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What comics have you been reading? by rusty
[January 19, 2019, 02:29:50 pm]

Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[January 19, 2019, 11:17:29 am]

Won't get fooled again. by Vegan Jughead
[January 19, 2019, 07:19:49 am]

WANTED--Dan Parent Tattoo Prints by Captain Jetpack
[January 18, 2019, 06:43:46 am]

Archie and Reggie spend the night. by SAGG
[January 17, 2019, 11:28:56 pm]

Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[January 17, 2019, 03:31:49 pm]

What have you done today? by BettyReggie
[January 17, 2019, 03:23:12 pm]

Favorite Purchases of 2018 by DeCarlo Rules
[January 17, 2019, 06:04:57 am]

Sliding timeline by DeCarlo Rules
[January 17, 2019, 05:58:15 am]

Stan Lee has died by DeCarlo Rules
[January 17, 2019, 05:24:14 am]

* Shoutbox

Refresh History
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Summer's End" from Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 1: [link]
    January 12, 2019, 11:02:58 am
  • BettyReggie: It's pouring in The Bronx.
    January 05, 2019, 03:20:04 pm
  • BettyReggie: Happy New Year
    January 01, 2019, 03:41:55 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Kiss of the Century" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 28: [link]
    December 31, 2018, 09:15:22 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Holi-Daze" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 28: [link]
    December 25, 2018, 06:19:02 pm
  • Vegan Jughead: Thanks, BR!
    December 25, 2018, 11:09:37 am
  • BettyReggie: Merry Christmas Vegan Jughead
    December 25, 2018, 09:49:06 am
  • BettyReggie: I'm still in bed.
    December 25, 2018, 09:48:20 am
  • Vegan Jughead: No, it's still early out here. My wife won't be up for hours. Merry Christmas, BettyReggie!
    December 25, 2018, 06:47:38 am
  • BettyReggie: Is anyone up already opening presents?
    December 25, 2018, 04:33:37 am
  • BettyReggie: I hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow
    December 24, 2018, 08:52:33 pm
  • Archiecomicxfan215: Merry Christmas Eve
    December 24, 2018, 05:54:18 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Archie Comics Presents . . . [link]  AWESOMESAUCE!!!
    December 22, 2018, 01:58:29 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "All Malled Out" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 19: [link]
    December 20, 2018, 03:09:36 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Here We Come a Caroling!" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 19: [link]
    December 14, 2018, 04:53:47 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "'Ti$ the Sea$on" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 9: [link]
    December 02, 2018, 06:14:22 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Thanks. Yeah, we don't know what happened to him. Possibly a stomach problem of some kind.
    November 29, 2018, 08:36:52 am
  • rusty: Sorry for your loss.  7 years is pretty young for a cat.
    November 28, 2018, 11:49:53 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: R.I.P., my sweet, beloved cat, Misiu (2011-2018). :'(
    November 28, 2018, 08:50:46 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Making of Mr. Righteous": [link]
    November 24, 2018, 03:59:01 pm

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Messages - irishmoxie

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General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: December 29, 2018, 12:09:58 pm »
ARCHIE #701 - Well, surprise. A surprise to me, too. Here I am reading a second issue (or third, if you count that 'Readers' Digest' cut-and-pasted issue #699) in a row of ARCHIE. And it dawns on me that time has finally begun moving forward in some sort of definite progression in Archie Comics. The renumbered ARCHIE series which began its first issue in 2015 (which was the beginning of a new school year for Archie and his friends) ran 32 issues, ending with the END of the school year (the prom), so the 32 issues of that series (of which the series continuing from issue #700 is a direct sequel) covered exactly one year in Archie's high school education. Between ARCHIE (2015) #32 and ARCHIE #700, they skipped over the events of the summer vacation, and with #701 here we are back again at the beginning of the new school year again.

But unlike the classic Archie comic books, for once it isn't the SAME school year (Junior year) starting all over again. I know this due to the fact that both ARCHIE and the new BETTY & VERONICA miniseries have cover banners saying "Archie Forever" (which I presume means that they're both part of a shared continuity), and BETTY & VERONICA #1's cover proclaims "SENIOR YEAR BEGINS HERE". So they're finally Seniors, at long last! Again, presuming that this new numbering sequence which began with #700 is successful enough, in another 30 issues or so, we should be seeing Senior Year come to its conclusion (which means... graduation ceremonies).

