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adidas Ultra Boost Clima Solar Yellow is coming next month by blair2019
[Today at 03:18:01 am]


North American comics sales 2011-2016 by Welchhardy
[Today at 02:57:04 am]


Maps of Riverdale? by Welchhardy
[Today at 02:56:51 am]


What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[August 13, 2018, 08:38:56 pm]


What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[August 13, 2018, 01:10:08 am]


Archie and Me in A Walk a Hallway in Someone Else's Shoes. by PTF
[August 12, 2018, 01:57:58 pm]


Reggie in Let's Play by PTF
[August 12, 2018, 01:35:08 pm]


What are you currently watching? by rusty
[August 12, 2018, 08:48:18 am]


Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[August 10, 2018, 04:14:54 pm]


Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[August 09, 2018, 09:01:33 pm]

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Refresh History
  • DeCarlo Rules: GISÈLE LAGACÉ has a new series coming out from Image Comics in October, EXORSISTERS. [link]  :)
    August 13, 2018, 12:59:31 am
  • Archiecomicxfan215: Im still here but been busy with work.
    August 12, 2018, 09:17:16 am
  • BettyReggie: Where is everyone?
    August 11, 2018, 04:26:15 pm
  • BettyReggie: I still have not recieved Riverdale Season # 2. It was supposed to come on 8/7/18
    August 10, 2018, 04:16:23 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Jughead's Millions": [link]
    August 09, 2018, 09:02:27 pm
  • Vegan Jughead: Good theory.  The other reason is Thomas Pitilli sucks.  I thought most of the stories in that comic were really, really good. I wrote to Archie saying please change the artist.  Of course they didn't answer.
    August 09, 2018, 12:38:23 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: I have a theory about why the Riverdale comic didn't sell well, despite the obvious success of the show, and why it doesn't seem to have improved the sales of ARCHIE, either. Why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free? I can only think of a few rare exceptions where the success of a TV series or movie increased comic sales in any significant way (THE WALKING DEAD). Mostly people don't seem to want to go out of their way or make any effort to be entertained, they just want it to be right there and available.
    August 09, 2018, 01:58:01 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Riverdale comic officially cancelled, to be relaunched: [link]
    August 08, 2018, 10:54:38 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fall from Grace" from Riverdale One-Shot: [link]
    August 01, 2018, 09:41:55 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Here's a fictional press release that was made up for Riverdale High's production of "Carrie: The Musical": [link]
    August 01, 2018, 09:30:52 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: DeCarlo Rules: Yeah, I saw that novel listed on Amazon. Definitely gonna get it.
    July 30, 2018, 12:14:33 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Been offline since Friday night due to computer problems. Thankfully, it was just a bad RAM stick.
    July 30, 2018, 12:14:09 pm
  • Fernando Ruiz: And of course... Don't miss out on the Die Kitty Die Cathouse of Horror Halloween Special!
    July 30, 2018, 10:48:17 am
  • Fernando Ruiz: PLUS plus... I've done the art on the eight page back up story in the Bettie Page Halloween Special!
    July 30, 2018, 10:47:34 am
  • Fernando Ruiz: Plus, I'll be doing the art on the eight page back-up.
    July 30, 2018, 10:47:01 am
  • Fernando Ruiz: In addition to the artwork, Dan and I are also writing the main twenty page story in the Elvira Halloween Special!
    July 30, 2018, 10:46:42 am
  • Fernando Ruiz: !
    July 30, 2018, 10:45:56 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Serious fans of the Riverdale TV series might find this book of interest... [link]
    July 29, 2018, 06:08:48 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Correction! Dan Parent & Fernando Ruiz provided the story & artwork for Dynamite's ELVIRA MISTRESS OF THE DARK HALLOWEEN SPECIAL [link] solicited for October 24th release.
    July 29, 2018, 01:54:33 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Dan Parent & Fernando Ruiz provided the artwork for Dynamite's ELVIRA MISTRESS OF THE DARK HALLOWEEN SPECIAL [link] solicited for October 18th release.
    July 29, 2018, 01:50:50 am

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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1
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 13, 2018, 01:10:08 am »
Ménage à ZOMBIES (one-shot) - Floppy comic spinoff of Ménage à 3, by Dave Lumsdon and Fernando Ruiz. The injection of zombies into the otherwise more real-world universe of Ménage à 3 makes this an out-of-continuity flight-of-fantasy. Possibly the idea was a tongue-in-cheek poke at ACP's Afterlife With Archie. The story was originally created as bonus content for the most recent Ménage à 3 tankobon collection, but is presented here as a standalone one-shot in color.

