Thursday, June 14, 2012

Issuing A Challenge

****IMPORTANT UPDATE, JUNE 29, 2012****

Some people have interpreted my blog post as a suggestion that Dan Parent shouldn't be writing Kevin Keller because he isn't gay. Let me be clear:

In no way did I intend to suggest Dan Parent should be replaced as the writer for Kevin Keller. I think Archie Comics should give Jeff a shot, but there should be tons of space for a 'special issue' or a backup story written by someone else with Dan continuing his great work.

Or hell, introduce another gay character, maybe Dilton's uncle comes home to Riverdale on a vacation from his work on warp-drive and brings his new boyfriend with him. Who cares? The point is I never, ever meant to suggest that Dan shouldn't be writing for Kevin because of his own sexuality. No way. Dan is Archie's best writer, he's funny as hell and he has done fantastic things with the character. I'm not a fan of what Archie is doing on an executive level, but I'm a Dan Parent fan.

I do think Jeff, through his experience, has a unique voice to bring to the conversation. I shouldn't have said, in #4 below, that Dan doesn't 'get it'. I don't know his experience or what he 'gets', and I apologize for ever bringing Dan's sexuality into it. That was just sloppy, when the same point could have been made like this:

4- Part of the reason for Kevin's existence is to provide a role-model for LGBT youth reading your comics. Don't you think they'd appreciate hearing the voice of someone who survived the experience back in the days when things would, most likely, not 'get better'?

Original Post:

Consider this blog post a glove across the face of Jon, Mike, Victor and Alex
Dear Archie Comics, 

(Specifically Jon Goldwater, Mike Pellerito, Victor Gorelick and Alex Segura)

We need to talk about Kevin.

When you introduced Mr. Keller, the promise was that he wasn't merely a stunt character, but a new part of Riverdale and RHS. A real character, not just a cipher to sell comics. And at first, you (more or less) lived up to this.

Now? Not so much. It looks more and more like you're just going to ride Kevin (totally intended) until his sales drop, and then what? Off to hang with Frankie Valdez? Maybe he'll become BFFs with Cricket O'Dell and never be seen again?

If only there was some way to prove that you are in fact committed to including the gay community in Riverdale for reasons beyond sales and media attention. If only there was a way to talk about being a gay teen in a way that carried real (and real-world) meaning.

Oh, wait. There totally is. And his name is Jeff Krell.

Jeff is one of the pioneers of gay comics, and has been writing and publishing 'Jayson', an Archie-esque strip about a gay character and his cast of friends, since 1983. It's been in several papers, was syndicated, was developed as a musical and has been published in several collections by Ignite! Entertainment. He has also translated several works by German cartoonist Ralf Konig and has been recognized at several conventions and on many panels as one of the most important figures in the history of gay cartoons.
Meet Jayson, for those of you who haven't.

So gentlemen, it's time to hire Jeff Krell to write an issue featuring Kevin Keller, and I've got 5 great reasons why.

1- He's got the goods. Have any of you read his 'Jayson' strips? He has proven, for almost 3 decades, that he understands the format, has a sense of humour and is good with balancing actual insight and emotion with gags.

2- He wants the gig. In fact, he's been trying to get the gig since the late 70's. He still has a message his roommate left him that Michael Silberkleit called. He's been talking to you at conventions for years. He's been pitching stories to you for a long time, so far without success.

3- He deserves your f**king respect. You guys can be as proud (again, intended) as you want that you were the first comic company to step up to the line with a gay character, but give due to the dude who was walking that walk 30 years ago. You think you're tough because you dared face the heat of being a pro-gay comic in 2010? Well, he was writing a gay comic in Philadelphia in 1983. 1983! Now who's tough?

4- He gets it, in a way Dan Parent doesn't. Now don't get me wrong, I think Dan is awesome. Totally awesome. But he ain't gay. I'm not saying you have to be to write a gay character, but part of the reason for Kevin's existence is to provide a role-model for LGBT youth reading your comics. Don't you think they'd appreciate hearing the voice of someone who survived the experience back in the days when things would, most likely, not 'get better'?

5- You can mainline some more press coverage. Next year is the 30th anniversary of 'Jayson', an ideal time to honour the man and his achievements and a good story for the press. For the last year you have been doing anything it takes to get coverage, why not something good for once?

Of course the one argument against using Jeff could have been that some of his past material is racy, and Archie would want to distance themselves from that. Luckily, you guys have eliminated this problem by paying Gene Simmons to be in Archie comics.

