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What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[Today at 10:49:04 pm]


My thoughts on the upcoming Archie 1941 miniseries taking the main series place by Terry1
[Today at 04:25:27 pm]


What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 06:07:05 am]


Xinyu 130 Class Enameled Copper Wire Supplier by copperwirexinyu
[Today at 02:56:02 am]


ARCHIE COMICS FOR NOVEMBER 2017 by CanScatC
[September 23, 2018, 08:47:54 pm]


Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[September 23, 2018, 05:34:14 pm]


Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[September 23, 2018, 12:02:16 pm]


What is Archie doing for NYCC 2018? by Terry1
[September 23, 2018, 10:50:48 am]


What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[September 20, 2018, 10:18:25 pm]


Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[September 20, 2018, 04:00:34 pm]

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Refresh History
  • Tuxedo Mark: My reviews of all four stories from betty and Veronica #270: [link] [link] [link] [link]
    September 23, 2018, 05:36:07 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Presumably with an ongoing B&V series, they'd want to keep it nominally in continuity with the ongoing ARCHIE title.
    September 22, 2018, 07:03:48 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Oh, I hadn't noticed that the story is "Senior Year", so that explains it. It's a one-off story arc, just like "Freshman Year". They're not going to keep them as seniors permanently, or have them graduate and go on to college in an ongoing series.
    September 22, 2018, 06:59:24 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Probably just a space-filler while they look for a better writer than Jaime Rotante. I hope.
    September 22, 2018, 12:08:34 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Wait a minute. Betty and Veronica is only a five-issue miniseries?
    September 21, 2018, 08:31:21 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Archie Comic solicitations for October 2018: [link]
    September 21, 2018, 05:36:35 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Check out Stadium Comics' entire line of Archie Comics RE variant covers here: [link] All are homages to famous Marvel or DC cover images.
    September 20, 2018, 09:05:41 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Those are RE (retailer exclusive) variants available only from Stadium Comics. Here's another cool one they have, a variant of ARCHIE 1941 #1 [link]
    September 20, 2018, 09:01:16 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Anyone ever see these B&V Friends Forever variant covers? [link]
    September 19, 2018, 10:15:05 am
  • BettyReggie: I saw the covers for Archie #701. I love Pitilli's.
    September 18, 2018, 09:27:43 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fashion Fantabulous!" from B&V #271: [link]
    September 13, 2018, 07:34:29 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: It seems like they put extras on a disc because people expect them, or it helps drive sales, but more often than not, it seems like very little thought goes into the content. Of course there are some examples where the extras are exceptional, but usually that's not the case.
    September 10, 2018, 11:42:47 am
  • irishmoxie: I love digital movies and streaming. I usually get the Blu-ray Disc because I like to watch the extras the first time and then end up adding the digital code online or rip it and put it on the hard drive. Just much more convenient to stream it then search for the disc when I want to watch it.
    September 08, 2018, 05:29:56 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The Breakfast Club" from Riverdale #2: [link]
    September 05, 2018, 06:28:58 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: That's some good reading. Hope they'll put out a Volume 2, and that it'll be just as nearly complete as the first one.
    September 03, 2018, 08:55:41 am
  • BettyReggie: Archie Comics Present Betty & Veronica Spectular Graphic Novel came today.
    September 02, 2018, 03:57:33 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Supply and Demand!" from World of Archie Digest #81: [link]
    September 01, 2018, 08:14:51 pm
  • zhanjiao1212: a1cb584468
    August 31, 2018, 05:33:06 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: On the other hand, maybe I should just bypass the Blu-Ray format altogether, buy a huge terabyte HD, and download everything. There's something to be said for that, in that you can get everything quicker and stacks of Blu-Ray cases aren't taking up space in your house, I guess.
    August 27, 2018, 03:19:15 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: This coming from a guy who still hasn't capitulated to the inevitable domination of Blu-Ray. It's getting to the point where I might have to relent, since I've seen some anime sets being released for the first time on Blu-Ray (no combo pak) with NO release of a DVD version.
    August 27, 2018, 03:09:15 pm