What comes after that (in a few years of "real time" for you and me) is anyone's guess. Will they proceed on to college? Or... another reboot?? (It's been just long enough that I've disabused myself of any fond and romantically-unrealistic notions that they might ever return to "classic Archie".)

So, without getting too spoiler-y here, I guess I'll admit to enough interest to at least finish out Nick Spencer's initial story arc to see where he's going with it. I will say it does appear that something (if on a rather modest scale compared to most modern comic books) is indeed at least happening in between pages 1 and 20 of the comic (which was not a feeling I'd gotten from Mark Waid's first two issues)... not a WHOLE lot, but now that I have some sense of scale (32 issues = 9 months of school), I guess the leisurely pacing seems to fit about right. Not that I was interested enough to give Jaime Rotante's B&V miniseries a try. I flipped through a copy of #1, but the artwork wasn't compelling me to ignore my instincts. Rotante's (IMO) badly-mischaracterized interpretations of B&V in the VIXENS series was enough to put me off anything she'd write forever.

General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:10:44 am »
Orange Caramel (K-pop group) videos on YouTube.

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!!

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

(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.

All About Archie / Re: Classic Betty & Veronica is BACK for $2.99
« on: April 30, 2018, 02:39:13 pm »
THE GOOD NEWS: Betty and Veronica Friends Forever #1 - At the Movies is out this week.

THE BAD NEWS:  Well... First, let me ask you a question. How many of you happened to read the last couple of issues of B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest, and Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest?  If you didn't read them, then I guess for you there's NO bad news, so forget I mentioned anything.

For everyone who did read those digests, though... 

Here are the stories in Betty and Veronica Friends Forever #1 - At the Movies :

1.  "Riot on the Set" (from B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest #259, April 2018)
2.  "Movie Mix-Up" (from Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #261, April 2018)
3.  "Extra Disastrous" (from B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest #260, May 2018)
4.  "An Un-Living Doll" (from Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #262, June 2018)

So, yeah... I'm disappointed.  :-\ 

I can't say I didn't have my suspicions, and I almost mentioned it when I noticed (after B&VFF #1 had been announced with an "At the Movies" theme) that the stories in the recent digests almost seemed like they could have fit right in with the newly-solicited $2.99 floppy comic. And then, I was wondering... if they can't sell enough copies to make money off a $3.99 classic Archie floppy comic book, then how can they possibly make any money off a comic book which sells for $1 less per copy?

I don't want to put words in irishmoxie's mouth or presume to speak for her, but I feel pretty sure she'd say "Boo!" to this.

Me, I'm not going to NOT buy it... because that's the kind of desperation I feel reduced to as a fan of classic Archie comics in these current times.

I'm not proud of it, but ACP should be ashamed (I mean, come on! Couldn't they at least have picked some Dan Parent stories out of digests a year or two older, that may have been missed or at least forgotten by current Archie readers, instead of stories I'd only read a couple of weeks or months ago?*). I certainly don't blame Dan Parent -- HE doesn't work in the marketing or editorial departments of ACP.

*Yeah, and I'm STILL waiting for parts 8, 9 and 10 of "The Many Loves of Archie Andrews" -- and something resembling a conclusion to that series of a couple of years back. Could they have reprinted THAT? No, of course not.

Yay digital. I think I will order it then.

Didn't you mention another magazine that had Archie creator or Dan Parent interviews in it? Back Issue?

That would be COMIC BOOK CREATOR Magazine #16, published last year.

From the very same publisher (TwoMorrows), and available as a digital download right NOW!

One nice thing about the TwoMorrows magazines for digital readers is that they're only $4.95, as opposed to the usual printed magazine which costs $8.95 (but if you buy the print magazine direct from TwoMorrows they throw in a free copy of the digital download, gratis!)  And since BACK ISSUE #107 is still a pre-order (for a September 2018 release), TwoMorrows is offering it at the pre-order price of 15% off the regular $8.95 cover price ($7.61) -- and you still get the FREE digital copy as well, so if you buy the print magazine you get the magazine for only $2.66 more than you'd pay for the digital download by itself.

