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How many of each type of continuity came out in the last few years

Started by Tuxedo Mark, August 14, 2018, 12:02:23 pm

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Tuxedo Mark

I just crunched some numbers. I was curious as to how many issues/episodes representing each type of continuity within the Archie multiverse have come out within the time frame that the "current" gang has been in school (2015-2019).
I've sorted these into a few categories:
Digests (D)New Riverdale (NR)Archie Horror (AH), regardless of each of the different continuitiesClassic Archie (CA), just the floppy titlesAlternate Future (AF), the Life With Kevin miniseriesRiverdale (R), both episodes and issues (Riverdale Digest issues are counted under Digests)DC: the crossovers with DC( Harley and Ivy, Batman '66)Reprints (RP), the reprint floppy comics (Betty and Veronica: Friends Forever)

Here's the breakdown:
Ninth Grade (2015-2016, ages 13/14 - 14/15)

D: 32
NR: 12
AH: 2
CA: 1

Summer Vacation (2016, age 14/15)

D: 14
NR: 6
AH: 2
AF: 1

Tenth Grade (2016-2017, ages 14/15 - 15/16)

D: 33
NR: 31
R: 16
AF: 2
CA: 1
AH: 1

Summer Vacation (2017, age 15/16)

D: 13
NR: 7
R: 3
AH: 2
CA: 2
AF: 1

Eleventh Grade (2017-2018, ages 15/16 - 16/17)

D: 41
R: 32
NR: 20
AH: 8
DC: 6
CA: 3
AF: 1
RP: 1

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

That seems like an odd way of looking at things. As far as I can tell, only "Freshman Year" and its sequel take place in the ninth grade, while Life With Archie and Life With Kevin obviously take place after they've left school. Even allowing that your hypothetical scheme were true, there's no reason to assume the same division of grades applied equally across the board. Some of those Archie Horror titles don't even come out annually, so they'd be jumping grades between published issues! There isn't a four-year turnover between "current" incarnations of Archie and his friends. It would have to be an annual turnover, because they're always repeating the same grade, the same prom, the same Christmas, the same birthdays, the same summer vacation. To the extent that past stories older than a year ago are referenced, a story that originally took place during their junior year gets retroactively bumped to their sophomore year. Certain details of past stories can't be made to fit into a continuity where they're continually bumped backwards, though -- they can't be driving cars in their freshman year when they aren't old enough to legally hold drivers' licenses.

Tuxedo Mark

I know. I'm just doing it to illustrate how quickly that issues become outdated. However, the upcoming Archie #699 seems to indicate the entire NR Archie run still happened, regardless of how long ago that the issues came out. For example, the first two issues came out before the current gang even entered high school! I wonder how the upcoming renumbered Archie series will handle this. We know Betty and Veronica is finally moving on to senior year officially. I wonder if Archie will do the same and indicate the previous run occurred "last year".
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

Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on August 16, 2018, 02:00:41 pm
I know. I'm just doing it to illustrate how quickly that issues become outdated. However, the upcoming Archie #699 seems to indicate the entire NR Archie run still happened, regardless of how long ago that the issues came out. For example, the first two issues came out before the current gang even entered high school! I wonder how the upcoming renumbered Archie series will handle this. We know Betty and Veronica is finally moving on to senior year officially. I wonder if Archie will do the same and indicate the previous run occurred "last year".


I couldn't tell you how time progresses in the New Riverdale continuity (or continuities) -- it seems entirely possible (even likely) that they're not beholden to the 'seasonal' concept to published stories that binds the traditional classic Archie stories, and follow more of an assumed 'compressed time' scheme common to Marvel and DC continuity (which is to say that the amount of time passing during, and between, published stories does not match the passage of time in the real world). If indeed everything that happened from ARCHIE issues #1 through 32, published from cover dates September 2015 through September 2018, is assumed to have taken place, the characters have not aged 3 years during that time -- but if that's true, then they shouldn't have experienced 3 Christmases or 3 summer vacations during that time, either.

'Compressed time' is a concept more easily manageable in the Marvel and DC universes, because the characters aren't as closely tracked by events tied to a school calendar, regular seasons and holidays. It's more about creating a balance between the illusion of the passage of time, while keeping the characters from ageing too much. If a Marvel or DC character is acknowledged to have aged a year since (whatever prior story is being referenced), it's not that big of a deal, whereas in the world of Archie, ageing a single year has major ramifications on the lives of the characters.

