What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[Today at 06:15:24 am]
What have you done today? by BettyReggie
[September 18, 2018, 09:37:52 pm]
Latest Hauls, what did you buy? by DeCarlo Rules
[September 18, 2018, 11:25:10 am]
An Archie Comics timeline (2009-2018): highlights & lowlights by DeCarlo Rules
[September 16, 2018, 10:50:09 am]
Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[September 16, 2018, 04:12:25 am]
What comics have you been reading? by BettyReggie
[September 16, 2018, 04:11:30 am]
So I bought Archie Archives Vol. 1 and ... by Terry1
[September 14, 2018, 05:58:14 pm]
Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[September 13, 2018, 07:33:58 pm]
New york comic con 2017 photos by fandemoniumnetwork
[September 12, 2018, 03:13:03 am]
ARCHIE COMICS FOR NOVEMBER 2017 by CanScatC
[September 11, 2018, 04:35:58 pm]
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Messages - SAGG
« on: June 03, 2018, 12:26:50 am »
Speaking of crossovers....I'd love to see CW's Supernatural crossover with Archie's Weird Mysteries, similar to their Scoobynatural episode earlier this year. I loved watching Archie's Weird Mysteries in the early 2000s.
I still say they need to do a crossover with the actual Scooby-Doo. I don't know if it would be a callback to Archie's Weird Mysteries
(which did its own Scooby parody in one issue) because that was 18 years ago, and the TV series wasn't big enough to be that well-remembered by the wider public (as opposed to dyed-in-the-wool Archie fans), but that would be one of the most natural team-ups of all time.
The evolution of Scooby-Doo
(the original Hanna-Barbera series) owes a lot to the success of Filmation's The Archie Show
, with the basic H-B concept being that of a band (like the Archies) that would solve mysteries (like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew), and the addition of a dog to the cast was almost an accidental afterthought. Except that Mystery Incorporated wound up not being a band after all, just background music during the chase scenes. Then when H-B finally wound up licensing the rights to actual Archie Comics characters, they decided to turn Josie
and her friends (or at least Melody) into a mystery-solving band -- but the people at H-B apparently didn't like Pepper and Albert, so they replaced them with Valerie and Alan M. (note the suspicious similarity between Alan and Scooby
's Fred Jones). I think the thought behind featuring Hot Dog and Scooby in those shows at that time (1968-69) was that animation studios still weren't confident in relying on animated humans for comedy in a show, and with cartoon pets, they felt more comfortable and could skew them more towards the more traditional anthropomorphic animal antics -- thus, Scooby could talk and we could hear what Hot Dog was thinking, like any traditional cartoon animal character.
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:23:54 am »
The story, Kindness Works, was ten pages. There are a number of previews of it out there if you google "Archie Comics autism, Scarlet" The story has received a good amount of coverage from various circles.
You can also check out my pencils to a few of the pages over on my website: http://fernandoruizeverybody.com/kindness-works-a-new-archie-story/
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:29:41 am »
Curious. In the second comic, DeCarlo drew this for another comic book publisher in 1966? He was making his mark in ACP then, yet they let him do some freelancing?
Despite what some people may think, Dan DeCarlo was never a regular "employee" in the usual sense. He began with ACP in 1951, with the 4-page story "No Picnic" in Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica
#4 -- which is the same year that the Bingo story posted above was published in Standard Comics' Kathy
#8; meanwhile, DDC was also working for Stan Lee at Atlas/Marvel, and drawing The Yardbirds for Ziff-Davis' G.I. Joe
The point to be made here is that Dan DeCarlo was never
under any sort of contract with any
publisher; not with Atlas/Marvel, and not with Archie Comic Publications, either. He started, and remained for the duration of his career, a freelance contractor, paid by the page.Tippy Teen
(and its spinoff title, Go-Go and Animal
) were published by Tower Comics (perhaps more famously remembered by comic fans for publishing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
, and its spinoff titles Dynamo
, and U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. Agent
). Tower Comics' owner was Harry Shorten. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Shorten was, from the early 1940s until the early 1960s, an editor for MLJ (and later Archie Comic Publications). In fact, Shorten had been the editor of PEP Comics
#22, which introduced Archie. Shorten had a variety of side publishing projects, one of which was a syndicated comic panel (in collaboration with Super Duck
artist Al Fagaly) entitled There Oughta Be A Law!
