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Messages - Tuxedo Mark

All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 14, 2022, 10:03:28 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 14, 2022, 02:13:47 PMMike Pellerito claimed in one recent digest text page that people were subscribing to the digests in record numbers, whether that's true or just hype.

Don't they print the circulation figures in the digests once per year? That could be something to check.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 12, 2022, 09:34:35 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 12, 2022, 08:45:31 PMUnless I mis-read the opening paragraphs of Hibbs' article, the NPD BookScan is tracking book sales in general... of which the Graphic Novel, Collected Edition, Trade Paperback, or whatever you want to call them is a subset. I point this out because it seems to me that the NPD BookScan is not tracking periodical sales at all. That means it tells us nothing about how Archie digests are selling in the bookstores. So all we're really getting out of this is that ACP's best-selling trade collection didn't do better that 3k in bookstores.

Hmm, yeah, that's probably right. Digests probably aren't represented. Then again, on my last trip to a Books-A-Million, I don't recall seeing any digests or standard floppy comics at all, just collected editions and manga. Honestly, even on Amazon, I don't see physical editions of new floppies or digests for sale - except maybe at a markup.

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on April 12, 2022, 08:45:31 PMCome to think of it, I'm not really sure what the definition of "bookstores" is from NPD BookScan's POV. Are we talking just the physical brick & mortar stores, or are they including online booksellers? How about online sellers like Amazon where book sales only make up a small fraction of their total sales?

Hibbs says "These reflect actual sales made through bookstores that report to NPD, which includes Amazon."
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 11, 2022, 07:55:21 PM
I checked Amazon, and the only categories where Archie even cracks the Top 100 are some hyper-specific children's comics categories. All of those are the classic-style comics. No Riverdale. No New Riverdale. No Archie Horror. No idea what that translates to in terms of sales, though.

I was reading Brian Hibbs' annual column where he discussed the previous year's Top 750 comics according to NPD BookScan, which claims to represent about 85% of physical book sales in North America outside the comic book Direct Market (comic shops). In other words, actual physical bookstores and online sellers. Physical books only, though; no digital copies. Not one title from Archie even made the list. I asked him about it in the comments, and he wrote:

QuoteThe best-selling comic from Archie, however, is "80 Years of Christmas" and it sells well under 3k copies.

So there you have it. The best-selling Archie book out in the real world beyond the comics shop sold far less than 3,000 copies last year.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
April 09, 2022, 04:24:04 PM
I review "Talent who needs it?" from Cheryl Blossom #12.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 07, 2022, 09:09:18 PM
Quote from: Fernando Ruiz on April 06, 2022, 11:17:43 PMAt the end, I was told that a Thirty-Two had to sell five thousand copies in order to be profitable. I have no idea if this threshold remains today or what the current publishing philosophy is.

I just checked Comichron for July and September of last year. In July, the all-reprint Archie & Friends Summer Vacation floppy sold an estimated 2,376 units. In September, the B&V Friends Forever Halloween Spooktacular floppy, which contained a new lead story, sold an estimated 6,871 copies. So it seems adding even just one new story boosts sales considerably. It's far above the higher-priced digests that also have a new lead story. The highest-charting digest that month, World of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #8, sold only 959 copies in the Direct Market. Not sure what they're selling at places like Walmart and Publix.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 06, 2022, 05:26:43 PM
I don't think the money's there, either from ACP to publish or from the consumers to buy. I just checked Comichron. In July 2020, Sabrina: Something Wicked #2 was in the mid-100s, and Archie #713 (the final issue) was just below the Top 200. And sales have only gone down since then. The long-delayed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #9 went to #162, and there have been no new issues since. I haven't seen any charts from this year, but I can't imagine the numbers are good. And I see digests hit the shelves at stores long after I've already read the new stories for free on Amazon. And the new stories seem rushed and contain barely any plot. Maybe they oughta invest in creating a new OGN once per year, so they can add to their catalog of ready-packaged material.

Or do prose novellas. Mike Pellowski did the Riverdale High series back in 1991-1992, and there have been scattershot attempts at more prose stories since then.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
March 29, 2022, 08:13:52 PM
I review "Stop The Presses" from Cheryl Blossom #12.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
March 19, 2022, 07:19:00 PM
I review "History Repeating" from Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #328.
Not sure if this should go here or in Other Media, since it's not a comic but rather a novelization of a comic. Anyway, I just finished reading it this morning and just posted a long, mostly spoiler-free review on Goodreads, and I thought I'd share it here as well:

This feels like a novel-length episode of the old Archie's Weird Mysteries cartoon series. In that series (which ran from 1999 to 2000), there was a 3-part Halloween episode in which Veronica seemed to be some kind of chosen one called the Ender, who was destined to end the eternal night of the vampires (once it was brought about). She was turned into a vampire twice during that trilogy and went by the name "Vampronica". The line-up of Archie's Weird Mysteries was, generally, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, and Dilton.

