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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

* Shoutbox

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

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Topics - DeCarlo Rules

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1
A selective chronology (firsts & lasts), which I'll present without further comment:

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

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

edit: Added a couple more titles.

2
Reviews / LIFE WITH ARCHIE Volume 1 - Contents list & review
« on: August 31, 2018, 06:16:23 am »


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

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

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

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

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

3
All About Archie / American Gigolo
« on: August 20, 2018, 07:44:27 pm »

4
All About Archie / THAT JOKE JUST NEVER GETS OLD!
« on: August 20, 2018, 06:55:41 pm »
Archie's Rival REGGIE #14 (August 1954)


REGGIE #15 (September 1963)



Dept. of What Were They Thinking?:

So the cover gag on REGGIE #14 didn't exactly attract droves of readers to purchase that issue... to the point where it was the last issue of REGGIE to be published in 1954, with the title going "on hiatus" (a polite way of spinning "CANCELLED") for 9 years... Only to have the title resurrected in 1963 using the very same cover gag AGAIN! ??? I dunno... maybe it's like when a Monday newspaper comic strip redraws the last panel of the strip (complete with identical dialogue) that had appeared in the strip on the previous Saturday when the story was interrupted by a day, as by way of reminding readers:
"Last time (109 months ago), in REGGIE..." (?)

Maybe they just thought there was something wrong with the way it was drawn the first time??

5
EDITED 06-10-18 to update release dates. Bookstore market release dates in BLUE, comic shop release dates in RED.
Items with no dates in red have not been solicited (as of 06-10) by Diamond Comics for the comic shop marketplace.

Archie Comics Presents... series:
  THE COMPLETE COSMO THE MERRY MARTIAN TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Jul 03, 2018 | Jun 13, 2018
  ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Jul 10, 2018 | Jun 20, 2018
  BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Aug 21, 2018 | Aug 1, 2018
  LIFE WITH ARCHIE VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Sep 18, 2018 | Aug 29, 2018
  ARCHIE AND ME VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Nov 13, 2018
  EVERYTHING'S ARCHIE VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Dec 11, 2018
  BETTY AND ME VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Jan 22, 2019
  REGGIE AND ME VOL. 1 TP | 224 Pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | $10.99 | Feb 19, 2019

Archie's Big Book series:
  ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOL. 4: FAIRY TALES TP | 304 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10 | $19.99 | Aug 14, 2018 | Jul 25, 2018
  ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOL. 5: ACTION ADVENTURE TP | 304 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10 | $19.99 | Jan 08, 2019

Best of Archie Comics series:
  THE BEST OF ARCHIE AMERICANA VOL. 3: BRONZE AGE 1980s-1990s TP | 416 Pages | 5-1/4 x 7-1/2 | $9.99 | Sep 04, 2018 | Aug 15, 2018
  THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS DELUXE EDITION BOOK THREE HC | 416 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | Oct 23, 2018

Archie Giant Comics Digest series:
  ARCHIE GIANT COMICS BASH TP | 416 Pages | 4-7/8 x 6-9/16 | $9.99 | Nov 27, 2018  *(NOTE - Page count reduced by 64; cover price increased by $2)

Archie 1000 Page Comics Digest series:
  ARCHIE 1000 PAGE COMICS ROMP TP | 1000 Pages | 4-7/8 x 6-9/16 | $14.99 | Oct 09, 2018

ARCHIE'S HOLIDAY COLORING BOOK TP | 128 Pages | 7-1/4 x 10-7/8 | $9.99 | Nov 06, 2018

ARCHIE MODERN CLASSICS VOL. 1: BEST OF 2018 TP | 256 Pages | 5-1/4 x 7-1/2 | $9.99 | Feb 05, 2019
  (The description in the solicition for this one is vague. Could be reprints of the new lead stories from 2018 digests, or something else altogether.)

ARCHIE: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE TEENAGERS TP edited by Craig Yoe | 220 Pages | 8-1/2 x 11 | $29.99 | Oct 09, 2018 | Jul 25, 2018 
   -- A softcover reprint (with new cover) of the sold-out hardcover edition from 2011.

