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July 19, 2019, 11:36:08 pm

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B&V Annual #3
B&V Annual #3
Posted by: Oldiesmann
Posted in album: Oldiesmann

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  • Tuxedo Mark: Thanks, but I don't buy the digests; I just read the new stories using Amazon's free preview.
    Today at 10:17:04 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark -- I don't know why they aren't listed on Amazon, but ComiXology (which IS Amazon) has them. [link]
    July 18, 2019, 02:20:47 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark - Well, they came out in comic shops, but I guess that doesn't help you. If you've got a regular bookstore (or supermarket) somewhere nearby, they should have the digest, anyway.
    July 18, 2019, 02:17:24 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Are Blossoms 666 #5 and Archie and Me Digest #19 out or not? I don't see even print copies on Amazon.
    July 17, 2019, 10:55:02 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Love Showdown": [link]
    July 12, 2019, 07:30:46 pm
  • ASS-P: Well, Starchie, guess thos lines on the side of your head have REALLY gone grey now:-( ~ Maybe you'll get sprung now:-)?
    July 12, 2019, 07:14:16 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: The Last Straw! ... [link]
    July 12, 2019, 04:23:12 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: And ICv2 interviews Dan Parent and Michael Uslan about the new miniseries HERE [link]
    July 12, 2019, 10:06:46 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: FIRST LOOK -- ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE 10th Anniversary #1 (without dialogue, alas...)  [link]
    July 12, 2019, 09:37:34 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Digital (ComiXology) is supposed to be same-day-&-date, but I wonder about that sometimes...
    July 12, 2019, 01:23:15 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark - ARCHIE AND ME #19 arrived in comic shops on July 10th (if you subscribe, your copy may be running late).  BLOSSOMS 666 #5 will be in comic shops on July 17th.
    July 12, 2019, 01:20:36 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: And Archie and Me #19?
    July 11, 2019, 03:58:22 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Has Blossoms 666 #5 been delayed? It was supposed to come out yesterday, but I can't find it on Amazon.
    July 11, 2019, 03:45:02 pm
  • Oldiesmann: Spam has been cleaned up again. It's nice that I can delete all of someone's posts and their account all at once...
    July 10, 2019, 12:50:07 am
  • rusty: So spammers are now posting sports stories instead of about kitchens? Interesting.
    July 09, 2019, 04:47:01 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Snob Hill" from Archie's Pals 'n' Gals, No. 161: [link]
    July 06, 2019, 10:35:22 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: I've been re-reading THE MARRIED LIFE, and suddenly realized that Veronica had a happier life in the Betty-verse, and Betty had a happier life in the Veronica-verse. Archie's life was mostly miserable in either universe. Just like reality... or at least, reality-TV.
    July 05, 2019, 06:04:32 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: I review the "Archie's Weird Mysteries" episode, "Attack of the 50-Foot Veronica": [link]
    July 01, 2019, 10:14:28 pm
  • Mr.Lodge: The covers for these digests by Parent and the Kennedys look like they were drawn by 5 year olds.....
    June 28, 2019, 05:15:49 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Gimme Some Space!" from Betty and Veronica Double Digest, No. 274: [link]
    June 21, 2019, 09:28:19 pm

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

1
Quote from: SAGG on July 18, 2019, 11:35:06 pmI wish they'd get off the storybook stories. 🙄 Once in awhile, sure, but more contemporary stories are what I'd prefer. Yeah, we get them in the digests, and I'm not complaining, but I'd want to see the one shots in contemporary style... 😏

The storybook tales don't appear THAT often. The B&V floppy comic one-shots are just following the new digest shorts in sequential order of their appearance, so that most recent #1, "Return to Storybook Land" will be the last you get of those type of stories for a while; meanwhile the ongoing new digest 5-pagers are continuing to be created with a theme in mind to fill each floppy one-shot, so they'll be moving on to different themes. Since the floppies are all one-shots anyway, you can miss it if they're that disagreeable to you, and still not have a hole in the run -- since they're all "issue #1".