BETTY AND VERONICA DIGEST (1990s) #56, 57, 62, 68, 69, 80 - Purchased for a buck each. Most of the stories were ones I'd previously read, reprinted in more recent B&V digest issues. I'll pick these older digests up if they're cheap, but they're not really on my want list, per se. I'm really only focusing on collecting certain digest titles that I missed from around 2005 to present (varies according to each title): Betty and Veronica, Betty and Veronica Double, B&V Friends Double, Tales From Riverdale, Jughead & Friends, Jughead Double, Archie & Friends Double, World of Archie Double. Many or most of these had at least some new (at the time) stories besides the usual reprints.

manga:
THE BIG O, Vol. 1-6 tankobon (2002-2004) by Hitoshi Ariga - This was another manga series (like GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX by Yu Kinutani) that was based on an anime TV series, rather than the other way around. Unlike that other series though, these stories weren't just straight adaptations of the TV episodes, but new stories based on the TV characters. The anime and character designs have the same sort of 'dark deco' sensibility as Batman The Animated Series, because it was a co-production between Sunrise Studios in Japan and Cartoon Network in America. There's a lot of homages to older Japanese anime and tokusatsu TV shows, as well as retro design homages to 1960s style. Hitoshi Ariga (who also did the manga based on MegaMan in Japan, which Udon studios is currently reprinting in thick, standard-format color comics) did a good job on this, even though he was feeling his way along at first, having started serializing the manga in MAGAZINE Z in Japan 3 months prior to the on-air debut of the anime. The TV series eventually ran 26 episodes, so it was nice to get some new stories featuring those characters in the manga series.

2
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 09, 2018, 01:47:42 am »
LOST IN SPACE: THE ART OF JUAN ORTIZ HC
FANTASTIC FOUR (2018) #1
SAVAGE DRAGON #237
TITANS #24
HAWKMAN #3
PLASTIC MAN #3
(of 6)
WONDER WOMAN #52
UNNATURAL #2
(of 12)
PREDATOR HUNTERS II #1 (of 5)
WORLD OF TANKS: CITADEL #4 (of 5)
CARSON OF VENUS #1: FEAR ON FOUR WORLDS Part 1 (of 4)
NEW LIEUTENANTS OF METAL #2 (of 4)
HEY KIDS! COMICS #1 (of ?)
LOONEY TUNES #244
UNCLE SCROOGE #38
DONALD & MICKEY QUARTERLY
WALT DISNEY SHOWCASE #4: GOOFY
WALT DISNEY SHOWCASE #5: DONALD DUCK FAMILY
DISNEY MASTERS HC VOL 03: MICKEY MOUSE and THE VANISHING BANDIT
DISNEY MASTERS HC VOL 04: DONALD DUCK in THE GREAT SURVIVAL TEST


... and on the e-comix front...
DIE KITTY DIE: HEAVEN & HELL #2 (of 4) - Ahh! ... "Good things come to he that waits", as the saying goes. DKD never fails to give me a little thrill of delight at the sly little in-jokes and quirky humor. Not to mention how much I'm loving the artwork. The boys really put their hearts & souls into this, and you can feel it in the resulting product. Li'l Satan has kind of a big supporting role in this issue, and it's always nice to see more of him. There's a brief appearance by Kitty's cousin Katty in the flashback story preceding the present-day main story, and as usual, we check in with Rudy, Mara, and Jim at the comic shop to see how Kitty's death is impacting the world of comic fandom. Sweet.

3
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 09, 2018, 01:46:13 am »
I just finished reading some of my graphic novels
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
The Best Of Archie Comics - Betty & Veronica - Book #2
Jughead - Volume #1
Menage A 3- Volume #1
Swing #1

I don't know if you read Vol 1 of Menage A 3 in the smaller paperback (tankobon) size published by Pixie Trix, or the slightly larger format (same approximate size as The Best of Archie Comics trade paperbacks), published by Udon Entertainment, which collects 2 of the smaller paperback volumes. I have both versions of volume 1, and I really like the larger page size of Udon trade collection. I just ordered the second volume of that series (which collects volumes 3 & 4 originally published by Pixie Trix). I think I'm going to stick with that format because the artwork looks so much better printed at the larger size, even though at the current rate Udon is publishing them, it will take quite a while for them to catch up to the Pixie Trix volumes.

4
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 07, 2018, 03:36:01 pm »
PLATINUM END VOL 01 (tankobon) - I loved this! It just totally turns all those superhero elements on their head and defies expectations as to how they are usually applied in a story. Yet all the same basic elements are worked in. Orphaned kid granted superpowers by magical being/cosmic alien (in this case, in the guise of a cutesy teen angel girl). Almost seems like it's going in the same direction as Spider-Man, with a theme of "with great power there must also be great responsibility", but also seems like it won't be a quickly learned lesson, as it was in the case of the teenaged Peter Parker, but a much more torturous pathway. The angel characters are somewhat creepy, and in the case of the main one, Nasse, I believe she'll turn out to be not what she appears, or at any rate, there's a lot she's not telling our young hero. The reconfiguration of religious/mythological ideas into pseudo-science fantasy terms reminded me of SAINT SEIYA (Knights of the Zodiac). I just immediately ordered tankobon Volumes 02 through 06. Extremely pleased to have discovered this one, can't wait to read the whole thing.