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.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:50:58 am »
12-13-17 to 12-27-17:
X-MEN BLUE #16 & 17
SHEENA #4 (of ?)
GALAKTIKON #3 (of 6)
The Little Book of CAPTAIN AMERICA
The Little Book of THE AVENGERS
POPEYE Classic Newspaper Comics VOL 2 [1989-1992] by Bobby London
TARZAN THE WARRIOR [1992] #1-5 (of 5)
TARZAN: LOVE, LIES & THE LOST CITY [1992] #1-3 (of 3)
MARK TWAIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1910-2010 (by Michael Kupperman)

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:41:37 pm »
Today (10-17):
Both of these digests have a cover price of $6.99 -- but the B&V Halloween Annual has 192 pages, and Archie & Me Digest #1 has only 128 pages.

BETTY & VERONICA HALLOWEEN ANNUAL #257 - Despite irishmoxie's complaint over the low incidence of true Halloween stories in the B&V Annual (which is a fair assessment), the overall quality of most of these story pages is pretty high, and I'd rate the contents as being between 70-80% "above average" stories. There's a fair amount of pages of Dan DeCarlo artwork, and a fair amount of pages of Dan Parent artwork, probably a higher percentageof those two artists than found in any other digest title (and seeing as how they are among my favorite of all the regular Archie artists, that is a very good thing). Of course there are also some Stan Goldberg and Jeff Shultz stories, as you would pretty much expect in any B&V digest. It has a good amount of variety too, with Sabrina, Josie, and Cheryl Blossom stories (by Holly G) in addition to the B&V stories, and Veronica and Betty solo stories. I don't have a clue why they moved the Josie and Cheryl stories from B&V Friends, where they formerly appeared regularly, to the regular B&V title, but it only makes this a better digest title. It's true that of the 192 pages in the digest, 14 of them are advertising pages, so that leaves 178 - and out of those, 2 of them are puzzle pages, which I just glance at briefly and skip over. There's also a 2-page Halloween Quiz (from one of the old B&V Spectacular magazine-style comics) -- but I actually enjoyed reading that -- and a 5-page feature on ideas for throwing a Halloween party, illustrated by Dan Parent (again, from one of those old B&V Spec's) that actually has some pretty good ideas, if you were thinking of throwing a Halloween Bash. Ironically, the few pages of Halloween-themed stories contained here are among the weakest stories in this issue. There were 2 or 3 of the older classic reprints that I'd rate as absolute gems, however. And best of all, no pages wasted on "Little" B&V stories by Dexter Taylor - those I always skip, so this digest contains virtually no wasted pages, apart from the obligatory ads and those 2 puzzle pages (that's actually a pretty low number of puzzle pages by Annual standards).

ARCHIE AND ME COMICS DIGEST #1 - Vegan Jughead was right about this one. It's among the worst digests Archie Comics has ever published. Oh, the new 5-pager written by Dan Parent and drawn by Jeff Shultz (nice to see new stories by him, BTW) is great. When Dan writes a classic Archie story, he's on-target 90% of the time or better, and all of the returning former classic Archie artists are turning in great work, in most cases some of the best art they've ever done. It's all downhill after those first 5 pages, though. This digest had, out of its 128 pages, 10 pages of ads, so that leaves 118 pages of stories. AND 23 of those pages were devoted to "Archie Babies" -- which I flipped through and didn't read. Hey, here's an idea... why not devote 15 to 24 pages in a digest title to stories about "Octogenarian Archie & Friends"?? Sound like something you'd want to read, eh? Well, frankly... even THAT would be more interesting to me than any of the reprints involving Baby, Little, or "The New Archies" versions of the characters. It's a complete waste of paper, as far as I'm concerned. That left me with 95 pages of story, and of those, most of them are pretty run-of-the-mill. I'd say LESS THAN HALF of those pages were above average stories, so considering the cover price here, and the lack of anything compelling me to buy this, I'd rate it as an absolute "NOT BUY". About the nicest thing I can say about the reprint pages is that at least they had the courtesy to skip the puzzle pages (but they could have put 23 of them in here instead of Archie Babies, and it wouldn't have made a difference to me). If I hadn't already pre-ordered issues #2 & #3, I'd probably skip them -- and if things follow the usual pattern, I'm pretty sure those issues will ALSO be filled with 23-page "Archie Babies" sections! Am I ever glad I didn't subscribe to this! UGH!

