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Author Topic: Some reviews.  (Read 35514 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2016, 05:56:25 am »
EDITed my earlier post [http://www.archiefans.com/reviews/some-reviews/?message=7383] on ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL #7 to include contents listing and brief comments.

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2016, 05:48:47 pm »
Here is the cover of the long-delayed ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL #7, on sale the week of 11-16-2016.



Quote
ARCHIE COMIC SUPER SPECIAL #7
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
(W/A) Various (CA) Dan Parent

Join in on the fun and adventure in the the town of Riverdale! Follow the hilarious antics of the lovable goofball, Archie Andrews, and the rest of his pals and gals! This magazine features the greatest stories from the Archie vault, plus creator spotlights, the latest news and much, much more!

[EDIT (11-25-16): updated to include contents listing.]

ARCHIE in "Christmas Socking!"1 - 6 pages
ARCHIE in "Christmas Spirit" - 5 pages
ARCHIE in ""More Pull Than Talent!"2 - 1 page
BETTY & VERONICA in "Nursery Rhyme Time" - 5 pages (non-Xmas)
JOSIE in "All For the Birds!" - 6 pages (non-Xmas)
LITTLE ARCHIE in "Spread the Cheer" - 5 pages
ARCHIE Pin-Up - 1 page
ARCHIE in "Snow Mistake"2 - 6 pages (non-Xmas)
BETTY & VERONICA in "Do No Evil"2 - 6 pages (non-Xmas [takes place at Xmastime, but really has nothing to do with the holiday])
CHERYL BLOSSOM in "Hot Stuff" - 5 pages (non-Xmas)
MOOSE in "Snow Drifting" - 5 pages
SABRINA in "The Fruit Cake" - 5 pages
VERONICA in "A Symbol Problem" - 5 pages (non-Xmas)
ARCHIE AND ME (Mr. Weatherbee) in "Wanted: Santa Claus"2 - 12 pages
ETHEL in "Guile Style" - 1 page
BETTY in "Wrap Flap" - 1 page
JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS in "Gift Rapped" - 6 pages
SABRINA in "Ice Folly" - 6 pages (non-Xmas)
BETTY'S DIARY "Red and Green Blues" - 5 pages
MR. WEATHERBEE Pin-Up2 - 1 page
REGGIE in "Seasonal Smootch"1 - 6 pages
ARCHIE in "Ho-Ho-Humm" - 5 pages
LITTLE ARCHIE in "Santa Spirit" - 5 pages
ETHEL in "Appeal Zeal" - 1/2 page
MOOSE in "Yule Fool" - 1/2 page
ARCHIE in "Close Shave" - 5 pages
+plus 14 pages of advertisements (mostly for New Riverdale comics)

Notes:
1 - previously reprinted in ARCHIE'S CLASSIC CHRISTMAS STORIES, VOL. 1 (2002)
2 - previously reprinted in ARCHIE CLASSICS SERIES VOL. 1: CHRISTMAS CLASSICS (2011)

Comments: I'd read most of these before, and there's some duplication of material from earlier ACP Christmas TP collections, but not too bad. Overall percentage of Xmas stories to non- is still pretty high, and the mix between older and more recent stories is varied (a good thing). As well, they managed to include a variety of characters represented, not just Archie but B&V, Josie, Sabrina, Reggie, Mr. Weatherbee, and Moose (and of course, a couple of Little Archie stories, but OK, it's Christmas). No Jughead stories, though? Overall I'd rate this pretty well, say about 8 out of 10.


Lots of reprints from their other Christmas collections. I collect the Giant Series Christmas issues. They still couldn't find other Christmas stories?


I indexed this collection at GCD if anyone's interested.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2016, 09:38:21 pm »
JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS #23 - Why am I reviewing this now, when it came out a whole month ago? Well, the subscription department at ACP never sent me my copy, so I was forced to reorder it through my LCS. ACP says they'll credit me for the issue, as three weeks past the release date they were out of copies (but I bet the credited issue added to my subscription won't turn out to be a Jumbo Comics edition). Not the first time I've had to complain about missing an issue, but the first time they didn't mail out a copy in response. Grr.

Now this turns out to be a very good issue, with a surfeit of Craig Boldman stories in it. Among them, "The Elevenaire II" (6 pages), "Command Performance" (6), "Seat of Power" (5 pages, mis-credited as by George Gladir/Stan Goldberg, but really Boldman/Lindsey), "The Show Stopper" (11), "Go For the Juggler" (5), "All Dressed Up" (5), and "Will the Real Jughead Please Stand Up?" (5).

The Elevenaire stories are a lot of fun, and Boldman wrote four of them. The first one starred Archie, then "The Elevenaire II" starring Jughead, the third part was a Veronica story, and the fourth a Reggie story (I haven't read that one, but it's in WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #18, "Alias: The Elevenaire"). If you're interested in these stories, Craig Boldman wrote a piece about them on his blog (which you should really check out anyway, to see some of his artwork): http://www.craigboldman.com/2016/10/09/the-elevenaire/#more-896

