Wednesday, September 02, 2009

betty and veronica


maybe that should be betty OR veronica?
when i was a kid, that was one of the choices on the list.
ginger or mary anne?
jeannie or bewitched?
betty or veronica?

but that's not what this blog's about.

over the past ten years or so, i've become a big archie fan. mostly stuff from the 60s and 70s--nostalgic fool that i am--and i've been lucky enough to have my pals, kc carlson and terry austin, gift me with their doubles or damaged copies. (i'm not so much collecting as absorbing--just soaking in the gorgeous artwork and joyful innocence that those stories...) terry was great friends with legendary archie artist, dan decarlo, and between terry and fred hembeck, i've learned the names of many of the other great--and often uncredited--artists who defined the gang back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

about four or five years ago, terry told me that archie was thinking about doing some more realistic stories, stories that are slightly more dramatic, rendered in a more realistic style. although i had always hoped to work on the classic archie comics, terry and i got excited at the prospect of getting a chance to play with the characters and once i mentioned this to mike, we got all revved up, not only dreaming of working on archie, but of teaming up with terry to have some real archie fun! i came up with a (jughead) story that i thought would be lots of fun and play right to mike's and my style, but, sadly, archie wasn't quite ready to try out this new concept.

jump to today and "the new look" archie is out on the stands. with artists like norm breyfogle, rick burchett, joe staton, and our own TERRY AUSTIN, archie and all the other residents of riverdale are being presented in a less-cartoony style in stories meant to be a bit more resonant and a little edgier.

and they're GOOD!

really good! i'm currently reading the "my father's betrayal" storyline in the betty and veronica digest--mostly 'cause terry got a bunch of comps and gave them to me, but here's the thing...whether i buy them off that rack at the grocery store or get them as a gift from terry--these archie digests are enormous! there is no other comic book out there today that gives you as much of a bang for your buck as the archie digests! with a cover price of $3.99, this thing is just PACKED with stories--the "new look" chapter is up front, but there are easily ten more stories in the pages that follow, drawn in that classic archie style that we all know and love! with each and every issue of the perhapanauts, craig and i try to fill all the extra pages with story or pin-ups or something fun, but these digests will give you hours of archie fun!

check 'em out!! they're really great! *

* (i will point out, however, that the editors broke the major rule in comics by making the mistake of blowing the story on the cover. as a writer, this is one of the things that will actually drive you over the edge. the writer, melanie j. morgan, spends an easy five pages cleverly building the suspense as to who is responsible for leveling eversgreen forest in riverdale--but the cover revealed the culprit before you even opened the book!! that ain't cool...)

mike did lend his pencils and style to these "new look" archie and jughead as we got psyched about maybe working on them...

and, like many of the projects mike and i had hoped to pursue, it wouldn't feel right doing it without him..
maybe someday.

(he's saying go ahead.)

happy wednesday!
smell ya later!

ps. and btw--betty.


rwhannah said...

LOL. I always preferred Betty's honesty to Veronica's vanity. Assuming I remember their archetypes well enough. But I've always had a soft spot for one of the only comics you can still find at the checkouts of grocery stores, and that still embraces a younger readership. Maybe not so much with this new turn, but its always nice to see non-super hero comics once in a while. It will be a sad SAD day if and whyn Archie Comics stop being made.


Christian D. Leaf said...

Betty all the way, though for some reason I kept dating Veronicas. Oh well, at least I learned my lesson before it was too late...

Got into Archie during high school. Mainly because I was a bag-boy and the store I worked at had a fat selection of Archie digests for cheap.

Brian said...

I have memories of Archie, but I think it is from the Archie's Saturday morning cartoon as opposed to reading the books.

Matt Wieringo said...

It's like the Mary Ann or Ginger debate. We all SAY we want the girl next door but as soon as the hottie bad girl shows up with her F.M. pumps and her bull whip and her safety word...ahem.

Anyway, like all the guys who end up with the bad girl, Archie will find out that, no matter how hot she is, somebody, somewhere, is sick of her $#!%. Hang in there, Betty!

A quick aside, not many people know this but, if Christian were to grow his hair out, he looks just like Archie Andrews. True story.

Warren said...

When I was a kid, Archie was one of my favorite comics, up there with LSH and X-Men. I quit reading them regularly around the time I hit high school, but now and then, I'll still buy one of those digests. They are an excellent deal and the stories are still just as wistful and wonderful as ever. :)

Heywood Jablomie said...

Personally I always liked Betty myself. I wasn't that big a fan of the Archie books, but they've always been fun reads. When I'm sick as a dog Karen always buys me the digests though and I do enjoy them. I tried to look for the 'newer look' ones but my LCS didn't have any.(not much of a surprise there)

But I really used to love the Archie's Weird Mysteries cartoon they had a few years ago. That was always fun, even if a little goofy.