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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 36

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at Craig Boldman and Rex Lindsey’s Jughead run!

Enjoy!

Typically speaking, when I do these things, I’m going to try to keep them as condensed as possible. Like, for instance, I won’t say “Peter David’s Hulk run.” I would, instead, pick a particular storyline from David’s Hulk run.

When it comes to Craig Boldman and Rex Lindsey on Jughead, however, I’m going to make an exception, mostly due to the general set-up for Archie Comics. First off, they don’t have extended storylines, so 50 issues of Jughead really won’t advance the plot as much of, say, 10 issues of a different title, so a 100+ issue run on an Archie title is pretty similar to a 12 issue run on a different comic. Additionally, most Archie titles don’t have “runs” by creators. Sure, certain writers tend to work on certain books, but, for instance, there isn’t really a “regular” writer on Betty.

Jughead, though, has basically had a set creative team from issue #89, when Boldman and Lindsey first began working together on the character.

As you can see, in that issue, Boldman and Lindsey introduced one of the best characters introduced into the Archie “universe” in…well…damn…maybe in almost thirty years (depending on what you think of Cheryl Blossom, it could be even LONGER!).

That character was named Trula Twyst, a teen who was fascinated with Jughead’s bizarre psyche, to the point where she was determined to “break” Jughead.

Issues when Trula show up are a particular treat.

But even when she isn’t around, the book is still quite fun, as Boldman never seems to run out of inventive ideas for stories (the covers tend not to be all that descriptive of the story within, so you’ll likely have to trust me on this)…

Lindsey is a strong artist – one of the sharpest artists in the Archie “house style,” and as you can tell, there’s not a whole lot of room for a unique artistic vision when you’re working in a “house style,” but Lindsey clears does what he can. He’s a strong storyteller. Rich Koslowski has inked the great majority of their run, but not every issue (Jim Amash inked the most recent issue, for instance).

Just a year or so ago, the pair celebrated their 100th issue together…

The next issue of Jughead will be #200, and “sadly” (as it’s not that big of a deal, of course), just like how Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle were taken off of their great Detective Comics run so that a writer known for outside comic work could do the big anniversary issue, Boldman and Lindsey will not be doing the 200th issue of Jughead (well, Lindsey will, but Robot Chicken’s Tom Root will be writing it instead of Boldman).

The most recent issue was one of their best issues, with a truly inspired initial story where Trula is enlisted by a group of girls who want Jughead to stop being, you know, Jughead.

Her plan is to have each of the girls act like Jughead, as Jughead would never do something that everyone ELSE was doing. The plan works, but perhaps a bit TOO well…

Here are the first few pages from the issue…

I really appreciate how Boldman never seems to go for the quick gag. He also seems to put a lot of thought into his issues – and I love that they are All-Ages without dumbing themselves down for a younger audience.

I hope they’re on the book together for another one hundred issues!!

20 Comments

If you did the maths, do you think your monthly comic book reading would be enough to qualify you as a Direct Market store?

Brian,

Great of you to show Jughead.
More all ages comics please…like some of the Boom! books or some of the older Gemtstone/Gladstone Disney books!

Always one of my favorite postings on the blog.

Nice to see you branching out in this series. How about some European books or some non-fiction comics? (Or newspaper comics, for that matter.)

I.. uh… I really, REALLY like Cheryl Blossom. I thought that an even more Veronica-ish Veronica was absolutely what the series needed.

So I’d call Twyla second of the modern Archie characters. (And I don’t know who’d be third.)

Why is Jughead sad that there is a burger named after him?

Why is Jughead sad that there is a burger named after him?

Those are tears of joy!

I really want to see how that story turns out now.

I feel guilty sometimes because I haven’t read any Archie since the early-mid ’80s. Every so often I consider buying one, but then I never do. It’s money, I guess. There are so many other books I want to read, and since Archie books are only slightly cheaper than Marvel, it never quite feels worth it, especially since I have no way of guessing which issues have good stories and which are mostly boring formula.
I occasionally see a digest at the checkout in Wal-Mart, but so far I haven’t got one, even though I know they were a really good value in the old days, and I assume they still are.

