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Archie June 2018 Solicitations by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 12:30:56 AM]

Archie meets Batman '66! by BettyReggie
[March 23, 2018, 10:32:44 PM]

What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[March 23, 2018, 05:19:38 AM]

Adopted an orphan baby monkey by BillysBadFurDay
[March 22, 2018, 02:50:38 PM]

Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[March 19, 2018, 01:47:55 PM]

What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[March 19, 2018, 12:16:17 PM]

Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[March 19, 2018, 07:54:36 AM]

"The Archies" will end with issue #7 by Vegan Jughead
[March 18, 2018, 09:01:15 PM]

Archie and Friends Digital Digest... by DeCarlo Rules
[March 18, 2018, 01:00:03 AM]

Sears/Kmart by ASS-P
[March 17, 2018, 07:19:01 PM]

* Shoutbox

Refresh History
  • rusty: They have a cover for #288 on, but no date.  Maybe it will come out later than normal.
    March 23, 2018, 11:56:37 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Has Archie Comics Double Digest been cancelled? #288 isn't listed for preorder on Amazon.
    March 23, 2018, 08:35:16 PM
  • BettyReggie: Riverdale #11 just came
    March 19, 2018, 04:16:25 PM
  • BettyReggie: 200 Days till New York Comic Con.
    March 19, 2018, 07:55:31 AM
  • BettyReggie: Last espoide of Riverdale Season #2 is only 61 days away.
    March 15, 2018, 11:09:14 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Color Coded", a 1980s Cheryl story: [link]
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:59 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Ick. Let's try that again.
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:39 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Color Coded", a 1980s Cheryl story:  Still, that's not as odd as the fact that, despite the cover, there's not a Halloween-themed story in the entire issue.
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:19 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Really awesome cosplay of Cheryl [link]
    March 09, 2018, 09:09:14 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Get out of the city! Bronson Pinchot cast as villanous high school principal in new Sabrina series! [link]
    March 09, 2018, 08:42:06 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Change of Minds" [link]
    March 08, 2018, 05:19:04 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Have all of the Archies issues been removed from Amazon? Everything's coming up in my searches except that one series.
    March 08, 2018, 11:33:55 AM
  • irishmoxie: I think they just want you to use comiXology. I prefer the kindle app to comiXology. Much easier to swipe through pages.
    March 06, 2018, 01:49:17 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Maybe there's some slight modification to the PDF files they use in the ComiXology app to adapt it to feature-specific things in Amazon's Kindle reader app, and that takes a little while for them to convert the files? Just a wild guess.
    March 05, 2018, 06:20:53 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: That's weird since Amazon owns Comixology.
    March 03, 2018, 08:20:53 PM
  • irishmoxie: A lot of times Amazon's digital comics' releases are later than Comixology's.
    March 03, 2018, 11:51:24 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Yeah, it's the digital version.
    March 03, 2018, 08:34:18 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Oh, and if you're talking about the digital version, then it might have a different release date, too. Amazon's digital comics are really ComiXology's digital comics. Amazon owns ComiXology. Most publishers have a same-day-and-date print & digital release policy, but ACP's might be different, or it could just be an odd fluke.
    March 03, 2018, 02:34:50 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Comic book shops gor VIXENS #4 on February 28th. Sometimes Amazon may get products on a different date, because the bookseller market is serviced by a different distribution system. Could be later, or sometimes, earlier, but usually only by a few days or a week.
    March 02, 2018, 11:42:37 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Amazon doesn't have #4 as coming out until the 7th. Did you get it early via subscription?
    March 02, 2018, 08:52:44 AM

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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All About Archie / Re: Archie meets Batman '66!
« on: March 23, 2018, 10:59:59 AM »
Look at how scared Archie looks on that Francavilla cover variant. Now, I'm a huge fan of Francavilla's work in general (although to honest, AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is probably one of my least favorites of all the things he's worked on; I much prefer Francavilla's creator-owned series, BLACK BEETLE), but I'm thinking about skipping that cover variant because it's just not suited to this particular comic book, tone-wise.