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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1
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: Today at 06:07:05 am »
MEGA MAN by Ian Flynn (w), Ben Bates & various artists:
MEGA MAN #01-04 - Let the Games Begin
MEGA MAN #05-08 - Time Keeps Slipping
MEGA MAN #09-12 - The Return of Dr. Wily
MEGA MAN #13-16 - Spiritus Ex Machina
MEGA MAN #17-18 - Proto-Type
MEGA MAN #19-20 - Roll With It + Rock of Ages
MEGA MAN #21-23 - Countdown
  - At this point, I quit buying Mega Man from issues #24-27 until the crossover with the Sonic titles ended. I wasn't going to buy all those extra comics with characters that didn't interest me (which would have amounted to 4 issues of Sonic the Hedgehog plus 4 issues of Sonic Universe) just to follow the story in those four issues of Mega Man.
MEGA MAN #28-33 - Blackout: The Curse of Ra Moon
MEGA MAN #34-36 - Shadow of Ra Moon + The Trial of Dr. Wily
MEGA MAN X FCDB 2014 - The X Factor
MEGA MAN #37-40 - Dawn of X
MEGA MAN #41-44 - Legends of the Blue Bomber
MEGA MAN #45-48 - The Ultimate Betrayal
MEGA MAN    #49 - Prisoners of War
MEGA MAN FCBD 2015 Worlds Unite Prelude
MEGA MAN: WORLDS UNITE BATTLES #1
  - Once again, I skipped buying Mega Man #50-52 because the story was a crossover with the Sonic titles.)
MEGA MAN    #54 - Red Shift (story takes place before issue #53)
MEGA MAN    #53 - Blue Shift
MEGA MAN    #55 - Everlasting Peace
 - Unfortunately, the final story arc of MEGA MAN never concluded due to the interruption of the plot by the "Worlds Unite" crossover with Sonic in issues #50-52. The final MEGA MAN story's plot had Proto Man tricked by Dr. Wily into kidnapping Dr. Cossack's daughter Kalinka, and Wily holding her hostage as leverage to coerce Dr. Cossack into attacking Mega Man with a new group of Robot Masters. After unburdening himself to Dr. Noele LaLinde and discovering Wily's deception, Proto Man vowed to correct his mistake and rescue Kalinka from Wily's clutches, but we never got to see that, or Mega Man's battle against Dr. Cossack's Robot Masters. The crossovers with Sonic really were an annoying interruption, because in both cases all the characters involved are returned to their respective universes moments after they left, with no memory of the events which had transpired, picking up the plot exactly where they'd left it prior to the crossover. As it was, it looks like the decision to end the title was made at the last moment, and knowing there was no way of squeezing a hurried confrontation and climax into the single issue #55, instead that issue's story was sort of a hallucinatory homage where Dr. Light has visions of the future -- which were all full-page panels showing the characters from the many Mega Man sequels in the franchise, along with minimal caption text boxes -- as a tribute/send-off of the title. Had those four issues (50, 51, 52, and 55) also been devoted to advancing the plot begun in issue #49, Ian Flynn could easily have wrapped up the series and ended on a satisfying conclusion, and Dr. Light's final vision of the future could have been condensed down to a half-dozen pages or so with smaller panels.

MEGA MAN was the comic book title that made me a regular customer of ACP for the first time since THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS in the 1980s. In retrospect, I wish that ACP had gotten the license to the character 15 or 20 years earlier. It might have made me more aware of what was going on in other ACP titles being published at that time ("Love Showdown", CHERYL BLOSSOM, SABRINA, JOSIE (in ARCHIE & FRIENDS), BETTY & VERONICA/SPECTACULAR, Craig Boldman & Rex Lindsey's JUGHEAD, etc.), and resulted in me becoming an Archie Comics fan much earlier. That, and the fact that I wish I could have read 250+ issues of this title like SONIC THE HEDGEHOG racked up.

I am not a gamer; never have been. What attracted me to MEGA MAN (known as ROCKMAN in Japan) were the appealing character designs and the ongoing theme of robots. I knew virtually nothing about the characters of this franchise prior to having read Ian Flynn's comic stories. As far as the robot theme goes, MEGA MAN carries on where one of my favorite mangas, Osamu Tezuka's ASTRO BOY, left off. Not only are the themes identical, but the character of Mega Man (a boy robot hero who fights bad robots, and feels bad about fighting them because he's pacifistic by nature) has many similarities to Astro Boy himself. Rock (Mega Man's real name) was made to be a helper robot, and it's part of his basic programming to be helpful. He was never meant to be a fighting robot, and in many ways he embodies the innocence, virtue and naivete of a real boy whose age he appears to be. This could have been a very simple comic book with a good robot hero fighting bad robots with varied appearances and special abilities, but Ian Flynn put a lot into making the large cast of robot characters all individuals who act & react differently. Even the evil archenemy Dr. Wily, while still your basic megalomanical villain, is given nuances not necessarily required by the story. He really did a fantastic job writing this, and put much more into it than "just a job" -- you could feel he had real enthusiasm to be working with these characters. Additionally, Ian Flynn added some original characters to the mix that did not appear in the Japanese videogames: Federal agents Rosalyn Krantz and Gil D. Stern, roboticist Dr. Noele LaLinde and her robotic creations Tempo/Quake Woman and Vesper Woman. The addition of new female characters was especially appreciated, since the original Japanese game has very few female characters (being a videogame marketed mainly to younger boys, that's to be expected). As much as I like Mega Man himself, I think my favorite storyline turned out to be "Dawn of X" (and I fervently wished that there had been a MEGAMAN X spinoff series other than the one-shot FCBD 2014 giveaway), and my favorite ongoing character, Proto Man (a.k.a. Blues or Break Man).

MEGA MAN by Hitoshi Ariga:
MEGA MAN MASTERMIX #1-3 (Udon/Capcom, 80 pages)
MEGA MAN MEGAMIX TP VOL 1-3 (Udon/Capcom)
MEGA MAN GIGAMIX TP VOL 1-3 (Udon/Capcom)

MEGA MAN ROBOT MASTER FIELD GUIDE TP (Udon/Capcom, Jan 2012)
MEGA MAN & MEGA MAN X: OFFICIAL COMPLETE WORKS TP (Udon/Capcom)

Just like with Ian Flynn's American comics, you could feel the love that Hitoshi Ariga possesses for the MEGA MAN characters. Hitoshi Ariga's manga version spans the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, but it's hard to tell if Ian Flynn read or was influenced by any of those stories (all had appeared in these translated collections from Udon Studios prior to the beginning of Ian Flynn's ACP comic series). Some of the stories have similar elements to ACP's comic book, but the characters often appear in far different situations, and the specifics of the stories vary greatly. Both authors tell completely different stories based on the game MEGA MAN 4, with the major threat being Ra Moon (in Ian Flynn's version) and Dark Moon (in Hitoshi Ariga's version) -- they have identical appearances -- but the two stories themselves having almost nothing else in common, except that they are both excellent stories. Hitoshi Ariga's manga had greater range (or a less consistent tone, depending on how you wanted to look at it, as a positive or a negative) in that while some of the longer stories (like the aforementioned Dark Moon/To A Shining Tomorrow, which takes up the latter half of Gigamix Vol. 2 and the entirety of Vol. 3) tended towards the ultra-dramatic, some shorter stories in Megamix Vol. 1 & 2, and Gigamix Vol. 1 & 2, were definitely more on the lighthearted, comedic side of things. At the extreme end of the comedy range, some of them were merely a series of short 4-panel gag strips. I didn't perceive this to be a bad thing at all, and enjoyed both types of stories. MASTERMIX (in the traditional floppy comics format, but reading from right-to-left, manga-style) presents the more dramatic stories from both the Gigamix and Megamix volumes at a larger size, and in color for the first time.



