything that was experimental and possibly might expand the workload I very much supported... even though, as I said, I wasn't involved at this point.

Somewhere along the line the two separate double-sized issues became ONE single forty-plus page magazine. I'm not sure if Archie's success with their Sonic The Hedgehog magazine had anything to do with this decision... I'm honestly not remembering which came first... but here we were. Life With Archie would be a magazine. Michael Uslan would write the first issue and longtime DC Batman artist, Norm Breyfogle, who'd dipped his toe in the Archie waters during Archie's "New Look" experiment," would pencil the entire magazine. This meant that Norm would be producing forty-four pages plus covers on a monthly basis. How didn't anyone see THAT as a problem?? Veteran DC writer and editor, Paul Kuppergerb would write the series from the second issue onward.

The magazine was a weird duck almost from the start. It was essentially a serialized soap opera but it was loaded with juvenile extras like articles on Justin Bieber making it a Tiger Beat-like product. Those wouldn't last long and would soon be pruned from the book. I don't know if it was the almost universal negative reaction to those features or if there was already a desire to streamline the magazine into a leaner book.

Life With Archie #12 was the issue where I started as regular penciller of the Archie Loves Veronica half of the book. The word on the street was that Norm was slow in producing the magazines forty-plus pages of artwork. Plus it was well known that whenever DC Comics rang the Batman dinner bell, Norm quickly threw over Archie to go running after DC's far-superior Batman page rates! I don't know who said good bye first, but with LWA #12, Norm would be off the book. The art would no longer be handled by one artist. I would pencil the then twenty-two pages of the Archie Loves Veronica half of the book, and Pat and Tim Kennedy would illustrate the Archie Loves Betty half. Because, I visited the Archie offices weekly, I also would get to draw the covers and frontispieces.  I was told directly "Make it look like Norm... only better." Oddly enough, I was gradually asked to filter out all of the "Norm-isms" and after a while of this, I said, "The Hell with it", and I just drew it the way I wanted.

Now in its second year, Life With Archie was drifting into a weird schizophrenic limbo of an existence. No one was sure what to do with it. Comic shops hated it because... well, it was an Archie product... but it was an oddly sized magazine so they didn't know what to do with it. Newsstand outlets were still shoving issues among their Tiger Beat magazines and other kiddie fare. This seemed incongruous with the magazine's adult storylines like "Miss Grundy dies of cancer" and "Homophobia runs rampant in Riverdale!" 

LWA would gain spurts of relevance with attention-grabbing events like Kevin Keller getting shot and Kevin Keller getting married, but the decline of relevance was inevitable. Eventually, the magazine became one of those projects around the office that no one cared about anymore. Soon the book's page count would be cut to forty and later... the true sign of the Apocalypse... the book was doomed to a bi-monthly status. No book EVER benefited from coming out LESS frequently... let alone a serialized soap opera. "Hey! Wanna see this storyline continue? Well, ya gotta wait sixty days!"

I learned about the Death Of Archie by accident. I was at a signing with Dan Parent and the PR guy at Archie who'd put the even together. We'd gone out to dinner and he started talking about the Death Of Archie as if we'd all already known about it. Dan and I had no idea what he was talking about, but he filled us in. At that very early stage, the plan was for Archie to die in ONE of the halves o the magazine. He didn't know in which half it would be. It might not even had been decided at that point. The magazine would continue featuring a "Life With Archie" half and a "Life Without Archie" half. I was intrigued and I was hoping Archie would die in the half that I was drawing since that was bound to be somewhat of a big deal.

I didn't hear anything else about it, but the storylines in the book seemed to set up what I believed was ahead. At this point, the book was really on the outer fringes of importance at the office. It'd become worse than the proverbial unwanted step child. No one seemed to know what to do with it. Communication between Editorial and the talent (ME!) had fallen apart. Nobody was talking to me about the book anymore. I was just trading pages for new scripts. I was just happy the book was still alive even if it was limping along because it meant continued steady work.

One day, I showed up at the Archie Offices to deliver my usual load of pages and to... hopefully!... pick up my next script. I asked about the next script and that was when I learned that the magazine was cancelled. Archie would die in the last issue and the magazine would be over. I remember this was the day before Christmas Eve and there was no one in the Office that I could talk to about what was going on. Was the book really dead? What was next for me? By this point, the Thirty-Two's were trimmed to almost nothing. I think we were down to Archie and Betty & Veronica! What was I going to do next? I did continue to drift along drawing digest stories and the occasional odd project. Archie Vs Predator came along in 2015 and after that I was back on digests until I stopped getting work all together from them in early 2016.









Tuxedo Mark

BV-kiss-small
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Jabroniville

#25
Quote from: Fernando Ruiz on November 24, 2022, 09:38:23 PMNow in its second year, Life With Archie was drifting into a weird schizophrenic limbo of an existence. No one was sure what to do with it. Comic shops hated it because... well, it was an Archie product... but it was an oddly sized magazine so they didn't know what to do with it. Newsstand outlets were still shoving issues among their Tiger Beat magazines and other kiddie fare. This seemed incongruous with the magazine's adult storylines like "Miss Grundy dies of cancer" and "Homophobia runs rampant in Riverdale!" 