Sandy Jarrell's variant is my absolute favorite here, and he(or she)'s an artist whose prior work I'm entirely unfamiliar with. The biggest point to make about that art is that it's the best-designed of all the covers, and perfectly captures a vibe of fun and grooviness that's totally in sync with those late-1960s issues of LIFE WITH ARCHIE where The Archies made their first appearances. I'm kind of embarassed to say it, but s/he's outdone some of my favorite artists on that one cover, including Dan Parent, Mike Allred, Francesco Francavilla and Ty Templeton. Their covers are fine, but none of them are illustrations which I'd place near the top of each of their personal lists of most outstanding covers.

All About Archie / Re: Archie meets Batman '66!
« on: March 23, 2018, 06:26:52 AM »
Francesco Francavilla's "AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66" #1 variant cover --

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 23, 2018, 05:19:38 AM »
I checked into the first appearance of Chuck Clayton and found that it was actually in "The New Generation", an Archies story written by Dick Malmgren and drawn by Bob Bolling, from LIFE WITH ARCHIE #110 (Chuck also appeared in LWA#111, 112, and 113). In the story, the Archies meet up with a depressed and disillusioned Vietnam veteran, and the example of how all the Riverdale teens get along (regardless of differences of race) gives the veteran new hope for future generations.

LIFE WITH ARCHIE #113 came out the same month (September 1971) as PEP #257, with the Big Moose story "My Reputation" where Chuck manhandles the terror of Riverdale High by tossing him around using judo throws which his father taught him. LWA #113 that same month had a story where Chuck became The Archies' business manager. I can recall other early Chuck stories which portrayed him as a hypochondriac and as being particularly inept with girls (which causes him to seek advice from Archie and Reggie), and a couple where he acts like an egotistical braggart (including one I read just recently). It seems as though having introduced Chuck by editorial mandate, early on the writers at ACP really didn't have much of a grasp on exactly what sort of character he was, and were experimenting with a lot of different personality traits and quirks in those early stories.

All About Archie / Re: Archie meets Batman '66!
« on: March 22, 2018, 02:54:55 AM »
Here's the story on ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 from Diamond Comics' PREVIEWSWORLD site:

Batman and Robin Swing Into Riverdale!

Batman and Robin are swinging their way to Riverdale and things are going to get really wild, really fast! Archie Comics and DC Entertainment are proud to present the crossover adventure 50 years in the making: ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN 66! The groovy six-issue mini-series from writers Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci, penciler Dan Parent, inker J. Bone, colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letterer Jack Morelli will see Gotham’s caped crusaders (as seen in the classic 1960s TV series) on a mission to Riverdale that upends the lives of Archie and the gang in a madcap adventure for the ages.
"Following the success of a monster hit like HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA is tough, but not impossible, and we're going to prove that with ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66, which meshes two of the most iconic characters in the world," said Archie Comics CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. "Like Batman, Archie is one of the most famous, global characters in comics, and we'll see the best of both heroes in the pages of this mini-series, including tons of cameos and plenty of action."
“We considered many different combinations for this next pairing between DC Universe and Archie characters, and Batman ’66 and Archie Andrews really stood out as the perfect choice,” said Hank Kanalz, DC SVP of Editorial Strategy and Administration. “What DC and Archie started with HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA last year continues with this off-the-wall pairing of Archie and The Caped Crusader; we believe fans of the classic TV shows and their modern interpretations will be excited about this new series.”
“Look, we all want to know what Jughead and The Joker make of each other and we want to see the romance dynamics of Riverdale High thrown completely out of gear by bringing in Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon,” said co-writer Jeff Parker. “It’s very cool to work with a heavy hitting team of top talent. Michael and I synched up immediately with plotting, and Dan and J. Bone are the exact right cartoonists to make a mash-up like this really work.”
"It's rare that you get a call to work with character/property that you love, but to do TWO at the same time? That's more than I can ask for,” added co-writer Michael Moreci. “And to work with such an amazing team -- this is one of those rare dream projects, and I can't wait to bring all this love to the series."
For artist Dan Parent, this team-up is a childhood dream come true as well. “I’ve been lucky enough to have a career drawing characters I love from my childhood. But the first show I ever got excited about (and my mom can verify this) was the original Batman series!” “So, the chance to combine these two big influences in my life into one project is a total thrill. And to work on it with Jeff and Michael, as well as my friend and colleague J. Bone, makes it even that much sweeter!”
The action and intrigue of ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN ’66 begins when a team of Gotham’s most notorious villains decide they need a new base of operations, one with a resident millionaire and fewer superheroes to stop them. Their plan doesn’t go unnoticed for long, and soon enough, Riverdale High has a couple new transfer students: Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon!

ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN ’66 #1 goes on sale July 18, 2018 with a main cover by Mike Allred and variant covers by Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Sandy Jarrell (with Kelly Fitzpatrick colors), Dan Parent (with J. Bone inks, Tito Pena colors), and Ty Templeton.

All About Archie / Re: Archie June 2018 Solicitations
« on: March 22, 2018, 01:40:39 AM »
I think I get it. I was just desperate for new Archie titles probably accounts for a lot of their sales these days to people who were reading Archie comics before Afterlife With Archie and the New Riverdale Archie. You can't read comics that they don't publish, you can only pick from the handful of new comics they DO publish.

And it's slim pickings for this month's solicitations, with neither a new issue of ARCHIE, or of JUGHEAD THE HUNGER being solicited. I'll be getting the two B&V Jumbo digests by subscription as usual, so I just need to special-order SUPERTEENS VS MIGHTY CRUSADERS #1 and VIXENS #7, and I'm only really semi-interested in those. I'll probably read VAMPIRONICA #3 and not buy it, if there are copies in my LCS, but I sort of feel like if I happened to miss it, it wouldn't be any big deal to me either. Haven't made up my mind yet, but I may quit Vixens after #10 (that's assuming it goes any further than that). So if there aren't any new titles coming along besides ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66, by the time that's solicited I may be down to just that for ACP floppy titles. My biggest disappointment is there are no trade collections solicited this month.

If you mean the month I posted, there are two trade collections: Archie at Riverdale High Vol 1 and The Complete COSMO 

ARCHIE comes out in late May and again in early July according to Archie Comics when I asked them on Facebook.  Not sure why The Hunger isn't solicited in June unless it's destined for miniseries status!

Ah. OK, I guess I was looking at the solicits on the Previewsworld site and had the filter set to "comics" rather than "all products" for ACP. I'll be getting COSMO but passing on RIVERDALE HIGH.

THE HUNGER may just be skipping a month after #6, to begin a new story arc the following month. That's what happened with VIXENS -- which has a new artist on the second story arc, "Hunted", Jen Vaughn... and that will affect whether or not I continue with that title. Can't say I've been too impressed with either of Vaughn's covers for #6 or 7, as solicited. That has me a little worried, since Eva Cabrera's interior art didn't measure up to her cover artwork. If Jen Vaughn's covers don't look that good, it has me leery about what the interior art will look like.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 21, 2018, 01:24:19 PM »
03-15-18 to 03-21-18:
CHERRY #1-22 (1982-2000)
DEADMAN #5 (of 6)

ARCHIE'S GIRLS BETTY AND VERONICA #37, 128, 154, 155, 156
BETTY #87, 89, 92
JUGHEAD (V2) #134
LIFE WITH ARCHIE #101, 107, 275
ARCHIE #498, 502, 503, 504, 505

JUGHEAD #134 had a good example of how Jug obsesses over Trula, in the story "Do the Write Thing" (Trula doesn't actually DO anything in the story; Jughead just *thinks* she's up to something). AGB&V #156 had another Sugar Plum story, "Some Things Never Change" by Kathleen Webb & Jeff Shultz. Issue #37 of AGB&V (from 1958) was in such poor shape that both covers were detached and the covers and pages' edges were literally flaking off in my hands as I handled it. Good stories, though! PEP #257 has a story which *might* (I haven't checked into it yet) be the first Chuck Clayton story... his initial character design looks a little different than later became standard, and he does introduce himself to Moose (it's actually a "Big Moose" story). Also in the story, Chuck uses judo to toss Moose around like a rag doll (several times), and says that his father, the new assistant coach at Riverdale, taught it to him.