Now that I think about it, this is even a bigger problem for Riverdale (as it was for Happy Days). Unlike say, Friends, it isn't a show about 20-somethings whose exact age is indeterminate (but who wound up being 30-somethings by the time the show ended its run). In Friends, that didn't really matter, because the cast's exact ages weren't central to the concept of the show. Unlike comics or animation, you can't simply ignore the fact that the cast is ageing in real-time, just like the show's viewers. You can't order your actors to simply stop ageing, to preserve the original concept of "a story about high school teenagers". Riverdale's been running long enough that the characters' high school years should have already ended. (I still haven't seen the show, BTW.) Perhaps Riverdale, if it continues, will be forced to become more like the magazine version of LIFE WITH ARCHIE.

This goes right to the heart of the matter about my feeling of "Archie" as a concept. It works very well in a simplified cartoon world, where everything is just lines on paper, and we don't question these things any more than we would question the ages of the Scooby-Doo gang. Try to treat it in a more realistic fashion, and you're forced to assume some sort of cumulative changes as a result of an ongoing continuity -- and that results in changing the basic concept that "Archie" is based on.

Tuxedo Mark

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on August 17, 2018, 12:39:31 am
I couldn't tell you how time progresses in the New Riverdale continuity (or continuities) -- it seems entirely possible (even likely) that they're not beholden to the 'seasonal' concept to published stories that binds the traditional classic Archie stories, and follow more of an assumed 'compressed time' scheme common to Marvel and DC continuity (which is to say that the amount of time passing during, and between, published stories does not match the passage of time in the real world). If indeed everything that happened from ARCHIE issues #1 through 32, published from cover dates September 2015 through September 2018, is assumed to have taken place, the characters have not aged 3 years during that time -- but if that's true, then they shouldn't have experienced 3 Christmases or 3 summer vacations during that time, either.

'Compressed time' is a concept more easily manageable in the Marvel and DC universes, because the characters aren't as closely tracked by events tied to a school calendar, regular seasons and holidays. It's more about creating a balance between the illusion of the passage of time, while keeping the characters from ageing too much. If a Marvel or DC character is acknowledged to have aged a year since (whatever prior story is being referenced), it's not that big of a deal, whereas in the world of Archie, ageing a single year has major ramifications on the lives of the characters.

The way that I tend to think of Archieverse continuity is: Anything that came out before the current school year perhaps kinda-sorta happened to the characters - in a vague kind of way. Any instances of multiple holidays / proms could be smoothed over / compressed into one. Once a story falls outside their high school timeframe (in this case, fall of 2015), the chances of it happening significantly decrease. Once it falls outside their lifetimes (in this case, 2001), we might as well just forget about it entirely.

So, for example, all 32 issues of Archie could still have happened (more or less) "last year". Same with Betty & Veronica: Vixens. Same with anything that came out fairly recently. It can just be vaguely glossed over like "Yeah, we did that stuff last year, but this is this year."

However, what remains is the precedent set by the story; in other words, the characters still have the potential to act a certain way, because it's already been put out there. So I like to think there's an ongoing accumulation of character traits (over the decades), resulting in an unseen internal battle that each character has to deal with. For example, maybe Betty tries to do good and volunteer everywhere, but she also struggles with an internal darkness, and she might have the secret desire to be a biker and kick some ass.
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on August 17, 2018, 12:39:31 am
Now that I think about it, this is even a bigger problem for Riverdale (as it was for Happy Days). Unlike say, Friends, it isn't a show about 20-somethings whose exact age is indeterminate (but who wound up being 30-somethings by the time the show ended its run). In Friends, that didn't really matter, because the cast's exact ages weren't central to the concept of the show. Unlike comics or animation, you can't simply ignore the fact that the cast is ageing in real-time, just like the show's viewers. You can't order your actors to simply stop ageing, to preserve the original concept of "a story about high school teenagers". Riverdale's been running long enough that the characters' high school years should have already ended. (I still haven't seen the show, BTW.) Perhaps Riverdale, if it continues, will be forced to become more like the magazine version of LIFE WITH ARCHIE.