THE ARCHIES VOL 1 TP | 144 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $17.99 | Jun 19, 2018 | Available now (comic shops)

BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS VOL. 1 TP | 136 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $14.99 | Jul 24, 2018 | Jul 04, 2018

JUGHEAD THE HUNGER VOL. 1 TP | 144 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $17.99 | Aug 07, 2018 | Jun 18, 2018

THE FOX VOL. 2: FOX HUNT TP | 136 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $14.99 | Sep 11, 2018 | Aug 22, 2018

COSMO VOL. 1: SPACE ACES TP | 128 Pages | 6 x 9 | $12.99 | Oct 16, 2018  (Collects Cosmo #1-5 by Ian Flynn & Tracy Yardley)

ARCHIE VOL. 6 TP | 144 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $17.99 | Oct 30, 2018

THE ARCHIES VOL 2 TP | 104 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $17.99 | Nov 20, 2018

BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS VOL. 2 TP | 136 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $14.99 | Dec 04, 2018

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA VOL. 2 TP | 176 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $19.99 | Dec 18, 2018

THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS VOL. 1 TP | 120 Pages | 6-5/8 x 10-3/16 | $12.99 | Jan 15, 2019  (Collects Mighty Crusaders 2017 #1-4 & Superteens vs. Crusaders #1-2)

6
General Comics / 'Dandy' Dan De in "BINGO to GO-GO!"
« on: May 12, 2018, 03:32:13 pm »





^^ Dan DeCarlo in KATHY #8 (Aug. 1951, Standard Comics) ^^







^^ Dan DeCarlo in TIPPY TEEN #10 (Dec. 1966, Tower Comics) ^^

7
Archie's Friends / Wendy Weatherbee & Cricket O'Dell?
« on: May 04, 2018, 10:24:08 am »
So, I happened to be in Walmart this morning, and sauntered by the racks which hold their small selection of paperbacks/hardcovers. kids' books, and magazines, and spied the latest issues of ARCHIE AND ME DIGEST (#6), and ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST (#340somthing, I think..) and couldn't resist stopping to flip through them.

The last issues of these that I read were back around the end of December/first half of January, I think. I stopped getting them mostly because seven bucks (okay, cheaper than that when I still subscribed, and still cheap when I get a retailers' cost discount at my LCS, if I bother to order them -- but still, be that as it may...) just seemed like too high a price when about 75% of the stories reprinted (mostly 1990s/early 2000s; between ARCHIE #501-599 or so) I'd rate as "ho-hum". I was just growing bored with the reprint selections - there's too little variety lately in the Archie-centric digests, to my way of thinking. They still have those Dan Parent-written lead stories, of course, but that's asking a lot to pay for a single 5-page story.

So, skinflint that I am, I paused to flip through them to see if there was anything of interest there that I was missing, and spend 5 minutes or so reading the two new 5-page lead stories in both. I was surprised to see A&M digest had a new story with Wendy Weatherbee in it (whom I don't believe DP has used in any stories before, apart from being a mob-scene guest-star in the "Battle of the BFFs" multiparter, some years back). And then AJC digest had a new story with Cricket O'Dell in it (going on a date with Archie, yet)!

That reminded me that Dan has been bringing back a lot of seldom-seen supporting characters in stories lately, like Harper Lodge, Veronica's "wacky cousin" (Dan's description, from a fashion page) Marcy McDermott, Bridgett Furferfuhrer (can't recall her last name... never really cared for her) and didn't I see a story recently with Maria Rodriguez (or maybe I'm just imagining that, or thinking of a reprint I recently read)? And while I might reasonably expect to see such DP-created supporting characters like Harper, Marcy, or Bridgett, I wouldn't expect to see Wendy or Cricket. Who's next, Eyeda? (In the story where Cricket dates Archie, they go to an art gallery show, and there was a painting of floating eyeball - the centerpiece of some other elements - that strongly reminded me of Eyeda, whom Dan had previously used as a supporting character in his Sabrina stories in the early 1990s in the back of ARCHIE & FRIENDS). Makes me wonder if I didn't miss some other seldom-seen character reappearances, like maybe Trula Twyst (another character whom Dan has never really used) in some of the new DP-written lead stories from the three Archie-centric digests in the last few months.