BETTY #87 had the first appearance of Adam Chisolm, in a 5-page story by George Gladir and Stan Goldberg titled "Dilemma". The final panel of page 5 is a response coupon for the reader to cut out and mail back to the editor, telling how the reader felt about Adam. The following multiple choice checkboxes were given:


[ ]  DUMP ARCHIE                      [ ]  PLAY THE FIELD


[ ]  OR_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Various ACP floppy comics contain stories which for one reason or another you just know are never going to be reprinted in a digest. This is a good example, because the story only existed to get the readers' response on whether they should proceed with the idea of Adam, a character representing a rival to Archie for Betty's affection (and thus adding a second romantic triangle). I'm always glad to find these type of stories in a back issue. Given the nature of this story, I would have been sure to recognize this as Adam's introduction, so if the coupon had already been cut out it would have been very frustrating to wonder what had been in that final panel! By the way, a later "From the Editor" column which ran in all the Archie titles that month mentioned that the response to that request for reader feedback in BETTY #87 had been very good, and that they were working on a 2-part follow-up story featuring Adam and Betty. That story didn't appear until BETTY #99 & 100 (cover-dated July & August of 2001), "The Big Break-Up!", but those who voted to "Dump Archie" got their wish (temporarily), while later on after the conclusion of the two-parter, those who voted for Betty to "Date Archie AND Adam" also got their wish.

All About Archie / Re: "The Archies" will end with issue #7
« on: March 18, 2018, 03:58:05 PM »
One other possibility just occurred to me, which... if it turned out to be true, I'd find REALLY funny and ironic. What if one of the musical artists (The Monkees, Tegan & Sarah, Blondie, or whomever...) ONLY signed the contract with ACP to allow use of their likeness(es) under the mistaken impression that they'd be appearing in a comic book story with "The Archies"? Which is to say, what if they'd grown up with and been a fan of (the CLASSIC) Archie comic books, and were expecting to get "Archiefied" in a story with... THESE guys?

And then were SO disappointed to discover what the finished product looked like, that they felt that they'd been deceived and tricked??

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 11, 2018, 10:57:47 AM »
03-04-18 to 03-11-18:
(of 4)
GALAKTIKON #5 (of 6)
ONE PUNCH MAN VOL 13 tankobon
ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE VOL 1 & 2 tankobon
MÈNAGE Á 3 VOL 01 (omnibus) - A newer, bigger collection of the webcomic from Udon; Same contents as the tankobon (5"x7") volumes 1 & 2.
SUPER 'SUCKERS (Binge Books) #1-4 - I freakin' LOVE this comic book!
BETTY & VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #261 - Wow, I just realized there haven't been any Josie reprints in the last three issues... OR in the last five issues of B&V FRIENDS. We still get a regular fix of Sabrina and Cheryl (and in the last 5 issues of B&V FRIENDS, Katy Keene). Occasionally they'll toss in a Ginger, Suzie, or Li'l Jinx reprint (or *ugh* "Little Betty & Veronica"). We even got a couple of classic BETTY & ME stories (more of those, please!)... but the Josie reprints stopped cold a couple of months after the big reprint collections THE BEST OF JOSIE and ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOL 1: MAGIC, MUSIC & MISCHIEF. I may go into withdrawal if this condition lasts all year.

Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:08:41 PM »
You're a stronger man than I am DCR.  I liked reading your review way more than I can stand the idea of B&V as bikers.

You know, in reference to my earlier review, if they're searching for a new spin for a modern reboot, they could do lot worse than go back to Bob Bolling's idea of Betty Super Sleuther. Now, that title wouldn't exactly cut the mustard with today's comic audience, because it would just be laughed at. But you could maybe call it something like BETTY'S MYSTERIES, and you could even recycle some of Bolling's old plots (expanded to four or five issues so that they could be collected in a trade paperback). That would work drawn in a style somewhere in-between classic and New Riverdale Archie, and you could have various other Riverdalians taking secondary or minor roles in any given story arc. Something LIKE Nancy Drew, but with a contempory spin on it. Just to do something different, with an Archie book that's kind of an adventure, with Betty as the most logical choice to be the hero. As long as you kept the mysteries actually interesting (i.e. something you're not going to guess the explanation to in the first or second issue of the story arc), why wouldn't something like that work?

Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 01, 2018, 02:56:10 PM »

Contents listing: Year (by cover date) of publication, source Title & issue # of first appearance in print, Story title, and Number of pages.

AgB&V = Archie's Girls BETTY and VERONICA (1950-1987) or "Volume 1", and B&V(v2) = BETTY and VERONICA (1987-2015) or "Volume 2". The rest should be self-explanatory.

   1944      ARCHIE #6      [Nominate A Drum Majorette]      4   pages   
   1944      ARCHIE #9      ["And now, girls…"]      5   pages   
   1944      ARCHIE #10      ["Why look, new neighbors…"]      5   pages   
   1945      ARCHIE #14      [NOTICE]      6   pages   
   1946      ARCHIE #19      [Aviation Training]      6   pages   
   1946      ARCHIE #20      RAY!      7   pages   
   1950      AgB&V #1      What's Cookin' ?      6   pages   
   1951      AgB&V #4      Fish For Dinner      5   pages   
   1954      AgB&V #12      Ski Sick      4   pages   
   1955      AgB&V #20      Late Date      3   pages   
   1956      AgB&V #26      Click Chick      5   pages   
   1956      AgB&V #26      Sock 'n Roll      5   pages   
   1957      AgB&V #29      Popular Mechanics      6   pages   
   1959      AgB&V #44      Sheep Skinned      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #111      Dress Dilemma      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #112      Midas Mess      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #112      Prize Package      5   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #113      The Escort      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #122      TILT      6   pages   
   1969      AgB&V #142      New Girl in Town      6   pages   
   1970      AgB&V #177      Crabby Couple      6   pages   
   1972      AgB&V #193      From Stem to Stern      6   pages   
   1973      AgB&V #206      Success Story      5   pages   
   1974      AgB&V #220      Temptation      5   pages   
   1974      AgB&V #222      Breath Taking      6   pages   
   1976      AgB&V #234      The Advertising Game      5   pages   
   1979      AgB&V #287      Snap, Crackle and Pop      6   pages   
   1980      AgB&V #289      Voices of Change      6   pages   
   1981      AgB&V #303      Sculpture Schemer      5   pages   
   1984      AgB&V #333      Chiller      6   pages   
   1984      AgB&V #333      Is There an Archie in the House?      5   pages   
   1985      AgB&V #335      The Untouchable      5   pages   
   1986      BETTY'S DIARY #1      The Art Lesson      6   pages   
   1987      B&V(v2) #1      Right For the Part      5   pages   
   1990      B&V(v2) #26      Inner Voices      6   pages   
   1991      B&V(v2) #39      As Easy as 12-26-83      6   pages   
   1993      B&V(v2) #67      Paint the Marsh Mellow      5   pages   
   1994      BETTY #15      Super Sleuther      11   pages   
   1997      B&V(v2) #112      Archie's Choice      20   pages   
   1999      B&V(v2) #136      Better Fashionably Late Than Never      5   pages   
   2000      B&V(v2) #148      Hog Wild      6   pages   
   2003      B&V(v2) #185      Un-Bully-Vable      11   pages   
   2003      B&V(v2) #189      Rabid Rivals      6   pages   
   2005      B&V(v2) #211      Sooo Superficial      6   pages   
   2009      B&VDD #196      The Past Will Catch Up With You      13   pages   
   2014      B&V(v2) #269      [variant cover artwork by Jeff Shultz]      1   page   
   2014      B&V(v2) #269      Just Another Day!      20   pages   
   2014      B&V(v2) #270      The Minds of Betty & Veronica!      6   pages   
   2015      ARCHIE (v2) #2      [main cover artwork by Fiona Staples]      1   page   
   2015      ARCHIE (v2) #3      untitled story      22   pages   
   2016      B&V(v3) #2      [cover artwork by Adam Hughes]      1   page   
   2017      B&V(v3) #3      The Battle of Riverdale      20   pages   
   2017      RIVERDALE V1 TP      [cover photo]      1   page   
   2017      RIVERDALE #1      Bring It On      10   pages   
   2017      B&V VIXENS #1      [main cover artwork by Eva Cabrera]      1   page   
   2017      B&V VIXENS #1      untitled story      19   pages   

