Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Archie Double Digest" #244: Archie Has a New Dog!

Early this year, I made a pledge to actively purchase all Archie Comics titles that feature original materials. Part of this was to support current creative teams. But I also wanted to express my frustration over the amount of reprint materials in Archie Comics' digest titles. I don't mind purchasing reprint material, but I feel better about it when it's combined with new materials!

So I have been buying all of Archie Comics' comic books with original content: ARCHIE, BETTY & VERONICA, KEVIN KELLER, LIFE WITH ARCHIE, and (eventually) their NEW CRUSADERS-related titles. Not only that, but I've really gotten into their current "Worlds Collide" cross-over between SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and MEGA MAN. Soon I'll be getting AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, too. That's not to say I'm not getting their digests. I get SONIC SUPER DIGEST every quarter and I've been a fan of WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST because it includes fun back-up stories featuring "Bats" and "Cosmo the Merry Martian" and "Pat the Brat." I just prioritize the titles with new material.

So that's the background out of the way...

Last night, I came across a list of Archie Comics' September 2013 solicitations and became very excited. It looks like ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #244 will be leading with a new story featuring Archie Andrews and a new four-legged friend. Check this out:
Meet Archie's new dog Vegas! Vegas is full of personality, but how will he get along with the other pals' and gals' pets of Riverdale? When Veronica hosts a pet soiree with all the most popular pets (including her many poodles!), he'll make some new friends and learn some helpful hints along the way! Get ready for some tail-wagging fun in "Don't Fret My Pets!" the lead story in this laugh-packed digest!
It's possible that I am wrong with this assessment. I thought that some of the other lead stories in September's digests were new, but some investigation proved otherwise. But so far, "Don't Fret My Pets!" seems to be a new story. Which is totally exciting!

Assuming that ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #244 does indeed lead with a brand new story, I really, really, really hope that this becomes to returning trend. *Fingers Crossed!*



Archie Comics seems to be taking a two-pronged approach. In their regular teenage timeline, it looks like they're aiming at a younger audience than ever before. But with Life With Archie, they're going after an older audience. I wonder if such a schizophrenic approach to marketing is wise?

Jon said...

My own thoughts? I think they're trying to make each title very distinct:

Archie is the all-access book. Lots of stand-alone or short-term stories with a snappy concept (Occupy Riverdale, Archie as a girl, Archie as a goth, Archie as Thor, Archie on Mars, etc).

Betty & Veronica seems to be reaching for the younger audience, particularly girls with their current tales. I'm curious if the fairy tale stuff will continue next year.

Kevin Keller is more down-to-Earth stories, but targeted at older kids/older audience. Let's face it; most parents of young kids as unlikely to buy it for their kids.

Life With Archie is the serialized, adult-themed thirtysomething book that appeals to older readers.

Afterlife With Archie is the scary teen+ book. The same could be argued with New Crusaders, though not as strongly.

I think the idea is to snag target group readers with distinct titles (like me with the LWA book) and hopefully we'll cross over to their other titles.


At one time, B & V was my favorite Archie title, but that fairytale stuff really turns me off. Fortunately, Dan Parent can only write and draw so many of those stories before he'll have to move on to something else.

You know how I feel, Jon: I think it's high time they let the characters graduate high school and move on to college life. That, of course, would mean more adult-oriented storylines (like, say, roommates who block your access to your dorm room while they're inside having sex with their squeezes. I really did see this happen in college)!