(which, to put it bluntly, was a lesser imitation of the more well-known syndicated comic They'll Do It Every Time
by Jimmy Hatlo).
In an effort to promote his own comic strip, Shorten (who had some direct connections with printers) on several occasions self-published collections of There Oughta Be A Law!
. The last couple of these appeared under the Tower Books imprint, and at this point Shorten published some other paperbacks, so now he was officially a publisher. As a side note, Shorten was involved as a middleman in helping ACP gain the license to publish a Shadow comic book -- Archie's version went the superhero route, while at the same time, Tower Books' paperback line published writer Dennis Lynds' update of the 1930s Street & Smith pulp hero to the then-popular superspy genre, inspired by James Bond and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
In 1965, noticing the rise in popularity of superhero comics, Shorten decided to start his own comic book publishing company, Tower Comics, and contracted with Wallace Wood to oversee those superhero titles as a "packager" of editoral/story/artwork. Not wanting to overlook the genre with which he had the most experience as an editor, he persuaded ACP's Samm Schwartz to oversee and package the stories and art for Tippy Teen
. Because the format of all the Tower comic books was 25c for 68 pages of all-new material, the first issue of Tippy's comic also included contributions from Harry Lucey and Dan DeCarlo, in addition to the bulk of pages by Schwartz.
As a result of Schwartz' decision to go with Shorten's new company (one could hardly blame him, since he was probably offered a much better page rate by Shorten for packaging the entire contents of the Tower teen humor titles), ACP cut off all Schwartz' freelance assignments. It's not known if Schwartz simply declared that he was leaving ACP, or whether (it's been rumored) he was caught working on Shorten's material in the ACP offices, or whether he was given some sort of ultimatum -- but regardless of the fact that ACP regulars Lucey and DeCarlo also contributed (and perhaps they were threatened by ACP in some way, which would account for the relatively few pages they contributed to Tippy and Go-Go), Samm Schwartz was the only ACP regular to suffer a total loss of freelance assignments at ACP. After Tower Comics folded, Schwartz migrated to DC Comics to work on A Date With Debbi
and Debbi's Dates
, and didn't return to ACP until the early 1970s, after DC had cancelled those titles, along with Swing With Scooter
, Leave It to Binky
and Binky's Buddies
-- abandoning the teen humor genre entirely.
« on: April 16, 2018, 04:04:52 pm »
And speaking of MY FRIEND IRMA, as I was a couple of posts back, I found an incredibly rare example of Dan DeCarlo's first comic strip work (together with Stan Lee as writer) - a single month's worth of daily newspaper strips that were syndicated way back in July of 1952. At this point in time, DDC had only been working professionally in the comics industry for about four years, but his work is amazingly polished and he has the artistic confidence of a seasoned veteran cartoonist many years his senior.
And who was Irma? Irma Peterson was one of the first multimedia superstars, from 1948 to 1954, as portrayed (on radio, film, and TV) by Marie Wilson. And here's Marie, the world's smartest dumb blonde...
Beginning as a radio series in 1948, MY FRIEND IRMA spun off into two feature films (which gave the comedy team of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis their first big break to movie stardom), and then a television series in 1953 and 1954. By then, it had already been translated into an Atlas (Marvel) comic book written by Stan Lee and drawn (mostly) by Dan DeCarlo (which eventually ran for 46 issues from 1950-55), and finally in 1951 it was turned into newspaper comic strip... with absolutely terrible artwork. Too late, once the strip was really struggling for subscriber newspapers, the creators of Irma took a look at the comic book stories, and said "Why don't we get THOSE guys to do the newspaper strip??" Alas, it was probably too late by then, as the syndicated comic had just lurched along for a year or so, losing papers left and right, despite high initial interest by subscribing papers, and the ongoing popularity of the radio series, movies, and comic book. Stan and Dan did a great job for the last year, but... it was just not to be. They couldn't reverse the damage done by the initial artist on the strip. If only the creators of the show had been smart enough to hire them in the first place!
