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What comics have you been reading? by BettyReggie
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  • DeCarlo Rules: @Kallell - Right. That's what I meant. The solicitations that came OUT for the months of November, December, and January... as Diamond Comics Distribution dates their catalogs. And those ACP comics digests solicited in those catalogs would indeed have shipping dates in the months of January, February, and March.  Which means ALL the issues of Archie, World of Archie, Betty and Veronica, and B & V Friends in those solicitations are JUMBO COMICS digests. Unlike those titles, Riverdale Comics Digest, Marvel Comics Digest, and Archie and Me Comics Digest haven't varied in their format from one issue to the next.
    January 15, 2018, 12:22:20 PM
  • Archie Comics Collector(Kalell): Very interesting observation DeCarlo Rules. Actually December 2017 was the last month in which there was still three Digest formats: Annual, Comics Double Digest and a Jumbo Comics Digest. As I looked through Jan, Feb and March solicits it seems that the main two formats are Comics Digest 128 pager: Archie and Me and the rest of the main Archie Digests will just be Jumbo Comics Digest 192 pagers. They seem to be doing away with the Annuals and Comics Double Digests for now.
    January 15, 2018, 11:41:08 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Looking back through the ACP solicitations from November, December and January, it just dawned on me that EVERY regular digest title solicted (except for Archie and Me Comics Digest, Riverdale Comics Digest, and Marvel Comics Digest) is a JUMBO COMICS Digest (192 pages). Are Jumbo Comics Digests the new permanent format? It sure looks that way.
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Author Topic: What comics have you been reading?  (Read 209079 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

Re: What comics have you been reading?
« Reply #1350 on: January 13, 2018, 04:45:53 PM »
Archie Jumbo Double Digest 285 has an interesting story called "Snowbound". It's what I call an "Action Archie" story, you know, the adventure ones that have Goldberg illustrating where Archie is in danger, or fighting some really nasty bad guys who want to off him, those stories. Here, however, it's done by DeCarlo....

Well, it's an oddity, I'll grant you that much, but it seems like a waste of DeCarlo's real talent. "Snowbound" is another of those seemingly endless mild variations on the exact same plot which appeared far too frequently in stories from both ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH (with Chuck sometimes taking the role of the main, endangered, hero), and LIFE WITH ARCHIE. Because the plot always attempts to highlight the element of danger, the stories are totally humor-free. In fact, the plot at its most basic level is a variation of the old "Reggie attempts to trip up Archie using a variety of dirty tricks", but at least those stories are played to slapstick violence, so the essential humor element is maintained.

In the LWA version of the same plot, it usually involves a wider competition in which Archie is a main favored competitor, and introduces a new character (or two) -- unsavory, underhanded types who will stoop to any level to win by cheating, and usually endangering Archie's life in the bargain. The new character(s) are most often students at Central High, or some other rival high school to Riverdale (and will never be seen again after this story, either). Despite enduring multiple hazards along the way, we KNOW Archie's intrinsic goodness and fairplay are going to triumph over the dirty tricks and pitfalls laid by his nasty rival, and he'll expose the blackhearted cheater for his dishonest deeds. The stories are never really long enough for the plot to become TOO complicated either, so there's not even an element of "how will he do it?" for the reader to challenge the writer by guessing some mystery either. The main element that changes in these stories is the sport involved (skiing, hiking, running a marathon, mountain biking, etc.) and the nature of the obstacles to be overcome -- but it's the same plot every time. If you've read one, you've basically read them all.

Re: What comics have you been reading?
« Reply #1351 on: January 15, 2018, 11:50:12 AM »
I think I'm going to quit reading the Archie digests (not the B&V digests, just the Archie ones). There's this real feeling of blandness about them right now, like they're just in a holding pattern, waiting for their time to inevitably run out. That's probably true, to a lesser extent, of the B&V digests as well, but it's less apparent to me because those digest stories seem to have a greater aggregation of my favorite artists in each issue.

They seem to be done with any pretense of growth or evolution (while maintaining faithfulness to the core style), even in the new stories -- there's a real feeling of "just keep it average and homogenized, according to what sold in the past", so there's no real "trying" on the part of the digest editors -- they've basically given up, and aren't going to bother making ANY effort. There's a real contrast there to the period between the late '90s Archie Comics (both floppies and digests) up to 2015, when they were introducing new characters, trying new things, new kinds of stories (out of that came cousin Marcy, New Kids, Kevin Keller, Harper Lodge, and a lot of fun 'what if' variant stories, and even LIFE WITH ARCHIE). All that seems to be over now, and 'classic Archie style' just seems to be in a short period of maintenance until the final shutdown.