PRECARIOUS WOMAN EXECUTIVE MISS BLACK GENERAL (tankobon) by JIN - A pretty funny superhero parody. Took me a little while to decipher the cartooning style here (extremely reductive, and the appearance of characters tends to morph a lot according to their emotional state), but some bits are reminiscent of Viewtiful Joe, while other bits remind me of Ben Edlund's The Tick.

You can just NEVER really tell what a manga's about by its title. In this case I suspect that the author (who goes by the pseudonym 'jin') intended it to try to capture the same sort of effect of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", in other words, just to tickle people's curiosity when they heard or read it. I'm not sure about the translation of the word precarious in the title; it seems like they missed something about the sense of it. If I had to guess I think the meaning of precarious as "risky" was somehow assumed to be the same as the word risqué (which actually means improper/indecent/suggestive) -- so I think the meaning which was intended to be conferred was Risqué Lady eXecutive BLACK GENERAL. The 'Miss' in the title translation is just an honorific of '-san' appended to the name Black General. We could really just call it RX Black General.

She's supposed to be the field marshal of the secret evil organization 'RX', whose ultimate goal is total world domination, and tries to look the part, dressed in her military cap and pseudo-Nazi-type uniform with an X armband, and an eyepatch (which she admits is just because 'it looks cool!'). Really she's just a superhero fangirl who gets the whimwhams whenever she encounters the hero Braveman (who looks a little like Batman, but is really nothing like him). She took the job with the evil RX organization just so she could get up close to her idol, the secret object of her obsession (she's a lot like Betty Cooper that way), but all she's succeeded in doing so far is becoming an irritating annoyance and king-size headache for Braveman. The evil RX organization is headed up by the overly-polite and afraid-to-offend Boss (who is a supervillain with telekinetic powers), but so far the organization hasn't done a single evil thing except to declare their intent of world domination and call out Braveman to challenge him. The rest of the organization consists of Secretary, Scientist, and Minion #1, #2, and #3 --  but they're still keen to recruit new followers (even though they've completely blown through their cash reserves). Good satirical treatment of superhero cliches, and about as different as night from day, when compared to PLATINUM END, even though they're both playing with some of the same well-established tropes.

5
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 06, 2018, 01:52:40 am »
Manga:
GHOST IN THE SHELL TP by Shirow Masamune
GHOST IN THE SHELL 1.5: HUMAN-ERROR PROCESSOR TP by Shirow Masamune
GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: MAN-MACHINE INTERFACE TP by Shirow Masamune

GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX by Yu Kinutani (tankobon volumes):
  EPISODE 001: SECTION 9 (adapts TV episode 01)
  EPISODE 002: TESTATION (adapts TV episode 02)
  EPISODE 003: IDOLATER (adapts TV episode 07)
  EPISODE 004: ¥€$ (adapts TV episode 14)
  EPISODE 005: NOT EQUAL (adapts TV episode 13)

I'd bought the above tankobon volumes (approx. 250 pages each) as they'd been released by Kodansha Comics back in 2011-2014, but had never actually gotten around to reading them. I was a little disappointed to find that they were just straight adaptations of the episode scripts, scene-for-scene and dialogue-for-dialogue (I'd been hoping that they were original stories set in the same world as the GitS S.A.C. TV series). They do a good job (artwork and story all read well as manga) for what they intended, but add or subtract nothing from the anime episodes, so if someone already has the anime episodes in their collection, they're somewhat disposable.

GHOST IN THE SHELL README: 1995-2017 HC - History and background info of the GiTS franchise in anime films & TV series, profusely illustrated with cel frames, designs and character model sheets, up to and including the 2017 live-action feature film. I also watched the first five of the anime films: Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell (1995) and his sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), and Kenji Kamiyama's three Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex features: The Laughing Man (2003), The Individual Eleven (2005), and Solid State Society (2006). I haven't yet seen the 10-episode 2013 OVA series Arise or the spinoff anime 'New Movie' which caps off that series' storyline (I've been waiting for all ten OVA episodes to be offered in some sort of 'Complete Collection' on DVD, and I don't want to watch the feature film spinoff until I've seen the OVA series that preceded it). Shirow Masamune's original manga, the 2 Oshii anime films, the TV series Stand Alone Complex, and OVA series Arise all have their separate continuities, with some details in storylines agreeing and others contradicting those of the other versions. Comparing and contrasting the different versions helps in grasping some of the vaguer or harder to understand details of the SF concepts and metaphysical/philosophical ideas being explored.

