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Author Topic: PTF Reviews Super Suckers #3  (Read 1211 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

Re: PTF Reviews Super Suckers #3
« on: February 03, 2018, 02:27:56 am »
I haven't as yet read the new issues of SUPER SUCKERS, but I'd just like to make an observation here, relative to comparing what ACP is publishing in the floppy comics format, and books like SUPER SUCKERS, DIE KITTY DIE!, and the various PixieTrix Comics of Gisele Lagace.

To me those other companies' evolution of an Archie-style teen humor comic seems like a total no-brainer... that is, they combine the visual appeal and comedic approach of the classic Archie Comics while jettisoning the "all-ages" approach in favor of a "PG-rated" comic book (because that's the consumer audience demographic that exists in the floppy comics marketplace... and indeed it makes no difference whether we are talking about print comics or digital comics).

So why isn't ACP doing comic books like this in the floppy (and digital) format? I had to think hard about that, but the answer appears to me to have a lot to do with Archie Comics' traditional "branding" of its most recognized characters as being ALL-ages, and the ongoing viability of the digest reprint titles for that same audience. ACP doesn't seem willing to put Archie & the gang out there as "PG-rated" characters drawn in the traditional classic style in a floppy comic book due to "brand confusion" that might lead younger readers (and their watchful parents) into confusing a PG-rated Archie comic (even a comic book featuring lesser-known or new characters) with a traditional all-ages Archie comic -- unless it's a glaringly obvious genre variation on the characters like the Archie Horror books. Non-horror titles then need to be identifiable immediately as "non-classic Archie" (for some reason... even though the New Riverdale floppy titles are, at best, written at the "TEEN" or "TEEN+" rating level). And that is done at a glance by differentiating the art style, and dispensing with any situation comedy approach. The closest that ACP has come to doing a title in the classic style aimed at a slightly older reader demographic than the traditional audience is LIFE WITH KEVIN -- and that was also differentiated at first glace, less by J. Bone's somewhat different inking style than by the monochrome coloring pallette, which immediately gives pause to a consumer, by signalling "wait a minute, there's something different about this Archie comic". Yet the loss of the appealing cartoon-style artwork and sitcom-type comedy tropes in the New Riverdale comics robs the Archie characters of the greatest strength of their original appeal. It's not the names of the characters that compel me to purchase a comic about those characters, nor even the basic (although modified in New Riverdale comics) orientation of the characters' relationships to each other.

Thankfully, other people like Sitcomics, AstroComix, and Pixie Trix Comics recognize where the basic appeal of this type of teen humor comic lies, and aren't bound up in some kind of marketing dilemma over how to splinter the characters into various different versions adapted and aimed at completely different demographics.

 


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