General Discussion / Re: Latest Hauls, what did you buy?
« on: September 16, 2017, 01:09:28 pm »
Ordered a huge pile of back issue Archie Comics from I'd have to wait forever until I just found those issues cheap somewhere.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: September 13, 2017, 02:24:02 am »

...and then I had to laugh when I looked at this cover again. I mean, it's obviously a reprint of an older Dan DeCarlo gag from... who knows where.
But then someone decided to mess with the original drawing, so that the joke doesn't even make sense anymore. "What beach umbrella?", indeed? The real question here should be... "WHAT bikini???" since the girl sitting under the beach umbrella behind Archie ISN'T WEARING A BIKINI, but a one-piece swimsuit.


Since I located a previous use of that same cover gag where the girl under the umbrella is STILL wearing a bikini, let's compare them and try to figure out what might have happened here:

On the left is the image as it was altered by the production department for use on the cover of that 1000 Page digest, and on the right is a previous appearance of the same Dan DeCarlo gag on the cover of ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #230, where the girl appears in a bikini as DeCarlo had originally drawn the gag.

However, someone decided that they needed to put a big banner across the cover of the 1000 Page digest, proclaiming "OVER 100 CLASSIC STORIES", and the placement of that banner happens to cover up umbrella girl's derriere, so someone probably looked at it and thought "If we leave it like this, it kind of looks like she might not be wearing any panties, because all you can see now is her bare belly and her bare leg. I guess maybe we should color in her bare midriff to make it look like a one-piece swimsuit." Except that colorists don't ever seem to actually READ what's on the page, so they didn't notice or care that THE JOKE HERE IS SPECIFIC TO A GIRL IN A BIKINI. If someone had noticed that, they could have still fixed it with another minute's work of alteration, like so:

If you're going to remove the bikini from the girl that Veronica is referring to in the joke, then you've got to remove the word "bikini" from Veronica's dialogue balloon, or it makes it look like the people at ACP are idiots. It's still not quite as funny as the original version of the joke, though, because in the original version, the girl under the umbrella is wearing a more revealing swimsuit, a bikini, that gets Archie's attention, where Veronica is wearing a one-piece swimsuit that's less revealing. If the girl under the umbrella is also wearing a one-piece swimsuit, the same as Veronica is, there's less reason for Archie to stare at her lustily, although of course that's never stopped his wandering eyes before.

Reviews / Re: JOSIE reprint collections - Contents Listings and Comparison
« on: September 07, 2017, 07:48:38 am »
Now we're caught up to last month, and we're back to print comics with ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK: MAGIC, MUSIC & MISCHIEF trade paperback collection. I'm not going to list the Sabrina and Little Archie stories here, because they're not relevant to a comparison between collections focusing on Josie.

   ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK: MAGIC, MUSIC & MISCHIEF Vol. 1      (111 pages)      source of 1st publication      Aug. 2017      writer      penciller      inker      
   A Gym Dandy - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Neat Workers - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Muscle Hustle - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Track Down - Chapter IV      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Footlight Follies - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #2      Aug. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Bright Side - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #2      Aug. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Show Biz Blues - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #2      Aug. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   It's Curtain Time - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #2      Aug. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Sweater Girls - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #3      Oct. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Bad Sort - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #3      Oct. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Native Nuisance - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #3      Oct. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Force Feed - Chapter IV   5 pages      JOSIE #3      Oct. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Off To A Good Start      11 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969   Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Take Me To Your Leader      10 pages      JOSIE #51      Oct. 1970      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Please Take Note      5 pages      JOSIE #55      June 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Sing A Song of Sixpence      6 pages      JOSIE #59      Dec. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Club Crisis      6 pages      JOSIE #93      Dec. 1976      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Image      5 pages      ARCHIE'S TV LAUGH-OUT #98      Dec. 1984      George Gladir      Stan Goldberg      Rudy Lapick      

Once again, stories exclusive to this collection are listed in RED, which includes a complete reprinting of the stories from SHE'S JOSIE #2 & 3! Worth it for that alone, IMO, even if you're mainly a digital reader collecting all the other digital exclusive collections.

