WELL, NOT EVERYTHING’S ARCHIE…


KC Carlson by Keith Wilson

KC Carlson by Keith Wilson


A KC Column by KC Carlson

The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla Volume 1

The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla Volume 1


I know I probably talk too much about Archie Comics sometimes, but there’s a cool hardcover book coming out in July from the publisher spotlighting the work of one of their more recent artists. The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla Volume 1 is an oversized art book of the artist’s best work for the company, and it includes a complete collection of his comic book covers for Archie Comics. Among the covers included are those for Archie #627-630, Life With Archie #23, and Jughead: The Hunger #1. He also drew interior work for Afterlife With Archie # 1-7, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. There’s also much behind-the-scenes information on Francavilla’s work and its place in Archie history.

A Francavilla cover for Afterlife With Archie

A Francavilla cover for Afterlife With Archie


At the time of its original publication, this darker look at Riverdale and its denizens really took comics by surprise and helped raise interest in older readers who had long since moved on from the classic Archie teen adventures. Early issues of Afterlife With Archie were constantly selling out and being reprinted frequently to meet the demand. And more important in the long run… it got people talking about Archie Comics with excitement and wonder. Even if a zombie story doesn’t seem, at first, like a great match for the characters.

Jughead’s Time Police #2 cover by Tito Pena

Jughead’s Time Police #2 cover by Tito Pena


Also out in July from Archie is Sabrina the Teenage Witch #4 (issue #2 is in comic shops today), as well as another new Archie title which hasn’t debuted as of yet — Jughead’s Time Police! Jughead’s shift through time to the 29th Century is already causing alternate timelines — and massive headaches for January McAndrews, the head of the Time Police (and also a descendent of the original Archie Andrews)! We’ve seen comics with that title before, back in 1990, so it’ll be interesting to see what twists writer Sina Grace takes this time. Also, one of the variant covers for Jughead’s Time Police #2 is based on the classic film poster for Back to the Future!

Archie #706 cover by Stephen Mooney

Archie #706 cover by Stephen Mooney


Archie #706 (aka Archie and Sabrina #2 to make things even more confusing) is also coming in July. This storyline is all about the whirlwind romance between Riverdale’s worst mechanic and a teenage witch! This issue promises back-history of their love story. It’s a bit odd that a new artist is starting on only the second issue of the arc, but I liked Jenn St. Onge’s work on Jem and the Holograms, so I won’t squawk too much. (As a special treat, one of the three variant covers is designed to look like an old-school 1960’s Archie comic book!)

Archie and Me Vol. 2

Archie and Me Vol. 2


If you’re one of the old classic-style Archie Comics fans, there’s also stuff for you every month — in a multitude of formats! Archie usually puts together a small-sized (but larger than a digest!) collection or two reprinting vintage Archie comics under one of their classic titles from the past. In July, those will be Betty & Veronica Spectacular and Archie and Me. Both are 224-page collections printed on nice, white paper for great reproduction!

World of Archie

World of Archie


Archie is, of course, still producing digests like they have for decades (although they’re mostly called “JUMBO COMICS” now — mostly for their big page count, 192 pages each). There are regular digest collections for Archie, Archie & Me, World of Archie, Betty & Veronica, and Betty & Veronica Friends. These are probably the easiest Archie publications to find. I’ve even seen them in airport gift shops!

Archie vs. Predator II #1 Derek Charm cover

Archie vs. Predator II #1 Derek Charm cover


Following up on the crossover we thought we’d never see, Predator-Archie returns in Archie vs. Predator II. It’s written by Alex de Campi with art (and cover) by Robert Hack with Kelly Fitzpatrick. This is what Archie Comics is pushing hardest for, but I’m an old guy with little interest in creepizoid stuff like this. There are six different covers for this issue by folks including Francesco Francavilla, Rick Burchett, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci, and my favorite — Derek Charm for the goofy expressions on the about-to-kiss Archie and Veronica, unaware of the giant Predator behind them!

Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever!

Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever!


Last, but not least, there’s still one comic each and every month in the classic Archie style. It’s Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever! It’s a bit thinner than the formerly standard Archie comic book of 32 pages, with only 24 pages. (I just pretend that they removed the ads.) That means that it’s still $2.99 instead of the $3.99 charged for the other comics. Primarily the work of Dan Parent, Betty & Veronica: Friends Forever! contains four stories of 5-6 pages each, capturing the classic format. Each issue usually has a theme; in July, it’s Return to Storybook Land, and Parent’s cover shows both Betty & Veronica as teen-princesses kissing a frog that looks remarkably like Archie Andrews — without the red hair!

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KC CARLSON is reminding you that Previews Orders for July comics are due May 18! On Saturday! How does that work? I’m busy on Saturday… It’s the last Roller Derby bout of the year!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. What’s irritating me right now? I can’t remember…