The storybook tales actually seem to be quite popular with readers, and they're probably easy to write because it's fun to tweak the old fairy tales (which are familiar to most readers) with new variations highlighting the girls' personalities. Then again, everything at ACP is planned with an eye towards future reprint possibilities in mind, and those B&V storybook trade collections probably sold well -- so they're eventually trying to accumulate enough pages for another trade collection.

One oddity that doesn't fit any theme appears in the latest B & V FRIENDS JUMBO DIGEST #272 -- an it's an extra new 5-page story in addition to the regular 5-page lead story that fits the current theme. The story features the team of BLACKJACK & POWERTEEN, in which the old MLJ superhero, together with Veronica's superheroic alter ego, investigate the mystery of Mr. Lodge's safe being pilfered. (I won't spoil it by giving away further details of the plot.) Strangely enough, this is the first appearance of PowerTeen in a story in which Dan Parent had no involvement -- the story's written by Ian Flynn (who has previously written Crusaders stories for ACP), and drawn by Jeff Shultz. Presumably the editor liked the script, but because the story doesn't include either Betty or Archie, it wasn't really suitable for the lead story in either the B&V digests, or any of the ARCHIE digests. And since it doesn't fit with the current B&V theme, it's doubtful that it will be included in a future floppy B&V one-shot.
2
General Comics / Re: Snotgirl #1
July 18, 2019, 11:50:32 am
Quote from: ASS-P on July 12, 2019, 07:04:17 pm...Well, I think of " girly " as like Bettie Page. old-school pin-ups ma...girly shows ". " Girlie ", contrastly, makes me think more of " girl-LIKE/more aimed at ' girls ".

Exactly reversed for me.
3
General Comics / Re: MAD magazine discontinuation
July 13, 2019, 04:16:32 am
No, they'll leave out of the magazine reprints whatever stuff isn't referencing something that the average reader would know about. Political parodies or celebrities of the past are out. Product ad-parodies are pretty nearly all out, since most of those reflected current ad campaigns or product packaging that would no longer be recognizable. Movies and well-known book or comic strip parodies can probably stay, since those things tend to have a long shelf-life, but they'll need to be somewhat selective. Old TV series... not so much, unless it's one of the few that lasted in syndication seemingly forever, and has trans-generational memorability -- they can't count on an audience of MeTV fans. We'll probably see an increase in the percentage of material by Aragones, Don Martin, and stuff like Spy vs. Spy or Dave Berg's The Lighter Side, since those were never about topical stuff. BUT they do have over 60 years worth of material to choose from, so they shouldn't have any problems filling issues for years to come, even if only 25% is still usable. That's just an average guess, since I'd assume the actual percentage of material in any given past issue that's usable would be less for a 60 year-old issue, and more for a 10 year-old issue. On the other hand, the older material is funnier, so that'll be a factor in selecting stuff, too. I would hope not to see alterations in the original text or artwork like ACP sometimes does in reprints, but I guess it's a distinct possibility we'll have to accept.

I wouldn't doubt that at some point we'll see magazine-sized hardcover collections reprinting complete issues of the magazine-format MAD from the beginning. They've already done complete reprints of the comicbook-format issues in hardcover.
4
Quote from: ASS-P on July 13, 2019, 01:17:02 am...I recall the non-comics material in that title being fairly large;print advice for young/pre-teens stuff (make-up, ,puzzles, boyfriends.etc./ with illos of B&V for a graphic treat.
  Is this book just the comics stories? I can't read the ToC.