So is this Trula a good-looking version of Big Ethel, or is there more to her than that?
I didn’t think I’d read any stories with Cheryl Blossom, but then I read recently that she was one of the students at the fancy private school that feuded with Archie and his friends in the ’80s. If that’s the case then I did read a few stories with her, and if she was the ringleader, then she was a decent enough character. I just wish I remembered her better.
I read somewhere recently that Chuck Clayton has a girlfriend now who is a significant character. If that’s the case, then she might be the third important character of the last thirty years. Unless she was around before then and I just don’t remember her.

“Nice to see you branching out in this series. How about some European books or some non-fiction comics? (Or newspaper comics, for that matter.)”

The last two may appear someday, but European comics? Dream on! No one in the US seems to read tho0se, even when friggin’ Marvel itself is publishing them!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

What European books are Marvel publishing?

Nice to see you branching out in this series. How about some European books or some non-fiction comics? (Or newspaper comics, for that matter.)

It’s not much of a branching out, since there already have been newspaper comics and non-fiction comics (well, auto-biographical comics are non-fiction, right?)! Heck, I even featured a European newspaper comic! That’s two criteria done in one! :)

If you did the maths, do you think your monthly comic book reading would be enough to qualify you as a Direct Market store?

Ha!

Not quite, not quite. :)

So is this Trula a good-looking version of Big Ethel, or is there more to her than that?

Big Ethel wants to date Jughead. Trula just finds him fascinating from a psychological standpoint (of course, who knows if there are any hidden feelings for him below that psychological interest).

I didn’t think I’d read any stories with Cheryl Blossom, but then I read recently that she was one of the students at the fancy private school that feuded with Archie and his friends in the ’80s. If that’s the case then I did read a few stories with her, and if she was the ringleader, then she was a decent enough character. I just wish I remembered her better.

That was likely her, yes.

She was not as developed then as she was later on when they brought her back into the Archie books during the early 90s.

I read somewhere recently that Chuck Clayton has a girlfriend now who is a significant character. If that’s the case, then she might be the third important character of the last thirty years. Unless she was around before then and I just don’t remember her.

I’d have to think that Nancy (Chuck’s girlfriend) has been around before the 80s (Cheryl was 1982 while Trula was 1997), but I could be wrong.

As for your concerns about getting a quality Archie comic, that’s well-founded, as they are quite a crapshoot. I’d recommend anything written by Kathleen Webb, Barbara Slate or Craig Boldman (there are other notable writers at Archie, of course, but those three are my faves and I’ve never really been let down by any one of them).

Thanks. I didn’t know any of the modern Archie writers. (And very few of the old ones, since they didn’t have credits until the ’80s.) I guess Bob Bolling is still around, since he did the free issue from a couple of years ago, although it wasn’t as good as his old stuff.

“What European books are Marvel publishing?”

The Soleil line, which by now includes the series:
- Sky Doll
- Universal War One
- Samurai
- Scourge of the Gods
- Ythaq
- Spin Angels
- Daffodil

There may be some I forgot here, but it’s quite noticeable that there are already A LOT of them out there. Some are excellent (like Universal War One), some are bad, but ALL seem to be ignored by the readers!
What gives?

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

“Heck, I even featured a European newspaper comic!”

British is NOT European! Just ask anyone in Britain…

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

How about some Carl Barks ducks?

I guess the reason the readers are ignoring those European titles is because, like me, they have never heard of them. I’ve never seen any of those in the store. If they have them, they’re not in the Marvel section. (And the non-Marvel, non-DC section at my local store is not all that big.)

Well, they were originally announced on every comics news site out there (CBR included), are mentioned on Marvel Previews (and usually at the beginning, to boot), on Marvel’s own website and I’m quite sure they are on house ads too. Pretty much like every other Marvel comic, except for the precious few that get extra advertising.

They were underorderes, yes, but no less than, say, the Marvel Adventures books or almost every non-Marvel/DC book out there.

The thing is, NO ONE mentions them on the internet at large. They seem to have been released on a vacuum! That would be weird for small press books, but it’s unheard of for Marvel-published books. Yet it’s happening.

Much like Cinebook’s european releases, but those at least are british-published and aren’t distributed by Diamond anymore (due to the stupid new policies), but the Marvel Soleil books are! I don’t understand.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

British is NOT European! Just ask anyone in Britain…

Too true! I think we actually get the best of both worlds…

The Cinebook reprints of Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, et al; 2000AD, the Megazine; oh, and pretty much everything that Diamond distributes… depending on the shop you visit…

:-)

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