But what I really want to talk about here is the two Trula Twyst stories in this issue. In the first one, "Seat of Power", Jughead enters Pop's and goes into a tizzy when he sees Trula Twyst sitting at the counter on what he considers "his" stool. Oh Jughead, when will you ever learn that you can't outwit Trula? For all his vaunted cleverness, Trula is the one girl Jughead just can't out-clever. The smart thing to do here, regardless of whether or not he considers any particular counter stool at Pop's to be his, personally... would be just to ignore it. I mean, did Jughead think she just sat on that particular stool by random chance? Of course not. She knows him better that that, and he should know that she knows him better than that. Therefore, if he really does dislike her and want to avoid her, the smart thing to do would be for him to feign disinterest, and ignore her occupying that particular stool as if it were no big deal to him -- but he doesn't, instead he insists on making a big deal out of it. Jughead declares that she's always looking for "cracks in his armor" to exploit, and he won't stand for it, that Trula's trying to "encroach on his turf". Oh, brother! Pop, being a normal human being, says that it's a public seat, first come first served, and refuses to arbitrate any dispute between the two. Betty at one point declares that she always thought Trula was kind of interested in Jughead, but Archie remarks that all taking his stool is going to do is make him MAD. Trula, of course, refuses to give up the stool, and Jughead's insistence that it's HIS seat only makes her more determined. She insists that when she finally leaves, she'll be back to take the same stool again the next day, five minutes BEFORE Jughead gets there. Of course Jughead counters that he'll arrive five minutes before THAT, but Trula replies that she already anticipated that, so she'll be there five minutes sooner than THAT. It becomes pretty heated, and there's some finger-pointing, boldified wording, and exclamation points!! And one of those famous panels in which Juggy and Trula are shown facing off in profile, nose-to-nose (they look cute, like angry Eskimos). It devolves to "Oh, yeah?!" -- "YEAH!" and "What are you gonna DO about it?!" -- "I'll SHOW you!" Then Reggie happens to show up, wondering what's going on. Archie says they're just watching Jug deal with his enemy. Reggie looks over and sees Jughead, with a satisfied smirk on his face, sitting on Trula's lap while she's still sitting on his stool (also looking pretty satisfied). "They don't look like ENEMIES to me!" says Reggie.

And that's the brilliance of Trula. She always gets what she wants. Even when she makes Jughead think that he's winning. And if Jughead truly had no interest in her... well, he doesn't NEED to have an arch-enemy. That's all him there, whether he wants to admit it or not. Jughead insisting that she's his nemesis, and thinking of her that way, forces him into her little psychological beartraps more than anything Trula herself can do. But of course, she knows this, and knows exactly how he will always react, like a huntress stalking her wily prey. You do have to wonder whether Jughead doth protest too much, and his own subconscious is betraying him and letting him fall into Trula's trap (and lap). "Seat of Power" is by no means an atypical example of Jughead's interactions with Trula.

It also occurs to me that Betty ought to be taking note of what's going on here, and maybe get a little friendlier with Trula. She could use Trula's help in studying some psychology tips to give her an edge over Veronica with Archie. It stands to reason that Archie would be less resistant to begin with, and even easier to manipulate than Jughead, not being as smart (but then again, it's Jughead's own contrariness that's his Achilles' heel). If Betty really understood how Archie would react in any given situation, and could predict his reactions in advance and plan her counter-moves several steps ahead, like a chess player, then she could learn to wrap him around her little finger with greater ease than Veronica does, and without resorting to Veronica's monetary resources and playing hard-to-get.

Wow, I can't believe I wrote all that on a 5 page story. And I haven't even talked about the other Trula story in here, the 11-page "The Show Stopper". That's enough for now though, I'll edit this later with more.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 09:30:45 am by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2016, 09:54:50 am »
I always wanted to check out the Elevenaire stories. They have a digital collection of them. Good to know they're worth checking out.


Yay for more Trula Twyst. I'm still looking for a copy or reprints of her original appearance.


Edit: Read the Elevenaire stories. Loved it! It's actually funny and I love the whimsical style. Did Craig Boldman only write for the Jughead series?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 08:39:42 pm by irishmoxie »

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2016, 01:41:59 am »
Yay for more Trula Twyst. I'm still looking for a copy or reprints of her original appearance.
Edit: Read the Elevenaire stories. Loved it! It's actually funny and I love the whimsical style. Did Craig Boldman only write for the Jughead series?

Well, if you read the Elevenaire stories, you know the answer. Here's where the Elevenaire quadrilogy first appeared:

ARCHIE #545 - “The Elevenaire”
JUGHEAD #157 - “The Elevenaire II”
VERONICA #180 - “The Return Of the Elevenaire”
WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #18 - (Reggie in) “Alias: The Elevenaire”

On his blog, Boldman noted that what's really missing there is a story in which Betty encounters the Elevenaire, and he already has a title for the story should he ever get the opportunity to write it - "Bride of the Elevenaire". (Seems doubtful that will ever happen it this point in time.)

Once he took over as the regular writer on JUGHEAD (which coincides, more or less, with the first appearance of Trula), that became his main regular assignment -- apart from the Archie newspaper strip, which he also wrote, beginning in the mid-1990s. When Boldman took over as writer on the newspaper strip, Henry Scarpelli was the artist. Later, Fernando Ruiz took over as penciller, and Boldman continued to write it until June 2011, when the strip went into reprints -- the point which Fernando considers in retrospect as 'the beginning of his end' at ACP, by which he meant the end of his ability to make a full-time living working for ACP. (As a side note, Fernando also drew a number of Jughead shorts, many of which he wrote as well, that mostly appeared in the digest titles - although a few showed up in the regular Jughead title - in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and I'd judge those as quite good, among the best of the stories he wrote himself.)