Most of the stories in this collection are those that I've previously read elsewhere... and no, it doesn't help that the last 75 pages of stories are all less than 3 years old. There was less than 20% of the total number of these stories that I hadn't read previously (or just couldn't remember for sure). Ironically most of those were stories from this century, as opposed to the last half of the 20th Century, including a couple from 2014 that I missed just before I started seriously reading Archie Comics, and was never able to find as back issues (B&V(v2) #269 & 270), and from BETTY AND VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #196, Dan Parent's second "Agents B&V" story, "The Past Will Catch Up With You" (the title of which refers to the then-surprise return of a couple of characters unseen [in 2009] since the old Bob Bolling LITTLE ARCHIE series). I believe that's the first time that story has been reprinted (the first Agents B&V story was reprinted in Book One of this trade paperback series). Most of the stories I hadn't read were also among the longer ones in this book.

Also in here is what I believe is the first story in what became an ongoing feature, Bob Bolling's "Betty Cooper, Super Sleuther" from the early run of BETTY. Some might not care for those stories, but to me they're always a hoot. They are just so ultimately Bob Bolling, and there's no mistaking when he writes a story like those. The only time you might confuse a Bolling-written story with someone else's is if it's a true 5 or 6 page short where he doesn't have the room to develop any complex plot. But even then, there's usually something that sticks out about the story as atypical. He always seems to yearn to write a longer story, and add some elements of adventure, mystery, or mysterious paranormal happenings. The BCSS stories were more like the old Nancy Drew books (a series of young reader mystery novels in hardback, if you don't know what those are) where Betty has a keen interest in criminology and deciphering clues as an amateur detective.

I wince whenever I see ACP reprinting the 1940s stories, because they're so painfully BAD. And that's making allowances for the average level of craft across the industry in the 1940s, which was admittedly less sophisticated as a whole. Comic books were still very much "feeling their way" in the 1940s. But ACP's Archie and friends stories from that period are just not notable as being very good on any level. ACP's superhero stories from the same time period compare more favorably (on average) with other publishers' superhero stories from Marvel (Timely Comics) or DC (National Comics) or many other publishers at the time. The Betty and Veronica stories reprinted here are just bad, and I'll tell you why. The artwork is below par for this type of feature, and even the writing shows too little imagination. Of the six stories from the 1940s reprinted here, three of them use the same gag device -- Betty and/or Veronica are frightened by a mouse. THREE out of five!! But worse than that and most damning of all, is that the two girls are in no way differentiated in the stories in terms of having contrasting personalities. Except for the fact that Veronica is brunette and rich, and Betty is blonde and middle-class, they could be the same girl. It's hard to understand how the Archie feature survived as a comic book in the 1940s, until I stop to recall that it was adapted into a radio comedy series in 1943 (which was popular enough to continue for a decade), and that Bob Montana launched an Archie newspaper strip in 1946. The radio show is probably responsible for keeping the first ARCHIE self-titled series alive at a time when it was nothing to brag about, and when Montana's newspaper strip came along a few years later, it finally gave the comic book writers and artists something to aim for in terms of improvement, because unlike the comic BOOKS, Montana's newspaper strip WAS good. And by about 1949 or 1950, the Archie comic books had raised their game, which is why they finally could spin off JUGHEAD, REGGIE, and BETTY AND VERONICA into their own comic books. So if they're going to insist on reprinting stories representing the 1940s, couldn't they at least pick them from the last couple of years in the decade, when they became tolerably readable?

Even in the 1950s stories, you can see a remarkable improvement from 1950 to 1958. And even the stories from 1950 reprinted here are a quantum leap in quality over those of the mid-1940s. As it happens, I think there are MAYBE 4 stories from the 1940s to the 1970s that I hadn't read before. But at least all the ones reprinted from the 1950s to the 1970s are GOOD stories, even if I've read most of them before. There was a slightly higher percentage from the 1980s and 1990s which I hadn't read, but not much. Unsurprisingly, since those stories DO get reprinted a lot more often -- but then they have more of them to reprint, since those stories on average have been better preserved, once it became apparent to the people at ACP that there was a lot of money to be made in reprint digests. The only way to account for the fact that FIVE out of the six stories reprinted here from the 1960s are from the single year 1965, and that three of those are from contiguous issues (#111-113) is that the preservation of those stories for reprinting purposes has been somewhat haphazard and random. But the book has 400 pages and sells for a cover price of ten bucks, so they can't be spending lots of money on scanning and touching up old stories... it's just not in the budget, so you get maybe ONE from each decade (1950s through 1980s) that hasn't been reprinted before.

