What the HELL Did I Just Browse? – Archie Comics: Chip Zdarsky, Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, and More Coming to Riverdale?

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It’s official. The comic industry has gone crazy, in the best way possible. It’s truly a great time to be reading comics. The racks are full of brilliant titles, whether you like superheroes or not, with so many publishers really bringing their A-game. Image, Oni Press, Boom! Studios, and more are offering great alternatives to Marvel and DC books, and now we have a new challenger.

Archie Comics has already been turning heads with Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, changing the way readers perceive the publisher, and garnering critical acclaim while doing it. Hell, I never thought I’d be reading Archie comics again, but they’ve both been on my pull list since the beginning, and it looks as if Archie is about to do it again. The company is relaunching Archie for a new generation, and they’re bringing in Mark Waid and Fiona Staples to reinvigorate the franchise. Let that sink in. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples on Life with Archie. Crazy, right?


Life with Archie #1 cover by Fiona Staples

But wait, there’s more! Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard the Duck) will be writing the adventures of Archie’s pal Jughead, with an artist to be determined. And they’re funding it through Kickstarter.

How perfect would it be to have a monthly JUGHEAD comic written by Chip? With your help, we’d make this happen, and consult with Chip on getting the perfect artist to bring his vision to life.

Chip's Life with Archie #1 variant cover

Chip’s Life with Archie #1 variant cover

Oh, but there’s even more. Adam Hughes will be writing and drawing the adventures of best friends Betty and Veronica. Adam freaking Hughes.

The world of Riverdale isn’t complete without its two most engaging and awesome characters, girl-next-door Betty Cooper and posh socialite Veronica Lodge. While they complete the world’s most iconic love triangle, they’re much more than just foils for Archie—and merit their own book.

While this book will fit squarely in the new Riverdale universe, you can expect some fun adventures and an engaging story of friendship and the challenges of being a teen from one of the most unique voices in comics.


Betty and Veronica #275 variant cover by Adam Hughes

Add to that the new Kevin Keller series by Dan Parent and J. Bone, and it’s some sort of hat trick.

LIFE WITH KEVIN zooms ahead to showcase the adventures of a 21-year-old Kevin Keller as he explores the big city with his BFF Veronica. A coming-of-age story that is both heartfelt and funny, LIFE WITH KEVIN reintroduces one of Archie’s most popular characters in a new setting with a whole new cast of characters—plus a handful of familiar faces!


Life with Kevin sneak peek by Dan Parent and J. Bone

Not an April fool. Not an alternate universe/reality. This is really happening, but only if their Riverdale Reborn Kickstarter campaign is funded. And it’s well on its way. Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater had this to say:

We live in a time of unheralded growth and awareness for comics. The Avengers are in theaters. The Flash is running around on TV and, defying odds; comic book print sales are staying strong while digital continues to grow. If comics didn’t already have an era dubbed the Golden Age, we could make a strong argument that this is it.

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Archie Comics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help launch three new titles. These books will expand on the foundation being created in the pages of July’s ARCHIE #1 by the hugely talented team of writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples. These books cannot exist without the support of our fans, the most important people in the world to us. The people that have supported Archie since day one, 75 years ago.

It’s also a good opportunity to talk a bit about story. About quality. About the relationships between the producers of comics – the publishers – and you, the fans.

I’m sure the first question you have about this is “Well, why does Archie need our money?” That’s a good and fair question. We understand and value every purchase our fans make. We’ve chosen to be fully transparent when launching this Kickstarter, as we have been in the past with all our initiatives. Let’s face it: we are not Marvel or DC Comics. We don’t have their bottomless bank accounts. We don’t have their corporate infrastructure.

We can’t launch 20 titles a month. We can’t flood the market with double-shipped books.

We are a privately owned company that has built a track record for being innovative, forward thinking, progressive, relevant and agile. Over the last six years, while I’ve overseen Archie Comics, we’ve acted more like a new publisher than one that’s been around for decades. We are the oldest start-up in history.

So, let me take it a step further. Not only are we not Marvel or DC – we don’t want to be.

We don’t want to tell convoluted stories that require fans to buy a dozen comics to understand one. We don’t want to reboot our titles every six months. We don’t want to alter characters to make headlines and then move on as if nothing happened.

We are not cloaked in secrecy. We’re here – we’re connected and we’re available. Our fans are as much a part of the company as our employees. We are all in this together.

What matters most to Archie Comics? For us, for me – it’s all about the story and art. It’s about making sure the level of quality is beyond sky-high. It’s about the characters. It’s about doing the best job we can to create the best comics possible with the best talent available. That’s why you have names like Waid, Staples, Zdarsky, Hughes, Parent, Aguirre-Sacasa, Francavilla, Hack, Swierczynski, Gaydos and more on our titles. The best and brightest doing career-defining work on characters recognized around the world. And this is only the beginning.

As we enter our 75th year, its obvious Archie is here to stay. This isn’t a plea to keep us in business. This is a call to action. We want to partner with our fans to build on something we already know is going to be a huge success – ARCHIE #1. But not through gimmicks, hype or smoke and mirrors. But through the thing that has gotten us to this point: great storytelling. Help us build a New Riverdale and vote with the one ballot that will get the attention of the Marvels and DCs of the world: your dollar.

Be a part of something new and vibrant. Support the little guy fighting to make some noise and show the slow-moving goliaths of the comic book industry how it’s done: through hard work, great storytelling and tactical and calculated risk-taking.

Help us build a New Riverdale for everyone.

– Jon Goldwater

I guess it’s time for a reunion with some old friends.


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