Yes, those 4 issues featuring the proudest misogynist in America have removed the final barrier to hiring Jeff. After all, Gene's back catalogue is far worse than Jeff's. There's the song about forcing his girlfriend to try anal sex because he doesn't want to use birth-control ('Nothing to Lose'), the song about getting his weiner immortalized ('Plaster Caster') or the charming one about statutory rape ('Domino'). We don't even need to get into his abusive and insanely sexist interview with Terry Gross (so horrible that Gene wouldn't allow NPR to archive it like they do every other Fresh Air interview) or the fact that he loves to brag about the thousands of women he's slept with.

The point? If you're willing to get into bed (yup) with someone as filthy as Gene, you can never say a word about Jeff's work being a factor in not hiring him. So thanks for that.

So gentlemen, I dare you. I dare you to prove that you aren't simply having Kevin be 'gay for pay'. I dare you to let an actual gay role model, who has all the experience necessary to do the job, write for your fictional one. And I dare you to show Jeff the respect he's earned. You wouldn't have a gay character, and be reaping the financial benefits of how popular he's proven, if Jeff hadn't blazed the trail during a time when being openly gay was, quite frankly, dangerous.

If any of my readers (all 3 of you!) agree, feel free to express your sentiments to E-I-C Victor Gorelick (, President Mike Pellerito ( Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing Alex Segura ( or PR Coordinator Rik Offenberger (

For more about Jeff Krell, here is a link to the Haiku duel him and I once fought, judged by Vancouver's poet laureate Brad Cran. I also did a 2-part interview with Jeff for First Comics News a few years ago....sadly the images are no longer hosted, so the interviews aren't anywhere near as good as they once were, but are still worth a read. Part 1 and Part 2.

Archie Comics, the ball is in your court.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Story So Far....

Uh, who exactly is that with the 'We are the 99%' sign? Is that supposed to be Sabrina?
And where is Adam? Outrage!
3 years ago I started this blog as a new era was beginning at Archie Comics and I was working on my record 'Aim for the Roses'. I was very optimistic that Jon and Nancy would bring a much-needed jolt of energy to a stagnating company and characters that were in danger of growing stale.

I tracked these changes by examining the hidden messages in Double Digests, specifically Jughead Double Digest, as this is the only reliable source of information. The Double Digests are where the third-tier characters battle for legitimacy, where reprints can say what nobody dare now say, where Bingo Wilkin stills exists and where L'il Jinx continues to be annoying.

I published a post when the plans to bring Kevin Keller to Riverdale were first announced (I was infuriated that Archie would introduce another male character with light brown, wavy hair as this is Adam's only real identifier) which led to me being in touch with writer/artist Dan Parent which led to me writing for a website called First Comics News.

And then the story becomes cliche. The fast and easy world of review PDFs, interviews with Archie writers and artists....I lost track of my path, and abandoned the Double Digests for current single issues.

But it was good! A brief golden age! Archie and Valerie had a real romance, a crop of new kids came to RHS, the untold stories of freshman year were finally told, and more!

And then 'Life With Archie' came out; a magazine format comic that told two separate stories set in possible futures, one where Archie and Ron married and one where Betty was his bride.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The magazine format was a bold move to open new avenues of circulation, the grown-up themes appealed to a new was a great idea.

Why they dressed it up like an issue of 'Tiger Beat', I'll never know. Or why they made the stories so convoluted, especially once the realities started crossing into each other. Issue numbers were absent from the covers of most of the first 10 issues; sloppy and stupid.

Around this time I started writing for the Archie Comics website. For 3 months in the spring of 2011 I got to champion Adam Chisholm on the Archie website. Bliss.

Then it all fell apart. The guy I was dealing with at Archie was an asshole, it was impossible to actually get paid what we agreed on, and the upcoming plans were terrible. Archie and KISS? WTF? The disconnect began to show.

Stunt issues became the status quo. The planned magazine following Betty and Veronica around the world and away from Archie? Canned. Anything interesting or creative? Abandoned. Dark days.

And then the lawsuits began between Jon and Nancy. And all hope was lost. It seemed like a matter of months until the characters would be sold off.

So for the last year, I've been out of the Archie analysis game. It got too sad. I saw no pleasure in ripping apart the dreck coming out of Marmaronek.

But now, there is a new hope. 3 new hopes, the daughters of Richard Goldwater, Lisa, Taylor and Summer. They stayed on the sidelines up until now, but it seems like they've had enough of Jon and Nancy.