Unfortunately, there's been no JUGHEAD VS. TRULA TWYST collection as of yet, and, when you look at the collections ACP has done so far, there are very few classic Archie collections centered around Jughead. Only ONE in print form (The Best of JUGHEAD - Crowning Achievements, Archie & Friends All-Stars Vol. 9), and though there are a few more Jughead collections in the Pep Digital series, that's only a tiny fraction compared to the Pep Digital series as a whole. The original Trula trilogy appeared in JUGHEAD #89-91, with a followup where Jughead attempts to get revenge on Trula in #93-94. To the best of my knowledge those stories haven't been reprinted in any collections so far. Those stories, along with most of the remaining key Jughead/Trula stories, would fit into a 200-page or so collection. Virtually all of Trula's significant appearances have been written by Craig Boldman, and most of them were drawn by Rex Lindsey (although there are a few, like "The Show Stopper", drawn by Stan Goldberg). The two other thematic collections of Jughead stories deserving of a collection are the Jughead/Jellybean stories (written by various writers), and Craig Boldman's last epic multi-part Jughead story, "A Jughead in the Family", from JUGHEAD #207-212 (a.k.a. "Movin' In", on the covers), #210 of which is a feature-length appearance by Trula, her last. Boldman often wrote Jughead stories based on some new eccentricity that Jughead fixated on for that one story, and a collection of those stories would be greatly appreciated, as well.

In my opinion, one thing that LIFE WITH ARCHIE's "The Married Life" series got all wrong is that if Jughead were ever to get married, it would be to Trula Twyst. Unless she somehow decided otherwise, she would be the only one to make that happen, regardless of what Jughead might think of the idea at first. The existing Trula stories offer ample proof of her interest in him, and her ability to use her comprehensive knowledge of his character to maneuver him into doing whatever she wants. Despite his protests of her being his arch-enemy, on an unconscious level Jughead has a great respect for her cleverness and is actually flattered that Trula has taken such a keen interest in him that she knows him better than he knows himself, and that fatal attraction is what allows him to fall into her traps. Outwardly he couldn't be more resistant to the idea, but inwardly it's another story. Jughead had never met a girl like Trula before, who is both more intelligent and more self-confident in her ability than he is. Apart from their "girliness", there are things that Jughead respects about Betty's character or values, just as there are things that disgust him about Veronica's character or values. IMO what Jughead detests is not females per se, but the social conventions of "dating" and "romance" - those are things he doesn't respect or value. Trula is both a little scary and attractive to him at the same time, because she doesn't "follow the rules", just like him, but he can't relinquish his male pride and admit to anything like that. There's nothing in Jughead's playbook that gives him any hints on how to deal with a girl like that, so it's easier to just demonize her as the source of all evil.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 09:26:50 am by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2016, 02:28:29 am »
Here's a list of all the Jughead/Trula Twyst stories I've been able to identify so far (I've intentionally left out several minor or cameo appearances). All stories originally appeared JUGHEAD (2nd series, 1987-2012), with a few exceptions at the end of the list -- appearances of stories in digests that I haven't been able to confirm the original first appearances of.

JUGHEAD VS. TRULA TWYST

   #89   "Target: Jughead (Part 1)"   A new threat emerges to disrupt Jughead's way of life, in the person of Trula Twyst and the girls of J.U.S.T. (Jug Under Surveillance Team).

   #90   "Target: Jughead (Part 2)"   The Machiavellian machinations of Trula Twyst force Jughead to begin dating. In the backup story, "Steady As She Goes!", he attempts to make Ethel his steady girl, but things don't turn out as planned. So he begins to date other girls casually -- but what Jughead doesn't know is that his dates Aimee, Beebee, and Celia are actually Agents A, B, and C, of J.U.S.T.!

   #91   "Target: Jughead (Part 3)"   Jughead has finally found a steady girlfriend, and her name is Trula Twyst! It appears as though Jughead has never been happier, but has he fallen into the brainy beauty's tender trap? Meanwhile, all is not happy with the members of J.U.S.T., and Trula begins attracting attention from the boys at Riverdale High.

   #93   "Target: Trula (Part 1)"   Jughead plans his revenge on Trula. (Part 1)
   #94   "Target: Trula (Part 2)"   Jughead plans his revenge on Trula. (Part 2)

   #99   "Mint Condition"   Archie and the gang try to trick unromantic Jughead into kissing Trula Twyst by suggesting to Jughead her kisses taste like peppermint.

#100   "The Homebody"   After the Jones family moves to a new house, Jughead takes a wrong turn and ends up at Trula Twyst's house.

#105   "Notes to You"     Trula Twyst leaves Jughead a series of leading notes.

#112   "Snow Brainer"   Trula demonstrates an ability to discern character traits from the way people construct a snowman.

#120   "That Sinking Feeling"   Jughead is so relaxed at the beach that he starts sinking into the sand. Until he sees Trula Twyst.

#125   "Fit to Be (Yule)Tied"   Jughead, and his sworn nemesis Trula Twyst engage in their latest battle of wits -- what kind of Christmas present to surprise each other with!

#129   "Embracing the Inner Moose"   Jughead's most feared nemesis, Trula Twyst is back, and there's only one thing he can do: emulate Moose to throw her off the trail! Trula has studied every thought, every movement of Jughead, but will she be able to keep up with him now that he thinks and acts like Moose?