The stories chosen from the 2000s, and from 2010 through 2014, especially, are all really fine stories (despite the poor sales of classic Archie comics in general), proving that they continued to put out some of the best stories ever right up to when they pulled the plug.

AND to make up for that, they reprint 75 pages of stories that are LESS than three years old in the 2010s section. Logistically, there's no justification for it. They don't reprint stories that recent in the ongoing digest titles (and by extension, the 1000 Page and Giant comics digests) do they? Of course not. The only reason they're reprinting the New Riverdale comics from 2015 through 2017 is in the hope that a few people picking up this trade collection still aren't aware that they exist, and they hope to sell a few more floppy comics and trade paperbacks. Those pages are ADVERTISING, pure and simple. Everyone else picking up a collection like this that has been following Archie Comics in anything more than the most casual of ways is already aware that those comics exist, and has already either read them, or made a conscious choice not to read them.

All About Archie / Re: Archie Comics May 2018 Solicitations
« on: February 24, 2018, 11:04:54 AM »
It's a cool image, but Veronica's tattoo seems like it's stretching things quite a bit for her character... I can't imagine her actually having something like that.

All About Archie / Re: Archie Comics May 2018 Solicitations
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:07:53 PM »
And in a related observation.... It's dead, Jim. Why waste money on new cover art?

All About Archie / Re: Archie Comics May 2018 Solicitations
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:41:00 AM »
And why IS it, exactly, that nearly EVERY floppy comic ACP publishes (and DC's, too) gets at LEAST one variant cover (unless, y'know, they decide it's a new #1 issue of a major ACP character that needs... oh, at least 25 variants)?  Seriously though. Take a look at those solicitations. All the floppy format comics have 2 variants (in addition to the regular cover "A") except RIVERDALE (which only has one variant). ONLY B&V FRIENDS FOREVER #1 has... ZERO variant covers.

... But a new BETTY AND VERONICA comic by Dan Parent?? It don't need no stinking variants!!  Either that's a HUGE vote of overconfidence, OR... they just consider it flushable.

AND now REGGIE can honestly boast that he got more variant covers on his first issue than Betty and Veronica did on their #1 issue.
WHERE'S THE G-D RESPECT,  that's what I wanna know. :tickedoff:

All About Archie / Re: Archie Comics May 2018 Solicitations
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:27:26 AM »
The longest-running ACP title of the 2000s is actually SABRINA, with 104 issues -- but despite the continued numbering, it's really four different series. SABRINA The Animated Series ran for 37 issues from 2000 to 2002, followed by SABRINA The Teenage Witch (by Holly G) for 20 issues from 2003 to 2004, followed by SABRINA The Magic Within (the manga by Tania Del Rio) for 43 issues from 2004-2009, followed by a 4-issue miniseries for YOUNG SALEM in 2009, wrapping up the 104 consecutively-numbered issues. The 43 issues of Sabrina the manga still holds the record for longest-running ACP series of the 2000s so far, unless the new ARCHIE can beat that record. (If we were to go back as far as 1995, the winner would be CHERYL BLOSSOM, adding up all of the issues of her various miniseries to her ongoing series of 37 issues, for a total of 50 Cheryl Blossom comic books.)

Even if the new ARCHIE title's run were to match Sabrina the Manga's previous record of 43 issues, I suspect we'd never see an issue #44. What would seem more likely is that the following issue would be numbered #700 (adding the previous 666 issues of the original ARCHIE's run to the new numbering), so that they could ballyhoo that, and benefit from a temporary sales bump (because that's just the way floppy comics marketing tends to work). And indeed, that's exactly what happened when the final issue of BETTY AND VERONICA was published.

