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September 30, 2022, 06:11:56 AM

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Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Night School" from Cheryl Blossom #24: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/28/comics-night-school/

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Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Stellar Behavior" from Cheryl Blossom #24: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/27/comics-stellar-behavior/

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Sep 21 2022 2:22pm
Tuxedo Mark: Weirder Mysteries #1 came out today. I just read the preview pages of "Betty Cooper: Alien Hunter". It's set in the Jughead: The Hunger continuity. For a "horror" story, it's actually pretty hilarious.

Sep 20 2022 6:15pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Puppy Love" from Cheryl Blossom #21: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/20/comics-puppy-love/

Sep 13 2022 6:12pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "3 Goes Into 3...!" from Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #333: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/13/comics-3-goes-into-3/

Sep 06 2022 8:34pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Sugarworld" from Cheryl Blossom #21: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/comics-sugarworld/

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Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The Dresser" from Cheryl Blossom #20: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/04/comics-the-dresser/

Aug 31 2022 9:23pm
Tuxedo Mark: An article about how an Archie story was once blatantly recycled as a Wilbur story: https://www.cbr.com/archie-ran-same-story-twice-with-faces-changed/?utm_source=syndication

Interview with the Vixen (Vampironica novelization)

Started by Tuxedo Mark, March 14, 2022, 01:10:56 PM

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Tuxedo Mark

Not sure if this should go here or in Other Media, since it's not a comic but rather a novelization of a comic. Anyway, I just finished reading it this morning and just posted a long, mostly spoiler-free review on Goodreads, and I thought I'd share it here as well:

This feels like a novel-length episode of the old Archie's Weird Mysteries cartoon series. In that series (which ran from 1999 to 2000), there was a 3-part Halloween episode in which Veronica seemed to be some kind of chosen one called the Ender, who was destined to end the eternal night of the vampires (once it was brought about). She was turned into a vampire twice during that trilogy and went by the name "Vampronica". The line-up of Archie's Weird Mysteries was, generally, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, and Dilton.

In 2012, the classic Betty and Veronica comics title did a 2-issue story called "Betty the Vampire Slayer vs. Vampironica", during which Veronica was turned into a vampire. Note the slight change to her vampire name compared to Archie's Weird Mysteries. This story can be found in Betty and Veronica #261-262. The story was played mostly for laughs.

Fast forward to 2018. Archie Comics had (ahem) revamped its main line of comics 3 years earlier, and it had also been experimenting with AU horror titles, such as Afterlife With Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Jughead: The Hunger (in which Jughead became a werewolf). So it was only natural to do a Vampironica title, which ran for 5 issues. This was followed by a 5-issue interdimensional crossover with Jughead: The Hunger in 2019. Finally, there was a second miniseries, Vampironica: New Blood, which ran for 4 issues from 2019 to 2020.

This novel, Interview with the Vixen, is, at its most basic, a novelization of the first Vampironica miniseries. But calling it that wouldn't be doing it justice. Author Rebecca Barrow has greatly expanded the story, especially in its second half, giving the characters much more to do and giving them amazing depths of characterization. These feel more like real people, not cartoon characters.

The novel borrows a lot from Riverdale without being set in that continuity. Josie's mom is the mayor, and Kevin's dad is the sheriff, though neither Josie nor Kevin appear or are even mentioned in this story. Veronica is said to have brown skin, which is a nod to her Riverdale actor (she's white in the Vampironica comic). Cheryl is said to have brown eyes (she has green or blue eyes in the comics), which is a nod to her Riverdale actor. She's also openly gay and trained in the use of a crossbow.

So the basic plot is Veronica gets turned into a vampire, but she's not under the master vampire's mind control (unlike the other vampires), and she must find a way to kill the master vampire, so she (and everyone else that was turned) can be turned back to normal.

To this end, she's helped by Dilton, Betty, Archie, and...Cheryl! Can we talk about the amazing chemistry between Veronica and Cheryl in this book? Veronica/Cheryl wasn't something that I thought I needed in my life (my preferred ship is Betty/Cheryl), but their scenes together are so good! Spoiler: they don't get together; they're just friends. But Veronica worries a LOT for Cheryl's safety in this book (much more than she does about Betty, her supposed "best friend"), and Cheryl is concerned about Veronica being disappointed in her. You would totally expect them to share a passionate kiss. Alas, it doesn't happen. But the final scene of the novel is a private, tender scene between Veronica and Cheryl, and you can tell they truly care for each other.

The story gets into some heavy subject matter with Veronica having to kill two major characters (and the others being prepared to, if necessary) and then having to wrestle with her guilt, debating whether she's a murderer or not. Cheryl counsels Veronica in the final scene, saying they're in this together: "So we make a pact. That's what friends do, right? If you go down, then I go down. But we won't. Because we're going to stick together on this. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Promise me. You won't torture yourself thinking about what happened. We're moving on. Promise?"

I'm not sure if a sequel was ever planned, although I'd be surprised if one comes out at this point. One major issue was left unresolved, and there are questions of what the future will hold. But Veronica Lodge is forever changed by her experience. She has known horror and triumph, known what it's like to live up to people's expectations of her and what it's like to truly live, and she doesn't want to go back to her old life. Not ever.
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

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