2
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 19, 2018, 02:34:21 pm »
THE COMPLETE ALICE IN WONDERLAND HC (Dynamite)
B & V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #264
DICK TRACY: DEAD OR ALIVE #1
(of 4)
THE LONG CON #1
BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #5
INFINITY 8 VOL 2 #3
(of 3)
CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL 2018
UNCLE SCROOGE #444
STELLAR #4
HIT-GIRL #8
KICK-ASS #7
ICE CREAM MAN #7
HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION #11
BURNOUTS #1
BY NIGHT #4
RICK & MORTY PRESENT SLEEPY GARY #1
DEVILMAN GRIMOIRE VOL 04

3
A selective chronology (firsts & lasts), which I'll present without further comment:

2009 Sep  BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR #90 (final issue)
2009 Sep  SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #104 (final issue; Note: last 4 issues were a Young Salem miniseries)
2009 Oct  ARCHIE #600 (Archie Marries: #600-605)
2010 Sep  LIFE WITH ARCHIE #1 (The Married Life)
2010 Dec  WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #1
2011 Jan  B&V FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #209 (1st issue)
2011 Feb  ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #1
2011 Jul  MEGA MAN #1
2011 Jul  VERONICA #206 (final issue as VERONICA)
2011 Aug  KEVIN KELLER V.1 #1 [of 4] (miniseries = VERONICA #207-210)
2012 Jan  BETTY #195 (final issue)
2012 Feb  ARCHIE & FRIENDS #159 (final issue)
2012 Sep  JUGHEAD V.2 #214 (final issue)
2012 Oct  NEW CRUSADERS #1 [of 6]
2013 Dec  THE FOX V.1 #1 [of 5]
2014 Jan  ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #33 (final issue)
2014 Mar  ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #1 (replacing ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST)
2014 Apr  JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST #200 (final issue)
2014 Jun  JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #1 (replacing JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST)
2014 Sep  LIFE WITH ARCHIE #37 (final issue)
2014 Nov  KEVIN KELLER V.2 #15 (final issue)
2015 Jul   ARCHIE #666 (final issue)
2015 Oct  THE FOX V.2 #5 [of 5] (final issue)
2015 Dec  BETTY AND VERONICA V.2 #278 [=V.1 #625] (final issue)
2016 Jan  MEGA MAN #55 (final issue)
2016 Oct  ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES #1 (one-shot)
2017 Sep  YOUR PAL ARCHIE #1 [of 5]
2017 Oct  JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #27 (final issue)
2017 Nov  ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #28 (final issue)
2018 Feb  YOUR PAL ARCHIE #5 (final issue)

not listed:
  Trade paperback & hardcover collections
  Digital exclusives (DILTON #1-4, REGGIE & ME #1-4, JINX #1-4, LIFE WITH KEVIN #1-4)
  Archie Horror titles
  New Riverdale titles
  Dark Circle titles
  Sonic titles

edit: Added a couple more titles.

4
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 13, 2018, 02:44:09 am »
BETTY AND VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #266 - BOO!!!  Although otherwise another good issue, I have to blow a big raspberry at ACP for their editorial alteration of the reprint of the story "Art Gal Awry!" (original dialogue by Rod Ollerenshaw, art by Dan DeCarlo). It's only a 3-pager. Normally, the editorial alterations don't bug me that much, but in this case, the motive behind it was venal and self-serving for ACP. This is the story where Veronica drags Betty along to a fine arts gallery show, then rambles on about her knowledge of fine art. Betty has no appreciation of the world of fine art (which after all, amounts to some collective judgment by supposed experts). In the original story, this is all leading up to a punch line where one of Veronica's friends asks Betty who her favorite artist is. Her answer is "My favorite artist is Dan DeCarlo! After all, where would this story be without him?" Here, the dialogue has been altered to the friend asking Betty "Who are your favorite artistS?" and Betty's reply is "My favorite artists are the Archie Comics staff!" Shame on ACP for being so low and self-serving as to alter the original story. Yes, the point is not that there was any outstanding artist. According to ACP philosophy, the names and individual talents of the artists are unimportant -- the only thing important is that they were deemed worthy of employment by ACP. Apart from that, they are each and every one of them equally talented, with none standing out. The point here is that Dan DeCarlo and Thomas Pitilli are the same and equal, because Archie deemed both worthy of employment at one time. Pay no attention to those credits, because the important thing is that they all drew stories featuring characters that the company owns. That is LOW and rotten.