In 2012, the classic Betty and Veronica comics title did a 2-issue story called "Betty the Vampire Slayer vs. Vampironica", during which Veronica was turned into a vampire. Note the slight change to her vampire name compared to Archie's Weird Mysteries. This story can be found in Betty and Veronica #261-262. The story was played mostly for laughs.

Fast forward to 2018. Archie Comics had (ahem) revamped its main line of comics 3 years earlier, and it had also been experimenting with AU horror titles, such as Afterlife With Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Jughead: The Hunger (in which Jughead became a werewolf). So it was only natural to do a Vampironica title, which ran for 5 issues. This was followed by a 5-issue interdimensional crossover with Jughead: The Hunger in 2019. Finally, there was a second miniseries, Vampironica: New Blood, which ran for 4 issues from 2019 to 2020.

This novel, Interview with the Vixen, is, at its most basic, a novelization of the first Vampironica miniseries. But calling it that wouldn't be doing it justice. Author Rebecca Barrow has greatly expanded the story, especially in its second half, giving the characters much more to do and giving them amazing depths of characterization. These feel more like real people, not cartoon characters.

The novel borrows a lot from Riverdale without being set in that continuity. Josie's mom is the mayor, and Kevin's dad is the sheriff, though neither Josie nor Kevin appear or are even mentioned in this story. Veronica is said to have brown skin, which is a nod to her Riverdale actor (she's white in the Vampironica comic). Cheryl is said to have brown eyes (she has green or blue eyes in the comics), which is a nod to her Riverdale actor. She's also openly gay and trained in the use of a crossbow.

So the basic plot is Veronica gets turned into a vampire, but she's not under the master vampire's mind control (unlike the other vampires), and she must find a way to kill the master vampire, so she (and everyone else that was turned) can be turned back to normal.

To this end, she's helped by Dilton, Betty, Archie, and...Cheryl! Can we talk about the amazing chemistry between Veronica and Cheryl in this book? Veronica/Cheryl wasn't something that I thought I needed in my life (my preferred ship is Betty/Cheryl), but their scenes together are so good! Spoiler: they don't get together; they're just friends. But Veronica worries a LOT for Cheryl's safety in this book (much more than she does about Betty, her supposed "best friend"), and Cheryl is concerned about Veronica being disappointed in her. You would totally expect them to share a passionate kiss. Alas, it doesn't happen. But the final scene of the novel is a private, tender scene between Veronica and Cheryl, and you can tell they truly care for each other.

The story gets into some heavy subject matter with Veronica having to kill two major characters (and the others being prepared to, if necessary) and then having to wrestle with her guilt, debating whether she's a murderer or not. Cheryl counsels Veronica in the final scene, saying they're in this together: "So we make a pact. That's what friends do, right? If you go down, then I go down. But we won't. Because we're going to stick together on this. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Promise me. You won't torture yourself thinking about what happened. We're moving on. Promise?"

I'm not sure if a sequel was ever planned, although I'd be surprised if one comes out at this point. One major issue was left unresolved, and there are questions of what the future will hold. But Veronica Lodge is forever changed by her experience. She has known horror and triumph, known what it's like to live up to people's expectations of her and what it's like to truly live, and she doesn't want to go back to her old life. Not ever.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
March 10, 2022, 02:50:04 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on December 15, 2021, 10:16:54 AMThe 5-page Classic Archie story plots just don't get very involved for the most part, so there's not much to say about them, except some are better than others.

Yeah, I've been noticing that. For the most part, these new classic-style stories are forgettable. Nothing really happens, not even character growth. For example, Sabrina was the featured character in yesterday's new story. She was babysitting a little girl and got the "witchups" (hiccups that make her magic go wonky, ripping off a plot from the Filmation series). The girl was zapped into the Alice in Wonderland book that Sabrina was reading to her. Sabrina then got herself zapped into the book. They met a bunch of characters from the book. Then Della showed up (having detected the "witchups") and got Sabrina and the girl out of the book. The end. Nothing happened. No adventure. Just "here are some characters that kids today may or may not recognize".

Apparently, next month, we get to look forward to a story in which the gang tries to find an alternate hiking trail and another one in which Veronica misplaces her purse, which has a million dollars in it, so Crickett is enlisted to sniff it out. Oh, those wacky teens these days, what with their carrying around all of that physical money. So relatable.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
February 21, 2022, 10:28:38 PM
I review "Undercover Blossom!" from Cheryl Blossom #11.
Welcome/Introductions / Re: Back again
February 11, 2022, 12:03:32 AM
Welcome back! :)
Announcements / Re: Upgrade
February 05, 2022, 02:36:32 PM
I like this theme. Will it still be available once the orange one comes back?
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
January 29, 2022, 12:44:34 AM
I review "Who's That Girl?" from Cheryl Blossom #10.
All About Archie / Re: Riverdale Reviewed
December 25, 2021, 03:10:08 PM
I review "Deck Those Halls!" from Cheryl Blossom #9.