Riverdale has already screwed up its continuity. In season 1 (which started in early 2017), the town celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding (1941). Fred types up something to give Jughead an alibi (he was supposedly working for him) during the time of Jason's death over the summer, and it was clearly given a 2016 date. All of this indicates season 1 covers the 2016-2017 school year. Betty states she's a sophomore. However, in season 2 (2017-2018), they're still in the same school year. There's finally a Christmas episode, even though it was also snowing at one point in season 1. Not too bad. However, they screwed everything up by doing a promotion of the film Love, Simon in one episode, which the gang goes to see in the theater - and which has a very specific North American release date: March 16, 2018. So it seems season 1 was retroactively moved to the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year (and various moments from season 1 will have to be ignored).
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

MOST of the problems endemic to the passage of time in the continuity of both the rebooted ARCHIE, and the TV series, could have been easily avoided, simply by throwing out a couple of "traditional" ways of thinking about the characters. Given that that was the main thrust anyway, to contemporize the characters for a different, older audience, and throw out the retro-nostalgic/traditional ways of writing and drawing the characters, they should have realized this. The problems are caused by trying to translate the characters into a more realistic style of writing and art, but still maintaining that the characters MUST remain high-schoolers. They have to be old enough to drive and have serious dating relationships, so that limits the time frame to the last half of their high school education. In addition, they'd always timed the production of stories to reflect the passing seasons and holidays (including school holidays). But that gives them very little wiggle room, when considered in a more realistic context of storytelling.

What they SHOULD have done with the reboot (and the TV show) is to just transplant the school experience from high school to college.  The four-year college experience provides twice as much "wiggle room", and I'd have been very careful about avoiding references that could be pinned down to exactly which grade they were in, apart from the occasional story mentioning mid-terms, finals, or vacations. I'd also pointedly AVOID having the stories sync up with the seasons or holidays when they were being published (and after all, the trade collection sales are much more important than monthly issue sales). The same thinking applies to original airdates vs reruns, later streaming viewing, or DVD/BluRay sets. A good example would be a Christmas story... it could take place in an issue or episode released close to Christmas-time, but why should it have to? If the issue or episode came out in May or September, who really cares? The audience can deal with it. In no way do you want to get tied down to a tradition of always marking the occasion, so that would be something used exceptionally sparingly (and no magical elves or fairies, either), only if it happened to dovetail well with some preexisting ongoing plotlines.

I'd have started them out in the first issue (or episode) as having already met and being friends, except for Veronica, who'd just be arriving as a transfer student from an ivy-league college -- as a form of punishment instituted by Hiram Lodge, in order to get her to buckle down and focus on her studies, rather than her social activities, partying and shopping. In addition to transferring her to a state university, she'd also lose all her credit cards, and be on a fixed stipend of 'cash cards' that carried a fixed balance. Mr. Lodge is now regretting having caved into her every whim and little tantrum since she was a little girl through high school, and is trying hard now to correct her spoiled ways before it's too late. He'd have a mole within the school (could be a student, a teacher, or just someone who works there... just to inject a little dramatic mystery) reporting on her activities, whether she was getting good grades and focusing on her studies, or just goofing off. When she's good, she gets rewards of bigger balances on her cash cards. If she's not... she has to live on that fixed amount, or get a part-time job if she needs more spending cash. Veronica is NOT happy about the situation, but fixes her sights on Archie nonetheless. When they start dating, Hiram hates it --he's afraid that Archie is just the sort of distraction (as well as being NOT a 'good catch') for her that she DOESN'T need, but he doesn't interfere... but neither is he welcoming, and he won't help Ronnie as an enabler in the relationship, either.