In comic book shops, for January 2018, ARCHIE #27 sold 8,288 copies (making it the 208th best-selling title out of the 500 titles whose sales were listed), narrowly beaten out as the top-selling ACP title that month by JUGHEAD THE HUNGER #3 at 8,337 copies. For comparison's sake, in that same month, VIXENS #3 sold 5,435 copies, THE ARCHIES #4 sold 4,648 copies, RIVERDALE #10 sold 4,466, COSMO #1 sold 3,626, and MIGHTY CRUSADERS #2 sold a measly 2,226 copies*. Of course, we need to remember that that's ONLY the sales figures for comic shops (which is still a reliable majority of a floppy comic's sales numbers), and that the numbers represent the amounts of those titles ordered and paid for by RETAILERS, not the number of copies that were sold to CONSUMERS by those same retailers (although, that said, the lower the number of copies cited, the more likely it closely represents the actual number sold to consumers). We already know the fate of THE ARCHIES, COSMO, and MIGHTY CRUSADERS, so judge accordingly. THE ARCHIES might have been affected by factors having to do with securing the rights to the various bands appearing therein, which is why RIVERDALE, a slightly lower-selling title, could still continue where THE ARCHIES won't. At the moment, ARCHIE seems to be holding fairly steady at 8k+ copies per issue, which is sustainable at that level. Next year at this time, who knows. If ARCHIE sales were to dip to the 4k level, it would become an endangered title, but for now, it's good. VIXENS is closer to the borderline (if COSMO can be taken as an indicator), but they may be banking on the trade collections as the better-selling revenue stream, so it seems like (barring a sudden drop in those numbers) we'll get at least 10 issues to make up two TP volumes. Floppy comic sales generally trend downward over time as a rule, and a lot can happen within the space of 4 or 5 issues. RIVERDALE, of course, may continue simply because of the TV series, and to not publish a comic book tie-in would seem to make the company lose face, unless it really begins to bleed.

In trade paperback sales, ACP's best-seller for January was CHILLING ADVENTURES IN SORCERY, a collection of black-&-white reprints of ACP's 1970s horror comics, at 1,071 copies. Which doesn't sound too impressive until you stop to think about the cover price of $20, and realize that it ranked No. 68 out of 509 trade collections listed, putting it ahead of even a lot of Marvel and DC's trade collections in sales, so it seems likely that we'll see another such black-&-white collection of 1970s ACP horror comics -- and remember, without the additional cost of color printing, that makes each copy more profitable for ACP than a comparably-priced TP that sold about the same. The next best-selling ACP trade was JOSIE Vol. 2 at 578 copies (ranked No. 165 out of 509). An additional 253 copies of ARCHIE Vol. 1 TP (ranking No. 397 of 509) were ordered by retailers that month, which is something to factor into consideration of the continued publication of the ARCHIE floppy comic, as there would be a likely trickle-down readership for succeeding volumes.

At a guesstimate, considering both print and digital formats, I'd say that means the audience for the new ARCHIE has been something shy of 20,000 readers in total, with only about 8,000 being the hardcore "brand loyal" followers (who are going to follow whatever core Archie title ACP puts out) that have purchased and read every single issue in some form, and the remainder having sampled a portion of the run beyond #1 (heavily weighted towards those early Fiona Staples issues) at some point in whatever format. That's eliminating whatever duplicate copies of the print issues may have been sold to single collectors who own more than one copy, either for speculation purposes, or for variant cover artwork.

*MIGHTY CRUSADERS stands as a particularly egregious example of the inverse relationship that exists between floppy comic books that I like and floppy comic books that sell in today's comic shop market, so if I happen to mention in a post that I really liked a comic book, you should probably take that with a heavy sense of "DANGER!! DANGER, Will Robinson!!".

[All sales figures sourced from]

All About Archie / Re: Archie Comics May 2018 Solicitations
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:19:45 PM »
Hmm. Apparently I was wrong about VIXENS. It just skipped one month's solicitations between story arcs and #6 begins a new story... so I guess it's probably going to go until at least issue #10.

I'll be surprised if ARCHIE makes it as far as #50, but somewhere around #40 I can see it running out of steam. Which is still actually pretty good for ACP, for just about anything in the last couple of decades.

Cool retro variant cover on COSMO #5!

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