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  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Summer Nights" from Riverdale One-Shot: [link]
    July 19, 2018, 08:53:14 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Just looked at Archie Comics' subsciption page. Archie Meets Batman '66 is a six-issue miniseries. Archie 1941 is a five-issue miniseries. There's a six-issue subscription for Betty and Veronica: Friends Forever and Vixens (surprisingly; might get transferred to the new B&V title) and a twelve-issue subscription for Riverdale. Riverdale Digest isn't listed, so it looks like it's been cancelled.
    July 18, 2018, 10:03:11 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: New Sabrina's new Instagram welcome message: [link]
    July 14, 2018, 03:29:59 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Gunk for Gold": [link]
    July 11, 2018, 11:09:16 PM
  • Vegan Jughead: Pretty sure Archie Comics, being New York based, knows someone at the Times
    July 11, 2018, 06:15:50 AM
  • ASS-P: I just find it " How things have changed " weird when comic book news breaks in The New York Times...but they hardly SELL anything! :-0 Strangeness.
    July 10, 2018, 10:42:57 AM
  • CAPalace: I'm a woman btw and I'm just so sick of the blatant anti-men thing going on in comics these days. It's not doing women any favors either. :/
    July 09, 2018, 09:05:40 PM
  • CAPalace: They're banking on Archie 700 to sell a lot because "lol a new number wow lol" and it will for the first issue but it'll just go back to the average/poor numbers it had before. And YOU KNOW with that writer on B+V it's going to turn into an anti-men, oooh girl power lol violence against men and demeaning men is feminism and fun lol lol Good luck. I'll stick to Ebay to find the DeCarlo stuff thanks.
    July 09, 2018, 09:04:54 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: I'm looking forward to the new B&V series. Personally, I think that previous B&V series by what's-his-name was way worse than anything that Rotante wrote on Vixens.
    July 09, 2018, 08:43:47 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: So, so predictable... they love to exploit NUMBERS, whether it's a single digit (1 or 0) or a triple-digit ending in 00. Good lord, I can't believe they're actually giving Jamie Rotante ANOTHER B&V series to write ruin! She is the worst I've read -- although it's a tough call, Marguerite Bennett was pretty horrible as well. Nick Spencer can actually be quite good as a writer... or pretty bad, depending on the character and the direction. He was great on ANT-MAN and SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN (both books that had a strong humorous subtext), and not so hot on CAPTAIN AMERICA and THE AVENGERS. And he's he new writer on (yet another) first issue of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, so I wouldn't guess the ARCHIE gig will last. ACP could probably only afford to hire him for that ONE issue, #700.
    July 09, 2018, 06:00:07 PM
  • Vegan Jughead: News on new numbering for the Archie Flagship series and a new B&V series and DeCarlo Rules, you ain't gonna be into this!  And really neither am I: [link]
    July 09, 2018, 01:37:43 PM
  • Mr.Lodge: I still think 'The Married Life' was the best of the most recent and ended way too soon.
    July 06, 2018, 04:46:36 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: No "big news about the flagship ARCHIE title" could possibly rock my world, short of CLASSIC ARCHIE RETURNS!
    July 06, 2018, 01:18:04 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Sweetwater" from Riverdale One-Shot: [link]
    July 05, 2018, 08:44:20 PM
  • Vegan Jughead: ARCHIE isn't on hiatus officially. The last official word from Archie Comics is that there is "big news about the flagship ARCHIE title" coming up after the "1941" miniseries. We'll see. RIVERDALE is supposed to come back early '19 after the TV show returns.
    July 05, 2018, 06:14:32 AM
  • Mr.Lodge: Think it's time for new leadership, especially in the creative front?
    July 05, 2018, 03:09:04 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: I guess there's still THE HUNGER and VAMPIRONICA, but they're still so new that it's hard to think of them as "ongoing".
    July 05, 2018, 12:14:16 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: So both ARCHIE and RIVERDALE are "on hiatus"? That means ACP has no ongoing floppy comic titles. Not a good sign. Good thing they still have the digests going (knock on wood).
    July 05, 2018, 12:12:47 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: I'm sure it has been; it was a dumb concept LOL.  The RIVERDALE comic is on hiatus until at least early 2019 and I'm skeptical it will ever come back.
    July 04, 2018, 04:37:17 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Has Riverdale Digest been cancelled? There hasn't been a new issue since #7 on March 21.
    July 04, 2018, 11:52:23 AM

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Messages - irishmoxie

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 11
1
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.