Oh man, amazing info! So glad I came to check out the forum for the first time in YEARS and find your post :).

I mostly remember the comic having some INCREDIBLE issues to start, but as time went on, little problems popped up. The original creative teams leaving really altered how the stories worked.

And also I was having a hard time keeping track of what was going on in which story! Like, all the same characters were in each one! So I'd remember stuff like Betty being a successful writer in NYC was the "Archie/Betty" one but lose track of which half had the "Reggie/Reggie's dad (I forget which) gets arrested" story.

LOL, now I wanna check out which "Norm-isms" you were copying.

And damn... how did it lead to the end for poor Stan? I know he was turfed almost immediately afterwards without a word. I remember a few websites being like "..." on the art in the "Archie Marries..." series, as it had become a bit less detailed than they were used to from him, but the man WAS quite elderly by that point.

Fernando Ruiz

#26
Quote from: Jabroniville on November 26, 2022, 01:21:10 AMAnd also I was having a hard time keeping track of what was going on in which story! Like, all the same characters were in each one! So I'd remember stuff like Betty being a successful writer in NYC was the "Archie/Betty" one but lose track of which half had the "Reggie/Reggie's dad (I forget which) gets arrested" story.

A problem inherent within the complex premise was trying to explain it to the casual reader. It was a magazine that featured TWO separate continuities kind of set in the future about the same exact set of characters... Two adult Archies, two adult Bettys, etc... Take it from me, it was very hard to pare down what this magazine was about for the "civilians" out there who weren't following the comics religiously. These are the same occasional fans who still come up to me and say, "I can't believe you killed Archie" thinking that we killed the regular teen-age Archie and that he stayed dead!

Quote from: Jabroniville on 11/26/2022, 1:21:10 AM And damn... how did it lead to the end for poor Stan? I know he was turfed almost immediately afterwards without a word. I remember a few websites being like "..." on the art in the "Archie Marries..." series, as it had become a bit less detailed than they were used to from him, but the man WAS quite elderly by that point. [/quote]



Sadly... minus a couple of other details, you've kind of answered the question.  As Stan said, "If they could do it to DeCarlo, what chance do the rest of us have?"





beatman10

The only part I found confusing was early on Reggie and Veronica were seen together extensively in both universes. Of course, for different reasons. In AMV, Reggie was simply trying to console Veronica after she and Archie had one of their many fights over her Daddy's business dealings.They did catch themselves before they could have taken things further. In AMB, they did start dating, although both were going through a period of feeling like their lives didn't turn out the way they thought they would.
 Sometimes I forget these great stories and artwork have been created by real people who, like all employees, are at the mercy of the corporation, who at a moments notice, can fire anyone for any reason, aka " cutting costs. moving in a different direction, get someone cheaper, etc". I don't know if these were the reasons why some of you talented artists were let go, but it's sad to hear.

DeCarlo Rules

I only started reading LIFE WITH ARCHIE with the last two comic book sized issues (#36 and 37) in 2014. Not that I hadn't been casually reading some ARCHIE and BETTY & VERONICA issues before that, along with SABRINA (the pre-manga version).

But "The Death of Archie" touched off a frenzy in me to start hoarding everything Archie. I looked back over the past five or six years of ACP's publishing history and suddenly realized the company had been steadily cancelling one long-running title after another, and thought to myself... "OMG! It's really happening! The Death of Archie isn't just some 'what if' story, it's a metaphor for what's actually happening to this long-running line of classic comic books." That's when I realized that the Archie characters had become an endangered species.

Thus began a mad scramble for me to find every recent back issue comic book from "Archie Marries..." (ARCHIE #600, Oct. 2009) onwards, and all the ACP trade paperback collections then in print.

A little less than a year later they published ARCHIE #666, the last issue of the classic ongoing series that had been running since 1943... then five months later, the last issue of the long-running BETTY & VERONICA, #278.

After that I was forced to rely on the digests (and trade paperback collections) for my Archie stories, plus the occasional one-shot floppy comic book. Occasionally I'd find old stacks of back issues but (apart from JOSIE and SABRINA) I was really only interested in the more recent ones (since the late 1980s re-numbering). I wasn't having any of that "New ARCHIE" nonsense.

So when I did finally get around to reading the full story from LIFE WITH ARCHIE, it was in the form of the six-volume ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE trade paperbacks. Even in that form it was confusing to try to remember everything that was going on, as the chapters alternated back and forth between "Archie Marries Betty" and "Archie Marries Veronica". A few years ago I read it all again, but the second time around I went through all six books, first reading just the "Archie Marries Betty" chapters, and then all the "Archie Marries Veronica" chapters. It was somewhat easier to keep things straight in my mind the second time.

The Archie character names and likenesses are covered by the registered trademarks/copyrights of Archie Comic Publications, Inc. and are used with permission by this site. The Official Archie Comics website can be visited at www.archiecomics.com.