Monday, March 21, 2016

Archie Comics Featured on Tonight's "Cake Wars"

I just finished watching "Cake Wars" on Food Network. It was a special episode celebrating the comic book company's 75th anniversary. It featured Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater as a special judge. Four cake-bakers competed to design a cake which best illustrated the spirit of Archie Comics.

It was fun to watch. There were two challenges. I came to the episode about five minutes late, so I missed the nuance of the first challenge. But it seemed like the bakers were charged with designing a Betty or a Veronica cake. Most of them went with Veronica. One of the baker was eliminated from the program following this particular challenge.

The remaining three bakers were then asked to design a giant party cake for the entire Riverdale Gang. Two of the bakers designed beach party themes, while the third created a juke box design surrounded with cut-outs of most of the major characters. This particular design was pretty cool. It had flashing lights and a working record turntable. However, she made one fatal mistake with her cake design which pretty much scratched her music!

Ultimately, it came down to the two beach party cakes -- and I think the judges made the right choice when it came to the winner!

Jon Goldwater's involvement with the program was actually pretty interesting. It was clear that he held no particular skills when it came to judging the pros or cons of any particular recipe -- outside of enjoying the taste. But he offered a unique voice when it came to judging the visual designs of the cakes, the characters, and of the themes.

Lastly, this program highlighted to me the essence of Archie Comics' struggle to re-brand its main characters from icons of yesteryear into modern-day players. All of the designs were stuck soundly in the 1950s -- outside of the inclusion of Josie and the Pussycats. I'd like to think -- if I were competing on this program and designing a cake that illustrated the spirit of Archie Comics -- that I would come up with a design that embodies the Riverdale of today. If only to stand apart from the crowd!

At least Kevin Keller made an appearance on one of the cakes! He was Riverdale's Rock Hudson at their beach-party luau!

I'm sure that this episode of "Cake Wars" will re-air sometime in the near future. You should check it out on Food Network!


Shakar Bakery said...

thank you for this blog! I'm the one who won the Archie episode! I definitely had good competition with the JukeBox cake!

I disagree about your branding comment though... They're doing a great job making Archie modern, but for 75 years he's been the 50's style. So to celebrate 75 years of Archie you have to commemorate the old school, iconic characters and not the modern ones. :)

Feel free to check out my youtube channel as I will be posting Archie tutorials there soon!



Jon said...

Thanks for commenting, Shantal! I'll check out your YouTube page later today. And congrats on your win!