#132   "The Case of the Real-Gone Pest"   It's a Jughead story of a different stripe when he learns his epidemic sneezing fits are caused by the mere thought of being in Trula Twyst's presence! But when Trula's mom reports her missing, Jughead feels responsible. He sets out to clear his conscious by finding his nemesis, even if it means clearing his sinuses in the process.

#134   "Do the Write Thing"   When Jughead thinks he spots Trula Twyst reading a book on graphology (the analysis of people's handwriting) he immediately destroys every piece of paper he's scribbled on! But what if he's mistaken? The handwriting is sure to be on the high-school walls!

#139   "No Fear"   Be afraid... be very afraid.... because Jughead is out to prove to Trula Twyst that he's not afraid of girls!

#147   "Disguise the Limit"   The challenge of the day: find a Halloween costume that will conceal Jughead from Trula Tywst!

#148   "De-Lighted I'm Sure!"   Jughead enjoys Trula's company as long as she is watching the Christmas light decorations but she returns to her normal aggravating self when the lights go out.

#153   "The Trula Trap!"   Jughead is bound and gagging when an unfortunate encounter with finger cuffs leaves him stuck to Trula Twyst! Will this commingled condition confound Jughead all summer?!

#159   "The Pooch Plot"   Jughead has gone to the dogs... or at least his name has, when Trula Twyst names her dog after the crowned one!

#160   "The Triple-Threat Kiss of Trula Twyst!"   Trula closes her file on Jughead. The end result of her research is the conclusion that if Jughead were to kiss any girl 3 times, he would fall irrevocably in love with her… but Jughead is skeptical.

#164   "T-Trouble"   Tongues start wagging when Jug is spotted wearing a T-shirt featuring a picture of his nemesis, Trula Twyst!

#165   "Luck, Flee A Lady"   When Jughead pits the bane of his existence, Trula Twyst, against the bad luck-dispensing Jinx Molloy, how can he not end up getting caught in the middle?

#175   "We Meet Again!"   It's a "Twyst" of fate when Trula Twyst returns! Can she and Jughead finally put aside their differences, or will this latest encounter become an outsmarting contest, too?

#176   "The Opinion Maker"   Trula Twyst decides to make some comments about Betty and Veronica to see what the students at Riverdale do about it. Angered by the comments, Jughead takes matters into his own hands.

#187   "Advice Times Twice"   Archie is always coming to Jughead for advice, but now that he needs advice on winning over a certain girl, Jughead is shocked to find he's consulting Trula Twyst! Will Trula's advice on the girl prove successful - or will Jughead's unheeded warnings about Trula end in disaster?

#191   "The Show-Stopper!"   Jughead has been bitten by the acting bug, but will Trula's appearance in the play make him break character?

#199   "(Jug)Head Game"   Jughead's nemesis Trula Twyst sets out to prove her thesis that there's only room for one Jughead in Riverdale - by becoming another Jughead! Who will be the last Jug standing? Trula's unique fascination with and conflicted feelings toward Jughead come to the fore in this tale that threatens to spin the Jughead mythos on its crowned beanie!

#210   "Psyche Out"   Jughead continues his search for a place to call home (at least temporarily). After yet another living situation goes awry, Jughead finds shelter with Riverdale High's resident pop psychologist, Trula Twyst! Jughead hopes to use the opportunity for Trula to analyze him and sort out his family issues before he overstays his welcome! However, Jug may not be the only one taking advantage of his stay.

DIGEST appearances - original source unknown   

"Quirk For Hire!"    JUGHEAD & FRIENDS #11 (digest original?); JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST #170 (July 2011). Archie helps Jughead get a job at the local movie theater, but when Jughead learns his boss is Trula Twyst, he's looking for a fast-fadeout!

"It Takes Two to Tangle"   JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST#191 (June 2013). Trula tricks Jughead into taking her to the school dance.

"Til Debt Do Us Part"   JUGHEAD & ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS #5 (Oct. 2014). After inadvertantly accepting a loan from Trula Twyst, Jughead is desperate to pay her back so as not to be beholden to her.

"Seat of Power"   JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS #23 (Nov. 2016). Jughead definitely has territorial issues when he enters Pop's only to discover "his" accustomed stool at the counter being occupied by Trula Twyst.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 03:16:42 am by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2016, 01:20:22 pm »
^^I definitely gotta pick these up.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2016, 03:53:38 pm »
REGGIE AND ME #1 - It's readable, but definitely one of Tom DeFalco's lesser efforts at scripting for ACP. There's no problem following the story, at least. The biggest criticisms here are ones that generally apply to most of the New Riverdale comic books, i.e.: (A) not much happens in the course of 20 pages, and (B) what does happen isn't particularly funny, or even that interesting. I will admit that there are a lot of classic-style ACP 5 or 6 page stories where you could fairly say that "not much happens", but as long as the story is funny, it hardly matters -- you didn't invest much money or time in those 5 or 6 pages. Another thing that occurs to me is that it's a lot easier to forgive Reggie for being such a total dick as long as it's for the purposes of humor and entertainment -- but when he behaves the same way and he's not being funny, it makes him much less likeable as a character. There's probably no good reason for copying the format of B&V here and having the story narrated by Reggie's dog Vader. The information conveyed in the captions could just as easily be delivered by a disembodied omniscient narrator. The artwork wasn't terrible, or particularly good either, not the worst artwork to appear in a NR comic, but nowhere near the best, either.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #3 - Might as well admit here that I only picked this up to read the classic reprint in back. I attempted to read the new lead story, but half-a-dozen pages in the dialogue was so boring and tedious that I just gave up and skimmed the rest. Good god, reading an Archie comic book shouldn't feel like work, and this feels like trudging through waist-deep molasses. Audrey Mok's artwork isn't bad, and I could probably get to like it if the writing on this title wasn't nearly incomprehensible. All in all, some of the best art I've seen in a NR comic (aside from Derek Charm), along with absolutely the worst writing on any of the NR comics so far, which is a real shame.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2016, 08:22:30 pm »
A couple of additional thoughts here.