You're thinking of the later issues (#69-90), where Dan Parent remodeled the title to make it seem more like a girls' magazine (these issues are easy to identify by the magazine-style covers, although it still retained the classic floppy comic format), and included a lot of extra features, fashion and topical pages, quizzes, etc. The issues before #69 were all regular comic stories (with some single-pagers) like any other Archie comic book.
5
General Comics / Re: MAD magazine discontinuation
July 13, 2019, 12:13:13 am
Reprints of classic MAD material means an improvement in quality, so from my POV, that's good news. Any reprint I haven't yet read is "new" to me. I haven't been buying the new issues of MAD because it ceased to be funny some time ago, but with this news, I'll have to start checking out each forthcoming issue. So it's no longer going to be culturally topical... what, me worry? Reprints of good material are GOOD. Without them, there would barely be any Archie Comics that I'm reading. Not being current culturally hasn't hurt the Archie reprints, and the old MAD paperback series were all-reprint, and those went on for a long, long, time. So now they'll just be in the regular magazine format -- big deal. If kids can't relate to those older reprints, then it is what it is -- it'll just be older fans of the classic MAD buying it. What, me worry?
6
Quote from: ASS-P on July 12, 2019, 07:19:19 pmAre the standard comic-book format comic books of Betty & Veronica (which comic-book print new stories by Parent that also appear ~ seperately?? ~ in the digests) still coming out?

Yes. The most recent one-shot #1 (which actually says #6 in the indicia) was "Return to Storybook Land", which came out (in comic shops) on July 1st. I'm pretty sure there's also been a new solictation for the next upcoming B&V one-shot.
7
Quote from: archiecomicscollector on June 27, 2019, 09:03:29 pmI've already shared a few items from my Archie collection

If I were Darth Vader I'd say "Most impressive." Just in terms of how many different types of items you have (not just toys, dolls and comics), plus the number of years those various collectibles span. A real comprehensive selection of Archie merchandise across the board. Nice "Archie-ized" drawing of yourself by Dan Parent!
8
Continuing my catching up with recent Archie TPs, I read the other multi-part story from ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOLUME 6, "Freshman Year". I think I enjoyed the story more the second time around, and also read the trade collection of FRESHMAN YEAR - BOOK 2 (which was actually titled "The Missing Chapters" in its initial comic book serialization). The sequel is actually not a multi-part story per se, but 5 individual side stories that take place (some in flashback) during Freshman Year. The highlight by far of those was the Jughead story, which reveals what happened when the Jones family moved to Montana for 3 months from September through November during Freshman Year. It also explains the "S" on Jughead's shirt, which is actually from Silby High (in Silby, Montana) where Jughead met Sadie Cameron, who you might say was Jughead's first crush (but he never talks about it). S is for Silby, but also for Sadie (the fact that he still wears the shirt indicates that he he still remembers this brief time fondly). The rest of the missing chapters aren't bad, but definitely less memorable, and completely peripheral to the main Freshman Year story. It seems a shame though, that they didn't use the opportunity afforded by the BIG BOOK format to collect both FY stories into a single volume. Also revealed in FY is the fact that Dilton had a crush on Betty when he first met her in Freshman Year (and possibly still does). Other than that, FY introduced the new characters (rarely seen again) of Pencilneck G and Zane Zappen (sort of a Bizarro Jughead & Archie); they were both fun characters. One bit of discontinuity appears in the last missing chapter when Cheryl Blossom shows up on the final page. A caption at the bottom of the last page promises a "Cheryl Blossom: Freshman Year" story, "Coming Soon!". Obviously the story was never told, and just as well to my mind. Apart from that oddly jarring bit which violates Cheryl's previously-established continuity, Freshman Year was sort of a nice bridge between "Little Archie" (which is alluded to several times in dialogue, but mercifully we're spared from unnecessary flashback sequences), that didn't contain too many big dis-continuities.

Then I re-read ARCHIE MARRIES (the Abrams hardcover collected edition), which reprints ARCHIE #600-606; figuring it might be time to refresh my mind about this story in preparation for the upcoming Archie: The Married Life 10th Anniversary miniseries. On a side note, the Abrams hardcover edition contains interviews with all of the relevant parties: publisher Jon Goldwater, editor Victor Gorelick, writer Michael Uslan, penciler Stan Goldberg, inker Bob Smith, letterer Jack Morelli, and colorist Glen Whitmore. I found those all to be very interesting, both in the general sense, and regarding the specifics of this particular story. I'd just skipped those the first time I'd read the book, but now I'm glad I took the time.

