Saturday, April 30, 2005

Archie Comics - Trying New Things

I really think that Archie Comics in the late 80s/early 90s should be applauded for their approach to their line of comics.

What Archie did was NOT to stick with what got them there, their "tried and true" approach, but rather, they tried big risks (almost all of the risks did not pan out, with their only successful launch being the most traditional of all the launches, but the key point is not that they did not work, but that they were willing to TAKE them in the first place). They launched titles that were not "what the fans are clamoring for," but rather, they were titles that Archie Comics thought that the fans WOULD be interested in.

These comics included:

Jughead's Diner

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In this offbeat comic, Jughead found himself the head of a transdimensional diner! Talk about a weird book! This book was all over the place in humor, as jokes could quite literally come out of nowhere!

Faculty Funnies

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Yes, that's right - a comic starring the teachers at Riverdale High School - as SUPERHEROES!!

Dilton's Strange Science

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Dilton, the really smart kid...with his OWN title!!

Veronica

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This series opened up with an interesting concept - Veronica travels to a different location every issue. That part was dropped fairly quickly (by #20, I believe), but the title is the LONE representative of this class of books to still be published by Archie today.

Archie 3000

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I think you can gather what THIS book was about...hehe.

In addition, there was another title that I could not find a picture of, called Archie's R/C Racers. It was, as you may imagine, a comic book about Archie and his radio controlled race cars.

Trippy, eh?

I think the willingness to take chances still exists at Archie today, as seen by Archie's manga experiment with Sabrina the Teenage Witch (which I think is paying off well).

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So, congrats, Archie Comics! You are a rare breed!!!

5 Comments:

Blogger layne said...

Jughead's Time Police, wherein Forsythe P. Jones...um, policed time, was also pretty good. There was also an arc in Jughead where he took up skateboarding, got cornrows, and square off against Dilton in an affair de coeur battle royale.

No, seriously.

5/01/2005 11:30 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Ha...good pickup, layne.

I should mention that this same time in Archie history was also when they decided to try to mix up their personalities, like having Jughead date girls.

It is funny when you occasionally run into a digest with a story from this time period...it stands out.

5/01/2005 12:26 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Ahh! I still have copies of *Faculty Funnies* and *Archie 3000*! It's weird - I'd completely forgotten the titles, but I still vividly remember the stories. Like the issue where future Veronica buys a gadget that allows her to change her outfit based on her thoughts, but it picks up on her emotions instead, and hilarity ensues. I can't believe I remember this stuff.

5/01/2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger Johnny B said...

Gotta love that mullet on Archie 3000...

5/01/2005 8:28 PM  
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