Friday, December 22, 2006

New Archie = New Coke?

Every five years or so I'll go ahead and make the purchase. I'll reach past all those candy bars and breath mints, I'll grab the Betty & Veronica Double Digest, and I'll add it to the pile of groceries. I suspect it's weirdos like me who are keeping the Archie empire alive. You could almost imagine some suit at Archie clicking through a powerpoint: "If enough adults make enough ironic purchases every five years or so, our projected revenues should total..."

A dismal future, to be sure. So why not tweak the brand? Play a bit with the storyline, mess with the look, try to pull in a younger audience? What is there to lose?

Okay, this "Wal-Mart Discount Coloring Book" aesthetic wasn't quite what I had in mind. The Dan DeCarlo years at Archie were the empire's aesthetic zenith, and influenced a number of 80's New Wave artists, including my personal faves, Los Bros Hernandos. I daresay a score or more of current comic book artists would love to do some Archie mash-ups. Hey, what's this Manga I keep hearing about? I thought it performed some pleasant mischief on Star Trek -- anyone up for Anime Archie?

As usual, where paid artists fear to tread, internet pranksters happily dive in. I'd say this cat's got the right idea. And I'm always keen on a Frank Miller send-up.

Links from Drawn!


ジョエル said...

UGH! that is awful. I agree Archie needs to be updated, but this?

paul bowman said...

Funny — this title is an oddity I picked up some years ago (about 12 yrs, apparently), one of (the most recent of) my own infrequent comic book purchases.

I know I read (& re-read) a lot of borrowed Archie throw-aways as a kid — with no real sense, naturally, of its impressive publishing history or of the weirdness in this character concept's being stretched so absurdly thin with time, to cover dramatically changing generations of pre-adolescent reading market. Sort of dismissed them (the ones published when I was a kid), long since, as contentless pap. Unfair?

Never have found much opportunity to read the Hernandez's much-appreciated work, I'm a little ashamed to say. Had no idea they'd count later Archie stuff among influences.

Darrell Reimer said...

Gee, Paul -- I sure hope you kept that issue in its board-and-bag. That'd probably pay for a month's rent in your new burg!