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  • Vegan Jughead: Ms. Grundy would have been a total surprise but it turned out she wasn't really Ms. Grundy so I can let that go.  Killing Moose after barely seeing him last year and Midge after she was in literally one episode (and barely in it, at that) seems ridiculous.
    October 21, 2017, 08:31:51 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: For a character franchise that's been running for 75+ years, ARCHIE really has a pretty small cast of regulars. Apart from the core 5 and the other 6 already mentioned, there's Cheryl & Jason and Kevin... and (filed under "extended supporting players") the teachers and parents. That's pretty much it. 14 teen characters and their parents & teachers. Sabrina and Josie and their supporting casts coexist in Riverdale, but they're really their own separate franchises. If your murder victims turn out to be Jinx Malloy and Cricket O'Dell, there's not much drama in it, beyond a shrug.
    October 21, 2017, 07:12:39 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Why Moose and Midge? Good question... let me know if you can think of any other ongoing characters who are more expendable, but still well-known. I guess the other likely candidates would be Dilton and Ethel, or Chuck and Nancy. I guess you could come up with a short list of other names, but are they really that well-known? Ms. Grundy was a total surprise!
    October 21, 2017, 06:45:30 AM
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    October 20, 2017, 05:17:44 PM
  • CAPalace: Seriously though why are Moose and Midge like one of the first people to die whenever they are in the horror stories line and now Riverdale lol
    October 20, 2017, 12:36:49 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: I recently watched Geek House's reaction to the episode. They're very amateur. They often leave in false starts and farting around before the actual intro. Joey often struggles with the episode title, like he can't just look it up before they start recording. Joey has to announce that he's putting the video into full screen and then does a countdown. Cut all of that stuff out! In the new review, he and his wife didn't react at all to Moose and Midge being killed. It soon became apparent that they didn't even know it was Moose and Midge! Joey referred to them as the "drug addicts".
    October 20, 2017, 11:42:14 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: Oh, wow, that sucks.
    October 20, 2017, 09:21:57 AM
  • JonInIowaCity: I'm not saying that they're dead, but they're not listed as appearing in any future episodes in IMBD, while other minor characters are.
    October 20, 2017, 08:53:10 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: I don't think Moose and Midge are dead.  I hope not.  It's one thing to kill Jason Blossom.  Killing two characters who have been around for 68 years is something else entirely.
    October 20, 2017, 07:43:40 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Or a short black actress with punky hair.  ;D
    October 19, 2017, 12:21:11 PM
  • JonInIowaCity: Looks like each episode of season 2 will end with a murder.
    October 18, 2017, 09:55:30 PM
  • BettyReggie: Midge looked like she was wearing wig. Couldn't they get a actress with short spunky black hair?
    October 18, 2017, 09:38:39 PM
  • BettyReggie: My Riverdale #7 came today.
    October 18, 2017, 05:24:07 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Plus, this Black Hood seems to be an outright murderer who isn't even targeting criminals...
    October 17, 2017, 09:45:36 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Wow, really? Ms. Grundy was a murder victim? That's a pretty radical departure... I mean if there's an actual corpse...  :o
    October 17, 2017, 09:43:59 PM
  • BettyReggie: My Reggie & Me Graphic Novel came today.
    October 17, 2017, 09:20:13 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: @DeCarlo Rules The Black Hood killed her.
    October 17, 2017, 03:49:57 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark ... um, okaaaay... I don't know what that means.
    October 17, 2017, 03:45:59 PM


Author Topic: PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4  (Read 1458 times)

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PTF

PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4
« on: April 08, 2016, 12:27:56 PM »
 All my friends and family finally paid me the money they owe me…and this time I’m spending it before they get it back! Got a good haul that includes the two Super Suckers issues, the 2015 digest annual, Die, Kitty, Die, and the current run of Jughead 2015. And I do plan on reviewing them all. But I decided to start with Jughead as I’ve avoided spoilers, but have read about how the art isn’t popular. So I’m going to do a one-a-day review for the series.
 
Jughead is just your average, stay up all night, smart mouth, slacker who wants to float down the stream of life at his own pace. But now with new principal Mr. Stanger and his new changes affect his lunch, Jughead has to do something he’s never done before—do something in general.
 
The Good
 
1. The writing. I’ve never read anything from Chip “Killing my spellcheck” Zdarsky, but now I can say the man knows humor. The opening bit with Jughead taking full advantage of a free style game to cause havoc over the night was great. And he has really nailed the Jughead character: he’s an anti-hero. He’s not a bad guy, but he does not have any goals or real ambition; he just wants to go about his day which consists of: eat, sleep, play games, talk with Archie, and repeat for tomorrow. So pretty much he’s The Dude as a teenager with a bit of Dr. House mixed in. I think this version is a little too talky, but it’s a new universe Jughead and everything he says is funny, so I’m cool with it.
 