6
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: August 03, 2018, 05:01:41 am »
XERXES: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF DARIUS #5 (of 5)
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS [2018] #1
From the World of Black Hammer: THE QUANTUM AGE #2 (of ?)
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP #4 (of 5)
INFINITY WARS #1 (of 6)
The Little Book of THE INCREDIBLE HULK
The Little Book of IRON MAN
The Little Book of X-MEN

7
All About Archie / Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« on: July 28, 2018, 07:28:20 am »
The Diamond Comics Distribution solicitations for the month of October's Archie Comics are out:
https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog?pub=ARCHIE%20COMIC%20PUBLICATIONS

So they managed to sneak in the solicit for ARCHIE #699 ahead of #700, after all. And it's a $1.00 "the story so far" kind of catch-up issue, to try to entice those people who haven't been reading ARCHIE. I assume that that loss-leader cover price can only mean that this is a sort of cut-and-paste reprint comic, composed of various key scenes from pages and panels that previously appeared somewhere before during the run of issues from ARCHIE #1 to 32, with a minimal number of newly-drawn framing panels to stitch all the bits and pieces together. But it does go to prove what I suspected, that the #700 issue won't be another reboot, just a change in creative team and a minor course-correction to steer the title in a direction more similar to that of the TV series Riverdale.

Quote
ARCHIE #699



(W) Mark Waid, Ian Flynn (A) Various (CA) Marguerite Sauvage

Follow along as Archie reflects back on the past several years of storylines including: the much-talked about #LipstickIncident, the arrival of the Lodge family, the Riverdale Civil War, the machinations of the Blossom Twins, the near-tragedy of "Over the Edge" and more! This special issue sets the stage for next month's landmark 700th issue of ARCHIE! Based on stories by Mark Waid and Ian Flynn and featuring art by an assortment of ARCHIE talents.

In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
Diamond Code: AUG181571
SRP: $1.00

8
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 26, 2018, 01:13:12 am »
UNCLE SCROOGE #441
B&V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #263
ARCHIES BIG BOOK VOL 04: FAIRY TALES TP
ARCHIE'S SUPERTEENS VS CRUSADERS #2
(of 2)
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #40
BATMAN: SINS OF THE FATHER #6
(of 6)
DC BEACH BLANKET BAD GUYS SPECIAL #1
THE TERRIFICS #6
THE FLASH #51
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #6
(of 12)
INFINITY WARS PRIME #1 (one-shot)
THE SENTRY #2
X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN: SECOND GENESIS #1
  (of 2)
HIT-GIRL #6
MOONSHINE #12
SAVAGE DRAGON #236
TANK GIRL ALL STARS #2
(of 4)
RICK & MORTY #40
STAR WARS ADVENTURES #12
JUDGE DREDD: UNDER SIEGE #3
(of 4)
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR - GALACTUS HUNGERS #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR - THE COMING OF HERBIE #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR BY JOHN BYRNE #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR - WHAT IF? #1
STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO TP VOL 3: I.D.I.C.
STAR TREK: NEW VISIONS #19: THE HUNGER
MAZINGER
OGN (First Comics 1988) by Go Nagai

9
General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: July 23, 2018, 05:48:21 am »
GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (1979)
ADIEU, GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (1981)
GALAXY EXPRESS: ETERNAL FANTASY (1996)
MAETEL LEGEND (2001)
QUEEN EMERALDAS (1988)
VENGEANCE OF THE SPACE PIRATE (a 1985 English-dubbed edit of the 1982 original anime film Arcadia of My Youth)
CAPTAIN HARLOCK and Friends (1985 English-dubbed version of selected episodes from the 1978 anime TV series Space Pirate Captain Harlock)
STARZINGER: The Movie Collection (selected episodes of the 1978-79 anime TV series, dubbed and edited in 2009 into three 1 hour & 50 minute feature films)