 :'(

Sorry to hear your going to quit buying some of the Digests. I received super stellar deals on Digest subscriptions in the past so I pay about 1.50 per Digest. That's at least a 75% markdown on the current cover price.  I can't find any other deal with color comics for that price point.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: What comics have you been reading?
« Reply #1352 on: January 15, 2018, 01:00:35 PM »
I think I'm going to quit reading the Archie digests (not the B&V digests, just the Archie ones). There's this real feeling of blandness about them right now, like they're just in a holding pattern, waiting for their time to inevitably run out. That's probably true, to a lesser extent, of the B&V digests as well, but it's less apparent to me because those digest stories seem to have a greater aggregation of my favorite artists in each issue.

They seem to be done with any pretense of growth or evolution (while maintaining faithfulness to the core style), even in the new stories -- there's a real feeling of "just keep it average and homogenized, according to what sold in the past", so there's no real "trying" on the part of the digest editors -- they've basically given up, and aren't going to bother making ANY effort. There's a real contrast there to the period between the late '90s Archie Comics (both floppies and digests) up to 2015, when they were introducing new characters, trying new things, new kinds of stories (out of that came cousin Marcy, New Kids, Kevin Keller, Harper Lodge, and a lot of fun 'what if' variant stories, and even LIFE WITH ARCHIE). All that seems to be over now, and 'classic Archie style' just seems to be in a short period of maintenance until the final shutdown.

 :'(

Sorry to hear your going to quit buying some of the Digests. I received super stellar deals on Digest subscriptions in the past so I pay about 1.50 per Digest. That's at least a 75% markdown on the current cover price.  I can't find any other deal with color comics for that price point.

It took me quite a while to get a handle on the history of the digests (your online article helped a lot). But you really need to spend a lot of time analyzing exactly how they evolved over the last decade or so, which means looking at the subtle changes in content over time.

IMO the high point in digest history begins somewhere around 2008. You can tell by looking at the covers. Most of the digest titles received a makeover with new logos at that time. This was a short time (about a year or so) after the "New Look" stories were first introduced. They also started putting the little logos in the corners highlighting a new semi-regular reprint series being featured in all the titles. I've noticed this is the era where the covers become less oriented around the generic gag, and more story-based... and this was because for the next 3 or 4 years, all the digest titles began featuring more pages of new stories than ever before, somewhere between 10 to 20 pages of new stories (but usually more like 12-15) in every title. The variety of the reprints seemed to increase at the same time (as indicated by those little corner logos I mentioned).

I'm not entirely sure, but I think this coincides with a time where Nelson Ribeiro was the editor of the digests, and he seemed to take a real interest in trying to improve them. He had been around as an editor for awhile, at least since the time when they cancelled both Laugh Comics Digest and Jughead With Archie Comics Digest, and replaced those two titles with Tales From Riverdale Digest and Jughead and Friends Comics Digest. The new titles were both great improvements IMO, and always carried new stories in every issue. Alas, they only lasted 38 issues. I'm still missing 8 or 9 issues from both runs.

During that period I mentioned between 2008 and 2012 (which seemed to kick off around the same time that those special "Past Meets Present" stories appeared in Archie, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, and Archie's Pals 'n' Gals Double Digest) there were a lot of changes, but a lot of the new digests that appeared were good ones -- the early World of Archie Double Digest, Archie and Friends Double Digest, Jughead Double Digest (from around #144-200), and B & V Friends Double Digest replacing the old 96-page Betty and Veronica Digest with issue #209. Then for some reason they just dropped the idea of promoting an ongoing reprint feature in those digests with the little corner logos, and sometime towards the end of 2012 or 2013, the new stories stopped altogether. I don't know why. Then they started up again midway through 2014, and stayed regular, in all the titles, but rarely if ever going even one page over the 5-page rule. For a while there seemed to still be a fairly decent variety to the reprint mix (and World of Archie is the best barometer for the overall diversity of content across the digest line), but now things have just gotten too bland and middle-of-the-road, too plain vanilla.

On studying what went on (since I didn't start buying the digests myself until 2014), and comparing them to the contents of the most current issues of Archie, World of Archie, and Archie and Me Comics Digest, I simply concluded that I'm better off spending my money on trying to collect those back issues I missed from the 2008-2013 period, and a few other older digest runs (like Tales From Riverdale and Jughead and Friends).


« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 02:31:43 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

BettyReggie

Re: What comics have you been reading?
« Reply #1353 on: Today at 10:42:40 AM »
I read
Die Kitty Die #4
The Beauty #7 & #12 & #13 & #14 & #15

 


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