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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

Through the Decades / Re: Alas, poor Jughead...
June 28, 2022, 09:35:22 PM

This issue is indeed packed with Jughead reprints, or at least Archie stories in which Jughead plays a major role -- but most of them are genuine Jughead stories. First we have an all-new Jughead story by Craig Boldman and Rex Lindsey, which feels just like a reprint of one of their old stories, but isn't. Then there's a new THAT WILKIN BOY story by Craig Boldman and Jeff Schultz (in which Jughead puts in an appearance in 3 panels). Essentially what we have here is a JUGHEAD JUMBO COMICS DIGEST in which his name doesn't appear in the cover logo.  :)

Through the Decades / Re: Alas, poor Jughead...
June 20, 2022, 03:14:14 PM
Hey, I didn't know about this!

Apparently released a series of 23 different Archie Comics 80th Anniversary digital exclusive one-shots.

Quote from: beatman10 on June 15, 2022, 09:37:09 PMI had interpreted what Uslan meant in the interview is he had written an actual ending showing only one of the "Archie Marries" timelines will be "canon" and the other one is a "fantasy".  And like a lot of other fans of these stories, I tried to find any clues that Mr. Uslan may have left. Like, why did Archie look so distraught near the end of the Veronica timeline when he went for his Christmas Eve walk? He had money, family and his marriage to Veronica seemed pretty solid. We'll probably never know the answer and maybe we're not supposed to.

Yeah, I don't know how anything in the future can be deemed "canon"; all future stories are possible futures. It would only be canon if it got an ongoing series. And maybe not even then... Is January McAndrews "canon"? Or just a descendant of Archie in some possible future?

And I don't know how either one (Archie marries Betty or Archie marries Veronica) can ever become canon, because it's automatically divisive and alienates half the readers... and they sure don't want that. Even when the premise of "Archie Marries" became the ongoing title LIFE WITH ARCHIE, each universe is equally true and valid... and so are the ones they didn't show (or even think of) until later, like "Archie Marries Valerie".
Through the Decades / Re: Alas, poor Jughead...
June 02, 2022, 10:33:05 AM
Quote from: beatman10 on May 28, 2022, 01:56:44 PMIn my opinion, Jughead is the most versatile character in the Archie universe. You can put him in any storyline and he will fit in. Here are some of the qualities I most admire about him.
1. Although he'd perceived as being lazy, he is very helpful when a friend or someone is in need.
2. Food makes him nearly superhuman. There are stories where Jughead becomes Riverdale's star athlete when food is used as motivation. In one story , he pitches a perfect game for the Riverdale baseball team but then quits when he finds out Coach Kleats only has his players eat "health food". Food is to Jughead what spinach is to Popeye.
3. He likes animals (dogs especially)
4. In the rare stories where Jughead DOES show feelings for a girl, it means more to me than Archie unable to decide between Betty and Veronica, or, Reggie trying to steal someone else's girlfriend to satisfy his ego. The whole Jughead/ Debbie/ Joanni love triangle story failed because  Jughead became too much like his best friend.
5 He's Team Betty. Jughead gives Archie an earful when he takes Betty for granted. And it was obvious that Jughead was happier when Archie came to his senses  and married her.

So what happened to him to make his popularity slip to the point where he lost his own digest title?
I mean, not even one where he shares the billing with Archie?

Not even a bi-monthly...?
Quote from: beatman10 on May 28, 2022, 01:27:36 PMI did read a 2009 NYT interview with Michael Uslan where he said he wrote "Archie's Fate in one of the two storylines". He said this after being asked about "which girl will Archie be destined to spend his life with". Of course, that will end the love triangle, but I'm curious to see which girl ends up being Archie's true wife.  I think I know who it is......

I'm afraid I don't understand what you're saying. The question is decided in both girls' favor at the very beginning of ARCHIE MARRIES... and thus, the two divergent timelines. And of course, a third is added much later with Valerie becoming his "true wife". It's simply a matter of what is true in one alternate timeline is different than what is true in another.