2
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!

http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_132&products_id=1272

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.

3
Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 01, 2018, 02:56:10 PM »
THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS STARRING BETTY AND VERONICA - BOOK TWO trade paperback collection

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.

4
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:50:58 AM »
12-13-17 to 12-27-17:
KINGSMAN: RED DIAMOND #4 (of 6)
BUG: THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #6 (of 6)
ACTION COMICS #993
DETECTIVE COMICS #970
X-MEN BLUE #16 & 17
THE DAMNDED #6
ROCKY & BULLWINKLE SHOW #2
HACK/SLASH VS VAMPIRELLA #3 (of 5)
SHEENA #4 (of ?)
THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT: TERROR FROM THE FROM EARTH'S CORE #2 (of 3)
FIGHTING AMERICAN #3 (of ?)
ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT #4 (of 4)
GALAKTIKON #3 (of 6)
CAPTAIN CANUCK YEAR ONE #1 (of 3)
TRUE BELIEVERS: PHOENIX PRESENTS CYCLOPS & MARVEL GIRL #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: ENTER THE PHOENIX #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: PHOENIX BIZARRE ADVENTURES #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: PHOENIX RETURNS #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: PHOENIX CLASSIC #1
ARCHIE CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR #1
DIE KITTY DIE! CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2017
WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #74
YOUR PAL ARCHIE #5 (of 5)
ARCHIE'S GIRLS BETTY AND VERONICA #340 [Feb 1986]
BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS #2 (of ?)
DONALD & MICKEY #2
The Little Book of CAPTAIN AMERICA
MARVEL 2-IN-ONE: THE THING & HUMAN TORCH #1
X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN #1 (of 2)
The Little Book of THE AVENGERS
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II #2 (of 6)
WONDER WOMAN #36
FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS: BIRDMAN #5
POPEYE Classic Newspaper Comics VOL 2 [1989-1992] by Bobby London
HELLBOY: KRAMPUSNACHT #1 (one-shot)
SHERLOCK FRANKENSTEIN & THE LEGION OF EVIL #3 (of 4)
EMPOWERED & SISTAH SPOOKY'S HIGH SCHOOL HELL #1 (of ?)
ASSASSINISTAS #1 (of ?)
The Little Book of THE FANTASTIC FOUR
ROM & THE MICRONAUTS #1 (of 5)
PELLUCIDAR: AT THE EARTH'S CORE TP
TARZAN THE WARRIOR [1992] #1-5 (of 5)
TARZAN: LOVE, LIES & THE LOST CITY [1992] #1-3 (of 3)
LIFE WITH KEVIN TP VOL 01
ARCHIE AND ME COMICS DIGEST #3
MICKEY & DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE #3
THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT: TERROR FROM THE EARTH'S CORE #3 (of 3)
KONG ON THE PLANET OF APES #2 (of 6)
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #12 (of 12)
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 (of 12)
ACTION COMICS #994
DETECTIVE COMICS #971
HAWKMAN FOUND #1 (of 6)
WONDER WOMAN #37
TARZAN/JOHN CARTER: WARLORDS OF MARS [1996] #1-4 (of 4)
PUNISHER: PLATOON #4 (of 6)
THANOS #14
MOON KNIGHT #190
X-MEN BLUE #18
PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 (of 5)
SAVAGE DRAGON #230
MARK TWAIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1910-2010 (by Michael Kupperman)
TARZAN: THE BECKONING TP

5
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!

6
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 Mycomicshop.com. I'd have to wait forever until I just found those issues cheap somewhere.

7
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.

ANATOMY OF A JOKE GONE WRONG:

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.



8
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.

9
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!





10
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.

Next post -- BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS TP (2001)


11
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.

