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Archie meets Batman '66! by Archiecomicxfan215
[March 20, 2018, 09:58:01 AM]

Archie June 2018 Solicitations by Vegan Jughead
[March 20, 2018, 06:54:30 AM]

What comics have you been reading? by BettyReggie
[March 19, 2018, 04:17:15 PM]

Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[March 19, 2018, 01:47:55 PM]

What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[March 19, 2018, 12:16:17 PM]

Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[March 19, 2018, 07:54:36 AM]

"The Archies" will end with issue #7 by Vegan Jughead
[March 18, 2018, 09:01:15 PM]

Adopted an orphan baby monkey by BillysBadFurDay
[March 18, 2018, 06:06:47 AM]

Archie and Friends Digital Digest... by DeCarlo Rules
[March 18, 2018, 01:00:03 AM]

Sears/Kmart by ASS-P
[March 17, 2018, 07:19:01 PM]

* Shoutbox

Refresh History
  • BettyReggie: Riverdale #11 just came
    March 19, 2018, 04:16:25 PM
  • BettyReggie: 200 Days till New York Comic Con.
    March 19, 2018, 07:55:31 AM
  • BettyReggie: Last espoide of Riverdale Season #2 is only 61 days away.
    March 15, 2018, 11:09:14 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Color Coded", a 1980s Cheryl story: [link]
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:59 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Ick. Let's try that again.
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:39 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Color Coded", a 1980s Cheryl story:  Still, that's not as odd as the fact that, despite the cover, there's not a Halloween-themed story in the entire issue.
    March 14, 2018, 11:03:19 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Really awesome cosplay of Cheryl [link]
    March 09, 2018, 09:09:14 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Get out of the city! Bronson Pinchot cast as villanous high school principal in new Sabrina series! [link]
    March 09, 2018, 08:42:06 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Change of Minds" [link]
    March 08, 2018, 05:19:04 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Have all of the Archies issues been removed from Amazon? Everything's coming up in my searches except that one series.
    March 08, 2018, 11:33:55 AM
  • irishmoxie: I think they just want you to use comiXology. I prefer the kindle app to comiXology. Much easier to swipe through pages.
    March 06, 2018, 01:49:17 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Maybe there's some slight modification to the PDF files they use in the ComiXology app to adapt it to feature-specific things in Amazon's Kindle reader app, and that takes a little while for them to convert the files? Just a wild guess.
    March 05, 2018, 06:20:53 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: That's weird since Amazon owns Comixology.
    March 03, 2018, 08:20:53 PM
  • irishmoxie: A lot of times Amazon's digital comics' releases are later than Comixology's.
    March 03, 2018, 11:51:24 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Yeah, it's the digital version.
    March 03, 2018, 08:34:18 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Oh, and if you're talking about the digital version, then it might have a different release date, too. Amazon's digital comics are really ComiXology's digital comics. Amazon owns ComiXology. Most publishers have a same-day-and-date print & digital release policy, but ACP's might be different, or it could just be an odd fluke.
    March 03, 2018, 02:34:50 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Comic book shops gor VIXENS #4 on February 28th. Sometimes Amazon may get products on a different date, because the bookseller market is serviced by a different distribution system. Could be later, or sometimes, earlier, but usually only by a few days or a week.
    March 02, 2018, 11:42:37 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Amazon doesn't have #4 as coming out until the 7th. Did you get it early via subscription?
    March 02, 2018, 08:52:44 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Posted my review of BETTY & VERONICA VIXENS #1-4 [link]
    March 02, 2018, 03:41:37 AM
  • BettyReggie: I got Archie#5 & The Best Of Betty & Veronica Book #2.
    March 01, 2018, 02:59:27 PM

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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All About Archie / Re: Archie June 2018 Solicitations
« on: March 19, 2018, 10:20:34 PM »
Looking forward to the Archie At Riverdale High trade paperback and for some reason, despite not being all that interested, I'm thinking of picking up Vampironica after seeing #3 in this solicit. 

Just curious why #3, presuming from what you've said that you didn't pick up #1?

Or for that matter, what about THE HUNGER made you want to read that (which you liked, IIRC) "despite not being all that interested" in VAMPIRONICA. What's interesting is that (at least prior to Vampironica #1) The Hunger is currently ACP's best-selling floppy comic title. It's kind of hard to judge on the writing, but I at least thought the artwork in Vampironica was a little better than that in Jughead (and actually, better than that in Sabrina, as well).