Bravo! Bring it on, ladies. You own the same percentage as Jon, and you are willing to call him out as the sleaze he is. Exciting times! It's been so long since Archie had me excited! Maybe, just maybe, this story will have a happy ending after all.

So back to the Double Digests I go, searching for clues and meaning as this all unfolds. I may have abandoned my post once, but rest assured I am once again your sentry on the wall around Riverdale.

Stay strong Adam Chisholm, I'm coming back to find out where you are and what you've become.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Screw You, Google Plus (Among Others)

My poor blog!

When I signed up for Google Plus, I deleted a photo album it automatically put on my profile of all my Archie images, and it deleted them all from my blog. With no warning box of any kind.


So my once beautiful blog has had the shit kicked out of it.

I've been wondering if I was even going to continue with it, to be honest. After working for Archie for a few months writing on their blog, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth.

My interactions with a specific person, we'll call him 'A', went from mildly insulting to terrible. The topper was having to basically beg for the money that I was owed. Double lame.

Someone needs to keep championing Adam Chisholm, I'm just not sure it's me.

I'm also rather unimpressed with what's happening at Archie right now. The lawsuit against Nancy Silberkleit smells fishy to me. I figured it was some kind of power struggle, one aimed at cutting Nancy off at the knees.

When Archie announced it was getting into bed with KISS, I figured this may be where a lot of problems stem from.

Gene Simmons isn't only one of the most repugnant people on the face of the Earth, he's also one of the most disgusting (and proudest) misogynists you can find. I wouldn't be surprised at all if a big part of the problem Nancy has had with the men of Archie is this deal.

And why the hell would Archie want to get involved with KISS? It's not like anyone cares about the band anymore, and for a company trying to overcome a stigma of sexism it seems like a stupid move.

Anyways, I'm sorry all the great Archie panels have vanished from here. Maybe this blog will continue, I really don't know yet, but it makes me rather sad that my past work has been compromised by Google Plus.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Absence, Archie and Shameless Self-Promotion

My poor blog, left unattended for the last 2 months. If there were an SPCA for blogs, mine would probably get taken away.

It's not like I don't have a good excuse though, most of that time was consumed with finally releasing "Aim for the Roses" and putting on a release show at the Planetarium in Vancouver. After 2.5 years of obsessive work, it was a huge relief to finally put the record out there.

If you would allow me a moment of self-promotion, The Vancouver Province said "Aim for the Roses" is "one of the most original releases this year " "There's nothing around now remotely like it" "Ambitious, unusual...Adventurous", Scene and Heard said "Aim for the Roses is a deceptive release. If you were to only give the first few minutes of every song a listen you wouldn’t, couldn’t enjoy what Haney is trying to do. Haney is experimenting with what making music is.", Discorder thinks "...for the optimistic and adventurous, this dark trip down memory lane will definitely leave you with something to ponder." and the MidNorth Monitor effused "...a hauntingly distinctive composition, which not only lingers in the mind of the listener well after the music stops, but forms a critical relationship between the story of Ken Carter and the sound drawn from the double bass."  "Eerily hypnotic...multi-layered double bass tracks embrace the journey of one man's dream into a colourful explosion of seeming defeat."

My favourite review/article is this one, by Vancouver music writer Adrian Mack, which also supplied the best quote about the record: "It's an extraordinary achievement, not only because it works, but because Haney has struck such a wholly original middle ground between the avant-garde and lowbrow '70s Canadiana. But most significantly, Aim for the Roses has a big heart."

Incidentally, you can buy "Aim for the Roses" on iTunes, if you're so inclined.

A lot of people have erroneously assumed that I made the record because I am a Ken Carter fanatic, or a daredevil junkie. I was glad that Adrian heard the real story: The story about the price that often accompanies a dream, the story of a man standing at the crossroads where he either gives up on his dream or follows it to the very end regardless of the cost.  

This all coincided with the first couple of issue of "Life With Archie", the new magazine-format series that features two possible futures for Ol' Arch: One where he marries Betty and one where he marries Veronica. "Life With Archie" is easily my favourite comic of 2010, and it is worth a read by anyone who grew up with the Riverdale gang.

The first couple of issues hit me in a very personal way, since one of the main themes is an examination of the high cost of following your dreams and learning to find the balance between hope and optimism and the reality that things may just not work out the way you want them to. It's like I had a bulls-eye on my psyche that Paul Kupperberg zeroed in on. This review I did of "Life With Archie" #2 for First Comics News gets deeper into this, for those with an interest.