BETTY AND ME #101 (Apr-79)

ARCHIE'S PALS 'n' GALS #136 (Oct-79) - Although this is from the pre-credits era, all stories here appear to be by Bob Bolling (although writing credits are harder to guess). There's one story in here "Games People Play", which is labeled as a Big Moose story, but really seems to be as much about Midge. The unlikely premise here is that while at the beach, Midge is engaged in a game of chess with Archie, which frustrates Moose because he doesn't understand the game, and there's nobody he can punch out to satisfy his frustration. So here's Midge lying on a blanket wearing a black bikini playing chess at the beach (seems pretty unlikely). Now the most interesting thing is that in the next panel, Dilton says he'll play the winner of this game, so if Midge wins, she has another game coming up. Moose wanders off, forlornly. When he comes back, Midge is playing another game, this time a word game where the players all yell out letters (I wasn't familiar with the game, and they don't go into further detail, other than it's just another frustration for Moose). He's informed by Archie that they finished playing chess, and that "Midge is the champ". Now, Dilton doesn't appear in the next few panels here or have any comment on what Archie just said, but the implication here is that Midge beat Archie (not too difficult to believe), and then played Dilton and beat him at chess also. Of course this is the Bolling-Archiverse, where oddball things happen which never seem to happen in the 'regular' Archiverse, but the ramifications of the revelation of Midge Klump being smart enough to beat Dilton Doiley at chess are mind-boggling, and call into question what exactly is Midge's deal, and why does she date Moose? I guess maybe you could infer something like trying to concentrate on playing chess while staring at Midge sitting so close wearing that black bikini was beyond even Dilton's ability to stay focused, but it seems more reasonable to suppose that the likelier implication is Midge really does have an unexpectedly keen intelligence. Something to think about.

PEP #348 (Apr-79)

ARCHIE 1941 #1 (of 5) - I read it to satisfy my curiosity. Can't say it motivated me to read issue #2.

ROCKY & BULLWINKLE SHOW #3
MOON MAID #1
(Fear on Four Worlds, Part II)
ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK #2
KAIJUMAX SEASON 4 #2 (of 6)
TITANS #25
HAWKMAN #4
PLASTIC MAN #4
(of 6)
WRONG EARTH #1
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #1

manga:
  CUTIE HONEY CLASSIC COLLECTION HC
  DEMENTIA 21 GN
  PRISON SCHOOL GN VOL 1 & 2
(of 10)

5
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 07, 2018, 03:36:50 pm »
I'm waiting for the graphic novel of "Vampironica" but I'm glad to see you like the art. I thought Afterlife With Archie was an absolute masterpiece and I say this as someone who is not a horror fan at all. Issue 10 about the origin of Josie and the Pussycats is one of my favorite issues of any comic EVER.


The fact that Archie Comics dropped the ball on Afterlife and CHAOS when they were their best selling titles is ridiculous. I can't imagine any other comic company being so horribly managed.  I admit I know next to nothing about other comic companies, but to not milk your best properties is just mind boggling.

Well, what can they do? Those titles aren't going to sell worth a hill of beans if all of a sudden someone else takes over Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's storylines and starts taking them in their own direction. Unfortunately or not, their sales are pretty much dependent on the fact that he's been the writer. Those are HIS stories, not someone else's.

And where are RAS's talents arguably being put to use that's of the most value to ACP?  Um, RIVERDALE, you think maybe?

That said, it's apparent that Greg Smallwood (who both draws and co-writes VAMPIRONICA) is putting a great deal of care into the title from both ends of the process. He's researched his subject matter, and lets us know it with those short "Riverdale Gazette" text pieces, which show he's not just knocking these issues out, like "What's to know about vampires? Anyone can write a vampire story" --- which may be true enough, but not everyone can write a GOOD one. Another thing I like here is his making some unusual choices, like when push comes to shove, who stands up to become the first of Riverdale's "fearless vampire hunters"? The easy choice would have been Betty Cooper, or (boring old) Archie Andrews... yawn. Nope, the one who "hero's up" first is Dilton Doiley! Good show, Mr. Smallwood! That said, this title seems to come out once every three months (still a lot better than AwA or ChAoS), so you may be waiting a while still until they get 4 or 5 issues out that it takes to make up a TPB.

6
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 07, 2018, 06:01:31 am »
MARVEL MANGAVERSE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP by Ben Dunn, Udon, C.B. Cebulski & Tommy Ohtsuka & various
MARVEL NEW MANGAVERSE: THE RINGS OF FATE (2006 digest/tankobon) by C.B. Cebulski & Tommy Ohtsuka

ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE VOL 04 tankobon - This is an amazing series. I originally picked it up knowing next to nothing about it, just taking a chance. It's been great so far, a nice balance of drama/sci-fi with more personality interaction and humor. At first it seems to set up huge mysteries based on seemingly improbable coincidences, but in this volume most of the mysteries are explained and all the pieces fall together in a neat way that I didn't exactly predict, and the answers are shocking, but just when you (and the protagonists) are getting used to this major revelation, a new HUGE plot twist is added as a cliffhanger ending to this volume (although in fairness, it's something that had some foreshadowing in previous volumes). It's a neat surprise to see how imaginative this series turned out to be.