Archie, Jughead, and Betty have all known each other and been friends since they were kids, and Archie and Betty have been dating since high school.  Needless to say, when Veronica inveigles Archie with her charms during a minor tiff in the Archie/Betty romance, it's the first big major roadbump in a formerly steady straightforward relationship with Betty, and she's not too happy about it, either. In the beginning, the two girls are bitter rivals (no prize for guessing who Jughead sides with). Reggie, Moose, Midge, Dilton, Chuck, Nancy, Cheryl, and Kevin have all become friends/frenemies just since first meeting each other at Riverdale State (I wouldn't go into details, unless a particular story could benefit from a flashback), and any other familiar name would be characters who are being introduced for the first time in the stories. I wouldn't specify exactly what year of college they were in, but we can assume they've been there at least a semester before the arrival of Veronica Lodge, who shakes up the whole "high school sweethearts" Archie/Betty story. So far this isn't TOO different from what Mark Waid had come up with, but being in college gives the characters a whole new spin. They're away from home now (living in dorms or off-campus apartments), some have regular part-time jobs, they all have different majors and extracurricular clubs and activities, and Archie's thinking about trying to start a band. They're only a year or two older than their traditional classic counterparts, still relatable to a Teen+ young audience, and there's lots of potential still for teen angst and soap-operatics. They're not so far away from home that the parents can't easily be there at college, if they absolutely HAD to for some reason, within a few hours or so, a day at most, and vice-versa for the students' visits back home. That makes them a little more independent than they were in high school, with more active social lives. The quaint retro-nostalgic "Pop's Chocklit Shoppe" is gone -- replaced by Pop's Pub, an eatery local to the college serving beer and wine, as well as food (no ice cream) that is one of the most popular student hangouts (but of course there are others, night clubs with bands, and so forth).

BTW, when I say "Riverdale State", that's just a concession to the identifiableness/marketability of the name, not an indication of the name of the town where Archie, Jughead and Betty grew up together and went to high school. This IS a complete reboot, so no approximation of the situations as they exist in the classic, traditional stories applies, or should be assumed as part of the characters' backstories -- these are RE-interpretations of the original classic versions of the characters. To begin with, the details of their individual backstories are blank slates (to be determined only as applicable to the ongoing stories being told), and the parents, for the most part, will be reduced in their roles to more of an off-stage presence, with exceptions made on a story-by-story basis, filling in a few blanks as the series rolls along. Some might eventually have larger or smaller roles than others, depending on ongoing circumstances of the stories. Betty, for example, may remain closer and lean on her family (including older sis Polly) more heavily than Archie or Jughead, in her day-to-day existence. Weatherbee, Grundy, Flutesnoot, and the rest of the old school staff are just plain out of the picture, and there's no "detention". That doesn't mean there couldn't be new college teachers who share some of the same personality traits as the old RHS staff, though. The main comic-reading audience seems to have voted overwhelmingly against comedy in favor of soap-opera romance, so what little comedy there is will arise out of characterization stuff like Jughead's eccentricities and personality quirks, in small doses.

So they've got four (non-specific) years worth of higher education (plus potential for a lot more interesting and less restrictive situations) to compress their continuity into.

ASS-P

...Wouldn't a pub as a hangout be difficult when the drinking age is ,21 in America? The driving age could be legally scooted around more easily.o

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: ASS-P on August 28, 2018, 04:30:14 am
...Wouldn't a pub as a hangout be difficult when the drinking age is ,21 in America? The driving age could be legally scooted around more easily.o


Many restaurants sell alcoholic beverages, and they don't prohibit people under the legal drinking age from being customers. Of course they're required by law to confirm positive ID of age before serving those beverages. In a more realistic vein, whether that actually occurs (or whether underage drinkers use fake IDs) is another question. So think of Chili's or some chain like that, except that Pop's wouldn't be a franchise, just a local eatery.

ASS-P

...Yes, of course under-21s can go alone to restaurants that serve booze, but you seem to talking about a " bar/pub " more than about a " restraint/eating places that also offers alcohol ", if you get yhe distinction that I'm making here! Somewhere where alcohol is more the focal point...

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: ASS-P on August 29, 2018, 02:54:42 am
...Yes, of course under-21s can go alone to restaurants that serve booze, but you seem to talking about a " bar/pub " more than about a " restraint/eating places that also offers alcohol ", if you get yhe distinction that I'm making here! Somewhere where alcohol is more the focal point...


Many restaurants that serve both food and alcohol refer to themselves as pubs. From Pop's perspective, the focal point is making money. Whether the focal point from the customer's perspective was food or alcohol, or just a social venue for hanging out with friends, would vary according to the individual. Some college students are indeed of legal drinking age, as well, so Pop would just be taking advantage of his location relative to the college. What I'm getting at here is that the nature of Pop's business would change from a quaintly nostalgic "ice cream restaurant" to something more realistically relatable to readers as the kind of place they can recognize. Of course there are also many neighborhood bars calling themselves pubs, catering mostly to older men for the express purpose of getting drunk, and I understand that that's what you're thinking of.


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