Welcome to the Archie Comics Pubwatch for the month of April! I’m Lisa, reporting from a corner booth at Pop’s Chock ‘lit Shoppe, and here’s this month’s news! In this month’s Archie Comics Pubwatch, Archie goes viral again thanks to a Simpsons-like prediction of the future, more Liefeld, a new series is launched for Archie’s 80th-anniversary celebration, and much more!
Archie Comics Goes Viral For Predicting Virtual Schooling Back in 1997
For all of its sometimes old-fashioned narrative work, Archie Comics do have a tendency to predict the future at odd times. See the above panels from one of their comic books – in this case from the mid-90’s Betty series – which was first published in February 1997.
The six-page story is somewhat eerily set in 2021. Its full title is “Betty in High School 2021 A.D” – changed in a 2015 reprint to “2104 AD”. Betty is seen going to high school via virtual camera hookup, an event her parents praise for its ease and modernity. While some of its further predictions – from hover-cars to closet detention rooms to high school museums – haven’t yet come true, in these pandemic times the page seemed eerily prescient.
You can read the full six-page story – with writing by George Gladir and art by Stan Goldberg, Mike Esposito, Bill Yoshida, and Barry Grossman – on the official Archie website here.
Bonus info – here’s a fan’s collection of original artwork of the comic page in question.
The Shield Returns in Liefeld-led Mini-series this June
As Archie announced last winter, its Mighty Crusaders line of superheroes will return this year in a rebooted series helmed by Rob Liefeld. The first of these characters to land their own individual story is the patriotic superhero The Shield, who will have his own series beginning in June.
Archie is billing The Shield as “America’s first patriotic superhero,” and this first one-shot will feature covers from Francesco Francavilla, Aaron Lopresti (see above), David Mack, Jerry Ordway, and two by Liefeld himself. Liefeld will also write and draw the issue, with an art assist by Jack Morelli.
The issue will street on June 30th.
Bonus: more previews on Liefeld’s Instagram.
Archie Launches New Comic one-shot, Everything’s Archie, In Celebration of Archie’s 80th Anniversary
The traditionally modern sensibility of the Archieverse marches ever onward with the release of Everything’s Archie #1, an issue that combines the comic series’ traditional art style with modern themes.
The issue – a co-production between writer Fred Van Lente and Archie flagship artist Dan Parent- features Mr. Andrews falling in love at first sight once again – this time with an expensive guitar he has absolutely no hope of being able to afford. But something like that’s never kept Mr. Andrews down.
The issue will also feature inks by Bob Smith, Glen Whitmore on colors, and Jack Morelli on letters. Parent, Ben Caldwell, Rian Gonzales (See above) and Aaron Lopresti have all provided covers.
It’s scheduled to street on June 9th.
Bonus: here’s Rian Gonzales’ time-lapse painting progress video:
Little timelapse snippet of my painting process for @ArchieComics 80th Anniversary cover 😃
If you want to gain access to the 6-minute full length video + materials and Q&As (and 10+ more other painting processes) you can subscribe to my patreon! https://t.co/ygVWtB9s9A ❤ pic.twitter.com/Q6FIblXK44
— Rian Gonzales 🌈 (@rianbowart) March 16, 2021
As noted in last month’s report, the celebration will be a franchise-wide celebration of everything Archie-related as the infinite Archieverse pancake into one singularity, forcing universe A-Archie to settle things before they all disappear from the universe. Dan Parent provides the recently-released cover art above!
Bill Golliher, Angelo DeCesare, and Fred Van Lente will handle the book’s writing, with art by Pat and Tim Kennedy, Dan Parent, Jim Amash, Bob Smith, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli.
The issue will street (naturally) on Free Comic Book Day, August 14th. Click through for some free previews!
Riverdale Picks Up Drama Show of 2020 at the People’s Choice Awards
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) March 25, 2021
Cole Sprouse also picked up Male TV Star of 2020 at the show. This is Riverdale’s second nomination in the same category – they lost in both categories in 2018. The show has multiple Teen Choice Award, Leo Award, Kids Choice Award, and MTV Movie and TV Award nominations and wins.
More Stadium Comics Variant Exclusives from Bill Walko and Pablo Martinena; Nuno Pereira
If you’ve been collecting Stadium Comics’ exclusive variant cover series, you’ll be pleased to know that two more variants will be hitting the shelves soon.
All three artists cover Archie and Friends: Superheros #1. Pereira’s cover is part of his Pop Art series of variants. This one shows Veronica as PowerTeen posing energetically against a plain blue background. Walko and Martinena team up for a parody of the cover of Lois Lane, Superman’s Girlfriend #21, and features Super Teen and PowerTeen brawling over Pureheart (Archie) in the sky.
As with previous Stadium variants, both issues are limited to 250 copies each for each cover. All are guaranteed to be delivered in VF/NM condition or better.
Each edition retails for $14.95 each, with the additional option of buying both in a set with the standard Pat & Tim Kennedy cover. The books will be on the way by late May. You can buy them here!
Archie Fans Launch Archie Art April With Archie Comics’ Approval
A couple of Archie Comics superfans have started an Archie-themed art challenge on Instagram!
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) April 6, 2021
If you make Archie-related fanart, now you can join with your fellow fans by hashtagging your work under the #ArchieArtApril tags all month long.
Bite Sized Archie Comic Tweaks Afterlife with Archie; Francesco Francavilla Approves
— Francesco Francavilla (@f_francavilla) March 19, 2021
The tongue-in-cheek Bite Sized Archie daily comic series scored another win when they tweaked the start of Afterlife with Archie, in which Sabrina Spellman’s erroneously applied resurrection spell to a dead Hot Dog results in a zombie plague.