Reviews / Re: JOSIE reprint collections - Contents Listings and Comparison
« on: September 07, 2017, 06:49:00 am »
Moving on with the next digital exclusive JOSIE collection, JOSIE AND THE SCAREDY CATS was released in Oct. 2015.  It was later re-released with altered cover image as PEP DIGITAL No. 166.

   Josie and the Scaredy Cats      (96 pages)      source of 1st publication      Oct. 2015      writer      penciller      inker      
   The Ghost of Dark Valley Manor      16 pages      JOSIE #57      Sept. 1971      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   What Kind of Ghoul Am I      14 pages      JOSIE #64      Sept. 1972      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   My Brother's Keeper      8 pages      JOSIE #65      Oct. 1972      Frank Doyle      Stan Goldberg      Mario Acquaviva      
   Follow the Leader      6 pages      JOSIE #66      Dec. 1972      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Swamp Mist Monster!      8 pages      JOSIE #67      Feb. 1973      Frank Doyle      Stan Goldberg      Mario Acquaviva      
   Breath of Evil      8 pages      JOSIE #67      Feb. 1973      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Falcon's Claw      8 pages      JOSIE #68      Apr. 1973      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Jim DeCarlo      
   Terror in the Park      6 pages      JOSIE #69      June 1973      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Fraidy Cat Friday      5 pages      ARCHIE & FRIENDS #82      July 2004      Hal Smith      Stan Goldberg      Jon D'Agostino      
   Return to Nightmare Nursery      11 pages      ARCHIE & FRIENDS #58      Aug. 2002      Holly Golightly      Holly Golightly      John Costanza      
   Studio Scare      6 pages      ARCHIE & FRIENDS #84      Oct. 2004      Abby Denson      Rex W. Lindsey      Rich Koslowski      

The stories "The Ghost of Dark Valley Manor", "What Kind of Ghoul Am I", "My Brother's Keeper" and "The Swamp Mist Monster!" also appeared later in the Aug. 2017 BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS trade paperback collection, but the rest of the stories (listed here in RED) haven't appeared in any other JOSIE collections. Another reason to get this collection and the previous GREATEST HITS digital exclusive if you're buying digital, and skip the digital version of the 2017 BEST OF collection. We also get another excellent story from Holly Golightly's run on ARCHIE & FRIENDS, "Return to Nightmare Nursery" -- this one's a sequel to the Frank Doyle/Bob Bolling classic story from LIFE WITH ARCHIE #125 (Sept. 1972), which was not a Josie story!

Reviews / JOSIE reprint collections - Contents Listings and Comparison
« on: September 02, 2017, 11:00:50 am »
I know I said more than a week ago that I'd post the contents of the recent trade paperback, THE BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, but then the more I got into it, the more detailed information I started adding, and going back over the list of contents of all the previous Josie collections to see what had been reprinted in prior collections, and what hadn't.

For print editions, your choices are pretty narrow, so if it's a physical book that you want, then THE BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS is a no-brainer, and it'll probably be a long time before some superior, more complete, collection of stories is published.

But let's go back and start at the beginning first. The very first reprint collections came in 1993 (August, most likely... with a cover date of "Fall") and January ("Spring") 1994, in the form most popular at that time, the Archie 48-Page Giant comics. Two issues were released, combining reprinted stories with a couple of new ones. New material is indicated on the contents table below in RED:

   JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #1      (48-Page Giant)      source of 1st publication      Fall 1993      writer      penciller      inker      
   (Josie and the Pussycats on stage)            new cover illustration      Fall 1993            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Rock and Roll      8 pages      new      Fall 1993      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Decisions, Decisions      6 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Pussy Footing      5 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   What Kind of Ghoul Am I      14 pages      JOSIE #64      Sept. 1972      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Josie & the Pussycats in outer space (pull-out poster)      2 pages      new pull-out pin-up poster      Fall 1993            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Up, Up, and Away!!      12 pages      Josie #58      Oct. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2      (48-Page Giant)      source of 1st publication      Spring 1994      writer      penciller      inker      
   "Josie & the Pussycats LIVE - The Hottest Cats in Town!"            new cover illustration      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Love & War      8 pages      new      Spring 1994      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Work of Art      6 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   To Grandmother's House      8 pages      JOSIE #64      Sept. 1972      Frank Doyle      Stan Goldberg      Jon D'Agostino      
   Josie & the Pussycats skiing (pull-out poster)      2 pages      new pull-out pin-up poster      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Melody (1 page gag strip)      1 page      JOSIE #96      Oct. 1977      unknown      unknown      unknown      
   Brawn is Beautiful      5 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   If the Spirit Moves You      6 pages      ARCHIE'S TV LAUGH-OUT #62      Nov. 1978      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Maxim Mix-Up      5 pages      new      Spring 1994      Hal Smith      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      

NOTES: The first Josie 48-Page Giant comic was published by ACP in the hopes of catching a wave of nostalgia (or younger readers newly discovering the Pussycats for the first time) as a result of Ted Turner's Cartoon Network cable station's acquisition of the Hanna-Barbera library of animated programming, and subsequently airing H-B's Josie and the Pussycats on a daily basis in 1993. There's no mistaking it because it says so right on the cover, and no less than THREE ad banners reminding readers to watch the show ran below the first or last pages of various stories. These are very nice to have, even though the paper is somewhat thin, it is white (not the lower-grade newsprint) and the colors on the reprints look pretty nice, unlike a lot of the older digests. They are worth having for those covers and pull-out posters alone, in addition to the three new stories. "Rock and Roll" is notable for a brief appearance of Alan M. after a long absence, and even more surprising, the return of Alexandra's magical powers of witchcraft, after almost a decade since their last mention. In "Rock and Roll" Mr. De has the Pcats sporting more skimpy, bikini-like costumes on stage. It's hard to believe, but in 1993 it had been years since ACP could spare the MVP talents of original creator, Dan D., to work on Josie, and the short 5- and 6-pagers appearing in TV LAUGH-OUT (and later LAUGH Vol. 2) had at that point been mostly assigned to Gladir and Goldberg for at least a half-dozen years. I don't think "Love & War" and "Maxim Mix-Up" had been reprinted until the recent BEST OF trade collection either.


Welcome/Introductions / Re: Huge Josie and the Pussycats Fan
« on: August 29, 2017, 02:15:12 am »

Agree with everything you wrote!  However, that's why I think I love Josie so much.  She's mysterious.  I know something is going on and I want to get closer to her to find out!

The allure of woman of mystery, eh?

There are a scant few stories where Josie actually seems to have something more important to say or do than her friends, that don't involve some dating drama with Alan or Alex. One is Holly G's "O Solo Mio", where she accidentally started a solo career doing musical commercials, and another is the story (forgot the title now) where the band was experiencing a stall-out in their career, and Josie started thinking about going back to school. While she's conflicted about her musical career, she goes on a camping sabbatical, leaving Val and Mel to play a gig themselves with the "help" of Alexandra. The stories rarely seem to focus on Josie like that though.

Thanks I gotta find that!  I like Holly G's stuff!

Look no further than THE BEST OF JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS TP, where Holly G's "O Solo Mio" is reprinted.

I checked out the GCD for clues and found the other story where Josie takes a break from the band to go camping. It's notable for a rare later appearance of Josie's parents (when this was first published in ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #584, Sept. 1988, Josie's last name was James) and the story is called "Cat at the Crossroads", an 11-pager written by Kathleen Webb with art by Stan Goldberg. I know I don't own that original comic, so I guess I must have read it when it was reprinted in ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE JUMBO COMICS #20 (July 2016). I don't think Kathleen Webb wrote a lot of Josie stories, but it doesn't surprise me to discover she's responsible for one of the most memorable ones to me. I'll have to double-check, but I think it might have been included in that BEST OF JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS: GREATEST HITS digital exclusive collection as well.

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