Re: REGGIE #1 - It might have been more interesting if the narration had been via Reggie's own thoughts about himself and the other characters. That might have given us some new insight into how the world of Riverdale High is as seen from Reggie's POV. Missed opportunity. I appreciated the cameos of Evilheart and Pureheart here, but was puzzled that Tom D. was not able (or allowed... editorially speaking) to milk more comedy out of those brief scenes. Or really much comedy at all, on the whole. Nice to see the New Kids appearing somewhere, but unfortunately there's no characterization given to them -- functionally they are mere props in the story.

Re: JOSIE #3 - Just skimming through most of the pages in the lead story, it seems to me that a really decent writer could have made a funny (or at least fun) story out of the artwork just as it was. Things like Alexandra appearing out of nowhere on a Back To The Future-type hoverboard with a T-shirt bazooka really ought to have been funny, but the comic is really bogged down by dialogue which seems to think of itself as too clever by half -- as if merely loading up the dialogue balloons with excess verbiage containing all sorts of non-sequitur references somehow makes it funny. It doesn't. It works against the story, slows down the flow of reading it, and doesn't meld organically with the illustrations. More isn't always better. Get out of the way and let the pictures carry most of the story. Marguerite Bennett must have a tin ear if she thinks anyone talks like this in real life, or that it's the slightest bit believable. I suppose she must think that it's "smart" dialogue, but if it was really smart it wouldn't be trying to hog all the attention to itself, and distracting from the artwork and what's supposed to be going on in the story. It needs to be cut down by at least half. Contrary to what Ms. Bennett may believe, every single dialogue balloon does not need to make the reader stop and think "Oh, isn't that clever".
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 08:49:54 pm by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2016, 12:06:00 am »
Reggie: Lots of exposition and set up. Of all the new Riversale titles, the writing is the most similar to classic Archie. Another dog narrator? Why?? But Vader was more charming than Hot Dog. I was never a huge fan of Reggie but I'll continue. It's a light read and his dashund is cute.


Josie: my favorite of all the new Riverdale titles. The humor is definitely targeted towards millennials like Archie is targeted towards teens. Continue with at least one Mean Girls reference per comic please! Case in point the Back to the Future reference went over my head. The comic is definitely targeted towards girls (thank you ACP for thinking of us!) with its wordiness and pop culture mentions. With the word count, it's actually worth the cover price in how long it takes me to read it. Whereas other $4 comics I can read in about 2 minutes. And the high waisted bikinis which were causing a fuss over on the Archie Facebook page. Girls look at that and say that outfit looks cute. I want one. Whereas guys automatically deem the girls not sexy enough. I agree the pace of the story is off and Marguerite should fix that. But so is DC Bombshells. It jumps around with non sequiturs but girls love this stuff. Otherwise why would Gilmore Girls be so popular?

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2016, 12:30:06 am »
I was tempted to say it looks like Valerie has put on a little weight, but then that's true of Pepper as well, and on the whole it pales into insignificance compared to the many other changes rung on the personalities of the characters. This really isn't the Josie and the Pussycats that I know. But then that also applies in varying degrees to all of the characters in the New Riverdale books. 

What works on TV for Gilmore Girls doesn't work in a comic book. They're two different media. Unlike TV, you can't look at the artwork and read extensive text at the same time. The art is supposed to be "read" as a series of still frames that directs your eyes in a natural flow from panel to panel to keep the story moving, with the reader filling in the missing information between panels as your eyes move across the page. Too much dialogue is making the reader linger too long in a single panel, and the non-sequitur references are tangents that take your mind out of what's going on in the story. It's like trying to watch a subtitled movie where there's a ton of dialogue to read and you need to think about what that dialogue is about, and meanwhile there's something going on in the picture that you're missing. It's not exactly like that, because you can control how long it takes you to read it and when you move on to the next picture, but it turns the whole comic into slow motion with commentary. That's the same reason I skip Ryan's North's bottom-of-the-page commentary in JUGHEAD on the first reading. You lose connection with the immediacy of what's actually happening. I don't want a 20-page comic that can be read in five minutes, but there's got to be some balance, and the dialogue here is just too distracting to no good purpose. It calls attention to itself where it shouldn't. Or maybe *sigh* it's because I'm not a girl, and therefore not that smart. I didn't like DC Bombshells, either.

At any rate, that's all I have to say about it because now I'm done with it (unless the comic gets a new writer). Well, I gave it more of a chance than I gave ARCHIE (which I dismissed after issue #2), only because I had more of a vested interest in wanting to like a comic with these characters (same for Sabrina) than I did for Archie, Jughead or Reggie, and I was more predisposed to like it because of the artwork. I'd say the same about B&V, except that when I heard Adam Hughes was writing as well as drawing it, somehow I had a hunch that it wasn't going to wind up being too satisfying for either gender. I'll accept your contention that JOSIE is a 'for girls only' comic, but that being the case, I don't see much of a future for it as a print comic, since the comic shop audience demographic is still overwhelmingly male dominated. I'll be pretty surprised if the print version runs more than 12 issues. It would have to have a pretty heavy word-of-mouth buzz going for it within the comic fangirl network for it to survive. Maybe this is one title that's better off as a Digital-Only comic.