The other main five are written well: Archie is the everyman who tries to motivate/keep Jughead in check and still is gaga over the girls and has horrible transportation. Betty is caring and the idea of her protesting fits the character, Reggie is a jerk, and Veronica is rich and doesn’t do much—but her few lines are really funny. I can just be given a word balloon and figure out who this goes to, which I appreciate in today’s comics. My favorite interaction with Jughead and his friends would be with Betty and their conflicting views on…well, just caring and trying to make a difference.
 
The issue is extremely funny with Jughead’s quips and quick wit. It’s well paced and flows extremely well. And hey looks like we’ll be having a plot. Neat.
 
2. The art. Okay, I’ve heard bad things about the art, and yes, I do have a few problems, but this wasn’t end of the world bad that everyone has been saying it was. I like how Erica Henderson draws Jughead. Nice, lanky and skinny. The King of Thrones sequence was done well. And I appreciate the mix between Jughead keeping his eyes closed, half way open, or all the way open to illustrate Jughead’s anxiety or apathy towards a given situation. And I really liked her Hot Dog. The fashion she has for the teens is really good and her coloring is great. I can see how her art style might not be for everyone, but I don’t mind the style. There’s something else that bothers me.
 
3. The Game of Thrones dream. It was fun, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t have HBO (that’s upper middle class tv viewifying.). But I could get the references and who everyone was supposed to be. And the ending was pretty hilarious with Jughead eating his infinite burgers. And it has a purpose: it gives Jughead the idea on how to deal with the cafeteria food menu. So this isn’t just a parody that is just put in the midde of the comic for fun; it serves a purpose to the main story. It’s a helpful narrative tool and still fun.
 
4. Stanger. He’s the perfect antagonist for Jughead; an authoritarian figure who does not compromise. And I like how Jughead just jokes once and you can already tell he’s Stanger’s Hit List. It reminds me of House and Volger from season one of House. I have a feeling their relationship will be: The nail that stands out is hammered down. Jughead and his continued defiance to the changes of Riverdale High School will be fun to read.
 
5. Hey, an old story! I’ve heard this is going to be a thing throughout the series so this will be for all future reviews: OLD SCHOOL JUGHEAD RULES. That is to be understood thoughout the reviews. Also to be understood…Mohawk, skateboard loving Jughead did not happen, but Sassy Thrasher is a vastly underrated and underused character. And Curly Joe is the unfunniest stooge, not Shemp.
 
 
The Bad.
 
1. The art. Yeah, the art is not perfect and there are some mistakes that really do bother me. One of them is that a characters head or body changes shape and size. Jughead’s nose goes from normal, to long, to pointy, to round over and over. I know this is a different art style, but you do need to stay on model for that style.  An example is Miss Beazley. I couldn’t tell who that was in the Game of Thrones sequence until I looked back and saw the strand of hair peaking out through the hairnet/hat. Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy look really weird to me. Hopefully this will improve as she continues her work on the book. And I’m not really a fan of her Betty. I recognized her, but she doesn’t look good. Oh, and in one panel where Jughead is starting to sell his burgers…one girl is undead going by her blank eyes…and then no eyes the next. Nitpicky, I know, but I did chuckle at it.
 
2. Why should I care, old man? Okay, so Mr. Weatherbee is getting replaced by Stanger. Um, yeah, and…? I mean, I’ve read Archie comics so I know Mr. Weatherbee, just not this version. So I’m guessing he’s the same, but a new reader who never read an Archie comic wouldn’t know. A new reader wouldn’t know the possible history or care. It’s just some old guy who got fired. I mean, yeah, you feel bad, but you’re not invested, which I find myself not being.
 
3.  Archie’s freckles. Um, they were there for all of one splash page and then they’re gone. It’s kind of a trademark and a recognizable facial feature so I don’t get why they’re gone…or there for one instance then gone.
 
Things I’ve learned from reading:
 
 Moose is super dumb in this universe.
  • Archie has wash away freckles.
  • Me and Jughead would not get along playing games. Classic Renegade For Life vs. Paragon ‘Til Death.
  • Chuck can’t cook.
  • Riverdale High has one heck of a Student Union.
  • Gruel is a thing.
  • Dragons like burgers.
  • Jughead’s subconscious really hates Reggie.
  • You can train a dog to pounce on your best friend.
  • Miss Crouton is an amazing teacher.
 