VALIANT HIGH TP - I'm not a fan of Valiant Comics. Never really cared for that universe of characters. I followed the first version of the company, back in the 1990s, when they licensed the old Gold Key Comics characters Solar, Magnus, and Turok... but only for the first couple of years, until they fired Jim Shooter, who had been responsible for starting the whole thing (and writing the key titles SOLAR and MAGNUS) in the first place. After that (with the exception of Tim Truman's later work on the TUROK Dinosaur Hunter title) I pretty much lost all interest in Valiant. The first incarnation of the company folded up sometime in the late 1990s. When Valiant resurrected itself in the 2000s, it was run by completely different people, and they didn't license the old GK characters any more. I'd never been interested much in the newer characters created in the 1990s, which are all the IPs that the new version of the company retained. I'm vaguely familar with the ones who headlined their own titles back in the 1990s, but that's all. It's hard to tell whether "Valiant High" is just them having some fun with the characters, or if this is really supposed to be in-continuity as far as their mainline universe is concerned. It didn't matter to me, as the main characters in this four-issue miniseries were all ones I wasn't familiar with anyway. But it works, largely on the charm (you should excuse the pun) of Derek Charm's artwork, which is the thing that attracted me to read this in the first place. I kind of liked it, but am a little disappointed that that's all there is to is, just the four issues. Hopefully if it sold well enough it could become an ongoing title, or at least a once-every-so-often series of miniseries. It was fun, and not afraid to be humorous.

VAMPIRONICA #3 - Greg Smallwood's artwork on this title is pretty amazing. I'm not sure what medium he's using, but all the lines look really textured, like some kind of charcoal pencil shading, or maybe a grease pencil -- or maybe it's even a Photoshop effect created after scanning in the original raw pencils. I'd be curious to know how he does it. Anyway, it's a unique effect I can't really recall ever seeing in another comic artist's work. The story is pretty decent, too... I'm kind of mind-boggled by this short text piece in the "Riverdale Gazette" in this issue that gives a very concise (2/3rds of a page) textual summary of the of the very real historical personage Prince Vlad Tepes III, a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler", otherwise known as Dracula (and it explains where that name came from). He may not have been an actual vampire in real life, but he was just as scary, if not more so, for all of that. Definitely the best of Archie's Horror titles so far.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #2
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP #5 (of 5)
ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
SILVER SURFER ANNUAL #1


GIANT ROBOT WARRIOR MAINTENANCE CREW TP - Collecting a short (3-issue) miniseries from 2014 about the trials and tribulations of maintaining the operating capabilities of a giant robot mecha. Funny.

NEW LIEUTENANTS OF METAL #3 (of 4)
UNNATURAL #3 (of 12)
BY NIGHT #2 & 3
UNITED STATES VS MURDER INC #1 (of 6)

MANGAMAN OGN TP (2011 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Barry Lyga & Colleen Doran - An interesting concept, where a manga character is sucked through a dimensional portal to become a character in a western-style comic book, and dealing with all the cultural differences between Japanese and western-style comics, to comedic effect. Colleen Doran has always been a talented artist, and it's too bad you don't see her drawing more mainstream projects for the bigger publishers.

7
Reviews / LIFE WITH ARCHIE Volume 1 - Contents list & review
« on: August 31, 2018, 06:16:23 am »


   issue      cvr date       title      pgs      story      pencils      
   [LwA #  1]      Sep-58      Rise and Shine      6      Sy Reit      Samm Schwartz      
   [LwA #  1]      Sep-58      By Hook or Cook      5      Sy Reit      Samm Schwartz      
   [LwA #16]      Sep-62      Hi-Jinks and Deep Divers!      23      Sy Reit      Bob White      
   [LwA #23]      Oct-63      A Very Lodge Problem      23      Sy Reit      Bob White      
   [LwA #26]      Mar-64      The Great Carnival Mystery!      23      Sy Reit      Bob White      
   [LwA #27]      May-64      The Strange Case of Patient X!      24      George Gladir      Bob White      
   [LwA #30]      Oct-64      Power Play      6      Frank Doyle      Harry Lucey      
   [LwA #30]      Oct-64      Oh Poi      6      Frank Doyle      Harry Lucey      
   [LwA #31]      Nov-64      Rough, Tough - But Fair Enough!      24      George Gladir      Bob White      
   [LwA #33]      Jan-65      A Christmas Tale      13      Frank Doyle      Bob White      
   [LwA #33]      Jan-65      Me Tarpan, You Jane!      11      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      
   [LwA #34]      Feb-65      The Beatnik Caper!      13      Bob White      Bob White      
   [LwA #35]      Mar-65      It's A Small World!      13      Frank Doyle      Bob White      
   [LwA #35]      Mar-65      Plane and Fancy!      10      Frank Doyle      Bob White      
   [LwA #37]      May-65      Plane Crazy!      13      George Gladir      Bob White      
   [LwA #39]      Jul-65      Taking Up Space      5      Bob Bolling      Bob Bolling      
                     218                  

This is all classic Silver Age ACP material, so if rated by content alone, this collection would get an "A". We can note here that in the earliest stages of LwA, Sy Reit seems to be the default writer, while Bob White was (as indeed he continued to be until the later 1960s) the default artist of this title. I always felt that Bob White never got enough recognition for his contributions to the company, so hopefully this collection will go some ways towards rectifying that.

While not as spotty a collection as ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL 1, this book still falls far short of being ideal (in other words, a lot closer to what BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL 1 was). What I'm seeing here is just a rearranging of stories I recognized as having mostly read in digest reprints prior to this. They're good stories, and some of the wilder plots as far as Archie stories go. In sharp contrast to the ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL 1, while these are also atypical Archie stories for the most part, comedy still remains central despite all the outlandishness, so big points for that. The single story which is probably the highlight of this collection is "Rough, Tough - But Fair Enough!" (the title given on the contents page doesn't actually appear on the story itself, and was taken from the -- here unreproduced -- cover copy). This is the one where Archie and the gang visit the 1964 World's Fair (and a counterpart to a similar JOSIE epic). The most amazing part of this is a 10-page chase sequence motivated by a randomly-introduced incidental character, a taxi driver at the fair. George Gladir had real fun with this one, but I almost think it reads more like a Frank Doyle story... I wonder.