All of the above anime were based on the work of manga creator Leiji Matsumoto (best known in the US as the creator of Space Battleship Yamato, dubbed and edited and broadcast on US television as Star Blazers in the 1980s). Apart from series he created like Yamato, Starzinger, and Danguard Ace (a popular super-robot anime series of the 1970s), many of the other manga and anime series share a common continuity and characters, coexisting in a "Leijiverse". The primary series involved in this shared continuity are Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Queen Millennia, and Galaxy Railways. Galaxy Express 999 is a 19th-century styled space locomotive that travels across space, stopping at various planets. It's endpoints are Earth and the planet LaMetal in the Andromeda galaxy, ruled by Queen Andromeda Promethium, otherwise known as Queen Millennia, the "Queen of a Thousand Years". Planet LaMetal is the seat of the Machine Empire, which seeks to dominate the universe, conquering or converting all other sentient races into mechanoids like themselves. Queen Promethium is also the mother of Maetel (one of the main characters of Galaxy Express 999) and Emeraldas (like Captain Harlock, a space pirate, and a primary supporting character in both that series and GE999). How a mechanoid queen like Promethium can be the mother of Maetel and Emeraldas is explained in Maetel Legend. Queen Promethium's backstory was the subject of the TV series Queen Millennia, untranslated into English except as part of the edited-&-dubbed by Carl Macek version Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years, seen ever-so-briefly in the US in 1985-86. Continuity as such is a little loose as such in the Leijiverse, as the original Space Pirate Captain Harlock series (1977-78) was not originally conceived as part of a shared universe, and only later, with the feature films Galaxy Express 999 (1979, a condensed retelling of the major plot arc of an earlier-aired TV series) and My Youth in Arcadia (1982, essentially what amounts to Harlock's origin story) were connections forged. Many of the earlier or later anime contain discrepancies or contradictions of events which can't be accounted for, and some need to be eliminated as existing in the shared universe altogther, like Harlock Saga (1996), an OVA series which recast the main characters of Captain Harlock in the roles of characters from operatic cycle The Ring of the Nibelung. Other series in which Harlock and his best friend Tochiro Oyama appear, take place in other times, like Gun Frontier, a 2002 OVA series (the manga on which it is based actually preceded the Space Pirate Captain Harlock manga) in which Harlock and Tochiro have analogs in their ancestors who are destined to share a common history and genetic memory (this plot point was explained in the film My Youth in Arcadia, which showed that Harlock and Tochiro also had ancestors who shared history during WWII). In fact it appears that in a sense, all of Harlock and Tochiro's descendants are genetically-identical reincarnations of their former ancestors. Yes, it's more than a little confusing, so I've been sifting through the various films, OVAs and TV series related and trying determine if they can be made to fit within the shared continuity, and if so, in what order events take place relative to other stories. There are a number of tangential spinoffs as well, like the OVA series COSMO WARRIOR ZERO.

STARZINGER was fun, but is otherwise unrelated to Leiji Matsumoto's shared universe. The series' title remained unexplained in the English-language dub. In 1980, the series had 26 of its 73 episodes translated into English by Jim Terry's American Way Productions, retitled as Spaceketeers, one of five different anime series broadcast as part of a 5-days-a-week syndicated package under the overall title FORCE FIVE. That series only aired for a few years in 4 or 5 select broadcast markets in the US, and a couple more in Canada. Starzinger's original story is a loosely-based space-opera iteration of the ancient Chinese Buddhist classic, Journey To The West. It's full title in Japan translates roughly as Science-Fiction West STARZINGER. The 1980 version tried to recast the three cyborg heroes of the series as science-fiction analogs of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, since Journey to the West remains a largely unfamiliar story to English-speaking audiences. Spaceketeers was the only one out of FORCE FIVE's English-dubbed anime adaptations not to feature a giant super-robot as the main character. Jim Terry's original plans to obtain rights to Go Nagai's Great Mazinger anime collapsed when negotiations stalled out, and so a dubbed adaptation of Leiji Matsumoto's Starzinger became an eleventh-hour substitute. The initial impetus for the American syndication packaging came from Mattel's then-popular toy line Shogun Warriors, which imported various unrelated Japanese super-robot toys in different scales (the most impressive of which were gigantic 26" plastic versions) with English-language repackaging, this being several years prior to Hasbro's similar imported Japanese robot toys which were dubbed TRANSFORMERS; however, Mattel's Shogun Warriors super-robot toys didn't have the feature which allowed a seemingly-innocuous vehicle like a car or plane to be converted into a giant robot. The initial success of Mattel's Shogun Warriors toy line turned out to be short-lived, as within a couple of years a number of complaints from concerned parents, over the toys' small parts like projectile missiles presenting a choking hazard to small children, eventually put an end to the line.