 
So yeah, this was a good issue. And as a first issue it does what it’s supposed to: introduce the character and set the tone for the rest of the series. I really enjoyed the writing.  The art, while a bit flawed, was okay, so I don’t get the whole—“worse art ever” vibe I’ve been getting.
 
I’ll go B. Like I said I like the storyline going forward and the art style doesn’t bother me, but I should really care more about Mr. Weatherbee losing his job like than I do and the art inconsistencies are distracting. But the characters are written well. Jughead is hilarious, Stanger is a great antagonist, and the coloring and clothing designs are really good.
 
So tune or…log in…whatever for tomorrow as I review issue two and we’ll be one day closer to President Trump.
 
 

PTF

Re: PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 12:28:59 PM »
JUGHEAD ISSUE TWO

Continuing with my reviewing of the reboot of Jughead.

Jughead has always known how to bend the rules to get out of my things in life, but with new Phys Ed Teacher Coach Eng, he might bend until he breaks. Can a visitor from the future inspire Jughead or will it be detention forever for our hero?


The Good

The writing. Hey, Chip Zdarsky wrote a Time Police story I like. And this is how, in the old book, January and Jughead’s relationship should have been; Jughead still not wanting to date or falling in love. And the humor is still great and I like that you have a hero who has to use his brains to thwart the villains. This one is mainly Coach Eng. He’s just a massive bully who loves giving detention. The humor is still on point. Heck, Kevin Keller actually showed a bit of a personality. And I do think some elements of the story are rushed (see bad below) it does clearly communicate what is going on: Stanger is a dictator, who is making everyone miserable with his brigade of new teachers, and Jughead has been make it difficult for him.

The dream sequences. Like I said, I like a Time Police related story. And again it related to the main problem Jughead is facing with Coach Eng: His method of bending the rules is not working. And in the end. He learns using prep time. Heck, I just appreciate intelligent use of time travel and showing it in a way that won’t confuse the reader (really smart idea to do the chalk and diagram). And again, Reggie is the bad guy, so if you like seeing Reggie get his, you’ll be happy.

The good parts of the art and coloring. I’m not happy with the art on this issue. But there are a few good sequences. Mainly the last few pages with Jughead with Jughead using prep time to cruise through the course. I love the entire red panel of Coach Eng as he looks like he’s going to explode and the coloring and shading for the last two pages fit the mood nicely.

The cliffhanger: I actually debated putting this in the bad because we went from gym shenanigans, day dreams about time police and an evil nickel thief to…a knife in school? Eee. I mean, that’s pretty serious in today’s world. But I do like to see where this is going and it was drawn well and the coloring was great. So I’m going more good than bad.

Hey Pop Tate: You exist! Now we just need conformation on Jughead’s parents, Jellybean, Trula Twyst, Ethel, Toni Topaz, Jeff Shultz…




The Bad.

The art: Okay, now I’m beginning to see what everyone’s problem with Erica Henderson’s work is. The characters do not stay on model. Their heads and noses and bodies keep changing.  January McAndrews is hit hard with this as he chin and head keep changing over and over, panel after panel during the fight with Rex Mantlor’s minions. And Betty’s index finger on one page is really weird. I know that’s nickpicky…but I’m a penny pincher so this stuff matters to me; I want to feel that I spent my money wisely. I also had some trouble telling what was going on in the fight sequences in the daydream. Those were lasers? That was a magnet? This art…I’ll be nice and say I can tell who everyone is, so that is an improvement over the first issue, but everything else got worse. And you have a character named “Flutesnoot” and you don’t give him a long nose? I mean, his name is “Flutesnoot”, that’s a gimme! Sum up, the art is not good.

What is it with this book and freckles??: Okay, Archie doesn’t have any at all this issue. Weird, but it’s consistent. Then January shows up and has freckles…and then never again. It’s little things like this that get really annoying.

Maybe slow down a bit. Okay, I’ve said I like the writing, but I feel that the events of the main conflict are being glossed over. Like the new teachers who are just giving detention for breathing too hard. I could be fine with that…if we didn’t have the end where Principal Stanger comments on how the teachers are calling him “Smughead” and how he keeps getting in their way. Shouldn’t we have seen Jughead dealing with more of the strict, Stanger approved teachers so that we can see the conflict escalate between the protagonist and the antagonist? And I think that’s the downside of doing fantasy
sequences. I like them, but are they necessary? Not really. You can do without them. And they are taking space and time from the main storyline. I mean, I like them thus far, but it is starting to become a double edge sword to me. Like I think Reggie being the butt of Jughead’s subconscious is funny…but does he really come across that badly because of how little talk or panel time he gets?