Another thing to note is the first two stories in this collection. Read carefully between the lines of those first two short from LwA #1. In the first story "Rise and Shine", Archie seemingly misses out on an opportunity to attend a class field trip. The next story in this collection "By Hook or Cook", from the same issue, shows the students have just returned from the aforementioned field trip, and Archie is among them -- so in the four stories from LwA #1 NOT reprinted here that came between the two that ARE reprinted ("Please Be Seated," "Mummy Knows Best," "Water Boy," "U.N. Antics" -- story titles courtesy of GCDb), something has occurred which resulted in Archie getting to go on that field trip after all. Too bad the rest of issue #1 is not reprinted so we could see what it was. But what's notable here (as was typically the case with She's JOSIE stories) is that the individual stories in a single issue actually maintain continuity between them.

Overall grade:  B+ (would have rated much higher if they hadn't skipped so many issues, particularly between issues #2 and 15, and between #17 and 22).

8
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 23, 2018, 04:07:22 pm »
One other thing I noticed was that ACP had two full-page ads in that issue, but I guess they just love to flush an opportunity to make some money right down the drain. What are the ads for? The New Riverdale trades and the Riverdale TV series. Uh... yeah, thanks for bringing those to our attention, we somehow just spaced out and plain didn't realize they existed.

Apparently they don't bother targeting the ads to the consumer base of the magazine they're advertising in. It's for fans of BRONZE AGE comics, you dummies!!! Instead of trying to target the ads to spotlight the creme-de-la-creme of their existing trade collections of classic Archie material (and oh, as long as they're at it... how about selling some of those Red/Dark Circle trades in a magazine whose usual readership is superhero fans?). What about selling some digest subscriptions and 1000-Page Comics bricks? No, they waste the ad space on something pretty much everyone already knows about. If they care about such things (in itself doubtful), BACK ISSUE's readers have already bought the comics or trades, and watched the show, but what they might NOT be aware of is the digests are still being published (because you don't really SEE them much in comic book stores), and that ACP has an extensive line of material targeted towards readers who already LOVE the old classic stories from the 1970s and 1980s. The Best of Archie Comics Deluxe HCs? "Archie Comics Presents..."? Archie Americana? They could easily have squeezed the covers of 25 different TP collections onto a single magazine-sized ad page. Nah, just toss 'em the same old ads we run in the digests and regular floppy comics we publish. It's not the same audience, you idiots!!

9
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 23, 2018, 08:43:13 am »
BACK ISSUE #107 - Archie Comics in the Bronze Age!

3

I got this one too. Just starting on it.  Cool stuff!

It is indeed an awesome magazine! TBH, I was expecting that maybe about 1/3 to 1/2 of the issue would focus on Archie-related articles, and the rest on the usual hodgepodge of different features. Was I pleasantly surprised to discover that the entire 75-page magazine was devoted to Archie Comics, and nothing else! My mind was boggled JUST by the amount of surprising (and unknown to me) information in the very first article. Things I didn't know, and in some cases, hadn't even thought to wonder about -- truly a treasure-trove of ACP data. I hope everyone here will buy the magazine -- they will NOT be disappointed -- because I can envision the possibility that if that issue were to sell particularly well, TwoMorrows might decide to use it as the basis for an expanded trade paperback (they usually run somewhere in the neighborhood of 250-300 pages) with even more critical information, articles, and data. For example, they could have listed all the album tracks from The Archies' albums, and all the NEW episodes in each of the various Filmation animated incarnations of Archie and Sabrina. They definitely could have included an article on Josie and the Pussycats, perhaps even one about the Madhouse Glads, and maybe they could have even dug up an older interview with Dan DeCarlo that had been published years ago in some more obscure, little-seen fanzine. They should definitely include a more detailed article focusing on the publishing history of the Archie digests, as well as one on Archie collectibles. It would not be the first time TwoMorrows has expanded on a single-issue magazine focus on one particular publisher, in a later-published, greatly expanded trade paperback collection.

10
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 21, 2018, 03:14:18 am »
None. I've decided to give up reading comics. It's gotten too expensive.


No way!


Yeah, as IF !   :2funny:

Even if I was able, or was forced to, stop buying them, I'd never stop reading them. If I never bought another comic from this day on, I have enough comics in my house right NOW that if I were to read each one only ONCE again, I'd still never be able finish reading them all before I died. So not only would I have to have NO money before I stopped buying them, I'd also need to lose my house and everything in it, and become a homeless person before I stopped reading comics -- and I'm not sure even THAT would stop me completely. If I were homeless and jobless, then I guess I'd also have plenty of free time for hanging around the public library, and if I could use their computers as well, then I'd be able to find even MORE comics to read online. So I'd say that the only way that I could EVER stop reading comics is if I was dead or totally blind, or all the comics in the world somehow permanently disappeared overnight.

I just stopped reading them for a few hours today so I could read this instead:




11
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 13, 2018, 01:10:08 am »
Ménage à ZOMBIES (one-shot) - Floppy comic spinoff of Ménage à 3, by Dave Lumsdon and Fernando Ruiz. The injection of zombies into the otherwise more real-world universe of Ménage à 3 makes this an out-of-continuity flight-of-fantasy. Possibly the idea was a tongue-in-cheek poke at ACP's Afterlife With Archie. The story was originally created as bonus content for the most recent Ménage à 3 tankobon collection, but is presented here as a standalone one-shot in color.