« on: April 16, 2018, 03:04:59 pm »
« on: April 14, 2018, 01:11:22 am »
Quick question, DR: Where are you getting these comics, from print, digital, or both?
Mostly NOT digital, unless you see me list a title that's pre-Code, and public domain (those are available for free browsing and downloads at such sites as the Digital Comic Museum and Comic Book Plus).
Generally, these are just a result of my rummaging through the longboxes of 50-cent comics at my LCS. Every few weeks it seems like new acquisitions from somebody's collection make their way into the store. If I had more time, and was better organized and systematic in my sifting through these boxes, I could undoubtedly find more old comics than I do; but as it is, a lot of my time is taken up looking through and reading this week's new comics. I'm always keeping an eye out for comic book obscura, those titles that are short-lived, from tiny (sometimes unheard-of) publishers or self-published, and genres generally unpopular with comic book collectors (like teen humor or romance comics), or just anything oddball or retro-looking. You have to sift through hundreds, if not thousands, of titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and other well-known publishers to find the off-trail titles, the ones collected only by the rare few. Mostly what I find are comics that have been READ (in fact, often "read to death"), but not COLLECTED by anyone per se... merely saved
, but in a casual manner that indicates that the last owner didn't place much value on them (unless they're pretty recent, from the last few decades, and so didn't receive much handling; read but once, and stuck in a box somewhere). Often they are falling apart, crumbling with age and flaking apart if 40 or more years old; with tears, folded corners, rips and hand-written on by kids (often kids would write their names on the covers, or doodle on the cover or interior pages using pens of various colors).
If I happen upon Archie titles (or ANY teen humor title), it's always worth at least flipping through to see what's in it. Since I know the owner of the store and have been friends with him for many years, I often take a stack home to read, then return most of them a few days or a week later (except the maybe 10-20% that may be of particular interest, and in better than 'fair' condition). Since other customers rarely seek these kind of titles, it's NBD if they disappear from those 50-cent boxes for a week or so. Rarely, if it's an older one even in the most beat-up condition, I may keep it (bagging and boarding it to prevent it falling into even worse condition, even though it's practically worthless as a collectible) if it contains some stories I haven't seen reprinted elsewhere.
« on: April 12, 2018, 02:33:22 am »
04-05 to 04-11-18:
HEART THROBS #1, 2, & 4 (of 4) [Vertigo 1999]
MY TERRIBLE ROMANCE #1 [Apr. 1994]
COWBOY LOVE nn 
THRILLING LOVE 3-D [3-D ZONE #17, 1989]
CONFESSIONS, ROMANCES, SECRETS and TEMPTATIONS TP by John Benson [May 2008]
TRUER THAN TRUE ROMANCE: Classic Love Comics Retold! TP by Jeanne Martinet [Jun. 2001]
MARVEL ROMANCE REDUX: Another Kind of Love TP [Feb. 2007]
WELCOME TO THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS #1 (of 3) 
B & V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS #260
BETTY AND VERONICA JUMBO COMICS #262
THE ARCHIES #6 (of 7)
ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOL 03: ROCK 'N' ROLL TP
ANGEL LOVE #5, 8 (1986)
BINKY'S BUDDIES #6 (Dec. 1969)
THAT WILKIN BOY #14 (Sept. 1971)
MADHOUSE GLADS #80 (Sept. 1971)
JUGHEAD #7 (Aug. 1988)
LAUGH #284 (Dec. 1974)
BETTY AND VERONICA #35 (Nov. 1990)
BETTY AND VERONICA #90 (Aug. 1995)
BETTY #14 (Jun. 1994)
ARCHIE 3000! #10 (Aug. 1990)
WONDER WOMAN #44
DETECTIVE COMICS #978
CAPTAIN AMERICA #700
RESIDENT ALIEN: ALIEN IN NEW YORK #1 (of 4)
DRY COUNTY #2 (of ?)
