City of Winnipeg | Libraries

Growing up with Archie

by Stephen,

Growing up, I always enjoyed reading comic books. I wasn’t obsessed with them like some of my friends were, but at our house, we always had comic books lying around. Of all the different titles available, Archie comics were by far my favourite. In fact, seemingly half the comics we had were about Archie and the Riverdale gang.

It occurred to me recently that several new versions of Archie comics have been released in the past decade, so I thought I’d take a look at them and see how they compare to the Archie comics I remember.

archiekissBased on the outrageously implausible title alone, I had to read Archie Meets KISS first. Because of a botched magic spell, monsters are on the loose in Riverdale. Rock band KISS arrives from another dimension to stop the monsters … with ROCK! There are zombies in the story, too. Zombies!! I don’t recall any of the old Archie stories containing zombie awesomeness. A fun read.

archiemarriesThe next one I had to read was Archie Marries … Like all Archie fans, I always wondered who Archie would end up marrying: Betty or Veronica? In this book, Archie finally makes up his mind and pops the question. Except … not really. You’ll just have to read it to see what I mean. It’s another fun read.

archievolume1Next up, Archie: Volume One. To me, the most interesting thing about this one is the art work. Archie looks less cartoony than in the old comics. He’s got that singer-in-a-boy-band look going on. Jughead’s origin story is fascinating, too. Also, in this series, we learn that Mr. Andrews taught Archie how to play electric guitar. In fact, in a newly released Archie series called Archie Meets Ramones, it’s revealed that Mr. Andrews was a huge fan of punk rock band the Ramones. Punk rock!! Who knew Archie’s dad was so cool?!

archieafterlife“This is how the end of the world begins …” Yep, if the gruesome front cover isn’t enough of a hint, the first line definitely gives it away: Afterlife With Archie: Book One, Escape From Riverdale is no ordinary Archie comic. This series has the darkest, most evil-looking artwork yet. The story is equally sinister. Jughead’s dog dies and he goes to Sabrina the Teenage Witch for help. Their attempts to magically resurrect Hot Dog go awry and zombie madness ensues. That’s right: more zombies!! To make things even more entertaining, all this happens on Halloween, so at first, all the non-zombies think the real zombies are merely people in awesomely realistic zombie costumes. Oops. Haha! The Afterlife series has become one of the most popular series in the history of Archie comics. Well worth checking out!

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