So... the triangle remains unresolved. Or it's been resolved both ways, take your choice.
I suspect there are NO legal issues. Archie Comic Publications owns the work-for-hire produced for them by both Uslan and Kupperberg.

It would be somewhat more helpful to know exactly what sort of discussions or notes passed between Uslan and Kupperberg in the handoff between LWA #1 and LWA #2... but with Uslan stepping away from steering the course of the series, Kupperberg may not have felt beholden to follow ALL of Uslan's intended directions. And upon returning to the 10th Anniversary series, Uslan may have felt equally not-beholden to follow what Kupperberg established on his own after Uslan's initial departure from LWA.
Nah... not so much!  ???

This consists of a 4-page preview (or prequel?) to a Pureheart the Powerful story scheduled to appear in the upcoming one-shot The Best ARCHIE Comic Ever! #1 (see cover below), plus a short story reprinted from a recently published one-shot, ARCHIE Love and Heartbreak Special #1, plus another story which may be either a reprint of a recent one-shot or a preview of an upcoming one-shot (I'm not sure).

None of the stories in this FCBD issue are written & drawn in the "classic Archie" style.

It is weird that Archie is now in the position of publishing a FCBD issue (itself a one-shot) that is a part-reprint of an already-published one-shot, and part-preview of another upcoming one-shot of the same title. All things considered, I think I'd have preferred a FCBD one-shot that was entirely assembled from classic-style Archie reprints.

In case you're wondering, the above-pictured The Best ARCHIE Comic Ever! #1 consists of the aforementioned Pureheart story, a B&V Spy Girlz story, and a Jughead the Barbarian story (none of them in the classic style).
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 25, 2022, 03:38:38 PM
If she were that concerned about the very real phenomenon of dwindling sales at ACP, it's probably because she loved the company, or at least the characters, not because she had an ax to grind against it.

We usually take things for granted until it becomes apparent that we're in danger of losing them. Nobody bothers trying to save the animal species that aren't on the endangered list. So it's important for people to know that they're endangered.

The Death of Archie was really a wounded man's cry for help.
Through the Decades / Re: Alas, poor Jughead...
April 23, 2022, 06:02:56 PM
I think the problem with Jughead's "past glory" was that it was limited to too few tropes (also true of Archie) to keep repeating over and over with only the most minor variations.

1) stories dealing with Jughead's gluttony and/or obsession with food.
2) stories dealing with Jughead's laziness, or convoluted efforts to avoid work.
3) stories dealing with Jughead avoiding Big Ethel, or dating in general.
4) stories dealing with Jughead trying to mooch money (for food).
5) stories dealing with Jughead outsmarting Reggie (or occasionally, Archie or Veronica).

... and that's about it, really. Maybe a lesser number of stories proving Jughead's loyalty to his friends. But those tropes were already honed to their peak as early as the late 50s/early 60s.

That's not a long list, to stretch over the next 7 decades. So yeah, Jellybean stories added a new trope. And Craig Boldman added lots more variations just by the simple extension of logic that food isn't the only thing Jughead tends to obsess over -- you never knew what the next thing might be. New tropes added, they didn't subtract, since the old stories were still continually being reprinted. Jughead needed to stretch his boundaries at least a little.

The late 80s/early 90s in retrospect is interesting if only to see the weird transformations Jughead goes through (a bit like DC's Jimmy Olsen) by way of experimentation in testing his limits. Guilty pleasure, but glad it didn't stick.
Through the Decades / Re: Alas, poor Jughead...
April 22, 2022, 01:18:05 PM
Clearly, from sometime in the '70s to the early '90s, they were tinkering with Jughead, trying to update him. At first they seemed determined to ditch the traditional beanie or crown as old-fashioned... Jughead wore a variety of different kind of hats, sometimes commonplace like a baseball cap, and sometimes eccentric, like a Civil War cap.

Then came the phase where he's dating girls lot in order to send the message "He's NOT gay!"... And then the addition of baby Jellybean, making Jughead the only one of the gang who was a big brother, leading to more variety of comedic situations.

Still, from 1989-1996, Jughead was popular enough to appear in four ongoing comics (1 floppy comic, 3 digests) named after him (plus a number of admittedly short-lived spinoffs around the same time). Even if the digests are mainly reprints. Not even B&V could outdo that.

