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Topics - DeCarlo Rules

1
Other Media / Ron Dante's Funhouse
July 16, 2021, 09:50:10 AM



Somehow I completely missed this album when it was released last October in the middle of the whole COVID epidemic... which is still happening, somehow... I don't want to talk about it.

It's a major release for fans of The Archies. While the first disc represents sort of a "Ron Dante's Greatest Hits", with four tracks from The Archies (three familiar tracks, plus the all-new recording "Sugar Sugar 2020 Euro Dance Remix"), three taken from The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, two from the 1972 vinyl album The Amazing Spider-Man: A Rockomic!, plus five of Dante's commercial jingles, a couple of singles from Ron and the Cufflinks, and a few cover tunes.

The second disc is the big surprise, though. It contains previously unreleased songs from ARCHIE'S FUNHOUSE -- 9 full-length tunes (meaning more than two minutes running time), plus the Funhouse opening and closing themes, and 18 short recordings (meaning between 29 and 53 seconds) taken from the Funhouse "Dance of the Week" segment.

PLUS cover art from Dan Parent featuring Betty and Veronica dancing in the background, which is a neat touch.
2
General Discussion / Really?
November 26, 2020, 03:28:43 PM
Would you trust Archie Andrews to be your guide to the world of dating? Let's face it, he's not exactly Jiminy Cricket.

Spoiler Alert: I already know The Secret of Betty's Ponytail.
(It's that little black ribbon she uses to tie around her hair.)
3
General Discussion / The Best of Archie Christmas Comics
November 26, 2020, 03:07:43 PM
I was wondering why this was in such an odd size.



But then (despite it being only 256 pages) I realized it's claiming kinship with THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS trade paperbacks (which hasn't had a new volume in years, discounting those reworked Deluxe Edition HCs). That series were usually over 400 pages per volume. This book came out a few weeks ago, but this collection must have been back-burnered in production from last year or even earlier. It still lists Victor Gorelick as Co-President/Editor-In-Chief on the credits page.

The greatest joy was seeing not only each and every story with creator credits, but the source of the original printing of the story is cited along with the date of original publication. I sure wish they'd make that standard procedure on every trade collection they publish.
4
Okay -- I hadn't been getting this digest for a couple of years now, but decided to make an exception for the 100th issue. Not bad for a special issue (more older stories), but that by itself doesn't convince me to start buying WoA on a regular basis again.

What IS special is that I just discovered that issues 101-103 all bear a cover image of Jughead's head in a circle with the words "Special Jughead Issue" circling around. The cover logo still says ARCHIE, but the stories inside are ALL Jughead stories.

#101's actual cover uses the same design for the "Special Jughead Issue" as #102 & #103 as depicted, not that black crown-shaped blurb... that's an early cover mockup.

So what this seems to amount to is a digest comic miniseries-within-a-series... It occurs to me this must be some sort of trial run to determine (based on sales performance) whether or not to give Jughead his own ongoing digest series again... or maybe they're even considering changing "World of Archie" into "World of Jughead" Jumbo Comics Digest.

#104 and 105 have already been solicited and they look like the usual Christmas-season issues of WoA. But if they DO decide to publish a Jughead digest I'd buy it.

Just goes to show that you never really know (until you see solicitations) what's going on at ArchieCo HQ.
A few months back, this happened without any warning...

#281 was the last actual issue to bear the traditional title logo. Cover previews of issues 282 and 283 show the same logo, but when those issues actually went on sale, they had THIS new logo:

Which makes B & V FRIENDS (now "BEST FRIENDS", but at a much-reduced font size) nearly indistinguishable, without a close look, from the regular BETTY AND VERONICA Jumbo Comics Digest. No change at all in content (same special sections for Josie and L'il Jinx), but I figure there must be some reasoning behind it. The other B & V digest sells better for some reason, so maybe it's the logo?? That's all I can come up with.
 
5
Even as the Sword of Damocles represented by COVID-19 hangs like a grim spectre poised to crush Diamond Comic Distributors (and the entire comic shop retailing industry as it has existed in the 21st century), there are new solicitations. Anything could happen, at the time I'm posting this, but the month's ACP solicitations are more exciting collectively than they've been in a while, IMO. In addition to continuing the just-shipped SUPER DUCK reboot (which I thought was funny and just great), here are some of the notables:


SUPERTEEN Betty Cooper is back! In her own series!! (These are just 2 out of 5 cover variants)




Another Archie crossover miniseries by the Archie Meets Batman '66 creative team of Jeff Parker & Dan Parent!

Certainly not one which would have occurred to me. Well, at least they're trying to keep the crossover concept going, but legal logistics probably rule out any kind of 'dream crossover' projects with Star Wars or Spider-Man. Superman would seem to be at least a possibility based on previous AC/DC co-productions, so fingers crossed for next time.




World of ARCHIE 100th Issue Special:

Not on my usual reading list, but I'll certainly be picking this one up (I HOPE!!) based on this solicitation description:
(W) Bill Golliher (A) Various (CA) Pat & Tim Kennedy
BRAND NEW STORY: "Hundreds of Possibilities!" Celebrate the milestone 100th issue of World of Archie! Archie takes a nap only to be awakened by someone pounding on his door. To his surprise, it's his best friend Jughead-but not the Jughead he recognizes. This one belongs to something called the Time Police, and he comes with a warning: all the Archie space time continuum will soon be collapsed into one reality. Archie must join forces with Jughead to save the day-and all of time as we know it!
In Shops: Jun 17, 2020
SRP: $7.99

Ooooh!! An Archie Multiverse story featuring Deputy Marshal Forsythe P. Jones of the Time Police!! SWEET!! Doesn't say whether the new story is longer than the standard digest lead of 5 pages, but one hopes against hope for a one-time exception 20-pager in honor of reaching 100 issues. Certainly sounds like more plot than they can squeeze down into a standard 5-pager, though. FINGERS CROSSED!



On the trade paperback front, there's this (No real details, so it's a crapshoot as to whether there will be any significant percentage of not-previously-collected stories making up this volume):

Is it merely the trade paperback version of the earlier-revised HC Deluxe Edition of the even-earlier Best of Archie Comics Volume 1 trade collection? Or an entirely different remix? No way to tell at present. Buyer Beware!



And of course, the continuing exploits and/or travails of the "All-New, All-Cynical" SUPER DUCK. NOT an All-Ages title as you might expect:

SUPER DUCK #1 read somewhat like a strange fusion of Mighty Mouse and Marvel's Howard the Duck. A complete reboot of the classic ACP character -- no prior familiarity necessary. Highly recommended by this reader!



Finally, on the Archie-peripheral collectibles front, there's THIS book (for a mere $5 cover price) from ACP licensee BuzzPop:
6


I didn't see this one coming, because I didn't read Dynamite's solictation for this issue closely enough. I had been buying the previous issues more to get the Dan Parent cover variants than for any other reason. #1-8 are done in the same "New Archie" style as the earlier DC crossover with Harley & Ivy. Which is nowhere near as interesting to me as it would be if Dan Parent drew the story. But surprisingly to me (I was completely unaware until I opened the cover of #9 and began reading) Dan Parent DID in fact draw the interior artwork for this entire issue.
7
In 1972, Tom DeFalco began his career in comic books working as an editorial assistant for ACP, where he began writing scripts on the side, but one of the earliest things he did was to conceive and develop the Archie reprint comics digest:



The Archie digest line would go on to become the company's most profitable format for decades. Tom DeFalco went on to work for Marvel Comics beginning in the 1980s, where he spent the next 20 years of his career. He later served as Editor-In-Chief at Marvel from 1987 to 1994, making him one of the longest serving individuals to hold that post, and later returned to write for Archie Comics in 2000s again.

Hats off to Tom for brainstorming that little digest of collected reprints that managed to make it into more retail outlets than any other comics published from the 1970s onward!
8
General Discussion / ARCHIE SHOWCASE DIGEST
February 21, 2020, 01:49:28 PM


ACP is launching a new digest title, ARCHIE SHOWCASE DIGEST. No information about whether this is another "limited series" digest title of 12 issues like ARCHIE 75th ANNIVERSARY DIGEST (2016-2017) and ARCHIE MILESTONES DIGEST (2019-2020) so far, but I'm intrigued by the solicitation copy which reads "The Archie Showcase digest series will place the spotlight on Archie Comics' hottest characters". Well, if it's a 12-issue limited digest series, then we'll only get the top-selling dozen characters: Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Sabrina, Josie (and the Pussycats), Cheryl Blossom, Kevin Keller (...or maybe not), Katy Keene, Mr. Weatherbee, and... ??? 

Moose? Dilton? Ethel? Chuck? Mr. Lodge? Miss Grundy? Li'l Jinx? Who knows. MAYBE Super Duck, since he's got a current floppy comic limited series... but I kind of doubt it. More than likely the only characters being "showcased" here will be those that have figured significantly on RIVERDALE or other ACP video series.

Characters who I'd like to wish would get a SHOWCASE digest spotlight issue, but who probably won't (even though they could find more than enough stories to fill a Jumbo Digest), because I don't think ACP would be that daring to risk an issue not selling (sure would be nice to be proven wrong, though):
- THAT WILKIN BOY
- WILBUR
- MADHOUSE GLADS

I mean, theoretically, even an irregularly-seen character like Trula Twyst, Cricket O'Dell, Frankie Valdez, Wendy Weatherbee, Raj Patel, Ginger Lopez, or Veronica's cousin Marcy McDermott could have a Showcase issue devoted to them, as long as they could fill enough pages with stories that featured that character (that leaves out Harper Lodge, Toni Topaz, and Shrill...) Not that I'd ever really expect them to do anything like that.

And they've already wasted the entire first issue by devoting the "spotlight" to Archie Andrews -- Whoa! Now there's a character who's just not getting enough exposure!!  >:(  Well, at the very least, I guess I'll probably get a Jughead, Betty, and Veronica solo digest issue out of the deal (and probably a Reggie one as well), so at least I know it won't be a total loss.

https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/MAR201592
9
Reviews / ARCHIE Modern Classics Vol. 2
January 24, 2020, 06:50:50 AM


It's good to get this because it represents kind of an annual survey of classic Archie stories. There were 48 stories in this book -- I got the feeling that a couple were left out to keep it down to 256 pages. By my account there should have been 50 Archie digest issues released in 2019; possibly a couple of those individual digest issues had more than one new story, so maybe as many as 52 new 5-pagers saw print in 2019. Of the 48 stories in this collection, Bill Golliher wrote 28 of them (and he's virtually the sole writer now for B&V stories). Francis Bonnet wrote 9 stories appearing in the 3 Archie digest titles, followed by Angelo DeCesare with 8. The remaining 3 writers only contributed a single story in 2019 (or if they did more, they weren't included in this collection). Dan Parent drew most of the B&V stories, and contributed a single Archie & Jughead story (which he also wrote) as well. I wish that Jeff Shultz and the Kennedy brothers had drawn more of the remaining stories; their work is sorely missed and I always appreciate seeing a new story by them.

I don't recall seeing any stories by Francis Bonnet prior to 2019, but on average, they're as good as any of the other stories in this collection. That just strikes me as really odd, that a new writer could potentially break in at ACP by writing classic Archie stories at a time when the number of pages of those stories is at an all-time low, but there it is. Unless "Francis Bonnet" is actually a pseudonym for some established writer who for some reason doesn't want to reveal his true identity. He does seem very familiar with the characters and typical Archie-style plots, though, so I wonder...

I no longer subscribe to any of the three Archie digests, although I still get the two B&V digests. It's good to be patient and get a large dose of the new Archie stories at the end of the year, though, which makes this compilation really worthwhile for me.
10
All About Archie / KATY KEENE TP
August 29, 2019, 03:33:37 AM
Just got this collection today. I'm disappointed. It consists of about 48 pages of KK reprints from 1957-59 issues of the title drawn by Bill Woggon (these stories have shown up occasionally in the digests), another 48 pages of reprints from issues #21-27 of the 1980s revival of the title drawn by John Lucas (for some reason I've NEVER seen these reprinted in the regular digest titles), and then another 125 pages reprinting the one-shot FCBD B&V issue where KK guest-starred, plus the entirety of the previously-published Katy Keene: Model Behavior (which was also the title of the story from the FCBD B&V issue) graphic novel, which collected individual chapters published in ARCHIE & FRIENDS. So the bulk of this trade collection consists of a graphic novel that I've previously purchased from ACP. (*sigh*)

I was REALLY hoping that the bulk of this collection would consist of the John Lucas stories from the 1980s revival of KK, which I've rarely had the opportunity to read.
11
The stories reprinted in BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL. 2 TP span the contents of issues #12 through #25 (originally published January 1995 through September 1997). 13th Dimension posted the contents pages, as well as a few sample story pages from the trade collection, due out next week (July 3rd, 2019) -- just in time for celebrating the 4th of July!

https://13thdimension.com/time-to-take-betty-veronica-to-the-beach/#comments
12
New solicits for September-shipping ACP titles are out! Here's just a taste to whet your appetite.



This is the regular cover (Cover A by Derek Charm), so I assume this image is literal to the events of the story, and not "interpretive" (as might be the case for a variant cover).

Full Diamond solicitations for Archie for September can be found HERE:
https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog?batch=JUL19&pub=ARCHIE%20COMIC%20PUBLICATIONS
13
All About Archie / Won't get fooled again.
January 18, 2019, 09:02:23 AM
Hey, remember a couple of years back when they did THIS 12-issue limited Jumbo Comics digest series?



And does anybody also remember that the "anniversary celebration" turned out to be nothing but a reprinting of all the stories from the Best of Archie Comics trade paperbacks (4 volumes at the time, plus one starring B&V), spread out and mixed up over the course of twelve 192-page digest issues? Yup, that's exactly what it was, nothing more, nothing less. Dum-dum that I was then, I trusted ACP and pre-subscribed to the digest series, only to discover it would contain NO reprints I hadn't already read before in the Best of Archie Comics series.

And NOW they've got a NEW 12-issue limited digest series.


Archie Milestones Jumbo Comics Digest. It's 192 pages for $6.99, and is described by ACP as "Archie Comics has been around for over 75 years, and we've had our finger on the pulse of pop culture the entire time! This new digest series' first issue will highlight some of the biggest trends in each decade of Archie—including fun parodies, classic stories and even some cute 'n' cuddly pals!"  Call me suspicious, but the phrases "pop culture", "biggest trends in each decade" and "fun parodies" seem to evoke memories of the stories collected in the ARCHIE AMERICANA series of trade paperbacks -- already presented before in THREE different formats: the original standard-sized TPs, of which there were two volumes each from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s; a later hardcover reprinting from IDW that collected the individual volumes from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s into four hardcover collections, and yet another TP series (this time in the same size trade trim as The Best of Archie Comics) which collected both the 40s & 50s into a single Golden Age volume, both the 60s & 70s into a single Silver Age volume, and both the 80s & 90s into a single Bronze Age volume. I'll bet dollars to donuts that's exactly what this new series of digests is -- yet another recycling of those stories again (probably mixed up so that you don't get all the stories from the same decades in the same issues).

Let the buyer beware!
14
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.
15


   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).
16
All About Archie / American Gigolo
August 20, 2018, 07:44:27 PM
17
All About Archie / THAT JOKE JUST NEVER GETS OLD!
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??
18
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)
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^^ Dan DeCarlo in KATHY #8 (Aug. 1951, Standard Comics) ^^







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