The version of Starzinger I have here on DVD was newly redubbed in 2009, and tries to condense three of the more important story arcs of related episodes into three movies which each tell somewhat-complete stories, but are still part of an overall trilogy.  The main premise of the series involved the quest of three cyborg guardians to deliver the beautiful telempathic Princess Aurora to the Great Planet at the center of the galaxy. It seems that the Great Planet was formerly the source of all beneficial energy that endowed all the galaxy's living creatures with life and peace, but the former queen of the Great Planet is aging, and the radiations from the Great Planet have been corrupted, resulting in normal alien races becoming delvolved into evil space mutants. Doctor Kitty, a beautiful lady scientist from Earth, discovers that her adopted daughter, the orphaned Princess Aurora, sole survivor of the ruling royal family of the moon, is the pnly person who possesses the proper telempatic gifts to restore the beneficial energy of the Great Planet and is destined to replace the ageing queen and become the new queen of the Great Planet. Dr. Kitty selects the powerful but impulsive and undisciplined cyborg Jan Kudo (based on the Monkey King) to be the Princess' elite warrior, and guide her on her Journey to the West Center of the Galaxy in safety. She informs them that they will also encounter two alien cyborgs as they set out on their mission, who will also swear allegiance to the Princess Aurora, and join Jan Kudo as her protectors. These turn out to be Don Hakka, a short, stout, green-armored cyborg from a muddy planetoid, who is gluttonous and crude-mannered, but nevertheless heroic, and Sir Jogo, a tall, lanky blue-armored cyborg from a watery planetoid with a calm, analytical nature (he often consults a handheld computer to calculate the odds of whether some intended plan of action will lead to success or failure). Together with the red-armored cyborg Jan Kugo who is brash and impulsive and given to acting without thinking, although well-intentioned, their personalities and distinctive weapons and powers make them a well-balanced trio for guarding Aurora, but she often has to caution them that the various foes they encounter were orignally peaceful alien creatures and are not responsible for their actions in their now-mutated state, so they must combat them without using lethal force. The princess' kind and compassionate nature causes all three of her escorts to develop feelings for her, which is sometimes the source of conflict between them. Eventually, the three warriors encounter Bellamiss, a female cyborg warrior whose personality is similar to Jan Kugo's. She's not really evil, but simply a misguided patriot trying to protect her homeworld. She can't see how evil her own Queen Larisse is, because the Queen just happens to closely resemble Bellamiss' poor deceased mother. In a surprising turn for a children's cartoon, Jan Kugo eventually does fall in love with her, even though they've battled each other several times, but Bellamiss sacrifices her own life to avenge the deaths of the last refugees from her destroyed world after they have been killed by a rampaging electromagnetic space creature. Jan Kugo weeps bitter tears over her death. There is a surprising amount of emotional expression and conflicts of personality and internal intrigue among the space mutants for a kids' cartoon. At one point the Princess even threatened to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner by aliens who sought to drain her of her telempathic powers and use them for their own gain.

10
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 23, 2018, 05:15:02 am »
CAPTAIN HARLOCK #1-13 [Eternity 1989-91]
EMERALDAS The Pirate Queen #1-4 [Eternity 1990-91]
CAPTAIN HARLOCK: DEATHSHADOW RISING #1-6 [Eternity 1991]
CAPTAIN HARLOCK CHRISTMAS SPECIAL #1 [Eternity 1991]
CAPTAIN HARLOCK: FALL OF THE EMPIRE #1-4 [Eternity 1992]
CAPTAIN HARLOCK: THE MACHINE PEOPLE #1-4 [Eternity 1993]

BETTY AND VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #265 - Always enjoyable. I've been looking forward to each new issue recently to read the Cheryl Blossom serial "And the Winner Is...", (originally published in B&V Double Digest #161-165) which I'd never had a chance to read before (even though I know who the winner turned out to be). Part 3 of 5 was in this issue. I hope they continue to reprint the remaining Cheryl stories in the same chronological order in which they first appeared.

GOLGO 13 (Graphic Novel Series) No. 1: INTO THE WOLVES' LAIR The Fall of the Fourth Reich TP (1987) by Takao Saito
GOLGO 13 (standard comic format) No. 1: THE IMPOSSIBLE HIT (1989) by Takeo Saito
GOLGO 13 (standard comic format) No. 2: THE BORDER HOPPER (1990) by Takeo Saito (story title on cover & page 1 hilariously mis-translated as "Hopper the Border")
BLACK MAGIC TP by Masamune Shirow

11
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 21, 2018, 01:38:05 am »

ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 #1
(of 6)


Debating on whether this is worth a purchase or not.

I LOVED it! (but what else would you expect?)  It's worth mentioning that it really should be ARCHIE '66 Meets Batman '66. So when you see Mrs. Lodge (who didn't have a first name in 1966), it's the 1966 version of Mrs. Lodge (i.e. a stout, matronly woman, with a hair bun). Veronica is wearing a minidress with a style similar to what you'd have seen her wearing in a 1966 Archie story. And it's really remarkable how much Mr. Lodge and Alfred (Batman's butler) resemble each other, but then that makes complete sense when you think about the actor that played Alfred on the 1966 Batman television series, and how he would look translated into the traditional Archie style. It's all those little touches of detail that make the story stand out from the POV of a fan of Archie comics. But then I guess it would depend on how you felt about the Batman TV series. At any rate, this is probably the last opportunity to read a long-form Dan Parent Archie story that we'll have for a while.

