|Fiona Staples Archie sketches|
By: Nicole D'Andria
Next year Archie will hit its 75th anniversary. To celebrate, Archie comics is resetting the series with issue 1 and a new creative team in 2015. This is just in time for the new Archie television show Riverdale and a new Fashion line based off of the series developed by Marc Ecko. Everything you’ve known about Archie is about to change—Archie is about to get “edgy.”
Archie Comics began updating when Jon Goldwater became the chief executive and publisher of Archie Comics after his father John L. Goldwater passed away in 1999. Goldwater says “I found Archie to be dusty, irrelevant and watered-down… It has taken me a while to really wrap my hands around where we are as a brand…” Apparently, Goldwater’s plan is working well financially as bookstore sales of Archie Comics have increased by 736 percent and direct-market sales increased 226 percent. He also plans on an Archie movie, animated TV show (seems a bit redundant with the live action drama coming out soon) and theme park rides.
The changes to Archie Comics will also encompass other parts of the company such as their imprint Red Circle Comics. This imprint will be renamed Dark Circle Comics and will be reintroducing vintage superheroes such as Fox and Shield.
The new creative team includes writer Mark Waid (Irredeemable, Daredevil) and artist Fiona Staples (Saga). A four part story that will feature a feminist take is going to be penned by Lena Dunham. The stories are supposedly going to be “edgier.” However, according to Goldwater, “We want to keep the lighthearted and family-friendly tone, but we have to do it in the present times, and that forces us to change.” I’m glad they’re still trying to go for this tone because it seems like everyone is trying to make everything gritty and realistic such as the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and the Sabrina series. Some things weren’t meant to be gritty.
I think this series will be a great way to attract new readers but I worry about the old Archie audience. The series is considered a classic for a reason and by changing it there is a chance Archie will ostracize fans of the original series. It is frustrating for ongoing fans in comics since everything seems to keep rebooting. But I’m not going to lie, I have not picked up an Archie comic in a while and this does interest me.