Life AFTER Archie!


The March 2016 issue of DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE features a nice article on the success of the DIE KITTY DIE Kickstarter campaign and of our plans moving forward. Please check it out!

We were very fortunate with our Kickstarter and we were blessed with many good friends and very loyal fans like Adam Alamo of the Fans Of Archie Comics facebook page as well as the Fans of Astrocomix Facebook page and Fred Bronaugh. These guys really helped us out and supported us with their pledges and by helping us get the word out there. They were hustling as much as we were!

I’ve credited her before, but I really can’t thank Pixie Trix Comix’s Gisele Lagace enough for all of her help and guidance throughout our whole Kickstarter journey. She is really the High Priestess of Kickstarter and she held our hand through the whole thing. She called everything correctly every step of the way and knew exactly from the start how much we would raise. I have no doubt that we would not have been anywhere near as successful without her help. I had been involved in a successful Kickstarter before with my first independent venture, the anthology Epics, but that was just dipping my toe in the water compared to what we wanted to do with Die Kitty Die. Luckily everything turned out well.

I can’t help but wonder how differently the disastrous Archie Kickstarter of 2015 would have turned out had Archie Comics made more use of Dan Parent, myself, and certainly Gisele Lagace. We would all have been more than happy to consult them on their choices had we been asked, but we never were. The Archie Kickstarter was one of the worst misfires I ever saw in my twenty-two years working for them. I don’t say that lightly or with any hyperbole at all. It was a series of one very bad decision after another from beginning to miserable end. It was like Kickstartering on the Bizarro World! It was a tragically missed opportunity that could have been a lucrative and useful tool for many future projects. The only two good moves in that waterfall of bad moves was that they stopped it quickly and once they stopped it, they stopped talking about it instantly. They kept the embarrassment to a minimum. Unfortunately, the fertile opportunity of the Kickstarter was utterly squashed. The Archie Kickstarter is still up on the Kickstarter site if anyone ever wants to review what should be a textbook study in the worst way to Kickstart! Of course, a quick Google search will also quickly turn up the details of the entire painfully embarrassing episode.

Back to Die Kitty Die…

As of this writing, Dan and I are in the process of putting the final touches down on Die Kitty Die. The first issue has been released and its available on Gumroad for a mere three bucks! Get it here:

The deluxe hardcover collection… with exclusive material including an only-available-here story by Gisele Lagace… will debut this July at the Montreal and San Diego comic conventions.

And remember! The DIE KITTY DIE deluxe hardcover with exclusive material is available NOW for pre-order! Just click below to order:


7 comments on “Life AFTER Archie!”

  1. Dennis

    Regarding ACP’s disastrous Kickstarter attempt, I think that many Archie fans (myself included) were appalled that a publishing company with 75 years of experience in business needed to ask fans for a helping handout. Mind you, this is an entirely different thing from independent comics creators (who we don’t expect to have experience in raising capital investment to underwrite their creative efforts) starting a Kickstarter — that’s a small business entrepreneurial launch. Big difference between a one or two-man show being put on by a couple of writer/artists, and an established publisher of decades which has accounting and marketing departments and employs many people in diverse capacities besides just the writers and artists. If 75 years of experience in publishing doesn’t give ACP the wherewithal to publish a comic book (or even a small group of three or four titles), trusting them with MY money seems like a foolish gamble. Trusting two of my favorite creators who are just regular working stiffs the same as myself with my money is different story altogether.

    • fernando

      I honestly had no problem with Archie launching a Kickstarter campaign. I understand the objection a lot of people had with the idea of an established company asking for its fans to subsidize its products (A little bit of hypocrisy on Archie’s part here! They usually like to tout themselves as a company on a par with Marvel and DC but when it suits them to say otherwise, they eagerly embrace themselves as a “small Mom & Pop family business which they did throughout this disastrous Kickstarter episode!) but to me it’s all in the fans’ hands. If Archie puts out their cup, and the fans want to drop a donation into it, then it’s on the fans. It’s their choice to support what Archie is selling or not and I can’t blame Archie for taking advantage of that.

      In fact, the Kickstarter campaign as it was originally presented to me was very different from the swamp of bad ideas that it became.