GIDEON FALLS # 1 & 2
MARS ATTACKS KISS (one-shot) [Jan. 2013]
« on: April 09, 2018, 07:11:21 pm »
Mark, that is simply... AMAZING
I am not sure I would be brave enough to construct an argument inferring that the main deterministic factor in what is (as you admit) a very intentional
obscuring of which reality the death of Archie is taking place in, hinges upon... whether or not Cheryl has fabulous boobs
On the other hand, maybe both
universes' Cheryls eventually got breast cancer and had mastectomies. It's certainly possible, since we never really know for sure in the Veronicaverse; we just don't see enough of Cheryl's life there. Would Cheryl be vain enough to immediately get breast implants after a mastectomy? Again, it's certainly possible, as is the wearing of a wig. One big question in my mind is "Why would a cancerous breast tumor be treated by chemotherapy, causing Cheryl's hair to fall out?" Aren't localized cancerous tumors normally dealt with by surgery? A breast tumor would definitely be caught early enough to prevent the cancer spreading to vital organs where it couldn't be neatly cut out by surgeons. I admit I'm no cancer expert, so maybe I'm way off-base there.
Still, either way, there's a lot of arguments there based on "seems" and "likely", but no major slip where the evidence seen (or heard) is incontrovertible and definitive.
Somehow I think Kevin would be the best character determining which universe the story's taking place in, or maybe Reggie or Jughead, but maybe Kupperberg was just super-careful in covering all the angles.
« on: April 09, 2018, 10:57:34 am »
but I do take your meaning, as the "Death of Archie" final story arc of LWA was being intentionally vague in details to the point where it could have been taking place in either, or both, the Bettyverse and the Veronicaverse. Oddly enough I remember 'way back on the old (pre-server crash) forum where someone else (I've forgotten who, now) argued that there were definite clues placing the DoA story in (I think it was) the Bettyverse, and I don't remember what those clues were or if I even recognized them.
That was me. From what I recall, some of the clues hinged on Cheryl. Okay, a bit of backstory:
Cheryl appeared in issue #1 - in the Veronicaverse. A lonely, dejected Betty called up Cheryl to chat, so she could get a confidence boost. Cheryl didn't reveal she had to resort to waiting tables at a restaurant to make ends meet while trying to get her big break in Hollywood. Then we didn't see this version of Cheryl again for a long time.
Over in the Bettyverse, Cheryl eventually showed up (with the same backstory of waiting tables) and did the whole breast cancer storyline. This is what we mostly think of when we think of LWA Cheryl. This Cheryl underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy, resulting in the loss of her breasts and hair.
In the Veronicaverse, Cheryl showed up as a guest at Jughead and Ethel's wedding, just prior to Archie's death. She had boobs and long, flowing red hair, so she obviously never got cancer in the Veronicaverse. These were just silent cameos, so it's unknown whether her career took off.
Now for the death of Archie and the aftermath. It's quite obvious that the writer and artist were going for a vague "it could be either - or both" approach - as if the shown events were simultaneously occurring in both the Veronicaverse and the Bettyverse. For example, Archie never explicitly mentions his spouse by name, the girls never explicitly mention being married, and, perhaps most cheaply, neither girl is wearing a wedding ring, even though (if I recall correctly) Archie is. However, a few clues point to it being the Bettyverse:
The school is renamed after Archie, which seems like something that would be done for a fallen teacher (Bettyverse), not a businessman (Veronicaverse).
The positioning of some of the characters in one scene (even though they're in shadow) indicates Betty is the one being addressed - and in such a way that it indicates she's now a widow. This is one of those "study each panel closely" situations.
A short-haired Cheryl shows up; she seems to have boobs, but they're not on display; there's talk of how she's doing. This would obviously be a post-chemo, post-reconstructive surgery Cheryl (Bettyverse). You don't go from having fabulous boobs (Veronicaverse) right before Archie's death to a post-cancer recovery just a year later.
There might be other clues, but I don't recall at the moment.