****

Since you asked about it before in the Shoutbox, I'll mention ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL 1 again. Originally, I was going to pass on picking this one up, and after reading it, I have to conclude that my initial gut impressions were correct. I relented in my initial conviction to skip it because I had a moment of doubt where I questioned whether my subjective impressions of that title might have been wrong. First off, this is not, as I might have expected, a complete chronological reprinting of the stories proceeding from ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH #1. It reprints stories from issue #1 through 33, but at 224 pages, obviously not ALL of the stories from those issues. Most curious of all is the fact that none of the stories reprinted features Chuck Clayton in a starring or co-starring role (in fact, I don't remember him having a significant part in any of the stories reprinted here). That's decidedly odd when you look at those 1970s issues of A@RH, because this title was the place that stories with Chuck most frequently appeared. Perhaps they purposely left those out, because the company's well-meaning attempts to promote racial/ethnic equality at the time might seem patronizing today without any contextual hindsight. The quality of the artwork is certainly on a par with other Archie stories from this same time period (1973-76), but storywise...

All of the stories are little didactic lessons in which Archie sees a problem and solves it. Nearly all the stories downplay or outright ignore the typical Archie situation comedy format. The stories all present Archie as sort of a role model for emulation by the young readers who would have picked up this comic in the early 1970s. It's hard to imagine Archie Comics publishing a title like this in the 1950s or early 1960s, but I chalk it up to the mass exposure Archie and friends were getting at the time in the Filmation animated cartoons on TV. Like the A@RH stories, the television stories ignored the rom-com and slapstick situations that were the main strength of the original comic books. Those stories as well as these are safe, squeaky-clean pro-social message stories like the few plots that television broadcast standards and practices censors of the time could find no fault with, and let pass for Saturday morning kid-vid. That's fine for the less-demanding childrens' audience, but not for adult comic readers looking purely for entertainment value.

The worst sin of these stories is that few if any of them derive the impetus for their plots from the standard character flaws, relationships, or motivations that are the hallmark of the best Archie stories. Jughead does nothing of any importance, nothing remotely Jughead-like, with the exception of lending support to Archie as a best friend, and even that plays into very few of the stories. Betty and Veronica don't display any traits of best-friendship or of competitive rivalry. The plots don't turn on the characters' motivations of jealousy, covetousness, selfishness, or ego competition. Only Reggie is allowed to maintain a small portion of his vanity and jerkiness in a few stories (again, reflecting the situation of the plots of the Filmation TV cartoons).

Taken as merely one of a dozen or so Archie-related titles that ACP published at the time, A@RH can be seen as simply providing some variety to the lineup of titles published by ACP, and having its own distinct flavor so that the stories appearing in each title seemed less totally interchangeable. Spread out as reprints in the digests, these stories merely seem like the raisins in an oatmeal cookie, which is fine -- but reading 224 pages of them at a sitting wears thin awfully fast. There are only a half-dozen or so basic plots in A@RH stories, the rest being merely slight variations or embellishment; Archie motivates the baseball/football/basketball/hockey team to win through teamwork or school spirit, Archie recognizes a problem and helps organize the students to pitch in to help the school or the community, and few basic others. They're a little obvious and repetitive, especially when read one after another in a collection this size. In short, boring! It's equally true that can also be said of the comedic situations in most Archie stories, but the variations on the same basic tropes seemed more like a challenge to the writers' inventiveness in many of those stories. There are maybe half-a-dozen stories in the whole collection that stick out or are memorable in any way.

12
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:07:52 am »
07-18-18:
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR VS DOCTOR DOOM #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR WEDDING #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR THE COMING OF GALACTUS #1
TRUE BELIEVERS: FANTASTIC FOUR HULK VS THING #1
INFINITY COUNTDOWN #5
(of 5)
THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP VOL 01: UNSTOPPABLE TP
THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP VOL 02: AGENTS OF G.I.R.L. TP
WORLD'S END HAREM VOL 02
tankobon
CABLE #159
ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 #1
(of 6)
BETTY AND VERONICA FRIENDS FOREVER: TRAVEL TALES #1
ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH VOL 1 TP
HILLBILLY #10
INFINITY 8 VOL 2 #1
(of 3)
STELLAR #2 (of 6)
KICK-ASS #6
GIDEON FALLS #5
ICE CREAM MAN #5
AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee OGN
by Peter David & Colleen Doran

13
I have a feeling the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries is going to be a big bomb, saleswise. If they thought sales were slipping and that this idea (just by virtue of its novelty value) would perk up readers' interest for a few months, I think they badly miscalculated.

Interest in reading comic book stories which are period pieces set during WWII has been slowly but surely diminishing among the average comic book reader since at least the mid-1980s. During the Silver and Bronze Ages of comic book collecting, there was a high awareness among the serious collectors and students of comics' history of the roots of iconic characters being during that era, and a consequent fascination with it.

