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Archie #608 Review

This week’s issue of Archie caught a few eyes when it was solicited a couple of months back for the cover…

archie608

But what about the story within?

First off, I don’t know if you noticed, but with this month (I think actually with this very issue) Archie Comics have made the jump to $2.99, but along with the price increase they’ve also DRAMATICALLY improved the paper quality.

Typically, an issue of Archie has three-four stories, but since #600, Archie has had full-length tales, and writer Dan Parent (who is also a major artist for Archie, writing and drawing a number of comics, mostly Veronica ones – but he has done other, particularly if it is a media tie-in) writes the full-length story in an intriguing fashion – he makes it almost FEEL like two separate stories (in the same overall arc), with the first one being a cute little story about how Alexander Cabot, manager of Josie and the Pussycats, tries to turn a co-headlining tour with the Archies and the Pussycats into a Pussycats tour with the Archies opening for them.

That was a cute little tale, but the “second story” is a lot stronger, and it is the story that revolves around the above cover.

The Archies and the Pussycats get together to write some songs, and Archie and Valerie end up spending a LOT of time working together on a song, and Parent really does a great job capturing the very realistic effect that writing a deeply romantic song might have on two teenagers. Here, artist Bill Galvan (and inker Rich Koslowski) aid Parent, as they really help to sequentially depict the deepening attraction between the two.

There’s an especially strong sequence where they take a pizza break and Valerie belches – very cute.

And then there is dramatic kiss at the end – very much out of a romantic comedy, but handled well.

Two members of two different bands getting romantically involved has some intriguing story potential, and from the promos for the next part of the story, Parent appears prepared to wring all the drama out of the concept that he can.

Recommended.

22 Comments

Them’s miscegenated!

Interracial romance, and now, gay characters! Archie’s made it to the 1980s! Hurray!

Brian, why do you read Archie? Is it just for nostalgic reasons, or do you really enjoy it? You seem to really like it! Based on your enthusiasm, I flipped through one the other day and Barnes and Noble, and couldn’t get passed the first story, It was just too corn ball.

I read most comics. :)

I specifically write about Archie because I don’t see as much written about them out there.

What is it you like about Archie? I’ve never really understood the whole thing about it tbh.

Not Archie comics in general – just the well-written ones.

Writing for Archie comics is a difficult proposition, so I like to give props to the writers who manage to pull it off.

Craig Boldman, for instance, is a really good writer, yet doesn’t get nearly the attention that he deserves.

“It was just too corn ball.”

That’s part of the charm, man.

I love Archie, but don’t read it nearly as often as I should. But it’s definitely fun and I’d like to give this a look since I wasn’t aware of the full-length story change.

I really need to start reading Archie again.

I think it’s a little sad that you actually have to justify your love of Archie to some people. Great Archie stories are great stories. And the best Archie stories are the best humour comics I’ve ever seen.

since I wasn’t aware of the full-length story change.

Well, it might not be a permanent change – it’s just been this way since #600 and it seems to be this way for at least the next five months (Tom DeFalco is doing an action storyline following this Pussycats crossover story).

I can imagine writing for Archie would be equal parts fun and frustrating. Me, I’d be tempted to turn everything into those strange 80s and 90s titles like Jughead’s Time Police and Dilton’s Strange Science.

In the 1960s, the great thing about Archie comics was that you’d get the oddball stuff in the regular issues. I remember one where the kids are following a line drawn on the ground throughout the story, and it winds up spelling out “the end” in the final panel. Superteen, the Man from Riverdale, trips to the World’s Fair, encounters with dinosaurs, it all was thrown together in a wonderful crazy stew. Stories by Doyle and Gladir, and illustrated by the likes of Lucey, DeCarlo and Shwartz. Good stuff!

Nowadays, the books do seem more formulaic, but I do pick up one every now and then to check in with my old friends. I’m pleased to see that Archie is stretching again, even if it sin’t all to my taste. I didn’t like the “realistic” look stories, but I’m glad they tried something different.

Parent seems like one of the best of the new writers, but Gladir’s probably my favorite. Someone needs to interview him about his long career sometime soon.

Tom DeFalco is writing an “action storyline” for ARCHIE?!

Tom DeFalco is writing an “action storyline” for ARCHIE?!

Yep, The Man from ARCHIE.

Four-parter, I believe.

The Man From ARCHIE? NOT The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.?

Who are the Gay characters Bill Reed referred to?

The Man From ARCHIE? NOT The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.?

Oops. Yes, you’re right, it’s that.

Who are the Gay characters Bill Reed referred to?

Archie recently announced that they are going to be introducing a gay character into the Archie-verse in an issue of Veronia (also by Dan Parent, who wrote this issue of Archie).

One of my all time favorite comics when I was a kid was an issue of Little Archie where a mad scientist shrunk him down and he flew a toy airplane and got into a dogfight with an eagle.

My girlfriend chatted with Dan Parent at a con last year and seemed like a real nice guy. Some of his Betty art is hanging behind me as I type this.

The shading seems to be a bit weird…extreme….on those pages…like everyone fell asleep under a sun lamp with a towel on part of their face.

You know, I never even realized the two bands were supposed to be in the same universe. It HAS been awhile for me, but I don’t ever remember reading a comic where the two groups interacted…unless you count the cover to Punisher Meets Archie.

[...] Speaking of Archie, here’s a review from Brian Cronin on the Archie/Valerie kiss issue. [...]

Blackrhinoranger

July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

Well I am a fan of Archie because it’s a cartoony type of teenage comics. I use to read them when I was a kid

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