It's funny that you perceive ARCHIE as being targeted to teens. My subjective perception based on the handful of people I know who are reading it (and weren't reading classic Archie before) is that they're all 40-something adults, like the marketing is based on some vague nostalgic brand name recognition for people who stopped reading Archie (if they ever really did) by the time they reached their teens. Of course these are also people who are mainly coming into a comic book shop to buy other titles. It might be vastly different in the digital marketplace.

Between the change in the art style, the change in the writing style, the changes in the characters, the change in who the books are aimed at, and the change from humor-based stories to... something else, there's nothing here for me to connect to. It just seems like ACP is heavily invested in relying on the characters' names and branding more than anything else.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 05:39:55 am by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2016, 01:03:49 pm »
REGGIE AND ME #36, 50, 107, & 113

#36 has all Samm Schwartz artwork, and #50 is entirely drawn by Al Hartley. Some interesting stories in some of these. In one of them, Veronica prefers Reggie to Archie, and he then literally knocks himself out trying to impress her. To make a short story even shorter, Reggie winds up taking Veronica to the big dance, and Archie winds up in a full body cast. It's GOOD to have your name in the title, am I right??

In another story, Reggie's car breaks down, and Archie offers him a ride to pick up his date... who is none other than Midge, at her house. After a series of mishaps (all caused by Archie), Reggie's clothes are ruined and he smells like the fish Archie had just caught and had in his car with him, and not only is he a mess, he's late to meet Midge. Arriving finally at Midge's house, Reggie is fit to be tied and furious at Archie, but just misses Big Moose as he's leaving, saying something to Midge like "It's a good thing that rumor I heard about you having a date with Reggie turned out to be untrue!" Wow, did that just sound like Moose was threatening her? And of course, Reggie as well, but it certainly seems like Midge made a date with Reggie, and just finished lying to Moose about it, when confronted by him. And sure enough, when Moose has left, Reggie and Archie pop out of the bushes that hid them from Moose's view as they approached the house, and Midge tells Reggie "It's a good thing you were late! If you'd been on time, Moose would have pulverized you!" Now, Reggie is grateful to Archie for all the problems that caused him to be late, and goes with Midge and Archie to Pop's, to celebrate his good fortune in having narrowly escaped Moose's wrath. The End. ... Wow, that's a switch. Reggie and Midge sure pulled a fast one on Moose, and they seem pretty pleased with themselves. She's quite the little firecracker, isn't she? Makes you think, doesn't it? Maybe Moose's constant paranoia and barely-contained rage is based on something more real than just his imagination -- or is it his jealousy and possessiveness that makes Midge cheat on him? In fact, this story tells you that Midge will try to get away with whatever she can when Moose isn't watching her like a hawk, which implies that she... well, I don't need to draw a picture, do I... ? It would seem to go a long way towards explaining why Reggie is so willing to risk life and limb time and again, if there's even a slight chance he can get Midge alone for a little while. He's not just deluding himself with his own vanity that she's attracted to him. But again, here's another story where REGGIE WINS AGAIN, contrary to the beatings he's usually seen taking from Moose in the final panel of a story from ARCHIE or JUGHEAD, or any other title not called REGGIE AND ME.

Now, there's another story in here where Reggie goes on for pages cruelly taunting Ethel and making all sorts of insensitive wisecracks about her looks, after she asks him to go to a movie with her, using the two free tickets she had (naturally, Jughead had turned her down first). It isn't just one or two mean-spirited insults, he's really laying it on thick with the cruelty. I mean, this goes on for like, two-and-a-half, three pages. It starts out with Reggie, after he turned her down, saying "Hey, I've got to think of my reputation! I can't be seen out in public with someone who looks like you!" and gets worse and worse. Stuff like "Hey, did you try to sue your parents for sticking you with that face?" In one panel, even Moose joins in on the "fun", and makes up his own insults about Ethel's looks. Then Betty hears what he's saying, and (being Betty) leaps to defend Ethel, putting Reggie in his place by telling him what a rotten excuse for a human being he really is. And that goes on for a half-dozen panels or so, and then Archie joins in to try to make Reggie feel like the heel he actually is. They begin to wear him down, and Reggie protests he's really not that bad. To prove it, after they've shamed him into it, he goes out with Ethel on the date as she originally wanted. REALLY? Ethel would even take him up on her original offer after all the really NASTY, hurtful things he said to and about her? Yup. So off they go, arm in arm, as Reggie, with a glum expression on his face, thinks to himself "My problem is, my HEART is bigger than my MOUTH!" BOY, what a fun evening that must have turned out to be for all involved.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2016, 11:16:39 am »
WALT DISNEY'S MICKEY & DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE #2 (2016)

This is a 68-page "bookshelf format" (thick glossy white pages, squarebound, with a stiff glossy cardboard cover) comic book, that contains only 4 pages of non-story material (and one contents page), for the very nice price of $5.99.

