Archie Comics is celebrating their eightieth anniversary this 12 months, they usually’re pulling out all of the stops, with new collections of traditional materials, a revival of their superhero line, and one-shots celebrating the world of Riverdale. This week the writer launched The whole lot’s Archie, a classic-style one-shot by author Fred Van Lente, artists Dan Dad or mum, Bob Smith, and Glenn Whitmore, and letterer Jack Morelli.
The difficulty is the Archie debut for Van Lente, who has written for just about each different main writer. The Beat chatted with Van Lente about engaged on The whole lot’s Archie, how COVID-19 impacted the story, and his ideas on Archie’s place within the historical past of comics. Test that out, in addition to the complete first story from the one-shot, beneath.
Joe Grunenwald: How lengthy have you ever been an Archie fan? What appeals to you concerning the characters?
Fred Van Lente: I’ve been an Archie fan from means again — means, means again. Again within the historic days of the Nineteen Eighties, my household would take journeys to my grandfather’s cabin on Lake Macatawa in Michigan and in his attic there was a giant field of comics to maintain us occupied. My older cousins had lengthy raided it of Marvel and DC superhero books, leaving the Archies and Harveys for the youthful children like my sister and I. We beloved them! It’s an actual cross-off of the Bucket Listing to be engaged on them at present.
As an added bonus, once I labored for Marvel and DC, my household couldn’t care much less, however now that I’m making my first sojourn to Riverdale, I’ve change into a real rock star.
Grunenwald: Since that is an anniversary particular, was there something you felt it was necessary to incorporate or to mirror about Archie and the residents of Riverdale within the story?
Van Lente: We undoubtedly agreed it was necessary to have the Huge 5 play essentially the most outstanding roles — Archie is the principle focus, however Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Reggie are all outstanding, and have their mini-arcs. The e-book is sneaky in that it seems to be prefer it has 4 5-6 web page tales just like the Archie line has carried out so properly through the years, nevertheless it all provides as much as one large, overarching story that makes for a very terrific learn.
Grunenwald: Had been there any surprising challenges you encountered whereas engaged on this story?
Van Lente: The e-book was slated, initially, to come back out earlier, however then this worldwide pandemic occurred? Unsure you heard about it. One of many authentic plotlines concerned Archie renting out his room on Air BNB to purchase a guitar (whereas neglecting to inform his dad and mom), and the sensation was which may not be an acceptable story for our COVID world, so I swapped that out for one more concept I had. Frankly, it’s a credit score to Archie that the venture outlasted final 12 months’s troubles and it’s popping out in any respect!
Grunenwald: As a historian, how do you view Archie’s place in comics historical past?
Van Lente: It’s big. “Teen comics,” as a style, had been roughly invented by Bob Montana in Archie, and had been one of many main staples of the twentieth century business, with plenty of rivals — Patsy Walker, whom you could know from Netflix’s Jessica Jones, was a direct gender-swapped rip-off of Archie by Marvel. Simon and Kirby‘s Younger Romance, which sparked the romance pattern that may up being the second-most in style comics style subsequent to superheroes, drew out of the duo’s failed tried at an Archie ripoff referred to as My Date. And kudos to Archie for maintaining their classics in print with collections just like the Archie Americana Sequence commerce paperbacks and so forth.
Grunenwald: Do you’ve any extra Archie tales on the horizon?
Van Lente: I’ve a bunch extra up my sleeve, yeah. Hopefully you’ll see them quickly!
Grunenwald: Betty or Veronica?
Van Lente: The traditional query, isn’t it? The cliché factor is to go along with Betty, proper, as a result of she’s the underdog, everywoman, extra identifiable. Her greatest competitors for Archie is Veronica, however then Veronica’s greatest competitors for Archie can also be Veronica. I like Ronnie greatest as a personality when she is comically self-involved. In order a author I’m going to must say Veronica, as a result of she’s hilarious and — arguably? — one of the best Archie character to put in writing, aside from possibly Jughead. However as a boyfriend, I’ve to go along with Betty, as a result of I’ve dated the Veronicas of the world earlier than, and I can relate to Archie’s struggling.
The The whole lot’s Archie! one-shot is stocked in shops and digitally now.