The Fans Of Archie Comics Facebook page is one of the BEST forums out there for discussing all things Archie! Started by the great Adam Alamo, the FOACFB page has ballooned in a very short time to about six hundred members including many Archie artists both past and present. Its a great place to discuss the latest news and look at all types of Archie artwork both classic and new. If you enjoy Archie Comics, you need to like this page. Find it here:
One of my pals from the page, Shawn Brady, requested my take on the rebooted Archie. The request came while I was at San Diego Comic Con so I very quickly got this one out in between commissions. I’m happy with this as a drawing but I’m not sure how I feel about it as Archie. To me, he says Jimmy Olden much more than Archie. I just don’t find much fun in drawing the character in this way. It saps the fun of Archie when he’s drawn like a good-looking quasi-realistic ginger kid. It would be like Disney replacing their classic Mickey Mouse with a zoologically realistic representation of a mouse. It’s just not as cute, charming, interesting or as funny as classic Mickey. This has been one of my biggest problem with the Archie reboot.
Please note this isn’t the same as being critical of the art or writing being produced for the reboot. That’s a whole other topic of discussion. I’m instead questioning the wisdom to take Archie away from his more recognizable brand to something far more generic and far less interesting. Archie has moved away from humorous children’s comics and turned their line into teen-age soap operas, a genre that really hasn’t been viable for forty years! Is there a sustainable audience for this?
I admit I’m an occasional lurker over at John Byrne’s message board. His observations with the comic book industry and what it has done to itself are very interesting… and often, disheartening! Recently, Byrne posted this:
“I have been complaining for decades that we have taken a mass market product and turned it into something a potential customer has to make a conscious effort to seek out, and very often not in a convenient location.”
It seems this is what Archie is doing… going for that narrow niche market. I guess we’ll see how that works out.
Incidentally, the Byrne Forum can be perused here: