Since they started back in 1939, Archie Comics has come a long way. And now, with the CW’s Riverdale in the mix, the familiar characters are going in new and exciting directions. NYCC saw a collection of the new comics’ creators sit down and talk about where Archie is heading.
The panel was made up of some of the greats from Archie Comics: Co-CEO and Publisher of Archie Comics Jon L. Goldwater, Co-President and Editor of Archie Comics Mike Pellerito, Co-President and writer of The Archies Alex Segura, as well as Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick, Archie Comics editor, proofreader and B&V Vixen’s writer Jamie Rotante, writer and artist Dan Parent, and Frank Tieri, writer of Jughead: The Hunger. So, you know, just a couple of people.
And while the panel didn’t include much Riverdale, the show was there in spirit, with the cast even recording a special message for the NYCC audience. Jon Goldwater explained, “…season two is SO much better than season one. Season one was great, but season two is really fantastic.” He promises that the second season’s premiere will put everyone “right into the fire” without holding back, as well as seeing the series expand from thirteen episodes to twenty-two. Riverdale Season 2 premieres on October 11th.
Goldwater also spoke a little about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series that will appear on the same network next year. He explained that, while she’s still a teenage witch, this is “…not the old Sabrina you know,” as the series will be “a little different, a heck of a lot darker, but still tons of fun and lots of adventures.”
But, enough of the television Archie world, back to the comicbooks.
Archie recently welcomed Aubrey Mok as their new interior artist for the comic. Fresh off Josie and the Pussycats with Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio, Mok has done a brilliant job of bringing more of this story to life in the Heart of Riverdale, which has finally shown us that Betty is “the most important person in Riverdale.”
Other comics mentioned at the panel were The Archies, by writers Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg, with art from Joe Eisma, Your Pal Archie, by Tye Templeton with art from Templeton and Dan Parent, Life with Kevin, by Dan Parent, and Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica by Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko, with art from Laura Braga. And these aren’t the last of the new line of comics, as apparently there are more coming soon.
Jamie Rotante takes Betty and Veronica and turns them into biker chicks in B&V Vixens. The all-female creative team is set to do some incredible things with Archie Comics’ leading ladies. Artist Eva Cabrera is pairing with Rotante, and they couldn’t be more excited:
“[B&V Vixens] is really awesome because I get to play with their personalities a little bit. Like, keep their core personalities intact, but show how their differences are used to have them work together and become friends and everything.”
Rotante explained that, even though the two are in a biker gang, the book is more focused on female friendships, introducing us to the central female characters in Archie Comics, as well as branching out to include other characters.
Another highly anticipated series from Archie Comics is Jughead: The Hunger, written by Frank Tieri, with art by Pat and Ted Kennedy. Beginning as a one-shot, fan demand has seen it expanded into a full series. Tieri, like many others who read The Hunger, saw Betty as the breakout character:
“You know, as much as people like Jughead as a werewolf, Betty Cooper, werewolf hunter, was the breakout character. I was always a Betty guy over Veronica and… Betty. She’s so nice and sweet and blah blah blah, but what if there was something darker underneath there? She kills werewolves and kicks ass.”
The upcoming months will see a lot of amazing launches from Archie. December this year, sees the release of The Mighty Crusaders, which Pellerito described as an “action packed superhero comic that’s accessible. You don’t have to know anything to dive right in.” Then, January 2018 brings with it the all-ages comic Cosmo the Merry Martian.
The most crucial part of this panel, however, was the discussion about change within Archie Comics. Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick has embraced each and every change that the company has made through the years, merely stating to the audience, “Change is good.”
It says a lot about Archie Comics that they are willing to make changes, and bring on board creators that aren’t scared to break the mould, and focus on what Archie could be in the future. It takes guts to take an iconic series and change it with the times, and it seems that Archie Comics is definitely playing the long game.