Archie was an obsession of mine. My dad bought me a new Archie digest every week at the grocery store, and many more at used bookstores. From the time I could read to about 18 years of age, I read Archies with every snack I ate, I read Archies in the car, I read Archies in the bathroom, I read Archies before bed. I read a lot of Archies. When I was hospitalized in November, my partner’s mom asked me if she could pick anything up for me to read at the library, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Archie.”
I seriously have no idea what it is about Riverdale and its band of vanilla characters that has me so enthralled. Is it the fact that dating high schoolers sometimes call each other “lover’? Was it Jughead’s big nose (I have a thing for big noses)? I try not to analyze it too much.
And now, for the first time in 75 years, they are revamping Archie. This is huge news, the characters and world have a new look and a new feel for the first time in over seven decades. And, what’s an even bigger deal? The person giving them this new look with her amazing artistic skills is Calgary’s very own Fiona Staples! If you read comic books, Staples is a household name to you (or should be) and has been called one of the most talented artists working in comic books today. So what has she done with Archie? Take a look at the cover and find out:
I personally love what she’s done with the characters. This look feels updated, but not completely out of sync with the classic art style the old fans came to love – it has an edge to it, but it’s not too sharp. Because of my love of these comics, there is a ridiculous amount of pride in Starchie and the fact that he is now a Canadian creation. And, Mark Waid (not CDN, but I guess he’s still okay) has written a great YA story with just the right amount of emotional depth for this nouveau Archie. The premise is that Archie and Betty have been a Riverdale couple for years, and they have mysteriously broken up and everyone is in a tizzy about it. Veronica has yet to move to Riverdale, but she’s definitely on her way there. And, there is a side story about Archie’s guitar playing, he hasn’t found stardom, but there are hints of a budding musical career. Also a nifty addition to the first issue is the fact that it includes the very first Archie story ever published in 1941. Fun to see the current and the first in the same issue. I really think this wonder team has turned the world of Archie into a really great read and I’m super excited for my obsession to begin again. Issue #2 comes out soon!
PS: Chip Zdarsky will be doing the Jughead series, and if you love Jughead the way I love him, you will be very pleased to know he is in very good hands with Zdarsky.