Currently I'm working my way through the entire run of THE MARRIED LIFE (the trade collected editions of the LIFE WITH ARCHIE Magazine series), but reading them in a different way than I did the first time. I'm beginning by reading the entire run of Archie Marries Betty straight through; then I'll follow that up by reading the entire run of Archie Marries Veronica straight through. I've already got lots to say about that, but I'll leave it for another time as this is getting long enough. As I understand it, the Archie: The Married Life 10th Anniversary miniseries is a 10-years later sequel to the events of ARCHIE 600-606, and ignores all of the plotlines from the later LIFE WITH ARCHIE series. And just as well, as in both the "Bettyverse" and the "Veronicaverse" shown in LIFE WITH ARCHIE, Archie is dead before 10 years have passed since the wedding.

9
The stories reprinted in BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL. 2 TP span the contents of issues #12 through #25 (originally published January 1995 through September 1997). 13th Dimension posted the contents pages, as well as a few sample story pages from the trade collection, due out next week (July 3rd, 2019) -- just in time for celebrating the 4th of July!

https://13thdimension.com/time-to-take-betty-veronica-to-the-beach/#comments
10
Today I read a couple of recent Archie TPBs, trying to get caught up.

ARCHIE'S SUPERTEENS & THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS - This was originally a mere 2-issue microseries. The story was written by Ian Flynn, who formerly wrote such titles as SONIC, MEGA MAN, NEW CRUSADERS, and the more recent MIGHTY CRUSADERS series. Unlike those latter two comics, this story featured the Silver Age Mighty Crusaders (except for Fly-Man and Fly-Girl), along with a few other MLJ superheroes. I generally liked the way the story was written, as it was sort of a throwback (along with the earlier Red Circle/Dark Circle THE FOX series) to earlier modes of superhero storytelling that seemed to best capture that feeling of the 1960s "Mighty Comics Group". Just for fun, and not taking the whole superhero genre too seriously (as was the case with BLACK HOOD, HANGMAN, and THE SHIELD, 3 of the overly-dark Dark Circle titles).

There were a few oddities of note about Flynn's treatment of Archie's Superteens. Unfortunately, Reggie as Evilheart was left out of the story altogether, and Veronica as "Ms. Vanity", who had only previously appeared in a single story prior to this, was put in. I think it would have been better if Veronica had appeared in a variation on her "Powerteen" identity (which had appeared in several issues of the old VERONICA series). In this story, Archie, Betty, and Veronica transform into their superheroic alter egos by holding up some emblem device (I got the feeling this was something from the old Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, but I never followed that too closely). In the classic Archie superhero stories, all they had to do was say their own superhero names to be transformed. Jughead as Captain Hero was different from the classic stories, too. In the old stories, he'd recite a little poem invoking the powers of his "magic beanie" (kind of like Green Lantern when charging his ring) in order to gain superpowers and transform into Captain Hero. In this story, he not only had to change from his regular clothes into his Captain Hero outfit by himself, but he needed to eat a "magic Jinkie" (known in the real world as a "Twinkie") afterwards to gain his powers. When he finally did transform, his appearance changed into one of those impossibly overdeveloped musclebound heroes, only slightly less bulky than the Hulk. I suppose it was intended for comic effect, but that probably would have worked better if Archie and his friends were drawn in the classic style, as opposed to "new Archie"-style, as they were in this story. I'd have preferred the classic design for Captain Hero, though. Other than that, I thought the artwork in the story wasn't bad at all (though I've now forgotten the artist's name), and worked especially well for the Crusaders characters. Well, Ian Flynn had a ton of characters (including the main villain Doctor Vardox, and cameos from a few others, plus about ten Mighty Crusaders) to jam into a 40-page story, so it's remarkable that it all works as well as it does, even if it's slightly less than perfect.