« on: April 08, 2018, 12:19:09 am »
I glanced at bits and pieces of LWA, but I just had the time to read it from the beginning. When I saw the volumes, I started. That's how I approach reading older comics. I get the whole thing in a major storyline at one time.... 😁
Well, that's pretty much how I started to get serious about Archie Comics. I'd read some of the recent floppy comics here and there, in a casual way, just borrowing them or reading them in the store (because my LCS owner is a long-time friend). I'll often try things that look interesting, or just for the curiosity factor. That's often true of things that might smack of some marketing gimmick ("Okay, let's see what this crap is all about...") that I have a negative/cynical attitude towards.
I did not at first connect the Death of Archie thing with "The Married Life" over in LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine (although I obviously knew of that already) because I saw the floppy comic format issues first. I was surprised by the whole convoluted backstory leading into DoA, as I mentioned, so then I made it a point to read both the Archie Marries trade collection, and all of The Married Life TPBs, starting with the first. LWA in magazine form was a turn-off to me as a comic book collector, with the cover blurbs and short articles about Justin Bieber like some teen magazine. Then I started seeking out all of the other trade collections of then-recent multipart stories ((anything I could still order through Diamond Comics or Amazon, or whatever original issues I could find of multipart stories like ARCHIE MEETS KISS, etc.). Then "just" the SABRINA, JOSIE, and B&V trade collections... then KEVIN KELLER, because it was a short-run series and easy to get my hands on. Then ALL the rest of the ACP trade collections, then those 1000 Page Comics digest whoppers. Ongoing digest titles were the very last thing I began reading, some six or eight months after I'd read Death of Archie, unless you count the ongoing search for non-reprinted back issues. Then I started spending hours and hours online reading databases, Wikipedia and other sources of info about Archie Comics, getting a feel for the company history and compiling want lists. And the rest is history...
« on: April 07, 2018, 02:27:46 pm »
I've forgotten so many details about the two parallel timelines by now. I've always meant to go back and re-read both possible future stories, but just have never gotten around to it. TBH, as I recall it was hard to keep the various differences in all the supporting characters between the two universes straight jumping back and forth from one timeline to the other in each chapter. I always wanted to go back and read each (AMB & AMV) half of the series straight through by itself (and maybe take a few notes), just to see if it held up and was self-consistent in both halves. I'm surprised it took you so long to get around to reading this, SAGG... but maybe you've rekindled my interest in getting back to it again. I remember there was that weird bit where (the AMV) Veronica's plane disappeared while in flight somehow, and then when she landed, she wound up in the Bettyverse, but now I forget what happened and how that whole plotline played out. And the stuff with Dilton's machine connecting the various parallel timelines of the Archie multiverse, and a whole bunch of cameo appearances by Pureheart and other versions of Archie. Before reading the DoA story, I hadn't known about most of this stuff like Ambrose, etc. (It was hinted that Ambrose is responsible for all those wild fantasy stories of Little Archie's, because he has the natural power of travelling between parallel timelines of the multiverse.) I didn't even know who Jellybean was at that point. I just picked up The Death of Archie with a pretty cynical attitude of "Oh brother, they'll shamelessly exploit just any cliched comic book marketing gimmick as a desperate ploy to goose sales, won't they?", and really got intrigued to read the whole saga from the beginning when I encountered this 2-page text flowchart at the beginning of the book, detailing and summarizing all of the various preceding events in both parallel timelines that had led up to the DoA story.
IIRC, wasn't the AMB side drawn by Pat & Tim Kennedy, and the AMV side drawn by (at first, I think, Norm Breyfogle, and then later by) Fernando? And unless I'm forgetting, weren't both stories written by Paul Kupperberg?
I will make one observation, though. Everything about the series LIFE WITH ARCHIE seemed designed to appeal to the more typical comic shop consumer. The parallel timelines, continuing subplots and soap-operatic elements, all the science-fiction tropes, you name it. And yet ACP absolutely dropped the ball on this one by making LIFE WITH ARCHIE available only in magazine format, which is pretty much reviled by both comic book collectors and comic shop retailers -- they didn't correct that mistake until the last two issues that made up the Death of Archie story. They should have made LWA in two formats... magazine for the newsstand/bookstore consumers, and traditional floppy comic for the comic shop consumers. Those last two issues of LWA in floppy comic format were the best-selling floppy comics that ACP ever printed. If they'd done that from the start, they might never ever have needed to resort to such a dramatic and irreversibly final conclusion to the series. That oversight in marketing the title from the very start is REALLY what led to the Death of Archie.