A lot of people think that the best of Jughead didn't even happen until 1997-2012, when Craig Boldman and Rex Lindsey became the main (if not exclusive) creative team on JUGHEAD, resulting in dozens of now-classic stories. Boldman redefined Jughead as not just lazy and a voracious eater, but a quirky oddball given to various temporary obsessions that came and went. He was sometimes impulsive, sometimes set in his ways; he tended to think outside the box, didn't care what people thought about him, but invariably had his own blind spots.

I guess it was inevitable that as the list of floppy comics published by ACP began seriously shrinking, he was going to lose his own book before B&V and ARCHIE, but I was frankly shocked when his last digest title was cancelled in 2017 (even if he required Archie's name in the title to boost sales). I figured give it a year, two at most, and there would be some other iteration of a Jughead digest back on the shelves -- maybe "Archie and Jughead Jumbo Comics", but it hasn't happened and it doesn't look like it's going to.

Through the Decades / Alas, poor Jughead...
April 21, 2022, 01:09:10 PM
I was just browsing through the list of Jughead titles ACP has published over the years. I won't bore you with listing the short-run/miniseries titles, but just look at this list (in chronological order of first publication)...

Jughead (1949 1st Series) #1-352           [1949-1987]
Jughead with Archie Digest #1-200   [1974-2005]
Jughead Jones Comics Digest #1-101   [1977-1996]
Jughead (1987 2nd Series) #1-214   [1987-2012]
Jughead's Double Digest #1-200           [1989-2014]
Jughead and Friends Digest   #1-38   [2005-2010]
Jughead and Archie Double Digest #1-27   [2014-2017]

That's about 1,100 or so individual issues featuring Jughead as the main character (impressive if your name isn't Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man), and certainly more comics than ACP has published about any other character (except Archie himself, and Betty & Veronica as a duo).

Somehow, though... Jughead's relative popularity (and sales) seemed to begin waning some 20-ish years ago, and just fell off a cliff. To the point where there's NO comic published now featuring Jughead at all. And yeah, that's to be expected where floppy comics are concerned, since there's no ongoing Archie or B&V series any longer, either. But not even ONE digest comic for Juggy, when A, B&V both have two ongoing digests?

WHY?? Why, I ask you? What changed? After decades as one of ACP's "Top 3" (again, counting B&V as a team entity), how did he just become one more face in the crowd, no more important than Kevin, Reggie, or Moose?

Is he just "less relevant" now, somehow? Seriously, I want to know what people think. Any theories on this?
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 20, 2022, 08:12:53 AM
Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on April 15, 2022, 10:54:45 PMOh, and here's a post regarding Archie Comics' sales figures for 2012 (the last year for which this site had made a post for that information, it seems).

Seriously. I haven't seen them in the digests since I began getting digests on a regular basis in 2014. And yeah, I would be both curious and concerned about the digest sales currently... but despite that I still haven't noticed any statements of ownership, circulation, and management. So maybe I should have said "a decade" and not "decades" -- those 2012 Archie Comics sales seem to be the last discussed on, and I'm thinking it's not a coincidence.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 15, 2022, 03:43:54 PM
Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on 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.

Do they? News to me. I can't recall seeing such a page anywhere in any digests I've read. I mean, a LONG time ago, the USPS had postal regulations that required comics to annually print a "Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation" in order to qualify for reduced mailing rates, but it's been decades since those postal regulations have been in effect.
All About Archie / Re: Nobody here anymore?
April 14, 2022, 02:13:47 PM
The Archie digests probably wouldn't even make a dent in NPD BookScan's listings if they were tracking periodicals, because then it would be in competition with mainstream magazines, not other comics.

Still, let's remember they have four ongoing digest titles plus a few other limited ones like Archie Showcase, Archie Milestones, Archie 80th Anniversary all going at the same time. And they're all low overhead because they only contain 5 or 10 pages of new material that they have to pay for, plus ACP has its own subscriptions and website direct sales in addition to the bookstores. Mike 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.