The rest of the trade collection is filled out with classic Archie superhero reprints, and it seems like they chose some of the less-reprinted ones (like Superteen's second battle with The Consumer from BETTY AND ME #6, which I didn't recall reading before), so that was good. I'd have wished for an entire book in the "Archie Comics Presents..." series of trades, filled with Archie superhero reprints instead, but they made fairly good use of the limited number of pages they had to fill in this format of trade (which was one of the smaller-sized, 6 x 9 inch paperbacks like the old "Archie All-Stars" collections). All in all, a pleasant way to pass an hour or so.


ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOLUME 6 - This contained two different longer multi-part stories, "Freshman Year" (originally 5 issues), and "New Kids Off the Wall" (originally 6 issues), plus about 20 pages or so of miscellaneous shorts to fill out the page count (none of which were worthy of commenting on). I decided to skip "Freshman Year" for now and come back to it later, and just read "New Kids Off the Wall", which is one of my very favorites from among all the longer multi-part Archie stories. The story was written by Alex Simmons and was drawn entirely by Dan Parent.

The story: The Riverdale school system has a budget crunch, and the School Council makes the decision that one of the local high schools needs to be closed as a result. Fortunately, that school isn't Riverdale High, it's Pine Point High. The end result of this is that the existing Pine Point students and teachers all need to be transferred to new school districts, resulting in an influx of 50 new transfer students (hereafter referred to as "the New Kids") and 6 new teachers at Riverdale High. I really thought this was a great idea, and something to shake up the old status quo at RHS, by creating new character dynamics and conflict with the New Kids. The new students and teachers are all visually distinctive in their designs, which makes them instantly recognizable, a major plus in the simplified cartooning style of classic Archie.

Four of the new students seem to be created as direct rivals for the original classic Archie characters, which sets up potentially new interesting relationships. First there's Sheila Wu, who challenges Veronica's position of undisputed fashion queen of RHS. Although not rich, Sheila has a strong personality and trades put-downs on an equal level with Ronnie. She also designs her own clothes, and has her own unique style, very different that Veronica's, but just as fashionable in its own way. Then there's Chloe Mancuso, a real spitfire go-getter who outdoes Betty at the things she's best at: working as a reporter for the Blue and Gold, and playing sports (although the latter is only mentioned a few times in passing, and not illustrated in action). Betty's a writer for the B&G, and is used to being the star reporter who gets her byline on the front page, but Chloe's nose for sensational news and photography skills allow her to scoop Betty on several occasions, frustrating the 'golden girl' of RHS. Chloe always seems to be beat Betty out of the top story, but she's not a bad person, she's just a very competitive, high-achieving type-A personality. Next is a mystery student, the unknown prankster who signs himself Prankenstein. Who is he? Reggie would really like to know, and gets his nose out-of-joint by being the butt of most of Prankenstein's biggest pranks. Archie discovers who he is, but doesn't let Mantle the Magnificent know. Better that The Great One has to endure a little humiliation once in a while, so he can see how the other half lives. Prankenstein actually turns out to be Simon, a nerdy little brainiac into science, oceanography, and biology -- with a chip on his shoulder because he feels he's always been ignored. Moose meets his match in size and strength in Victor, the new student whose secret passion is that he's a master pastry chef (one of his pals nicknames him 'Captain Cupcake' just to needle him). Jughead finds himself with three new female fans who follow him wherever he goes, and have dug up all the information they can about him. Normally that might seem creepy, but the girls are all cute, sweet and smitten with Juggy, so no worse than Ethel or Trula, I guess.

The story kind of rambles around through different incidents over the course of 6 issues, so there's no real central theme, although there's the mystery of Prankenstein's identity, and Veronica's new obsession with discovering which of the new students is secretly super-rich, but hides that fact from his fellow students for some reason. There's lots of little bits of business with another 10 or so characters that I haven't even mentioned. Unfortunately there are so many introduced here that we barely get enough panel time with some of them to get to know them all that well. For once, Archie is not the main focus of a multi-part story, although he certainly appears enough throughout the story. It's just that Archie isn't the one being bugged by one of the New Kids, he has no direct new rival (although at least one of the New Kids, Sayid, seems romantically interested in Betty, and that interest is somewhat mutual).

I only wish this story had gotten another multi-parter following up with all the new characters, as some of them barely even get introduced, with no real room for development, like Chunk Charlston. Overall though, it felt like the new characters were set to really shake things up. The fact that that never really happened, and they didn't become more than occasional parts in a few random stories, with lots of extra roles and cameos, had more to do with bad timing. They were introduced just at a time when the remaining pages of new stories began to shrink. First ARCHIE & FRIENDS was cancelled. Then BETTY, then JUGHEAD, then VERONICA. With ARCHIE and B&V as the only ongoing titles left, there just weren't enough pages of new stories left to do the new characters justice; the stories had to keep focus on the main Gang of Five, plus the usual supporting cast of Chuck & Nancy, Ethel, Moose & Midge, and Dilton. Even with the ongoing 5-pagers in the six digest titles, there's rarely any opportunity to work them into stories with any sort of substantial role. A real missed opportunity.
11
Story Help / Re: Vanessa dress mishap
June 29, 2019, 07:37:24 am
Now that I think about it, I guess that does seem pretty typical of Archie, and I seem to vaguely remember some story where that happened. It's not enough information for the story to stick out in my mind, though. Archie is ALWAYS doing incredibly dopey things like that. It may even have been reprinted in a digest I've read quite recently, but after you read a lot of these stories, all those typically-dumb little incidents just tend to just meld together.
12
I was going to review Jughead's Time Police #1, but after reading it a second time, I think I'll wait for the second issue. The first issue barely sets up the premise and gets the plot going, with January McAndrews not making an appearance until the final page. I'll merely note that Dilton has been redesigned in a way which made him initially unrecognizable to me, and seemed completely unnecessary. Otherwise, the series seemed as though it could be a continuation of the previous Jughead title (last drawn by Derek Charm), but then it occurred to me that January McAndrews had made a brief appearance earlier in that series, and here again, she's been completely re-designed (much to the better, in my opinion). Preview pages which I've seen from issue #2 seem to indicate that the series will touch on various specific elements of the original Time Police story from Archie Giant Series.
13
Story Help / Re: Vanessa dress mishap
June 26, 2019, 07:47:01 am
I don't even remember any stories with someone named Vanessa.
14
New solicits for September-shipping ACP titles are out! Here's just a taste to whet your appetite.



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

Full Diamond solicitations for Archie for September can be found HERE:
https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog?batch=JUL19&pub=ARCHIE%20COMIC%20PUBLICATIONS
15
Quote from: ASS-P on June 20, 2019, 11:18:57 am...Okay, I guess you are saying - though not actually spelling it out - that the non-Archie material in ARCHIE #1 that is shown on the famous cover, for example, is not included. Okay. I rather expected that.

Well, that's the way DC did it when they reprinted the first DC Archives (they were the first publisher to do comics "Archives") of old, OLD stories that originally appeared in comic books that contained multiple different features. And I think that's what people largely expect to find in an "Archives" volume... JUST the stories of the character(s) named in the title of the book. I can't tell you how peeved I was when I purchased Archives collections from Dark Horse of the Green Lama and (the original, Golden Age) Daredevil... only to discover that what I bought weren't books featuring ALL Green Lama or Daredevil stories, but every single page of the original self-titled comics that those characters appeared in, meaning including all the backup and filler features (down to the original ads). That meant I was getting Green Lama or Daredevil stories on less than 20% of the total number of pages in those books, and the rest of the stories featured characters which were of slight or no interest to me.

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