The Cricket O'Dell dating Archie story struck me as kind of an oddity, in that I can't recall Archie ever showing any interest in dating Cricket (although I think the plot of the story had Cricket asking Archie, instead of the other way around). I almost wondered if that weren't a leftover from "The Many Loves of Archie Andrews", as it seemed like it would have fit in perfectly with that series from a couple of years back.  The Wendy Weatherbee story has her and her father back in Riverdale visiting, and immediately all the boys at RHS are lining up to date her, with extreme anticipation and high competitiveness. The Bee won't tolerate any nonsense, of course, so he takes it upon himself to review/interview Wendy's potential daters, and sets himself up as the final arbiter of who will get to date her. Archie gets "DISMISSED!" by the Bee at first sight. (It never fails to flabbergast me that no matter how many pretty girls Archie is dating or has dated, he's never satisfied -- he's just GOT to sample them all.) To no one's real surprise, Uncle Waldo declares the winner of the coveted date with Wendy to be none other than Jughead Jones (who tries to protest that he's not even interested in dating, only to confirm Weatherbee's precise reason for choosing him -- to make darn sure that there will be no chance of any potential romantic hanky-panky going on with his overprotected niece). Doesn't Wendy have anything to say about it?? Although, one gets the distinct impression that she's not exactly disappointed in the prospect of a date with Mr. Jones...

8

Quote
September 2018 - 84 FULL-COLOR pages

BACK ISSUE #107 (84 FULL-COLOR pages, $8.95) jingle-jangles with Archie Comics in the Bronze Age! Archie’s ’70s and ’80s adventures, STAN GOLDBERG and GEORGE GLADIR interviews, Archie knock-offs, Archie on TV, and histories of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, That Wilkin Boy, Cheryl Blossom, and Red Circle Comics. Featuring the work of JACK ABEL, JON D’AGOSTINO, DAN DeCARLO, FRANK DOYLE, GRAY MORROW, DAN PARENT, HENRY SCARPELLI, LOU SCHEIMER, ALEX SEGURA, ALEX TOTH, and more. Featuring an Archies cover by Dan DeCarlo, one of the celebrated artist’s final illustrations before his 2001 death. Edited by MICHAEL EURY.

Available to order through your local comic shop (request Diamond Order Code MAY182064) or order direct from the publisher, TwoMorrows, as a print magazine or a digital download:

http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1357&zenid=20f06fe1e40bd45408dbaf77fd7fecf8




9
All About Archie / Who am I?
« on: October 06, 2017, 12:41:22 pm »
I'm athletic and like to keep in shape.

My best gal-pal is Veronica Lodge.

I have blond hair and people say I'm good looking.

I'm a good student.

I love my sister and we get along great.

I believe in social justice and getting involved with my community.

My best guy-pal is Jughead.

I have a positive outlook, and people like me.

Even though I have a boyfriend, sometimes I can get distracted by a hunky guy.

I like journalism, and I might want to make it my career after graduation.

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[If your answer ended in Keller or Cooper, you are absolutely correct!] ;)

10
All About Archie / Archie Comics history Trivia Challenge
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:21:46 am »
Just for fun, let's see if anyone knows the answer to this.


Question 1)  Other than ARCHIE, what is the name of the longest-running (according to total number of issues) ongoing title which Archie Comic Publications has had in its entire history?

Question 2)  How many years did that title run (+/- 6 months)?

Question 3)  How many issues of that title were published before it was cancelled?



Important Note:  Any title that was cancelled, but then restarted again immediately with a new #1 issue is ineligible for inclusion by adding up the number or issues in more than one volume of the title. This leaves out such obvious contenders as JUGHEAD and BETTY AND VERONICA. Good luck! If no one gets it, I'll reveal the answer next week.

11
All About Archie / Bart Beaty's TWELVE-CENT ARCHIE
« on: September 10, 2017, 03:05:59 pm »
I'm about 80% through my second reading of this book, and I have to report that upon analyzing what Beaty has to say (and just importantly, what he omits talking about) I'm far less happy with the book than I was upon my initial reading. Probably because the first time around I was just bedazzled by the fact that anyone had taken the time to write a book about Archie that didn't amount to a company-approved summary of the publisher's history.

In fact, I'm going to say that I'm finding the book to be incredibly myopic and biased based on the author's own interests, so it presents nothing like a balanced and fair critique of (as I was expecting) the comic books published by Archie Comic Publications during the period of the 1960s when the cover price of those comics was twelve cents (cover dates from Dec. 1961 to July 1969).