BETTY AND VERONICA DIGEST (1990s) #56, 57, 62, 68, 69, 80 - Purchased for a buck each. Most of the stories were ones I'd previously read, reprinted in more recent B&V digest issues. I'll pick these older digests up if they're cheap, but they're not really on my want list, per se. I'm really only focusing on collecting certain digest titles that I missed from around 2005 to present (varies according to each title): Betty and Veronica, Betty and Veronica Double, B&V Friends Double, Tales From Riverdale, Jughead & Friends, Jughead Double, Archie & Friends Double, World of Archie Double. Many or most of these had at least some new (at the time) stories besides the usual reprints.

manga:
THE BIG O, Vol. 1-6 tankobon (2002-2004) by Hitoshi Ariga - This was another manga series (like GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX by Yu Kinutani) that was based on an anime TV series, rather than the other way around. Unlike that other series though, these stories weren't just straight adaptations of the TV episodes, but new stories based on the TV characters. The anime and character designs have the same sort of 'dark deco' sensibility as Batman The Animated Series, because it was a co-production between Sunrise Studios in Japan and Cartoon Network in America. There's a lot of homages to older Japanese anime and tokusatsu TV shows, as well as retro design homages to 1960s style. Hitoshi Ariga (who also did the manga based on MegaMan in Japan, which Udon studios is currently reprinting in thick, standard-format color comics) did a good job on this, even though he was feeling his way along at first, having started serializing the manga in MAGAZINE Z in Japan 3 months prior to the on-air debut of the anime. The TV series eventually ran 26 episodes, so it was nice to get some new stories featuring those characters in the manga series.

12
All About Archie / Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« on: July 28, 2018, 07:28:20 am »
The Diamond Comics Distribution solicitations for the month of October's Archie Comics are out:
https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog?pub=ARCHIE%20COMIC%20PUBLICATIONS

So they managed to sneak in the solicit for ARCHIE #699 ahead of #700, after all. And it's a $1.00 "the story so far" kind of catch-up issue, to try to entice those people who haven't been reading ARCHIE. I assume that that loss-leader cover price can only mean that this is a sort of cut-and-paste reprint comic, composed of various key scenes from pages and panels that previously appeared somewhere before during the run of issues from ARCHIE #1 to 32, with a minimal number of newly-drawn framing panels to stitch all the bits and pieces together. But it does go to prove what I suspected, that the #700 issue won't be another reboot, just a change in creative team and a minor course-correction to steer the title in a direction more similar to that of the TV series Riverdale.

Quote
ARCHIE #699



(W) Mark Waid, Ian Flynn (A) Various (CA) Marguerite Sauvage

Follow along as Archie reflects back on the past several years of storylines including: the much-talked about #LipstickIncident, the arrival of the Lodge family, the Riverdale Civil War, the machinations of the Blossom Twins, the near-tragedy of "Over the Edge" and more! This special issue sets the stage for next month's landmark 700th issue of ARCHIE! Based on stories by Mark Waid and Ian Flynn and featuring art by an assortment of ARCHIE talents.

In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
Diamond Code: AUG181571
SRP: $1.00

13
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 21, 2018, 01:38:05 am »

ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 #1
(of 6)


Debating on whether this is worth a purchase or not.

I LOVED it! (but what else would you expect?)  It's worth mentioning that it really should be ARCHIE '66 Meets Batman '66. So when you see Mrs. Lodge (who didn't have a first name in 1966), it's the 1966 version of Mrs. Lodge (i.e. a stout, matronly woman, with a hair bun). Veronica is wearing a minidress with a style similar to what you'd have seen her wearing in a 1966 Archie story. And it's really remarkable how much Mr. Lodge and Alfred (Batman's butler) resemble each other, but then that makes complete sense when you think about the actor that played Alfred on the 1966 Batman television series, and how he would look translated into the traditional Archie style. It's all those little touches of detail that make the story stand out from the POV of a fan of Archie comics. But then I guess it would depend on how you felt about the Batman TV series. At any rate, this is probably the last opportunity to read a long-form Dan Parent Archie story that we'll have for a while.

****

Since you asked about it before in the Shoutbox, I'll mention ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL 1 again. Originally, I was going to pass on picking this one up, and after reading it, I have to conclude that my initial gut impressions were correct. I relented in my initial conviction to skip it because I had a moment of doubt where I questioned whether my subjective impressions of that title might have been wrong. First off, this is not, as I might have expected, a complete chronological reprinting of the stories proceeding from ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH #1. It reprints stories from issue #1 through 33, but at 224 pages, obviously not ALL of the stories from those issues. Most curious of all is the fact that none of the stories reprinted features Chuck Clayton in a starring or co-starring role (in fact, I don't remember him having a significant part in any of the stories reprinted here). That's decidedly odd when you look at those 1970s issues of A@RH, because this title was the place that stories with Chuck most frequently appeared. Perhaps they purposely left those out, because the company's well-meaning attempts to promote racial/ethnic equality at the time might seem patronizing today without any contextual hindsight. The quality of the artwork is certainly on a par with other Archie stories from this same time period (1973-76), but storywise...

All of the stories are little didactic lessons in which Archie sees a problem and solves it. Nearly all the stories downplay or outright ignore the typical Archie situation comedy format. The stories all present Archie as sort of a role model for emulation by the young readers who would have picked up this comic in the early 1970s. It's hard to imagine Archie Comics publishing a title like this in the 1950s or early 1960s, but I chalk it up to the mass exposure Archie and friends were getting at the time in the Filmation animated cartoons on TV. Like the A@RH stories, the television stories ignored the rom-com and slapstick situations that were the main strength of the original comic books. Those stories as well as these are safe, squeaky-clean pro-social message stories like the few plots that television broadcast standards and practices censors of the time could find no fault with, and let pass for Saturday morning kid-vid. That's fine for the less-demanding childrens' audience, but not for adult comic readers looking purely for entertainment value.