This time, it’s Jughead’s printer that suffers a fate worse than death. The color scheme even matches the original book’s stark oranges and blacks.
As you can see from the above tweet, original Afterlife with Archie artist Francesco Francavilla approves.
Archie’s Threadless Shop Has Updated; Archie Announces Distribution Deal with Urban Apparel
Archie Comics has announced a distribution deal with Urban Outfitters, and you can now order three Riverdale-centric teeshirts, two sweatshirts, and/or a hoodie from the chain’s website or buy them at one of their locations.
Meanwhile, Archie’s Threadless store has even more new designs. There’s an Among Us parody, a Jughead-centered University logo, some Bite Sized Archie-style merch, and more vintage-style designs. Click above to see if something you like is available!
Archie Comics Announces Forthcoming Set of Archie Jigsaw Puzzles From Icon Heroes
The two puzzles will feature an image of the entire gang drawn by Dan Parent and an image of Josie and the Pussycats #1 by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok, respectively. The puzzles will retail for $20 each with additional shipping charges.
You can order statues, pins, and other puzzles from the company and pre-order the two puzzles here.
Archie Comics Twitter Tweet of the Month
There’s a lot to choose from this month; the first Tweet features Fanart of a Dragonball Z/Archie crossover…
It'd be worth it just to see Jughead vs. Goku in an eating contest! https://t.co/RnJQ4kSHaX
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) March 12, 2021
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 18, 2021
The next, an interaction between Simpsons producer Matt Selman and the Twitter.
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) April 1, 2021
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Archie’s April Fool’s Day prank, which this year transformed Archie Comics into Jughead Comics for the day.
Sugar Sugar of the Month
Archie’s 80th Anniversary Jumbo Comics Digest #2
Jim Amash (Art); Angelo DeCesare (Writing); Pat and Tim Kennedy (Art); Jack Morelli (Art); Rosario “Tito” Peña (Cover); Jeff Shultz (Cover); Glenn Whitmore (Art)
April 14th, 2020
I love it when Archie allows its narrative barriers to expand, and Archie’s 80th Anniversary Jumbo Comics Digest #2 reads like a far-out romp through the very art of comic-making itself.
In a meta-tastic encounter, Archie leads the reader through the history of the art of Archie comics. And then he has to deal with them coming to life and shapeshifting the narrative against his wishes. This isn’t an Archie Horror title, so at least we know it’s not a battle to the death!
She’s Josie (TR)
Dan DeCarlo (Cover); Various (Art And Writing)
April 21st, 2021
I love Josie McCoy. Love love love her. So when Archie comics gives its audience a chance to take a peek into the past of one of my favorite characters, you’d best believe I’m going to recommend it.
This TR takes us all the way back to the swinging sixties – before the Pussycats existed. Ever wanted to know how Josie McCoy came to be? She’s Josie takes us back in time to meet Josie, Melody (Valerie did not exist in this portion of the continuity), Pepper and the Cabot Twins, as well as Josie’s then-boyfriend Albert, before they were tangled up in the Pussycat’s shenanigans. Even though she’s not yet a musician fording her own way, Josie becomes a peppery, energetic force of nature, and this is an essential piece of work.
Hotdogs and Hotshots
Riverdale: The Ties that Bind TR
Micol Ostow (writer); Thomas Pitilli (Art and Cover); Andre Szymanowicz (Art); John Workman (Art);
April 14th, 2021
Can’t get enough Riverdale stuffed into your eyeballs? This TR tells us a missing tale set between seasons four and five of the show. It’s a fun, quick, sly read as we follow the gang through a spine-tingling overnight encounter with some dangerous characters.
World of Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comic Digest #4
Bill Golliher (Writing); Jack Morelli (art); Dan Parent (Cover and Art); Bob Smith (Art); Glenn Whitmore (art)
April 21st, 2021
The World of Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comic Digest‘s constant string of AU tales always delights. This month’s AU tale? What if Betty Cooper was an alien from outer space!
Picks From The Timecops
Bill Golliher (Cover); Jack Morelli (Letters); Dan Parent (Writing, Art); Rosario “Tito” Peña (Cover); Bob Smith (Inks); Glenn Whitmore (Colors) May 12th, 2021
This issue contains a parody of The Masked Singer, only it’s a masked cooking competition. Amazingly, this issue does not seem to involve Jughead, but it does offer the extremely scary prospect of people thudding around in awkwardly-built costumes with sharp knives in their hands.
Jim Amash (Art); Francis Bonnet (Cover); Bill Golliher (Writing); Pat and Tim Kennedy (Cover); Jack Morelli (Art); Dan Parent (Art); Rosario “Tito” Peña (Cover); Glenn Whitmore (Art)
May 5th, 2020
This issue rewinds the clock to Betty and Veronica’s first meeting and asks how different things would be had they met as teenagers instead of children. An interesting concept!
Archie Showcase Digest #3: Love Showdown
Dan DeCarlo (Cover); Vincent Lovallo (Cover); Henry Scarpelli (Cover); Various (Art And Writing) May 19th, 2021
Veronica and Betty enter into a civil war all their own when Archie indicates he’s ready to finally pick between them. But they aren’t the only ones gunning for his affection. This sounds like it’s ready to be a wild one!
Archie And Friends: Superheroes #1
Jim Amash (Art); Ian Flynn (Writing); Pat and Tim Kennedy (Art and Cover); Jack Morelli (art and cover); Rosario “Tito” Peña (Cover), Jeff Shultz (Art); Bob Smith (Art); Glenn Whitmore (art)
May 19th, 2021
An entire volume of superhero-centered tales, featuring some rare characters from the vault!