The new (to the USA, translated from the Swedish Kalle Ankas Pocket 422, 2013) lead story is the epic 43-page all-star adventure, "Tis No Season". In it, Mickey Mouse, returning from a time-traveling adventure in the 1890s in which he teamed up with Sherlock Holmes, arrives back in Mouseton 2016 to find that his friend Doc Static's laboratory is nothing but a dusty, disused building that looks like it's been vacant for decades. Doc Static had invented a device that charged Mickey's body with chronal energy, so he could visit the past without using a time machine. When the chronal charge dissipated, Mickey was supposed to return to the exact moment he left. He did return to 2016, but not the same 2016 that he left! So what happened? Seeking out the Doc, Mickey discovers that he's now a librarian, and had never even been a scientist! Even worse, he soon discovers that Christmas no longer exists! Accessing a computer, Mickey finds to his relief that the new timeline he finds himself in had nothing to do with his adventure in the 1890s, but that Christmas has been outlawed since 1956! Seeking to solve the mystery, correct the chronal divergence, and save Christmas, he turns to Donald Duck for help. Donald thinks his old pal Mickey has gone off his nut, since Don can never remember a time when Christmas was celebrated, but takes him to see Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge does remember Christmas (because he's way older than 60), and agrees to help Mickey (because having no Christmas season has negatively impacted Scrooge's many commercial ventures!), and Huey, Dewey, and Louie are very interested in this idea of a holiday on which kids receive tons of presents! Scrooge explains that on the night of December 24, 1956, when Santa Claus visited all the houses in the twin cities of Mouseton and Duckburg, instead of leaving presents, he robbed every single home! The shocking news quickly spread around the world, and people were so frightened by the idea, and the possibility of a repeat performance, that Christmas itself was quickly outlawed. Irascible Donald is still skeptical, but grudgingly agrees to help, and takes them to see Duckburg's resident genius inventor, Gyro Gearloose, who of course has a time machine on hand. Traveling back to the fateful night of the time divergence in 1956, Mickey, Donald, Scrooge and the boys all witness a horde of miniature robotic Santas wreaking havoc on their two hometowns and robbing homes of all their valuables, which attack our heroes with destructive ray beams when they are caught being observed in the performance of their pernicious programming. Obviously this must be the work of a sinister mastermind -- and why didn't the real Santa Claus stop it? To discover what happened to the real Santa, the pals take a quick trip to the North Pole, where they discover that Santa, his workshop, and all his elves and reindeer have been trapped in a time stasis bubble! Mickey quickly deduces that this plot is so perfidious, so diabolical, that only one arch-criminal mind can be behind it -- no one else but Mickey's nefarious Number One-nemesis, THE PHANTOM BLOT! How Mickey, Donald, Scrooge and the nephews track the Blot to his lair, free Santa from the time stasis bubble, defeat the Blot's evil army of killer Santa robots, and restore Christmas to its rightful place in history, makes for a fun and interesting Christmas story, in fact, the best Christmas story I've read in quite some time (although last year's MICKEY & DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE also had quite a good, long Christmas story -- but I believe IDW has topped themselves this year).

I only wish ACP could offer something in a similar format. These Christmas specials from IDW aren't tied to any particular year, really (which explains how a time travel story that was published in Sweden in 2013 can easily be updated in translation, and lose nothing). Or at the very least, they should make a new, long story (25-30 pages) and include it in the ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL Christmas issue. Since ACP loves to sell direct through the mail, these could be stocked (and advertised as still available in the digests) for years, until they were all gone.

The special also contains a couple of one-page Xmas gag strips featuring Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck, a 5-page Big Bad Wolf story called "That Sinking Feeling" where B.B. Wolf seemingly turns over a new leaf and gains the Christmas spirit (but Practical Pig, being the skeptical sort of swine, is still suspicious), and closes out with a 12-page Donald Duck and Gyro Gearloose adventure called "Vacation INGENIOUS" in which, during a blizzard in Duckburg, overworked and frazzled inventor Gyro decides to join Donald on an impromptu ski vacation, to get away from constant work and relax (but somehow, he's just unable to stop inventing things!) -- this last tale isn't really a Christmas story, but more of a "winter vacation" story. As with the lead story, all of these are translated from European-generated Disney comics, and appear here for the first time in a US publication.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 12:12:40 pm by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2016, 08:41:18 pm »
WALT DISNEY'S MICKEY & DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE #2 (2016)

This is a 68-page "bookshelf format" (thick glossy white pages, squarebound, with a stiff glossy cardboard cover) comic book, that contains only 4 pages of non-story material (and one contents page), for the very nice price of $5.99.

