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Monday, May 23, 2016

Archie Comics: A Reboot Done Right

Archie Comics has been on a roll over the last decade. These days Archie has been producing some of the freshest and original comics in the industry. I can’t say a bad thing about Archie, the comics being published there today are all top quality.

Archie Comics has been taking creative risks over the past decade. And they’ve all been paying off. All the revamps from Archie to Sabrina to, put fresh take on old characters and make them relatable to a new audience of readers.

Why do Archie’s revamped concepts work? Plain and simple they don’t change the heart and soul of the original concept of who Archie is. While there are cosmetic changes to the designs of some of the newer publications, they’re still Archie at heart. The characters may look more humanized in more recent publications, but they’re still easily recognizable as Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie and still act like Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie.

Moreover, Archie’s publishers didn’t take their old designs and chuck them in the garbage like DC Comics did with the New 52 when they rebooted the DC Universe. In the Archie world there’s room for BOTH old and new look versions of Archie. You can still get the classic Dan DeCarlo styled Archie in reprints right along with stories the New Look versions. Thanks to the lack of continuity baggage Readers don’t have to deal with the headaches of reboots at Archie. They can just pick up a comic and start reading. 

The launch of Kevin Keller a few years ago was a clinic on how a publishing house introduces a new character to readers. A great character design, rock solid character development, and strong push, lots of support from the publisher in regular Archie comics and his own ongoing series helped him find an audience. 

And the revamped Sabrina has consistently been one of the best horror comics out there. Robert Hack has done an amazing job of taking the Teenage Witch and making her fresh for new readers. Again, you can still find the classic version right along with the new one.

Even the new Jinx kicks ass. When a publisher can take an obscure character like Lil’ Jinx and make it fresh and new for readers it shows how talented the creators are working there. 

And that’s what’s so great about Archie these days. The new versions capture so much of the spirit of the original you want to buy them and give them a shot. And with talent like Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Anne Wu, Robert Hack and great talent working on Archie books the quality has gotten so high that you can’t help but give them a second look. In the cases of the new revamp Archie books they give Marvel and DC books a run for their money.

I’ve been loving most of the new stuff from Archie, but I’d love to see a revamped Josie from Archie in the style of the new books. And PLEASE bring back Pepper this time! I know she’d work well with today’s readership. I think it’d work well. And maybe they could even transition it to PussyCats Josie later on. C’mon Archie make this happen!

If I ever got to write comics I’d love to work at Archie at some point in my career. I like the direction the house is going in and I think my style of action and humor would be a good fit there. And I think I’d be able to make a contribution to their catalog on a run of comics, maybe even revamp Chuck Clayton into something like oh, John Haynes. Come to think of it, Archie could use a Goth character in their revamped lineup. I’d love to create one…


  1. Shawn I'm thinking about starting my own imprint for my ebooks. Is there anything special you did for SJS Direct (like registering it or trademarking it) Or did you just start putting SJS Direct in the published by section of the front matter? Thank you.

    1. Just put SJS DIRECT in the front matter. Nothing special.

  2. (Hi Shawn, I'm typing for my great grandfather who is bedridden. He is an ex-slave.)

    Lawsy! Ah sho lubbs readin' yo books, Mr Shawn suh! Dey am all about black folks havin' magic powers an' fightin' against white folk. Ah sho wish dat we had dem powers back in de ol' plantation days. Hoo wee! Naw dat sho am good!

    Anyways, keep up de good work, my boy. Ah hopes you can writes stories 'about dem slave days too.