I was left fairly underwhelmed by VAMPIRONICA #1 based on the fact that nothing about it feels particularly interesting or unique. It's far too similar in tone to its obvious model, VAMPIRELLA. Oh, another good female vampire who fights to protect people from evil vampires (and whatever other supernatural evils or monsters threaten humanity)? It just feels too derivative of lots of other vampire stories.

If this keeps up the next title they should come out with is a HUNGER companion title, THAT WILKIN WEREWOLF. Or maybe they could just keep ripping off Vampirella. Since that series had a spinoff character called PANTHA, a woman who could change herself into a black panther, maybe they should do a Josie & the Pussycats horror book where they all turn into various large, predator species of cats (lioness, leopardess, pantheress).

All About Archie / Re: "The Archies" will end with issue #7
« on: March 18, 2018, 03:58:05 PM »
One other possibility just occurred to me, which... if it turned out to be true, I'd find REALLY funny and ironic. What if one of the musical artists (The Monkees, Tegan & Sarah, Blondie, or whomever...) ONLY signed the contract with ACP to allow use of their likeness(es) under the mistaken impression that they'd be appearing in a comic book story with "The Archies"? Which is to say, what if they'd grown up with and been a fan of (the CLASSIC) Archie comic books, and were expecting to get "Archiefied" in a story with... THESE guys?

And then were SO disappointed to discover what the finished product looked like, that they felt that they'd been deceived and tricked??

All About Archie / Re: "The Archies" will end with issue #7
« on: March 18, 2018, 01:47:17 PM »
Has the series been cancelled after #5? That's the last issue that I saw on Amazon, and it seems like the entire series was removed around a week or two ago.

Issue #7 was the last to be solicited through Diamond Comics. Whether #6 or 7 will actually see print NOWseems iffy at best. Sounds like ACP may have run into some legal difficulties having to do with licensing rights to the musicians appearing in the series. That probably means no trade paperback collection, either. Or at least, no COMPLETE trade paperback collection.

I hope that's not the case.  I can't imagine the disappointment of Alex Segura and Dan Parent if the Blondie issue doesn't happen.  They both LOVE Blondie and of course Dan has a variant cover on that issue.

I know! I ordered #6 specifically for Dan's variant cover. Still, I'm at a loss for any other explanation that would account for the sudden withdrawal of already-published issues of The Archies. It's like when you suddenly see some product removed from retail sale... nobody wants the loss of revenue, so you can only assume that there exists some greater danger to the company that produced the product if they continue to sell it.

I will allow that perhaps the legal kerfluffle pertains only to the digital licensing rights... that would allow for the existing material written and drawn for print publication to go ahead as planned. The lost revenue from digital sales might have so impacted the title's profitability as to account for its sudden discontinuation as of #7.

Now, what I am imagining here is that there is some dispute over exactly what intellectual property rights were being granted under the contract which the musicians (or their legal representatives) signed, granting rights to use their likenesses (which are their "intellectual property") to Archie Comic Publications.

In the day-to-day world of comic book publishing, most creators (like Alex Segura, comic book writer, or Joe Eisma, comic book artist) are creating intellectual property for the publisher under a "work for hire" contract. What that means is that they are in effect assigning all future intellectual property rights in the work they are creating to the publisher, and the publisher then becomes the creator of record for all purposes going forward. That means that Archie Comic Publications can continue to exploit the work created by Alex Segura or Joe Eisma for ACP under contract for any future profit they might derive from it, in reprints and whatever formats they choose to exploit.

In the wider publishing world, "work for hire" isn't a standard contract agreement. If Stephen King writes a novel for say, Random House, he does not sign away all future interest in his work to the publisher. By the same principle, if Capcom licenses the rights to ACP to publish a MEGA MAN comic book, they are only granting those rights to ACP in a limited fashion for a limited time, which may either expire or be revoked after "first use" or "first publication", or for a specific period of time stated in the contract. They are not granting the rights to ACP to use Mega Man in its comic books (or reprint those comic books later or in different formats) in perpetuity. The same goes for musicians who are granting ACP use of their likenesses for the purposes of creating comic books designed to generate profit for the publisher.

I would venture to guess that the legal dispute has something to do with how "first use" or "first publication" (unless otherwise defined as a specific time period in the legal contract binding the musicians) relates to digital comics. Unlike traditional publishing, in digital comics their are no "second printings" or "reprints", because the original "first publication" never exhausts itself. Unlike print publishing, there is no finite number of copies being initially printed, so that digital comic can in fact remain "on sale now" and be delivered on demand to any customers who choose to purchase it at any time after it first becomes available. Is a digital comic a "reprint" of the print publication? Not exactly, but then again, after a certain time has passed all original first printing copies of a comic book may become unavailable for purchase by any retailer choosing to stock the product -- this will never happen to a digital comic. Perhaps one of the musical groups took issue with this, arguing that they did not grant ACP the rights to use their likeness in digital comic books that could potentially continue to sell forever, or as long as any consumer interest remains.

All About Archie / Re: Archie and Friends Digital Digest...
« on: March 18, 2018, 01:00:03 AM »
...Is available on Comixology. However, 99 cents for only 11 pages?  ???  No way, pass....

Are these the same as those digital freebee issues they're giving away on with the codes appearing in the print digests?

Since those are all samplers of older digital digest issues anyway, you'd think they could at least give you 20-odd pages or so. Still, if you do the math it's less than 10 cents/per page of story, while a regular ACP floppy comic (even in digital format) is costing you 20 cents/per page of story.

Regular floppy comics in digital format should be 99 cents anyway. There's no paper, no ink for the publisher to buy, no distributor (or no retailer... depending on how you want to define whomever you're actually paying for the digital comic), and no costs associated with warehousing or transportation, like there is with print comic books. They make WAY too much profit off those things considering that once the creative and editorial personnel get paid for their work, there's very little additional cost incurred by the publisher.

All About Archie / Re: "The Archies" will end with issue #7
« on: March 18, 2018, 12:48:29 AM »
Has the series been cancelled after #5? That's the last issue that I saw on Amazon, and it seems like the entire series was removed around a week or two ago.

Issue #7 was the last to be solicited through Diamond Comics. Whether #6 or 7 will actually see print NOWseems iffy at best. Sounds like ACP may have run into some legal difficulties having to do with licensing rights to the musicians appearing in the series. That probably means no trade paperback collection, either. Or at least, no COMPLETE trade paperback collection.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 14, 2018, 09:04:17 AM »
03-12-18 to 03-14-18:
(of ?)
COSMO #3 (of 5)
(of 6)
FIRE PUNCH VOL 01 (manga)
IT RHYMES WITH LUST OGN (reprint of 1948 graphic novel)

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 11, 2018, 10:57:47 AM »
03-04-18 to 03-11-18:
(of 4)
GALAKTIKON #5 (of 6)
ONE PUNCH MAN VOL 13 tankobon
ASTRA: LOST IN SPACE VOL 1 & 2 tankobon
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.

General Discussion / Re: Archie Barber Shop
« on: March 09, 2018, 06:38:48 AM »
...From what little I've seen of Harold Teen, I've always wanted to see more, but like  a whole lot of rather "homey " newspaper strips of old,  there appears to be little if any available reprints of it.  The strip was known for its trying to keep up with contemporary teenagers' slang, apparently -A touch different, since it appeared in daily newspapers back when essentially anyone literate bought one - And read the comics therein!!!!!!!!! ;) :D  - so maybe it meant that HT tried to be more literally fashion-forward, as it were, than classic Archie, which -
 arguably?? -updated itself,  but always in a juuussst cozily, mildly, behind the times manner? Maybe that's not so.  Discuss this?

Then again, it might just be a difference in perception, given that both Harold Teen and Archie were stories about teenagers most likely being written by middle-aged men (and somewhat later on, women). Maybe it only SEEMS like Harold Teen "kept up with contemporary teenagers' slang" because it was before your time, so it's hard for you to judge, while you can start reading Archie stories when you're a child, and age into a teenager and eventually a middle-aged man while Archie and his friends still remain teenagers.

When I was a kid, I could still read Bob Haney's dialogue in the original TEEN TITANS comic book and (not knowing any better) think it was "hip" teenage slang, but when I got to be a teenager, I realized how ridiculously hokey it sounded... and now it seems "endearingly hokey".

All About Archie / Re: Whew!
« on: March 05, 2018, 10:59:40 PM »
HUGE slew of stories added to my third album! B & V, Miss Grundy, Ronica, an Archie one, and a Pat Kennedy one that has a several-part Josie and the Pussycats story! be sure to use the A-Z direction sort in the lower right corner! Enjoy!  :D

"Music For the Masses" is drawn by Rex Lindsay, not Pat Kennedy. In fact, while you may be able to find a few exceptions to this rule, JOSIE over the course of its history has really mainly been the product of only 4 pencilers... Dan DeCarlo and Stan Goldberg (from 1963-1982 in Josie's 1st series), then as a backup feature from the mid-1980s through most of the 1990s, pretty much Stan Goldberg by himself (although Al Bigley did a few, and DeCarlo drew some new stories for the two issues of JOSIE volume 2), and then during the heyday of the Pussycats being promoted to the lead feature in ARCHIE & FRIENDS in anticipation of the characters appearing in their own feature film, first Rex Lindsay and then Holly Golightly. When the movie came and went and failed to greatly increase the number of new JOSIE readers, it reverted to a backup feature in A&F once more, with Rex Lindsay and Stan Goldberg sharing the penciling duties between them for a little while, although eventually, Rex moved on so he could devote most of his time to JUGHEAD, and Stan finished out the run of the feature in A&F (which only lasted until Tania Del Rio briefly turned it into a manga, just before the 100th issue). In terms of page counts, the total number of pages of JOSIE stories contributed by pencilers other than those four (not counting their guest appearances in ARCHIE, of course) is pretty negligible. In fact, even Rex and Holly's number of pages don't add up to much when compared to Dan and Stan's.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: March 04, 2018, 06:14:46 AM »
02-22-18 to 03-04-18:
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM UP #35 (with Yogi Bear)
THE BEEF #1 (of 5)
THE BEEF #1 (of 4)
KRUSTY THE CLOWN #1 (one-shot)

Art books I've read recently:
  THE GREAT AMERICAN PIN-UP HC by Charles G. Martignette/Louis K. Meisel
  Peter Driben - 1000 PIN-UP GIRLS HC

Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:08:41 PM »
You're a stronger man than I am DCR.  I liked reading your review way more than I can stand the idea of B&V as bikers.

You know, in reference to my earlier review, if they're searching for a new spin for a modern reboot, they could do lot worse than go back to Bob Bolling's idea of Betty Super Sleuther. Now, that title wouldn't exactly cut the mustard with today's comic audience, because it would just be laughed at. But you could maybe call it something like BETTY'S MYSTERIES, and you could even recycle some of Bolling's old plots (expanded to four or five issues so that they could be collected in a trade paperback). That would work drawn in a style somewhere in-between classic and New Riverdale Archie, and you could have various other Riverdalians taking secondary or minor roles in any given story arc. Something LIKE Nancy Drew, but with a contempory spin on it. Just to do something different, with an Archie book that's kind of an adventure, with Betty as the most logical choice to be the hero. As long as you kept the mysteries actually interesting (i.e. something you're not going to guess the explanation to in the first or second issue of the story arc), why wouldn't something like that work?

Welcome/Introductions / Re: im back x2
« on: March 02, 2018, 06:37:01 AM »
What comics are you reading now, Leah?

Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:38:22 AM »
Betty & Veronica: VIXENS #1-4
Written by Jaime Rotante
Art by Eva Cabrera

Issue #4 of this title came out this week, which more or less concludes the first story arc of this series (apart from one conspicuously dangling plot thread), so I sat down and took the opportunity to re-read the first three issues along with the new one.

There are a few things that strike me immediately as unsatisfying about this series as is. To begin with Eva Cabrera's artwork, she does a really nice job on the covers for the most part, along with some of the splash pages (which look to have been later "add-ons" in the sense that they were drawn somewhat later and are completely unneccessary to the actual story, as if the script had actually run a page shorter than the number of story pages allotted for the issue). So I know that given the time to do a good job (at least on a single drawing) Eva is capable of better work than what's on display in most of these panels and pages. It appears to me that she's just not up to speed to deliver an entire comic book worth of art (she appears to be her own inker) in the time allotted in the best quality she might be capable of if given more time. Her greatest strength is in her actual storytelling ability, the layout of the panels and placement of the figures on the page, moving those characters in space and including all the information necessary for reading the story unambiguously. Her weaknesses (at the speed she's required to work to make deadlines) are:

1)  Sparse and undetailed backgrounds (she often doesn't bother to rule straight lines that should be ruled, use much perspective, or add much detail or any shading/textures in her work, which makes it look a little bland and 2-dimensional overall. Background props are sort of "mailed-in" with little time spent making them look convincing.
2)  Faces are inconsistently drawn. In any given issue you can find some examples that came out well (in consideration of her own style), and others where little things are just off, like the shape of the head or the distance between a character's eyes. Some noses are drawn well, and others not. Sometimes she gets a good facial expression in there, and sometimes not. She needs to work on that, and codify her own particular style so that she can adapt it to the requirements of any given angle or character action/reaction, drawing the same type of head angle or facial expression consistently from one instance to the next, and always keeping the proportions well-balanced.
3)  Many of Eva's weaknessess in these areas could have been smoothed over by having assigned her a good, experienced professional inker -- someone like Rich Koslowski. Eva's own inking is her weakest area overall, because many artists don't bother with fine-tuning the details of backgrounds, texturing, and faces until the inking stage. That's when they get more of a three-dimensional quality to the artwork, and make it look less flat, and improve some of the rough edges of their pencil art. I can only assume that Eva really doesn't have the time to do all that, both pencilling AND inking, with the amount of work it requires before the deadline, to bring her work up to truly professional levels, like she does with her cover art. Most likely, being fairly new as an artist, she really isn't being paid a lot to do BOTH jobs of pencilling and inking, and I can sympathize a little bit with that. Obviously, ACP did not budget the book high enough to account for also paying a pro inker like Koslowski to finish the pages. Her inking is flat, with no variance in line-weight or real polish or confidence to it, which is what an inker does to turn rough pencil art into something slick looking, giving everything some roundness, depth, and consistency. She does draw and position her figures pretty well, but still needs work on details like hands.

Now, harsh as all that might sound, I do think Eva has a future in the industry, but she'll have to work on both her consistency and speed. With time and constant practice (and with a little assistance by a veteran ink-slinger until she can get up to speed) that should improve, and as I mentioned, she already has the ability to lay out a story and tell it visually pretty well. The overall effect here is of a young person of reasonably artistic ability who still has a long way yet to go -- the artwork still has that 'kitchen-table'/DIY roughness to it. Some might say that's part of its charm, that rough-hewn quality, but really it's comics at the fanzine/doujinshi level.

Now let's get to the story. There are a couple of problems here, both in story terms and and in characterization. Let's take characterization first. Jaime Rotante is kind of all over the place here, with a large cast of characters, but the main ones don't seem to ring true (even allowing for a complete transplant of genre) to the ACP characters we're familiar with. Betty is probably the worst example. Betty Cooper in this story has some kind of self-esteem issues and a lot of pent-up anger, and often lets it dictate her actions in place of thinking. The fact that she gets away with it in most instances can only be chalked up to dumb luck (or because the writer SAID so). This Betty threatens to kick someone's ass, and starts fights when she should know better and just walk away. In other words, she's not really any version of Betty Cooper who appeared in any of the Archie comic books up until 2015. She seems to fancy herself as Riverdale's protector in some way, but really she's the one instigating retaliation from the Southside Serpents gang. Similarly, both Toni Topaz and Evelyn Evernever are seemingly always spoiling for a fight. Since both of these characters have less about them established, it's easier to bend whatever prior characterization might have existed in those few stories with them. What Veronica's interest in all this girl-gang business is, is never really made clear. She seems to enjoy the idea of it for pure kicks. Some things about the story are just left hanging and we never really find out what happened. In the first issue, Betty rides passenger on Archie's "fixed it up myself" motorcycle until they encounter mechanical troubles, on the way to meeting up with Veronica and Reggie at "Dead Man's Curve", and they need to pull into Spotty's, a biker bar which is the Southside Serpents' hangout. Archie gets nervous when he sees all the bikers in the bar, runs out, and hops on his bike in an attempt to "get the hell out of there", accidentally knocking over a row of the Serpents' parked motorcycles, which irks the Serpents' leader, Fangs Fogerty, and he vows to get even. Later on, it's never revealed what the heck happened to Veronica and Reggie that same night, or exactly what the Serpents did to try to get revenge, but it's implied (NOT shown) that they went on some kind of "roaring rampage of revenge". If Jaime Rotante wants to make us feel that whatever Betty and Veronica think they're doing is to "protect Riverdale" (or themselves), then it's got to be SHOWN, not just "alluded to". As far as can be seen in this story, apart from Archie's clumsiness in accidentally knocking over the Serpents' bikes, everything from then on is a result of things that B&V do to instigate conflict, and a result of their anger and spoiling to prove something to themselves in challenging the Serpents. It's hard to generate sympathy for their cause when they're not even trying to avoid a conflict, but actively seeking it out. My takeaway from this is that Betty has some unresolved self-image issues and Veronica is just looking to be "in on the action", to experience some lowdown "kicks" that the pampered rich hardly ever need contend with.

So, overall, there's definitely something lacking here in terms of clear motivations and something other than random characterizations. Jaime's approach to scripting a comic story is still at that homemade Kitchen Table/fanzine-quality level. She needs to better think out the motivations and actions of her characters, because the whole storyline seems like a domino chain of random actions. Of course the Serpents don't get our sympathy either, because (for some reason that isn't entirely clear) they choose to ransack Ambrose's Garage (giving him a concussion when they assault him) and steal Bubbles' McBounce's motorcycle. Once again, the Serpents gang's attack isn't actually SHOWN, only the aftermath of it (that's not good drama). It isn't ever explained how the Serpents draw some kind of connection between them and Archie and B&V, the target of their vindictiveness. Bubbles is so upset by the attack that while she's at first mindful to keep the concussed Ambrose from falling asleep, a few panels later she gets mad at him and tells him to "Go back to sleep" (which would imply that she's so mad that she doesn't really care if he winds up with brain damage or dead).

Then too, there is a lot of flashforwarding and flashbacking in the story (each issue usually starts in the present, then flashes back to some events occurring earlier), and it's done very awkwardly, without much in the way of transitional captioning, so that the actual connection of chronological events is sort of blurry. There's a big rumble between the Vixens (who after all, are still inexperienced high school girls new to this whole "gang" thing) and the vicious and very-experienced Southside Serpents, in which the Vixens all handily deliver the beatdown to the Serpents in a couple of pages in the last issue, winning rather easily with not much serious effort or incurring any injuries. HOW? Just because. Because they're the "good gals" and they need to win in the end, regardless of any sort of reflection of concern for "realism" or anything like that. Oh yeah, because Evelyn and Toni are always getting in fights, anyway, and Veronica knows like 3 or 4 different martial arts (which she just happened to mention in passing) the names of which J.R. just plucked off the internet somewhere. Rah, rah! Girl Power!!

The universe of VIXENS seems to take place in a world where in the year 2018, they have computers, smartphones, and social media, but sociologically and culturally, nothing has changed about the world one bit since the 1950s. Adults are still stern and sober authoritarians worried about the threat of juvenile delinquency, and a woman is still expected to "know her place" in society. On the other hand, inflation never happened either, so a ticket to the big dance can be bought for only $2 (in our world, I'm thinking it would be more like $20 or more, but I admit to not having bought a ticket to a local social event in a while).

Betty and Veronica as co-leaders of an all-girl biker gang is a potentially interesting concept, but the execution of the idea is less than graceful. At the end of issue #3, we are teased with the introduction of what would seem to turn out to be a modernized version of Little Archie's Mad Doctor Doom, and although we see him meeting clandestinely with Fangs Fogerty to plot some further unguessed mischief, there's isn't much of a hint of how he fits into this world ("mad scientist" seems unlikely), or how exactly he fits into the underworld gang structure.

From what's been in the first four issues, I couldn't grade this comic any higher than a C-, and that feels somewhat generous.

Reviews / Re: Some reviews.
« on: March 01, 2018, 02:56:10 PM »

Contents listing: Year (by cover date) of publication, source Title & issue # of first appearance in print, Story title, and Number of pages.

AgB&V = Archie's Girls BETTY and VERONICA (1950-1987) or "Volume 1", and B&V(v2) = BETTY and VERONICA (1987-2015) or "Volume 2". The rest should be self-explanatory.

   1944      ARCHIE #6      [Nominate A Drum Majorette]      4   pages   
   1944      ARCHIE #9      ["And now, girls…"]      5   pages   
   1944      ARCHIE #10      ["Why look, new neighbors…"]      5   pages   
   1945      ARCHIE #14      [NOTICE]      6   pages   
   1946      ARCHIE #19      [Aviation Training]      6   pages   
   1946      ARCHIE #20      RAY!      7   pages   
   1950      AgB&V #1      What's Cookin' ?      6   pages   
   1951      AgB&V #4      Fish For Dinner      5   pages   
   1954      AgB&V #12      Ski Sick      4   pages   
   1955      AgB&V #20      Late Date      3   pages   
   1956      AgB&V #26      Click Chick      5   pages   
   1956      AgB&V #26      Sock 'n Roll      5   pages   
   1957      AgB&V #29      Popular Mechanics      6   pages   
   1959      AgB&V #44      Sheep Skinned      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #111      Dress Dilemma      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #112      Midas Mess      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #112      Prize Package      5   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #113      The Escort      6   pages   
   1965      AgB&V #122      TILT      6   pages   
   1969      AgB&V #142      New Girl in Town      6   pages   
   1970      AgB&V #177      Crabby Couple      6   pages   
   1972      AgB&V #193      From Stem to Stern      6   pages   
   1973      AgB&V #206      Success Story      5   pages   
   1974      AgB&V #220      Temptation      5   pages   
   1974      AgB&V #222      Breath Taking      6   pages   
   1976      AgB&V #234      The Advertising Game      5   pages   
   1979      AgB&V #287      Snap, Crackle and Pop      6   pages   
   1980      AgB&V #289      Voices of Change      6   pages   
   1981      AgB&V #303      Sculpture Schemer      5   pages   
   1984      AgB&V #333      Chiller      6   pages   
   1984      AgB&V #333      Is There an Archie in the House?      5   pages   
   1985      AgB&V #335      The Untouchable      5   pages   
   1986      BETTY'S DIARY #1      The Art Lesson      6   pages   
   1987      B&V(v2) #1      Right For the Part      5   pages   
   1990      B&V(v2) #26      Inner Voices      6   pages   
   1991      B&V(v2) #39      As Easy as 12-26-83      6   pages   
   1993      B&V(v2) #67      Paint the Marsh Mellow      5   pages   
   1994      BETTY #15      Super Sleuther      11   pages   
   1997      B&V(v2) #112      Archie's Choice      20   pages   
   1999      B&V(v2) #136      Better Fashionably Late Than Never      5   pages   
   2000      B&V(v2) #148      Hog Wild      6   pages   
   2003      B&V(v2) #185      Un-Bully-Vable      11   pages   
   2003      B&V(v2) #189      Rabid Rivals      6   pages   
   2005      B&V(v2) #211      Sooo Superficial      6   pages   
   2009      B&VDD #196      The Past Will Catch Up With You      13   pages   
   2014      B&V(v2) #269      [variant cover artwork by Jeff Shultz]      1   page   
   2014      B&V(v2) #269      Just Another Day!      20   pages   
   2014      B&V(v2) #270      The Minds of Betty & Veronica!      6   pages   
   2015      ARCHIE (v2) #2      [main cover artwork by Fiona Staples]      1   page   
   2015      ARCHIE (v2) #3      untitled story      22   pages   
   2016      B&V(v3) #2      [cover artwork by Adam Hughes]      1   page   
   2017      B&V(v3) #3      The Battle of Riverdale      20   pages   
   2017      RIVERDALE V1 TP      [cover photo]      1   page   
   2017      RIVERDALE #1      Bring It On      10   pages   
   2017      B&V VIXENS #1      [main cover artwork by Eva Cabrera]      1   page   
   2017      B&V VIXENS #1      untitled story      19   pages   

Most of the stories in this collection are those that I've previously read elsewhere... and no, it doesn't help that the last 75 pages of stories are all less than 3 years old. There was less than 20% of the total number of these stories that I hadn't read previously (or just couldn't remember for sure). Ironically most of those were stories from this century, as opposed to the last half of the 20th Century, including a couple from 2014 that I missed just before I started seriously reading Archie Comics, and was never able to find as back issues (B&V(v2) #269 & 270), and from BETTY AND VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #196, Dan Parent's second "Agents B&V" story, "The Past Will Catch Up With You" (the title of which refers to the then-surprise return of a couple of characters unseen [in 2009] since the old Bob Bolling LITTLE ARCHIE series). I believe that's the first time that story has been reprinted (the first Agents B&V story was reprinted in Book One of this trade paperback series). Most of the stories I hadn't read were also among the longer ones in this book.

Also in here is what I believe is the first story in what became an ongoing feature, Bob Bolling's "Betty Cooper, Super Sleuther" from the early run of BETTY. Some might not care for those stories, but to me they're always a hoot. They are just so ultimately Bob Bolling, and there's no mistaking when he writes a story like those. The only time you might confuse a Bolling-written story with someone else's is if it's a true 5 or 6 page short where he doesn't have the room to develop any complex plot. But even then, there's usually something that sticks out about the story as atypical. He always seems to yearn to write a longer story, and add some elements of adventure, mystery, or mysterious paranormal happenings. The BCSS stories were more like the old Nancy Drew books (a series of young reader mystery novels in hardback, if you don't know what those are) where Betty has a keen interest in criminology and deciphering clues as an amateur detective.

I wince whenever I see ACP reprinting the 1940s stories, because they're so painfully BAD. And that's making allowances for the average level of craft across the industry in the 1940s, which was admittedly less sophisticated as a whole. Comic books were still very much "feeling their way" in the 1940s. But ACP's Archie and friends stories from that period are just not notable as being very good on any level. ACP's superhero stories from the same time period compare more favorably (on average) with other publishers' superhero stories from Marvel (Timely Comics) or DC (National Comics) or many other publishers at the time. The Betty and Veronica stories reprinted here are just bad, and I'll tell you why. The artwork is below par for this type of feature, and even the writing shows too little imagination. Of the six stories from the 1940s reprinted here, three of them use the same gag device -- Betty and/or Veronica are frightened by a mouse. THREE out of five!! But worse than that and most damning of all, is that the two girls are in no way differentiated in the stories in terms of having contrasting personalities. Except for the fact that Veronica is brunette and rich, and Betty is blonde and middle-class, they could be the same girl. It's hard to understand how the Archie feature survived as a comic book in the 1940s, until I stop to recall that it was adapted into a radio comedy series in 1943 (which was popular enough to continue for a decade), and that Bob Montana launched an Archie newspaper strip in 1946. The radio show is probably responsible for keeping the first ARCHIE self-titled series alive at a time when it was nothing to brag about, and when Montana's newspaper strip came along a few years later, it finally gave the comic book writers and artists something to aim for in terms of improvement, because unlike the comic BOOKS, Montana's newspaper strip WAS good. And by about 1949 or 1950, the Archie comic books had raised their game, which is why they finally could spin off JUGHEAD, REGGIE, and BETTY AND VERONICA into their own comic books. So if they're going to insist on reprinting stories representing the 1940s, couldn't they at least pick them from the last couple of years in the decade, when they became tolerably readable?

Even in the 1950s stories, you can see a remarkable improvement from 1950 to 1958. And even the stories from 1950 reprinted here are a quantum leap in quality over those of the mid-1940s. As it happens, I think there are MAYBE 4 stories from the 1940s to the 1970s that I hadn't read before. But at least all the ones reprinted from the 1950s to the 1970s are GOOD stories, even if I've read most of them before. There was a slightly higher percentage from the 1980s and 1990s which I hadn't read, but not much. Unsurprisingly, since those stories DO get reprinted a lot more often -- but then they have more of them to reprint, since those stories on average have been better preserved, once it became apparent to the people at ACP that there was a lot of money to be made in reprint digests. The only way to account for the fact that FIVE out of the six stories reprinted here from the 1960s are from the single year 1965, and that three of those are from contiguous issues (#111-113) is that the preservation of those stories for reprinting purposes has been somewhat haphazard and random. But the book has 400 pages and sells for a cover price of ten bucks, so they can't be spending lots of money on scanning and touching up old stories... it's just not in the budget, so you get maybe ONE from each decade (1950s through 1980s) that hasn't been reprinted before.

The stories chosen from the 2000s, and from 2010 through 2014, especially, are all really fine stories (despite the poor sales of classic Archie comics in general), proving that they continued to put out some of the best stories ever right up to when they pulled the plug.

AND to make up for that, they reprint 75 pages of stories that are LESS than three years old in the 2010s section. Logistically, there's no justification for it. They don't reprint stories that recent in the ongoing digest titles (and by extension, the 1000 Page and Giant comics digests) do they? Of course not. The only reason they're reprinting the New Riverdale comics from 2015 through 2017 is in the hope that a few people picking up this trade collection still aren't aware that they exist, and they hope to sell a few more floppy comics and trade paperbacks. Those pages are ADVERTISING, pure and simple. Everyone else picking up a collection like this that has been following Archie Comics in anything more than the most casual of ways is already aware that those comics exist, and has already either read them, or made a conscious choice not to read them.

Feedback/Support / Re: can't find where to upload avatar
« on: March 01, 2018, 01:04:23 PM »
My problem is that "Profile" in the top tab only shows "Summary" when I hove over it, nothing else or even "modify profile". :/

Not sure what the rules are here, but there might be a wait for some features to appear, like after a certain time has passed or X number of posts is exceeded.

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