Really the only thing that's of interest to Beaty in discussing is the comic book stories published by ACP in that period that directly featured Archie (and to a much lesser extent, Jughead). And even more to the point, Archie stories that were drawn by Harry Lucey (and to a much lesser extent, Jughead stories drawn by Samm Schwartz). Other comics (and characters) are mentioned either matter-of-factly, or in a way that is critical (in the negative connotation of that word) and/or dismissive. Writers like Frank Doyle are only mentioned in the context of their having written a script which was particularly brilliantly executed by either Lucey or Schwartz -- and Doyle is about the only writer mentioned (and once or twice, Bob Bolling). Now to be fair, the writers were not credited in the actual comics as published in this period, but shouldn't Beaty have taken the time to determine that information as much as is possible?

Dan DeCarlo is mentioned numerous times, but usually in a factual context, and barely discussed at all. The greatest wordage devoted specifically to DeCarlo is reserved for Beaty's observation of his design usage of the non-character "foreground girls" that decorated at least one panel of one story in every DeCarlo-drawn issue of B&V, and he presents it in such a way as to cast it in the light of a negative idiosyncratic oddity perpetrated by the artist. There is no discussion (although mentioned a few times in passing) of JOSIE, for example, because DeCarlo doesn't interest Beaty at all, nor do any comics which ACP published that were not focused specifically on Archie (and to a much lesser extent, Jughead). Various other titles are mentioned or discussed in a dismissive light, possibly some deserving of it, like the various Joke Books, but Beaty tends to feel negatively about anything that diverges from the standard, classic middle-of-the-road Riverdale story. Things that vary from that, like stories in Life With Archie, are invariably, when deemed worthy of mention at all, in for a harsh drubbing. "Caveman Archie" only escapes that same fate by dint of many of the stories having been handled by Lucey.

Other important characters are discussed, but only insofar as how they related to Archie Andrews in the stories, so once again -- no great amount of wordage is devoted to discussing Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica, because Harry Lucey (and Samm Schwartz) had little to do with that title. On the other hand, we get things like a two page discussion/analysis of a single-page Doyle-written, Schwartz-drawn Jughead gag, so that Beaty can discuss the brilliance of how Schwartz turned a lamely-written, unfunny joke into an exercise of turning a piece of crap into cartooning gold.

The minor-minor characters (Moose, Midge, Dilton, Ethel) are discussed and dismissed summarily as bad one-note ideas -- which may not be entirely unfounded, yet somehow they're still around, even if they might have been nothing more than reoccurring plot devices in those earliest stories.

Somehow, though, I find myself wishing for a critical analysis that was a little less biased and little more representative of ACP's total publishing output, even within a limited period like the twelve-cent era. Maybe that's my own bias because I find a lot of stuff that I like about that period had nothing to do with "standard Archie" (Josie, Sabrina, Madhouse) and I like stuff that Beaty clearly hates (Pureheart, The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., The Archies). On the other hand, while he admits that Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica was the second best-selling title in this period, he spends very little time actually discussing it, certainly less than he devotes to Jughead, the third best-selling title, so it has to do less with their relative importance in the factual sense than it does with Beaty's abiding interest in both Archie and Jughead, and Lucey and Schwartz, and relative lack of interest in Betty & Veronica (apart from their function within Archie stories drawn by Lucey, and how they related to Archie in general) and Dan DeCarlo. Beaty spends an overlong amount of time constantly returning to explanations of how ACP's lack of continuity functioned within the stories, to the point where it seems like overkill.

Maybe what's needed is a critical anthology, in which different writers could present essays on different aspects of Archie Comics that they found merited discussing or analyzing, whether focusing on various characters, titles, or publishing trends, or some subtextual aspects of the story dynamics not immediately apparent on the surface or which seem worthy of exploration.

12
All About Archie / Betty & Veronica - Lucey vs. DeCarlo
« on: September 09, 2017, 12:38:29 pm »
I've been re-reading Bart Beaty's TWELVE-CENT ARCHIE (since a new edition of the book came out with color illustrations) and seeing his comments in a somewhat different light than I did upon the first reading, a couple of years ago. I imagine that's because my understanding of the background context of the history of Archie has expanded considerably in the time since I first read it. Beaty is a devout admirer of Harry Lucey's work, and at one point in the book he makes the bold statement that "Of all the dozens of artists who contributed to Archie Comics in the twelve-cent era, the best, by far, was Harry Lucey." (emphasis mine) He goes on to say "His Archie is the most wide-eyed, his Betty and Veronica the most alluring, and his Jughead is the most relaxed."

"By far"? I had to think about that a bit, and while I'd certainly give it to Lucey when it came to Archie as the main character, and he draws a pretty sexy B&V, there's still something about his version of the girls that falls a little short, for me, of Dan DeCarlo's. How do I articulate exactly what quality it was that made DeCarlo's B&V superior to Lucey's?

When I think of Harry Lucey's version of the girls, it always seems to me that they carry themselves in a way a little too poised, a little too physically mature for their age. He's a good girl artist, but he subtracts a bit of his cartooning instincts and amps up his illustrator instincts when drawing them. His B&V seem reminiscent to me of the kind of glamour photography you might see from the 1940s or 1950s, and has a kind of "posed" quality to it, whenever B&V are strutting their stuff and showing off their curves.

Dan's B&V seem to have more of a relaxed, natural quality about them, as if caught in moments unaware that they're "having their picture taken". Despite the fact that they're both essentially the same girl in body and facial features with different hairstyles and clothing, Dan was better at making B&V each distinct by contrasting their different styles of body language. In thinking about it, I'd say DeCarlo better captured a balance in both girls' depiction between their youthful innocence and their physical charms, and that made them both more appealing and seem a little more real. I think he had a little better range on their expressions of different emotion than Lucey did, too.

Now, when it comes to who was the better ARCHIE artist (that is, the better artist for stories that focus on Archie as the main character), it's Lucey hands down. His range of portraying slapstick comedy, movement through space, and force and motion through body language was unequaled. He would have made a damn fine animator, if that had been the profession he'd chosen, because you can look at a Harry Lucey Archie story and see all the "key frames" (or "extremes") that would represent the points on which the animation turns, to be filled-in by in-betweeners. So if he had worked in animation, he'd either be the lead animator on the main character, or the director of the cartoon (who essentially does the same thing, in addition to coordinating all the other animators on the team). That ability to tell a story through slapstick action simply wasn't as essential a quality in most Betty & Veronica stories as it was in an Archie story.

And... I haven't quite decided whether Lucey was the best Silver Age Jughead artist or not, because I haven't quite spent enough time thinking about it or studying stories with that in mind, but my instincts are leading me to say... Samm Schwartz, particularly the pre-1965 Schwartz, whose earlier work I always liked better because of the inking quality on those stories before he left the company for the next four years (to go work for Tower Comics, and then DC). Schwartz' later Jughead is more minimalist, with fewer background details in the panels, and an unvarying ink line-weight, making everything look flatter and less 3-dimensional. But he still had a good storytelling sense of layouts and about the placement of figures within a panel to get some movement into it.

And beyond the Silver Age, after DeCarlo and then Lucey, who was the next best B&V artist after Lucey retired in the Bronze Age? I'm going to go with... Al Hartley. Especially when it came to Betty. Hartley seemed to have a real empathy for Betty, and it showed in his work, but beyond that, he was probably just, on average, the next best "girl artist". He didn't tend to flaunt that ability quite as much as DeCarlo and Lucey did, but when he wanted to, he could turn out some terrific stuff when the specific story allowed it. And after Hartley, once he'd been working at Archie for a few years and had gotten a handle on the characters and the house style... Stan Goldberg.

13
General Discussion / North American comics sales 2011-2016
« on: September 07, 2017, 11:15:59 pm »
I thought some people here might be interested in seeing these statistics. The bar graphs were created by Kate Willaert, from data jointly compiled by John Jackson Miller of Comichron, in collaboration with Milton Griepp of ICv2. I've no idea of where they got access to statistics such as total book market sales, digital sales, and newsstand/subscription sales, but I have faith that these are reasonably close estimates that represent the most accurate snapsnot of the total market as anyone's likely to get. The graphics ought to be self-explanatory.






14
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)


15
All About Archie / Your Pal ARCHIE [preview]
« on: June 25, 2017, 10:18:23 am »






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