Not any more, though. The average comic book reader not only couldn't care less about history (either real-world history, or the history of comic books), it's effectively an active turn-off for them. Like Vegan said, it's "not relevant" and has nothing to do with the world those readers live in. There's no nostalgia to be had among the majority of comics readers for your old granddad's time (or even your great granddad's).

IMO, if what they were attempting to focus on in this story was what Archie's life was like as a typical high school student in 1941 -- how was it the same for teenagers 25, 50 or 75 years later? and in what ways was it different? -- it would have been a lot more relevant to what ARCHIE, as a comic book character with more than 75 years of history behind him, has really been about -- always reflecting "the high school experience" (whatever that may mean).

The real oddity of the ARCHIE 1941 concept isn't that it attempts to recreate the Archie comic stories of those times and translate them into a modern style of storytelling (with a more serious spin). It's nothing like the published Archie storyline of 1941 (or any later time), since it deals with Archie and his friends leaving adolescence behind them as they graduate into adulthood in a world that stands on the brink of global war. In short, it really has FAR less to do with what Archie has been traditionally about, than even the modern reboot spin that it's temporarily replacing.

14
No sense getting excited about any of these until they really happen and we can see what they actually are. The so-called newsbyte didn't even provide the most basic of details, like what networks the series are being produced for, or what animation studios are producing the shows. It's all just pie-in-the-sky until grounded with some factual details.

15
All About Archie / Re: I think Archie Comics has finally lost me
« on: July 12, 2018, 03:10:16 am »
I think I have a good guess about what the thinking was behind ARCHIE #700 and the new direction, leading off with the issue written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Marguerite Sauvage.

They were obviously aware far in advance of the various titles (the original ARCHIE, the Waid/Flynn new ARCHIE, and the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries) whose aggregate numbering would add up to the milestone issue #700.

The insertion of the ARCHIE 1941 miniseries as sort of a buffer between the end of the current-numbered ARCHIE with issue #32 and the return of the legacy numbering with issue #700 indicates to me that they had this new change of direction planned out with lots of production lead time. Nick Spencer may be the writer only on that single issue (#700), or on a single short story arc, as it would appear he had time to complete a small number of scripts for ACP before taking on the full-time writing chores of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (which shipped to comic shops this past Wednesday). Traditionally, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has been Marvel's best-selling title, as years of continuous publication have built up a large loyal fan base for that character, and ASM is the main in-continuity title he's featured in. Only DC's main BATMAN title and Marvel's AVENGERS come close in total sales per issue, on average. That means the writing gig on ASM has to be one of the best-paying in the comics industry, and ACP simply doesn't have the deep pockets to pay those kind of rates to writers on an ongoing series. Nick Spencer isn't going to take on a long-term gig writing scripts for another publisher while he's getting serious money writing for Marvel, but he might easily have knocked out a few scripts for ACP before starting on the ASM run for Marvel. It's true that Mark Waid took on writing assignments for Marvel  (an AVENGERS flashback 5-issue miniseries, CHAMPIONS #1-18, and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695-704) at the same time he was being credited for writing ARCHIE, but they weren't Marvel's top-selling titles, with the exception of the 16-part "No Surrender" story arc in AVENGERS #675-690 (which was being co-written by Waid along with two other writers, Al Ewing and Jim Zub), and by the time that last Marvel story was published, Waid was only being credited as co-writer (as of ARCHIE #28) along with Ian Flynn. Waid is also atypically prolific as a scripter. He was being co-credited for writing both THE AVENGERS and ARCHIE, while at the same time turning in full scripts for CHAMPIONS and CAPTAIN AMERICA. We will probably never know the exact breakdown of duties on the shared-credit writing assignments, but I suspect Waid may just have been turning in plot outlines that the other writers then fleshed out into a full script.

Putting the RIVERDALE title on hiatus made sense, because even with the tie-in to the popularity of the TV series, it wasn't selling well. ARCHIE #700 doesn't seem so much like another complete reboot as it is picking up the continuity from ARCHIE #32, and steering the series more in a direction which aligns it with some of the plot threads of the television series. In effect, they're attempting to hybridize the former New Riverdale ARCHIE title (which was the better-selling of the two ongoing titles) with the direct adaptation RIVERDALE, and cancelling the latter entirely. That's just based on the circumstances of existing sales and my reading between the lines of Nick Spencer's brief statement that "I don’t want to blow things up or do anything that would upset the long-term audience. It’s more like finding some conflicts that have some stakes, upping the drama level a little bit." He added that he would play into the soap opera aspect of the characters and "depict that in a way that the ‘Riverdale’ audience can appreciate and enjoy."

My guess would be that after either #700 (or the short story arc of 3 or 4 issues beginning in that issue), Ian Flynn would return as the regular scripter, continuing to follow the new 'more like Riverdale' direction set up by Spencer.

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