« on: April 07, 2018, 01:41:17 am »
I'm speeding it up a bit to the end, obviously with Archie's death as the main plotline. I noticed that the writers shrewdly "merged" both universes because I couldn't tell which one was which. Maybe it didn't matter, which was the point.
Well, obviously the two universes couldn't actually be merged, because then you wind up with the Schrödinger's Cat
-like probability paradox of a universe where Archie is married to both
Betty and Veronica... but I do take your meaning, as the "Death of Archie" final story arc of LWA was being intentionally vague in details to the point where it could have been taking place in either
, or both
, the Bettyverse and
the Veronicaverse. Oddly enough I remember 'way back on the old (pre-server crash) forum where someone else (I've forgotten who, now) argued that there were definite clues placing the DoA story in (I think it was) the Bettyverse, and I don't remember what those clues were or if I even recognized them.
In general, as the series neared its end and it became obvious that it would be necessary to wrap up the long, convoluted plot of many details and characters, there seemed to be lots of bits either summarily explained away rather casually, or forgotten altogether and left dangling. Things had gotten very
science-fictional about three-quarters of the way through the run, and then they gradually moved away from that to end it all with Archie's death.
« on: March 11, 2018, 10:57:47 am »
03-04-18 to 03-11-18:
STREET FIGHTER VS DARKSTALKERS #8 (of 8 )
STREET FIGHTER SHADALOO SPECIAL #1
STREET FIGHTER RELOADED #1-6 (of 6)
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP PRELUDE #1 (of 2)
INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1 (of 5)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #699
MOON KNIGHT #192
FIGHTING AMERICAN: THE TIES THAT BIND #1 (of 4)
DEJAH THORIS #2
SAVAGE DRAGON #232
RICK & MORTY PRESENTS THE VINDICATORS #1 (one-shot)
TWISTED ROMANCE #4 (of 4)
GALAKTIKON #5 (of 6)
ASSASSINISTAS #3 (of ?)
ONE PUNCH MAN VOL 13 tankobon
ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE VOL 1 & 2 tankobon
BATTLE ANGEL ALITA DELUXE ED HC VOL 02
MÈNAGE Á 3 VOL 01 (omnibus) - A newer, bigger collection of the webcomic from Udon; Same contents as the tankobon (5"x7") volumes 1 & 2.
SUPER 'SUCKERS (Binge Books) #1-4 - I freakin' LOVE this comic book!
BETTY & VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #261 - Wow, I just realized there haven't been any Josie reprints in the last three issues... OR in the last five issues of B&V FRIENDS. We still get a regular fix of Sabrina and Cheryl (and in the last 5 issues of B&V FRIENDS, Katy Keene). Occasionally they'll toss in a Ginger, Suzie, or Li'l Jinx reprint (or *ugh* "Little Betty & Veronica"). We even got a couple of classic BETTY & ME stories (more of those, please!)... but the Josie reprints stopped cold a couple of months after the big reprint collections THE BEST OF JOSIE and ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOL 1: MAGIC, MUSIC & MISCHIEF. I may go into withdrawal if this condition lasts all year.
« on: March 01, 2018, 02:56:10 pm »
THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS STARRING BETTY AND VERONICA - BOOK TWO
trade paperback collectionContents listing: Year
(by cover date) of publication, source Title & issue #
of first appearance in print, Story title
, and Number of pages
= 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 |
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.
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:49:41 am »
I'll definitely be buying this digitally. Comic book stores are too much of a hassle for most people. Also I don't think Betty and Veronica's main audience is young girls. I think it's mostly men 40+, those who have nostalgia for them as sex symbols and commission Dan and Fernando to draw pin ups.
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