      For a little while, I’d been hearing that the Archie higher-ups had been thinking about a Kickstarter and they even had meetings with the Kickstarter company itself. (After it all blew up, Archie blamed all of their terrible choices on the advice they received from Kickstarter at these meetings. “They thought we’re a bigger company than we really are,” Archie admitted!) Originally, the Kickstarter idea had been suggested by Dan Parent shortly after the cancellation of Kevin Keller. Dan thought it would be a good way for Kevin Keller fans to revive the book with a minimal risk from Archie. I agreed. One day I get a phone call from the president of Archie Comics (Yeah. My former student who would turn around and fire me about a year later!) He tells me that Archie is going to use Kickstarter to fund a Kevin Keller project and Classic Archie projects. Now this was when the classic Archie books were getting killed off left and right so I thought “Anything to keep Classic Archie going!” He asks me if Archie could count on my support and if I would make a quick video of myself talking about Archie Comics that they could use for their Kickstarter. Always a team player… at least until they threw me off the team… I immediately told them they could count on me for anything. I filmed the video which they never got to use because I didn’t get it to them before they launched their horrible campaign, which of course was MUCH different than was described to me. I could get into what went wrong with their campaign, but that would make this lengthy response much, MUCH longer!

  2. Dennis

    Well, apparently they didn’t need “the fans” money after all. Just 25 cover variants and enough hoopla to sucker in a good enough percentage of comics retailers. You will be seeing copies of ARCHIE #1 clogging up the back issue bins for years to come, just like copies of X-FORCE #1 or the black poly-bagged Death of Superman issue. They sold hundreds of thousands of those ARCHIE #1s all told, and laughed all the way to the bank.

    Who’s benefiting, some struggling neo-creator, or a comics veteran on tough times? No, the same people who always profit, the IP owners — “born with a silver spoon”. They loved to portray themselves as “family owned/family friendly” for decades, but why should I do anything to help the Goldwater family or the Silberkleit family? What did their families do to help the DeCarlo family or the Ruiz family? What goes around, comes around. Yeah, if they really wanted to do the right thing and take care of their business “family” of employees, I’d be willing to help out with that, but it’s pretty clear that it’s the same old story of “Nothing personal, it’s just business.” That and the Prime Directive “Once you get their money, you never give it back.” So ACP gets no warm fuzzies from this fan.

    I certainly wasn’t going to toss money in the collection basket so that they could go out of their way to publish exactly the kind of comics that I DON’T like.

  3. Dennis

    What really turns my stomach the most is the so-called “fans” who will sell the creators who provided their entertainment for years down the river, as long as it means that they’ll continue to have their monthly fix of some nonexistent fictional character, come hell or high water, no matter who’s drawing it or writing it, or HOW they’re being written or drawn.

    • fernando

      I don’t place any blame on these fans. They’re passionate fans of the property and ultimately, if they don’t enjoy what the new creators are doing, they’ll be driven away. We’re already seeing this happen as the sales of the reboot continue to ebb with each issue. I’ve posted elsewhere that Archie gambled on trying to turn Saga fans into Archie fans.

      It didn’t work.

  4. fernando

    Well, we certainly appreciate your support of Die Kitty Die… and God knows we certainly don’t have a Disney or a Warner Bros. behind us! It’s all coming out of our pockets!

    I have to admit, speaking as an Archie fan, there wasn’t much they were offering for the Classic Archie fan beyond the Kevin project. One of the MANY bad decisions made was the choice to group THREE different projects together into the one campaign. It was ALL or NOTHING! If you wanted to support Kevin Keller but you had no interest in the Jughead reboot, there was nothing you can do! I still can’t believe that no one lost their job over that Kickstarter… Well, I guess ultimately, we did!

  5. Dennis

    At least you can have a vicarious victory in lampooning the more ridiculous aspect of “the industry” through Kitty. And though you personally have nothing left to fear, while laughing out of one side of my mouth, at the same time I’m reading it, I feel a bit of trepidation for Dan. On the other hand, I try to tell myself that the company’s at the point where they need HIM more than he needs THEM (or at least, one successful Kickstarter campaign can lead us to hope that’s the case, especially with Chapterhouse’s support now). Even though the digests have been on semi-autopilot for the better part of a year (excepting Dan’s 5-page contributions), it seems unlikely that they can do without any sort of classic Archie artist at ALL, even if we were only talking about covers and merchandising art. It hasn’t escaped my notice that the covers have been becoming ever-more generic/iconic and ever less-specific over the last couple of years. They’d still be complete idiots to think they could sever that lifeline to the previous 75-year history and sail off into the sun on starship New Riverdale.

    I laughed to think about it the other day, when I was reading an old issue circa 2007, where Mr. Gorelick stated quite flatly in his “Editor’s Notes” page that after an initial vehement outcry of resistance over the announcement of “New Look” Archie, fans had begun to write in after “BAD BOY TROUBLE” to say, “Well, okay… AS LONG AS IT’S NOT IN EVERY BOOK.” He even capitalized and boldfaced the line for emphasis, in an attempt to reassure readers, yet somehow convince them at the same time that the Doubting Thomases had experienced some sort of minor conversion. Somehow I doubt that Mr. Jon Goldwater has read that particular editorial piece, though, or even paid that much attention to those prior failures.

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