The new (to the USA, translated from the Swedish Kalle Ankas Pocket 422, 2013) lead story is the epic 43-page all-star adventure, "Tis No Season". In it, Mickey Mouse, returning from a time-traveling adventure in the 1890s in which he teamed up with Sherlock Holmes, arrives back in Mouseton 2016 to find that his friend Doc Static's laboratory is nothing but a dusty, disused building that looks like it's been vacant for decades. Doc Static had invented a device that charged Mickey's body with chronal energy, so he could visit the past without using a time machine. When the chronal charge dissipated, Mickey was supposed to return to the exact moment he left. He did return to 2016, but not the same 2016 that he left! So what happened? Seeking out the Doc, Mickey discovers that he's now a librarian, and had never even been a scientist! Even worse, he soon discovers that Christmas no longer exists! Accessing a computer, Mickey finds to his relief that the new timeline he finds himself in had nothing to do with his adventure in the 1890s, but that Christmas has been outlawed since 1956! Seeking to solve the mystery, correct the chronal divergence, and save Christmas, he turns to Donald Duck for help. Donald thinks his old pal Mickey has gone off his nut, since Don can never remember a time when Christmas was celebrated, but takes him to see Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge does remember Christmas (because he's way older than 60), and agrees to help Mickey (because having no Christmas season has negatively impacted Scrooge's many commercial ventures!), and Huey, Dewey, and Louie are very interested in this idea of a holiday on which kids receive tons of presents! Scrooge explains that on the night of December 24, 1956, when Santa Claus visited all the houses in the twin cities of Mouseton and Duckburg, instead of leaving presents, he robbed every single home! The shocking news quickly spread around the world, and people were so frightened by the idea, and the possibility of a repeat performance, that Christmas itself was quickly outlawed. Irascible Donald is still skeptical, but grudgingly agrees to help, and takes them to see Duckburg's resident genius inventor, Gyro Gearloose, who of course has a time machine on hand. Traveling back to the fateful night of the time divergence in 1956, Mickey, Donald, Scrooge and the boys all witness a horde of miniature robotic Santas wreaking havoc on their two hometowns and robbing homes of all their valuables, which attack our heroes with destructive ray beams when they are caught being observed in the performance of their pernicious programming. Obviously this must be the work of a sinister mastermind -- and why didn't the real Santa Claus stop it? To discover what happened to the real Santa, the pals take a quick trip to the North Pole, where they discover that Santa, his workshop, and all his elves and reindeer have been trapped in a time stasis bubble! Mickey quickly deduces that this plot is so perfidious, so diabolical, that only one arch-criminal mind can be behind it -- no one else but Mickey's nefarious Number One-nemesis, THE PHANTOM BLOT! How Mickey, Donald, Scrooge and the nephews track the Blot to his lair, free Santa from the time stasis bubble, defeat the Blot's evil army of killer Santa robots, and restore Christmas to its rightful place in history, makes for a fun and interesting Christmas story, in fact, the best Christmas story I've read in quite some time (although last year's MICKEY & DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE also had quite a good, long Christmas story -- but I believe IDW has topped themselves this year).

I only wish ACP could offer something in a similar format. These Christmas specials from IDW aren't tied to any particular year, really (which explains how a time travel story that was published in Sweden in 2013 can easily be updated in translation, and lose nothing). Or at the very least, they should make a new, long story (25-30 pages) and include it in the ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL Christmas issue. Since ACP loves to sell direct through the mail, these could be stocked (and advertised as still available in the digests) for years, until they were all gone.

The special also contains a couple of one-page Xmas gag strips featuring Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck, a 5-page Big Bad Wolf story called "That Sinking Feeling" where B.B. Wolf seemingly turns over a new leaf and gains the Christmas spirit (but Practical Pig, being the skeptical sort of swine, is still suspicious), and closes out with a 12-page Donald Duck and Gyro Gearloose adventure called "Vacation INGENIOUS" in which, during a blizzard in Duckburg, overworked and frazzled inventor Gyro decides to join Donald on an impromptu ski vacation, to get away from constant work and relax (but somehow, he's just unable to stop inventing things!) -- this last tale isn't really a Christmas story, but more of a "winter vacation" story. As with the lead story, all of these are translated from European-generated Disney comics, and appear here for the first time in a US publication.


Great review! I love Christmas comics. I wish there was more of them. I have this on order from Midtown since it doesn't come in digital. :(

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2016, 05:15:53 am »
ASTRO BOY - Finally finished the last couple of years worth of the 18-year run of the original series from Shonen magazine(1951-1968), plus some miscellaneous stories from the 1970s through 1981, and the 27-month run of the newspaper strip (1967-69). The latter was more of a sequel to the 1963-66 B&W anime series, which ended its television run (Episode #193) with the boy robot hero melted to a slab of metal falling ever closer towards the sun, about to sacrifice his robotic existence in a last-ditch attempt to save every living creature on Earth. The metal slab was a fragment of a spaceship hull which had been destroyed by a meteor shower as Astro had attempted to pilot it into the sun's coronasphere, and contained an anti-proton bomb designed to quell errant solar eruptions which were wreaking havoc on Earth's global climate and would soon make human life on earth impossible. The rocket couldn't be directed by remote control from Earth, since the solar eruptions would interfere with any radio communications, and the bomb was the only one of its kind in existence, and had to be precisely targeted to have the desired effect. Solar magnetism would have affected any pre-programmed guidance system, and there was only time for one attempt, so an intelligent pilot was the only option. In the end Astro guides the course of the bomb using his own built-in rockets until his energy fails, and he is fused with the remains of the ship as he approaches more closely to the sun's heat. In the daily newspaper comic he's rescued from his final fate by technologically-advanced aliens who repair him and send him back to Earth along with one of their own, an insectoid female named Scara who has taken on human form, but the alien ship's method of spacewarp travel results in them both arriving on Earth in contemporary times (meaning the late 1960s). Astro experiences many adventures (including meeting his 21st Century mentor Dr. Ochanamizu as a young man, and getting involved in the Vietnam war) before finally running out of energy. His inert body does remain in existence until the 21st Century date when he will be born, finally disintegrating upon his actual 'birth'. From that point forward, the newspaper comic becomes a rebooted/retold version of his earliest adventures, although the actual stories (apart from the retold origin with new details) are different than those of the Shonen magazine run. It was quite a run of stories for AstroBoy -- 23 volumes in paperback. I'm still working my way through the rest of the anime episodes (about 45 left to go) of the 1963 anime series that were not adapted from the manga stories.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 05:18:25 am by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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