The worst sin of these stories is that few if any of them derive the impetus for their plots from the standard character flaws, relationships, or motivations that are the hallmark of the best Archie stories. Jughead does nothing of any importance, nothing remotely Jughead-like, with the exception of lending support to Archie as a best friend, and even that plays into very few of the stories. Betty and Veronica don't display any traits of best-friendship or of competitive rivalry. The plots don't turn on the characters' motivations of jealousy, covetousness, selfishness, or ego competition. Only Reggie is allowed to maintain a small portion of his vanity and jerkiness in a few stories (again, reflecting the situation of the plots of the Filmation TV cartoons).

Taken as merely one of a dozen or so Archie-related titles that ACP published at the time, A@RH can be seen as simply providing some variety to the lineup of titles published by ACP, and having its own distinct flavor so that the stories appearing in each title seemed less totally interchangeable. Spread out as reprints in the digests, these stories merely seem like the raisins in an oatmeal cookie, which is fine -- but reading 224 pages of them at a sitting wears thin awfully fast. There are only a half-dozen or so basic plots in A@RH stories, the rest being merely slight variations or embellishment; Archie motivates the baseball/football/basketball/hockey team to win through teamwork or school spirit, Archie recognizes a problem and helps organize the students to pitch in to help the school or the community, and few basic others. They're a little obvious and repetitive, especially when read one after another in a collection this size. In short, boring! It's equally true that can also be said of the comedic situations in most Archie stories, but the variations on the same basic tropes seemed more like a challenge to the writers' inventiveness in many of those stories. There are maybe half-a-dozen stories in the whole collection that stick out or are memorable in any way.

14
No sense getting excited about any of these until they really happen and we can see what they actually are. The so-called newsbyte didn't even provide the most basic of details, like what networks the series are being produced for, or what animation studios are producing the shows. It's all just pie-in-the-sky until grounded with some factual details.

15
All About Archie / Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« on: July 12, 2018, 03:10:16 am »
I think I have a good guess about what the thinking was behind ARCHIE #700 and the new direction, leading off with the issue written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Marguerite Sauvage.

They were obviously aware far in advance of the various titles (the original ARCHIE, the Waid/Flynn new ARCHIE, and the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries) whose aggregate numbering would add up to the milestone issue #700.

The insertion of the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries as sort of a buffer between the end of the current-numbered ARCHIE with issue #32 and the return of the legacy numbering with issue #700 indicates to me that they had this new change of direction planned out with lots of production lead time. Nick Spencer may be the writer only on that single issue (#700), or on a single short story arc, as it would appear he had time to complete a small number of scripts for ACP before taking on the full-time writing chores of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (which shipped to comic shops this past Wednesday). Traditionally, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has been Marvel's best-selling title, as years of continuous publication have built up a large loyal fan base for that character, and ASM is the main in-continuity title he's featured in. Only DC's main BATMAN title and Marvel's AVENGERS come close in total sales per issue, on average. That means the writing gig on ASM has to be one of the best-paying in the comics industry, and ACP simply doesn't have the deep pockets to pay those kind of rates to writers on an ongoing series. Nick Spencer isn't going to take on a long-term gig writing scripts for another publisher while he's getting serious money writing for Marvel, but he might easily have knocked out a few scripts for ACP before starting on the ASM run for Marvel. It's true that Mark Waid took on writing assignments for Marvel  (an AVENGERS flashback 5-issue miniseries, CHAMPIONS #1-18, and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695-704) at the same time he was being credited for writing ARCHIE, but they weren't Marvel's top-selling titles, with the exception of the 16-part "No Surrender" story arc in AVENGERS #675-690 (which was being co-written by Waid along with two other writers, Al Ewing and Jim Zub), and by the time that last Marvel story was published, Waid was only being credited as co-writer (as of ARCHIE #28) along with Ian Flynn. Waid is also atypically prolific as a scripter. He was being co-credited for writing both THE AVENGERS and ARCHIE, while at the same time turning in full scripts for CHAMPIONS and CAPTAIN AMERICA. We will probably never know the exact breakdown of duties on the shared-credit writing assignments, but I suspect Waid may just have been turning in plot outlines that the other writers then fleshed out into a full script.

Putting the RIVERDALE title on hiatus made sense, because even with the tie-in to the popularity of the TV series, it wasn't selling well. ARCHIE #700 doesn't seem so much like another complete reboot as it is picking up the continuity from ARCHIE #32, and steering the series more in a direction which aligns it with some of the plot threads of the television series. In effect, they're attempting to hybridize the former New Riverdale ARCHIE title (which was the better-selling of the two ongoing titles) with the direct adaptation RIVERDALE, and cancelling the latter entirely. That's just based on the circumstances of existing sales and my reading between the lines of Nick Spencer's brief statement that "I don’t want to blow things up or do anything that would upset the long-term audience. It’s more like finding some conflicts that have some stakes, upping the drama level a little bit." He added that he would play into the soap opera aspect of the characters and "depict that in a way that the ‘Riverdale’ audience can appreciate and enjoy."

My guess would be that after either #700 (or the short story arc of 3 or 4 issues beginning in that issue), Ian Flynn would return as the regular scripter, continuing to follow the new 'more like Riverdale' direction set up by Spencer.

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