Thursday, January 8, 2015

Little Archie Returns and The Archies Save Music in ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #257!

ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #257 was a pretty good read this week. There was a really great original lead story featuring Little Archie. "Snow Problem" was written by J. Torres, inked by Jim Amash, lettered by Jack Morelli, and colored by Digikore Studios.

But the cool part about "Snow Problem" is that it was penciled by Bob Bolling. Bolling is a classic Archie Comics artist, well known for his Little Archie stories. It's been a long time since we've been treated to his work. Emphasis on "treat." Bolling has always been my favorite Little Archie artist and he definitely delivered visually attractive artwork with this story!

This short story is pretty simple. Betty and Veronica are building a snowman and Little Archie wants to help out... except that the girls don't want him to join in because he always makes a mess! The girls feel sorry for Little Archie him once he's turned away and quickly come up with a solution. Little Archie can fetch props for their snowman, but he has to stay far, far away from the snowman itself!


I hate to give away too much more. So you will need to go pick up a copy of this digest to find out if Little Archie managed to avoid making a mess out of the snowman. However, check out the images above for a hint on how that works out!

One of the things that I like about Little Archie is that the girls usually aren't fawning and fighting over Little Archie. It's fun to watch the kids interacts without all of that romantic subtext. Plus, they all can be mean and bratty and thoughtless -- except for when they are being helpful! I really wish we could see more tales featuring Little Archie. It makes you wonder if Little Archie will still exist once we get past the relaunch?

But!... It's not just Little Archie and Bob Bolling that got me all excited about this digest. There are two great classic stories featuring the Archies' earlier adventures. Written by Frank Doyle and featuring Bob White's artwork, the Archies are a three-man garage band featuring Archie, Reggie, and Jughead. Betty & Veronica are just glorified groupies in these stories!

To tell you the truth, I normally skim past stories featuring the Archies. I have a hard time reading stories about music. I mean, it's just kind of hard for me to get into music on a page.

But these stories were... crazy. I'm still not sure what I read!! Let's start with the first story: "The Song Is Ended." It seems that a fiend named Sinister Sid has managed to create a "smog-producing furnace that destroys all musical tones." Basically, he hates music and it's up to the Archies to bring back the music!

The part that left me laughing -- and scratching my head -- is that the guys found themselves suddenly experiencing magical moments out of nowhere. Like the time that Jughead suddenly transformed into a Matador:


Or the time that the Archies fell off of a flying carpet and ended up landing safely in slow motion:


None of this was ever explained. I can't tell if the guys have some sort of powers or if the creative team just regularly breaks the fourth wall. Maybe one of you Archies fans knows what's going on. (Yes, I'm talking to you Stuffed Animal!!)

All I know if that I will definitely check out the next ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST to check out the next adventures of the Archies!

1 comment:

Donny Jacobs said...

Jon,

What these early stories illustrate is how closely the original all-male group was patterned after "The Monkees". If you've seen any of those TV shows, you'll know where the craziness comes from! Betty and Veronica's addition to the group signaled the end of slavish Monkees imitation and the launching of The Archies as its own entity; I'm glad that finally happened.