The last few months also saw the release of Veronica #202, the much-hyped debut of Kevin Keller. Not only has it been an incredible success for the House of A, it's also a clear direction marker for the future of New Riverdale (my review for FCN gets way more into this). Kevin Keller has proven so popular that he is getting his own 4 issue limited series in 2011.

While this is a good thing on one hand, it is also cause for great concern. Kevin's high profile and rapid ascension in the Riverdale hierarchy has me very worried about Adam Chisholm. Superstar Archie writer/artist Dan Parent has previously claimed that Kevin's light brown curly/wavy hair was not designed to undermine Adam's most relevant identifier, and I guess we'll take him at his word (despite a nagging suspicion that Mr. Chisholm is being edged out). I spotted Adam in Veronica 202, and while Dan couldn't outright confirm this for me (clearly due to prejudices held by editorial towards certain third-tier characters) he didn't outright deny that it was Adam either (check it out here).

The quest to reclaim the traditional newsstand continues with the much-ballyhoed Obama and Palin story, which I'm curious to read. Last fall I expressed worry that Archie editorial would over-do the 'stunt' issues, but they've walked the line pretty well. The amount of media attention the announcement of the Obama/Palin issues received has more than justified the whole exercise, hopefully there's also a good story behind the covers.

Looking ahead, we'll be discussing the termination of the "Dynamic New Look", examining the "New Kids" at Riverdale High and keeping up with "Life With Archie". We'll also be looking at the Archie Americana series and tracking the development of "Betty or Veronica" in 2011.

When "Life With Archie" #1 came out, I predicted that in 2011 Archie Comics would tweak the dynamic in Riverdale and we would have a year of Betty versus Veronica. When Archie announced at the NYCC that Michael Uslan would be penning a new series called "Betty or Veronica" I gloated for weeks that I was, in fact right.

So with my little hiatus done, you can once again count on this blog to supply the best and most obsessive analysis and insight into Archie comics.

Requiem Daredevil.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Jon, I'm sorry.

Dear Jon,

I'm sorry.

I've given you a bit of a hard time over the last year, and made more than a few snide comments at your expense. I've also given credit where credit is due, but I've looked on all your actions with a suspicious eye.

I didn't trust that the rich, loving legacy of Archie was safe under your guidance. Like most rabid fanboys, I like to assume I know better than the people who are actually setting the course for our favourite characters.

What folly.

After reading "Life With Archie"#1 (which I reviewed in obsessive detail for First Comics News) it has become clear that you are, in fact, the right person to be ushering Riverdale into the 21st century.

Everything about the magazine and it's contents show a real desire to make Archie more relevant without sacrificing the heart and soul of the characters. I was touched more than once reading the issue; so many moments carry an emotional resonance that the average person wouldn't expect from an Archie comic.

It's clear to me now that you have a great overview of Archie and the principles that have guided the company for over 70 years. And why wouldn't you? I grew up with Archie figuratively, but you grew up with Archie literally. Combined with your creative business and publishing ideas it truly seems tha we're embarking on a new Golden Age of Archie.

The full-court press for Hollywood glory has concerned me, but seeing the gentle way more mature themes are being woven into the tapestry of Archie without betraying the characters reveals a careful, well realized long-term vision taking shape.

Wherever you steer Archie in the coming months I'll follow, oh Captain my Captain.

Between yourself, Nancy, Victor, Mike and all the amazing creators who contribute to the Archie universe I can sleep well at night knowing that my beloved are in good hands.

Congratulations on the stunning achievement that is "Life With Archie", and everything you and Nancy have accomplished in the last year.

With enormous respect,


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Jon and Nancy, It's Been A While

Today's letter is prompted by this New York Times article, which contained some very good news, and some very worrisome news.

For those with an interest, the previous open letters I've written to Jon and Nancy tend to discuss a lot of the same topics.

Dear Jon and Nancy, an Open Letter the the Co-Ceo's of Archie Comics
Dear Jon and Nancy Part 2
Dear Jon,

Dear Jon and Nancy,

It's been a while. I know you've been busy, 2010 is proving to be a watershed year for Archie Comics, and a huge congratulations goes to you both for bringing Archie and Co. into the 21st century. The amount of press you've managed to get this year is extraordinary, and some of your decisions have been excellent.

Making it OK to be gay in Riverdale? Awesome. Parodies of (very) current shows and movies? Right on. The "Life With Archie" magazine that shows us two possible futures for Mr. A? Looks good, but I'm worried after the NYT article.