Reggie: Maybe I need to read the Archie series, but Reggie hasn’t done anything in this book to deserve Jughead’s abuse of him in his fantasies and dreams. I mean, Jughead made fun of him in this issue and Reggie retorted. That’s it. Like I said, I know Reggie from the classic stories is a jerk, but would new readers?


What I learned:

1.   Appreciate the letter E for as long as we have it.
2.   You can get detention for failure.
3.   Time traveling involves funny hats
4.   Freckles come and freckles go
5.   Apparently using a skate board and cutting out an outline on yourself on a wall isn’t cheating.
6.   That maybe Reggie is the victim of Jughead’s bullying.
7.   Save my nickels for the future.
8.   Some things should remain a secret when overheard.
9.   Prep Time can overcome anything.
10.   That everyone in Riverdale has no constant form of solid mass.


I’ll give this issue a C-. I’m just not feeling this art and a lot of places—it’s bad and others it inconsistent and not on model. The writing is still good, but I can’t help but think we needed a few more issues of Jughead vs. The Authority before we got to the end with the knife. It just seems we’re missing out on so much potential to the main storyline. But the main character and the other characters are written extremely well which helps save this issue somewhat.

So next day will be issue three. Can this series rebound? Will anyone respond? Don’t tune in tomorrow to not find out!

PTF

Re: PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 12:30:13 PM »
PTF Reviews Jughead #3

The Good.

Mr. Jones: Well, we see where Jughead gets his wits and smart thinking from. He comes across as really clever and quick on his feet. I love how he was able to manipulate his son back into Riverdale High and the bit of personality he has with not being able to remember Betty’s name so friendly and casually.

The war continues: Jughead vs. Stanger continues to heat up. Jughead and his encounter with him this issue was great. Jughead letting Hot Dog use the bathroom on school grounds and “I can’t enter school grounds to clean it up” was great. The tension between the two is building. Jughead is the rock in the ocean that refuses to be covered by the tide. Plus Archie having to clean up the mess was both funny and a great jerk move at the same time.

R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.: I’m not really a fan of the old time stories (ironically I consider Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. by DeFalco and Ruiz my favorite Archie story so go figure.) So if you’re into the spy stuff and lots of dots after every letter in a name, you should be happy. So if you’re unlike me and a diehard fan, you probably enjoyed it much more than me (See Bad for more details.) It has action and humor that did make me laugh a few times.


Good Art: The opening page was fun. Mr. Jones talking with Betty/Barbara/Beth was the best Betty has looked in the series thus far. Archie breaking the drone and Veronica being a spoiled brat had very good body language. And again the coloring (especially during the intro to the dream) was really good. And I remember hearing how people didn’t like Mrs. Jones dressing like a teenager; I don’t have a problem with it. Gives her a bit of personality to me.

The bad:


The dream sequence. Okay, I normally like them, because they are really fun and they help Jughead with the lesson he needs to learn to overcome the problem he is facing this issue. Not this one. You could have easily had Jughead realize and connect the dots and still come to the same outlandish conclusion without it. Or hey, maybe Pop Tate can talk with him a bit. Y’know a meaningful conversation. And again…I think Reggie’s the victim here. I haven’t read the new Archie (probably next month), but he hasn’t done anything wrong to deserve to be the butt monkey in Jughead’s dreams. And again, the dream sequences take up pages where he could be a jerk, where he could be an antagonist. Hey, maybe he could have been a stooge for Principal Stanger. That would be justification. And like I said, if the funny and message work for the story, I’m willing to over look it. Not for this one. This one didn’t work for me.

The art. Yeah, yeah. The usual. Also you add in Jughead is pretty much in eyes always open mode, which I don’t like and…the eyes getting weirder and weirder as the issues go. And a few characters in panels look like they have broken noses. Example just look at Stanger in his meeting with Mr. Jones; the last panel. The bridge of his nose is broke. And Pop looks different from the last issue, but then again, who in this comic looks the same for more than a panel or two?

What I learned.

1.   Drone 101 is a thing in high schools.
2.   All heroic secret HQs are stationed in the most humblest of places.
3.   Reggie is the victim, Jughead IS the bully.
4.   Mr. Jones is a smooth operator.
5.   Chuck might be the only African America student in Riverdale High
6.   Mr. Jones is bad with names.
7.   Imagination can make the hours pass by.
8.   Why work hard when your dad is rich?
9.   Riverdale High: Future home of the super soldiers.
10.    Ice guns rule.

We have good stuff like the Jones clan vs. Stanger and the humor is still great, but I didn’t like the dream sequence because it didn’t really serve a point; no lesson or message that the character couldn’t have deduced without it, so it felt like it took up pages that could be used for…I dunno…THE PLOT. And the art…yeah, I get the complaints now, but this is the best Betty so there is that. I’ll go C on this one.

So tomorrow will be issue four. And judging by the cover pirate stuff. And yes, chances are I will be doing a horrible pirate accent. Because it’s fun.



PTF

Re: PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 12:31:44 PM »
PTF Reviews Jughead #4

Avaste ye, mateys, ‘tis—

Y’know, I just want to get this over with.

Jughead’s back in school, dodgeball, pirate fantasy, hacking, cliffhanger. There, all good!


The Good: The humor. This has been the one constant saving grace for this series. Jughead is still witty. Heck, again, Kevin Keller actually got me to chuckle. I mean, we keep this pace up for Keller and I’ll have to use both hands to count all the times he wasn’t boring to me. And I like how well Jughead knows Archie will get into trouble once left alone. I also like crownie because I had the exact same thoughts going through my head while reading this issue.


Jughead’s plan: I like that how well worked out it was, Jughead’s cool head and Dilton being a nervous wreck. It goes to show how clever Jughead is. Even had a few back up plans. I also like that his friends aren’t stupid and realize that Stanger is up to something. Characters using logic and deductive reasoning…these characters can survive a few horror movies. And we do get a pretty cool cliffhanger now that Stanger knows Jughead hacked his computer.

The art: The pirate garb looks great. I like the constant different clothing for the characters. The pirate ship looks cool.  Jughead looked consistent. Betty looked good until that very last page. The coloring was amazing still.

Pirates: If you like pirates, you’ll like this issue.

The bad.

The dream: Like I’ve said, I’m okay with the flashbacks or daydreams, they’re good throwbacks to the olden days and looks like people here like them, but I still believe they need to have a message or lesson that connect to the main storyline. This one didn’t do that. Yeah, Pirate Jughead has Pirate Dilton help him? You’re telling me he wouldn’t have come up with that idea without it? I can honestly say, you can skip these pages and not miss a thing. It doesn’t hurt the main plotline at all because it doesn’t contribute anything to it. Actually…it’s kind of funnier without it. You go from Jughead closing his eyes waiting to be pelted by dodgeballs…to him lying on the ground with a dodgeball near his head. Seriously, someone else who bought this issue try it and tell me what you think.

The art: You know by now. And it gets worse with character not highly detailed but some have little dot for eyes, some don’t, some have lines for mouth, some don’t. Is it so hard to put in that extra dot or line like you did with the others that are standing right next to that person?  There’s one panel where Jughead doesn’t even look completed. Outlines and lines are missing. And Betty’s chin at the end, by heavens.

What I’ve learned.

1.   Kevin Keller’s dating options are limited.
2.   Chuck ISN’T the only African America student in Riverdale High.
3.   Dodgeballs hurt.
4.   Crownie’s got the right idea.
5.   Jughead is really messed up in the head.
6.   Moose can say more than one word at a time.
7.   Jughead just had Reggie get brutally beaten…Jughead is a monster!
8.   I miss Fernando Ruiz
9.   Veronica is underutilized in this comic.
10.   Anonymous Jughead and Dilton are not.



Okay, this issue was brutal. I’m not lying. I didn’t like it. The art just isn’t good. And I’ve actually seen previews of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and they look really, really good. I’m not lying. That art would be great here—but then today I checked out a recent preview and…I think two books is asking too much from her. It’s tough for any artist. Erik Larsen tried it with Savage Dragon and Thor and both books too a massive hit in quality. But I have to go by what I’ve seen and I don’t like it after the first issue.

As far as the writing goes, this is probably the worse the 4 because…like I said, I can take the dream sequence out and not miss anything. It didn’t connect to the main plot, so it came across to me as filler or padding. Now if this was put at the end as a special or extra separate story, great.  I’m fine with it, but it doesn’t work as a narrative tool for the plot.

But the humor (save for when Jughead explained the Slackbeard joke) was still very good. But the art needs to improve and the dream sequences need to connect better with the main story. I see glimmers of potential, but it needs some fanning.

I’ll give this issue a D.

GingerGal

  • Guest
Re: PTF Reviews Jughead 1-4
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 05:35:01 PM »
I really liked your reviews of the first 4 Jughead comics. I agree that Stranger is a great character and that he is plucking the last nerve of Jughead is making the story very interesting. I find the difference between the Jughead and the Archie series is I want to reread the Jughead series more because each time I do it seems I figure something out new each time. I think that is a good thing. I hope you keep up with these reviews in the future of the upcoming issues.

 


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