12
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 25, 2017, 01:52:40 AM »
How was Best of Josie? Was it reprints from the prior Best of Josie collections? Reprints from Music, Magic, and Mayhem?

Full review to follow in a day or two, with complete contents listing. I need some time to cross-reference the prior digital collections, but there's quite a bit of duplication of the 1969-1989 stories, including a fair number that just appeared in the ABB:MM&M collection, and 3 from the Josie & the Scaredy Cats digital collection. There are only a few stories collected here that I haven't seen reprinted before, most notably the infamous "Vengeance From the Crypt" by Frank Doyle & Stan Goldberg, from JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS #72 (Oct. 1973)  -- unfortunately marred by having been shot directly from the actual printed comic book pages; it looks a little muddy by comparison -- and 2 stories, "Love & War" & "Maxim Mix-Up" from JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2. Although reprinted before, there's a nice selection from the 2000s run of ARCHIE & FRIENDS (#52-55) of four complete stories by Holly G. The rest is filled with the usual run of Stan Goldberg & Rex Lindsey shorts (from TV LAUGH-OUT and the 2nd series of LAUGH, and later issues of A&F), plus (*sigh*) the obligatory advertisement complete reprint of JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS #1 (2016). It was still worth the price ($9.99 cover price - cheap!) for me, to get them in print format and collected all in one place (as opposed to scattered through a digest run of B & V FRIENDS).

13
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 17, 2017, 05:45:15 PM »
DANGEROUSLY CHLOE VOL. 1 (tankobon pb collection of the PixieTrix webcomic) By David Lumsdon (writer) and Cassandra Wedeking (artist) - This is my favorite of all the PixieTrix webcomics. It's a spinoff (as is Magick Chicks) of the earlier webcomic Eerie Cuties. Chloe Love is a cadet succubus, so it's her job to... collect or tempt new souls into Hell. But's she's kind of a softie at heart, so she just can't seem to bring herself to collect on a contract with a student named Teddy DeCarlo, and she decides to help him get out of his contract via the loophole of finding him a girlfriend. Well, she has good intentions, but you know what they say the road to Hell is paved with? Chloe's not the only supernatural being around, and a host of angelic characters, as well as her academy-mate succubi (BFF Pandora and arch-rival Lucretia Devotion) get involved in Teddy and his sister's life. Hardly a page goes by that there isn't some kind of joke or comical situation, and most of them are pretty damned darned funny too. Chloe's favorite expression when she's frustrated is "Oh, pitchforks!!", which I just love.

MENAGE A 3 VOL. 1 (tankobon pb collection of the PixieTrix webcomic) By David Lumsdon (writer) and Gisele Lagace (artist/co-writer) - Really too complicated to describe in just a few sentences, but this one's more down-to-earth with less of a fantastical angle. It's a little like "Three's Company", set in Montreal, but one of the characters, DiDi, is a French-Canadian (Quebecois) girl who reminds me a lot of Melody Valentine (although Gisele says she was inspired by Samantha Smyth, and she does have super-strength). I guess it was DiDi's fractured franglais that reminded me of how Melody mixes up her quotations and aphorisms. I found it a little hard to get into as a webcomic at first, and liked it better reading it in book form, but part of that might be because it's the second time around reading the strips in this first volume. I'll probably wind up getting the subsequent volumes sometime.

B & V FRIENDS FALL ANNUAL DIGEST #255 - What, no Josie stories?? And no Cheryl Blossom either!! There's 23 pages of Andrew Pepoy's post-millennial version of Katy Keene though, and a 5-page Suzie story by Samm Schwartz, and a 6-page Ginger story by Harry Lucey. There were a fair number of B&V stories by Kathleen Webb, which I always enjoy, plus another reprint of one of my favorite Dan Parent Veronica stories, "Drama Queen", where Ronnie takes on the Bard by rewriting Romeo and Juliet to update it for modern teens. "What a train wreck!! You want to leave, but you can't turn away!" The lead story by Dan P. and Bill Galvan, "Don't Test My Patience!" is pretty funny up to a point, but kind of left me hanging in the last two panels. Seems like it could have gone on another page or two.

