MATTEL: 1977 The Archies JALOPY Doll Car
The official website thingy of pop culture writer Chris Cummins
Here’s an exclusive first look at the cover for the upcoming Archie Comics Super Special issue 4 which hits stores in September. As you can see, it features a fun illustration by Dan Parent in which Archie, Betty and Veronica sing The Archies’ signature tune, “Sugar Sugar.” Great fun. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see inside:
ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL MAGAZINE #4
Something amazing is happening in Riverdale! The quarterly Archie Comic Super Special Magazine rolls on with this awesomely autumn-themed edition! School is back in session, the leaves are changing colors and Halloween is approaching with its promises of tricks and treats!
Get ready for colors, classes and costumes galore from the Archie vault. All this plus creator spotlights, the latest Archie news, a brand new multi-color foil-enhanced cover and much, much more in this jam-packed magazine! Featuring stories with Archie, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats and more!
Cover: Dan Parent, Bob Smith, and Tito Peña
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 9/11
128-page, full color comic
As regular readers of this site are well aware, I’m a bit of a Archie fanatic. But my obvious enthusiasm aside, the simple fact is that Archie Comics is the most exciting publisher around these days due to their masterful ability to please old fans and bring in new audiences through groundbreaking characters (Kevin Keller) and exciting concepts (the ongoing Life with Archie magazine, the upcoming horror/comedy hybrid Afterlife with Archie). If you haven’t checked out what’s been happening in Riverdale of late, rectify that immediately. You’re missing out on some of the best work being done in the comics industry today.
A quick story for you: While browsing at the local Video Village back in 1984, I stumbled upon a videocassette of Archie cartoons. Having been a fan of the comics for a few years, I could barely contain my excitement at the prospect of being able to see the animated adventures of Archie and the gang. Although I was a cartoon junkie at the time, I had no idea of the long and overly complicated history of Archie toons. After a little bit of begging, my parents allowed me to rent it. Once I got home, I immediately decided to skip that evening’s viewing of Jennifer Slept Here and throw in the tape immediately. (Because watching Riverdale come to life trumps second-rate Ann Jillian vehicles any day of the week). My brother decided to take a break from his usual tormenting of me and took a seat on the couch. Immediately, the jangly “Everything’s Archie” theme began and I was overwhelmed by a visual onslaught of colors and confusion. “Why is Archie’s hair like that?”, I thought to myself. But this was the first of many questions that I would have that evening.
Basically, the Archie cartoon is horrible.
The character designs were slightly off model from what I was used to seeing in the comics. Archie’s aforementioned locks aside, I could live with this. But the voice work was atrocious. For reasons I have yet to figure out, someone at the Archie Company or Filmation decided that Veronica should speak with a Southern drawl. As more of a Betty guy, I found this to be lame but acceptable. Then Jughead opened his mouth and my soul died a bit. You see, reading the Samm Schwartz-illustrated Jughead books made me expect to see an effortlessly cool character whose sleepy eyed charm kept him one step ahead of his pals. But the Jughead who was currently appearing on the Zenith in my rec room was nothing as I expected. He was clumsy, seemed a bit dim and spoke in a nerdy squelch. I was heartbroken.
My brother and I quietly watched the remaining 40-odd minutes of the tape and after I shut it off he just patted me on the back and walked out of the room. I think he took pity on me for having my dreams crushed so mercilessly. I spent the rest of that weekend trying to forget that the Archie cartoon existed by reading the comics. That worked somewhat, but I still couldn’t quite grasp how things went so horribly, utterly wrong in Riverdale. Blech.
Never ones to shy away from exploiting current trends to make a buck, Archie comics will be releasing the horror comic Afterlife with Archie later this year. (You may remember that this concept originated as a variant cover to Life With Archie issue # 23 by Francesco Francavilla). Here’s the details via Comic Book Resources:
AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE will provide readers with zombie-filled mayhem like only Archie can, taking the Riverdale gang where they’ve never been before – to the grave and back.
In addition to his Archie credits, Aguirre-Sacasa has made a name for himself in the world of television (writer/producer on GLEE), Broadway musicals (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), and movies, penning the remake of Stephen King’s Carrie, which premieres this fall.
“Roberto’s a superstar writer,” said Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “Working with him on the upcoming AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is the next step in the ever expanding Archie universe.”
“AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE combines two of my great passions: Archie comics and horror comics,” said Aguirre-Sacasa. “This series came out of conversations with Jon [Goldwater], asking questions like, ‘what if the Archie characters found themselves in a Stephen King novel like The Stand or a Sam Raimi movie like The Evil Dead?’ Could we pull that off, tonally? We’re really going for it. The first arc is called ‘Escape from Riverdale.’ The second arc is called, brace yourself, ‘Betty RIP.’ Of course, all the horror stuff will be balanced by elements that are quintessentially Archie.”
So there you have it.
Now I am pretty much the biggest Archie dork you’re ever likely to meet and while I have zero interest in Aguirre-Sacasa’s Archie/Glee crossover, I am hugely excited about this new series for a few reasons. First and foremost, the mashing up of horror and Archie is a brilliant idea (as fans of the short-lived Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina will be quick to point out).Secondly, before he began working for Archie, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the controversial play Archie’s Weird Fantasy, so he knows how to lovingly spoof the characters. This one came completely out of the blue, but you can bet you’ll hear much more from me about this as its release approaches.