14
Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: August 11, 2017, 12:18:36 PM »
ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK: MAGIC, MUSIC & MISCHIEF is a full-sized (same page size as a standard comic book), 304-page collection of some of the best stories (all older ones) from Sabrina, Josie and Little Archie. I get the impression that they're putting this out to try to build familiarity with Archie readers for these, their next three biggest character franchises, and you really couldn't ask for a better introductory volume.

MAGIC: Most of the Sabrina stories here were just recently reprinted in the SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH COMPLETE COLLECTION v1, which I reviewed above, but there they were printed in black & white at the smaller page size used for the Best of Archie Comics trade collection. Here they're full-sized and in color. The editor selected all Dan DeCarlo-illustrated stories (with one exception, a short drawn by Stan Goldberg) for this collection, including all of his key earliest ones from Archie's Madhouse. The rest are choice early stories from Archie's TV Laugh-Out, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and one from Sabrina's Christmas Magic.

It was when I was counting the pages that I noticed there are just about 80 pages of Sabrina stories here, and that the cover illustration of Sabrina (which is also used in a larger image for the title page of the Sabrina section) is the same one that appeared as the cover of the formerly-solicited, then cancelled, SABRINA 80-PAGE GIANT, so I think if that comic had actually been published these are exactly the same stories you would have seen reprinted in that 80-Page Giant. While there are a few more than 80 pages in both the Josie and Little Archie section, I noted (again) that the images used on both the cover of this collection and the title pages of those characters' sections were the same as the ones that appeared on the covers for the respective 80-PAGE GIANT comics solicited, then cancelled, for JOSIE and LITTLE ARCHIE, so I'm guessing that 80 pages out of each of those sections would have made up those Giant comics.

MUSIC: Well, not all music. Three of the longer stories that begin this section ("A Gym Dandy", "Footlight Follies", and "Sweater Girls") are non-musical/non-Pussycats stories reprinted in their entirety (they were book-length stories) from early issues of She's Josie. Issues #1-3, in fact. I couldn't have been more delighted. I consider the longer early stories of She's Josie to be the very best stories Archie Comic Publications have ever produced, and these three showcase the talent of Frank Doyle and Dan DeCarlo at the height of their artistic powers. If ACP is ever wondering how to produce a new comic book that will actually be good, then they should dissect and analyze the way these stories are written and structured, and try to adapt that to stories about modern teenagers taking place today. I'm not saying they could do it, but they should at least attempt it. Josie was an interesting creation, because it involved the three main female characters taken from a proposed newspaper strip which Dan DeCarlo tried, and failed, to interest newspaper syndicate editors in. The male characters didn't come from those prototype strips though. They came from the last thing that Frank Doyle and Dan DeCarlo had worked on together, which was "The NEW" Wilbur. If you look carefully at Albert and Alexander, they're really just Wilbur and his rival Alec from the aforementioned series, with slightly different hairstyles and more stylish (for 1963) clothes. Albert even originally had the same flattop/brushcut hairstyle as Wilbur's, except that Wilbur was blond, and tended to dress more like the 1950s Archie, with letter sweatervests, saddle shoes, and checkered pants. The main difference here between Alec (from Wilbur) and Alexander Cabot is that instead of just being upper-middle class like Reggie Mantle, Alexander Cabot is filthy rich like the Lodges, and just as spoiled by it as Veronica. Otherwise the early Alexander looks and acts almost identically with Wilbur's rival Alec. Then there is Sock (short for Socrates, by the way, in case you didn't know), the big, dumb, (but good-natured) jock athlete who's absolutely bananas for Pepper and would do anything for her. He's an evolution of Tiny, who played a similar role (inspired by Moose, of course) in Wilbur's stories. Then there's Pepper, who had a namesake in the earlier Wilbur stories, but was nothing like Josie's Pepper, personality-wise. Although she may have taken some personality bits from a character in Wilber named Dodo. I have been fascinated by how "The NEW Wilbur" fits into the picture of characters' evolution in Archie Comics ever since I began noticing all the similarities. It's not so obvious, when you look at the characters of Alexander, who evolved considerably further in later stories of Josie and the Pussycats, and even Albert and Pepper evolved a little differently towards the end -- before being dropped altogether to make way for Alan M. Mayberry and Valerie Brown (later Smith). Did I mention that all the Josie stories (including the Pussycats ones) reprinted in this collection are also illustrated by Dan DeCarlo? All except one, just like in the previous Sabrina section. There's one final short drawn by Stan Goldberg, reprinted from years later than the original run of J&tP.

MISCHIEF: I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't actually read this section yet. But they all look to be early LA stories written and drawn by Bob Bolling. Bolling is an interesting writer to me, because he has very specific tastes, and includes very distinctive elements of fantasy, mystery, adventure and the supernatural in his stories (that goes for most of them, if he's allowed the page length to develop those ideas, regardless if it's a regular Archie story, a Betty story, or a Little Archie story). The shorter Little Archie stories rarely have those elements in them, and those are the ones mainly reprinted in the digests. This section contains at least two longer (both look to be book-length) stories containing those elements, that I plan on reading later. They are "Little Archie on Mars" and "The Strange Case of the Mystery Map". These both seem to contain complex plots, and other interesting incidental characters. I couldn't tell you what it is about stories featuring mainly a cast of primary-school children that disinterest me, but it is what it is.


15
All About Archie / Re: Your Pal Archie
« on: July 25, 2017, 06:17:41 PM »
Your Pal Archie #1 was good. It contains 3 stories, the first of which (12 pages) is complete in this issue. The second story (8 pages) is Part 1 of a longer story, so it ends on a "To Be Continued!" teaser (not going to give away any spoilers here). The third story is a classic B&V reprint (5 pages), although the story selected is a relatively recent one, also by Dan Parent, so it doesn't look so obvious that it's a reprint (although it does actually say it's a classic reprint, so they're not trying to fool anyone here). It seemed vaguely familar to me, without checking, so I'm going to say it probably appeared in one of the two B&V digest titles within the past couple of years. It felt like a good selection to add some extra pages.

The cosmetic makeover of the characters was a little off-putting to me when first previewed, but in actual practice it doesn't make the stories that different. It felt like Ty and Dan were working from a presumption of readers having no real prior familiarity with the classic stories, so it's a bit of a clean break and a fresh start from that aspect. Notably absent from either of the new stories were any of those secondary supporting characters (virtually all of whom were created in the past decade) that Dan frequently likes working into his digest stories, since most new readers would not be familiar with them. All things considered, I find this to be a more-than-acceptable replacement floppy title for the 1st series ARCHIE, which ceased publication with issue #666 just about 2 years ago now, in a way that the New Riverdale ARCHIE will never be a replacement for me personally. I can accept it as an "alternate Archieverse" title for a different audience than me, but that's all. To me it will never be the "main" Archie.

I've mentioned this before, but all I really want is more new pages of classic Archie stories. I don't care what format they're in. It doesn't have to be the floppy comic format. I can accept the cosmetic facelift because that's what they think they need to do in order to sell this comic in the direct market. I'd probably have been happier to see them making a real effort to attract new readers to the digest titles by adding more pages of new stories (10-20 pages in every title), because that's where the real market for Archie seems to exist to me, outside the comic shops. If it were up to me I'd be making real efforts to reconnect the Archie characters with their main demographic, school-age kids, by pursuing formats that would get NEW stories into schools and libraries, where there already exists a "captive audience" of readers, and revitalizing the digests to make them more attractive to more readers. I do question what they think has changed in 2 years of absence of classic Archie stories in the floppy format that is suddenly going to result in a new influx of readers from the direct market (because outside of digital, that's really the only sales outlet here, comic book stores). If I had to hazard a guess I'd say they think the mere existence of Riverdale as a television show has raised awareness of the characters across the board to the point where a new classic floppy might be viable -- but I don't know... maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the mainstream comic shop consumers have always marginalized ACP's comic books and their characters, and never really embraced them like Marvel and DC's (or even Image or Dark Horse's) characters. Maybe relaunching with a new #1 will help, maybe not. I'd rather be wrong on this one.

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