Before we dive into things, let's congratulate the New York Times for finally catching on to some of the things we've been discussing here for quite a while. The article gives props for Archie being well ahead of Marvel and DC in the digital realm (which was examined in Dear Jon and Nancy Part 2 from March), makes a big deal out of Archie's strategy to invade traditional newspaper racks (something I've been harping about ad nauseum for almost a year) and discusses the brilliance of publishing a magazine-format comic, a move that opens plenty of new doors for distribution (which, again, was dissected here 6 months ago).

It was also incredibly good to see you, Nancy, featured in the article. I've noted your absence quite a few times, and have spent many a night worrying that your educational initiatives are being neglected in the pursuit of press and Hollywood money. Thankfully, these fears are for naught. The Comic Book Fair initiative is not only an excellent literacy program, but is also giving schools a new fund raising option beyond chocolates, oranges and all the other crap I had to hawk as an innocent band geek in the early 1990's. And when I say band geek, I mean geek. Before geek was cool, in any way. And now that geek is cool, I'm more of a dweeb, once again missing the boat. Sigh.

And Nancy, you coyly mention an Archie musical. Talk to me, I'm begging you. I've spent four years working with the most brilliant theatre director in Canada (James Fagan Tait) and one of the greatest theatre composers you'll ever hear (Joelysa Pankanea). Plus, I have an amazing idea for an Archie musical that is A) Accessible to anyone, regardless of their Archie knowledge, B) Pays tribute to the long and colourful history of Archie, C) Brings Archie into the 21st century, just like Archie Comics has been doing and D) would be incredibly easy to tour, and wouldn't rely on finding actors who resemble the Riverdale clan. Seriously, we should talk.

So what the hell am I worried about? Almost a year ago I made a joke about "very special" issues and episodes (by recalling the "Family Ties" episode that featured Alex struggling with the death of his incredibly close, but never before seen, friend Greg) and hoped that Archie wouldn't stoop to the point of having a character die (see this post from last Oct). And now, you're bringing death to the world of Archie.

Why? Yes, I know it's going to mean yet another media firestorm, which will result in better sales for the issue. Gotcha. I just really can't help but feel that you're making a big mistake here.

Archie Comics are meant for children. You both acknowledge this all over the NYT article. Michael Uslan makes the same point when he talks about making it easier for parents to buy Archie comics for their children. Does the last bastion of childhood innocence really need to denigrated like this?

And yes, I'm an obsessive fanboy. I admit it.

My fears have nothing to do with "continuity", nor are they based in the need for things to stay the same. I welcome Kevin with open arms (well, I worry about him stealing panel time from Adam Chisholm, as evidenced in my 5 Questions With Dan Parent), I support the "possible future" story-lines of "Life With Archie" and went ga-ga over the Archie and Valerie romance.

So why my concern?

Most people don't follow the Archie world like I do, and most parents don't differentiate between the regular Archie comics and the "possible futures" of your new venture. When the story hits mainstream media, and it will, that a major character will shuffle off this mortal coil it will change a lot of people's perceptions of what Archie is all about. And not for the better.

Will Dad be as willing to buy Junior an Archie comic after he sees on CNN that the Reaper is now a Riverdale resident? I'm not convinced.

Jon and Nancy, I sincerely worry that you're on the brink of violating one of the principles that has shaped Archie for 70 years.

Things go wrong in Riverdale, people learn lessons and bad deeds are often punished. These are all good things. By killing off a major character Archie comics will lose a large part of the innocence that has made your books safe childhood reading since my Dad was a kid.

Archie and the gang have long represented an idealized version of what life could be for the average teen in America. Even now, Archie serves as a glimpse into a better, more polite world. Our modern age has become crass, insensitive and boorish. We love to watch other's misery, as long as it's labelled "reality TV". We love to follow the personal destruction of celebrities and politicians, revelling in the downfall of those we once put on a pedestal.

Through all this Archie has remained true to a higher set of values. I honestly hoped that Archie would not bend, even against the weight of an ugly world determined to take everything beautiful and pure and turn it dark and menacing.

But it seems the dream is over. I know, the death is taking place in an "adult" Archie comic, but that justification is pretty thin. The cover of "Life With Archie" is aimed directly at young people (arguably young girls), so spare me the reasoning that readers should expect a more mature story since Archie is all growed up.

I know you're trying to make Archie more relevant, but this is not the way. Yes, the argument could be that death is something today's young people and teens are exposed to every day, so why not address it? This is also a weak justification. Archie was first a popular character during World War 2, he was surfing and chasing the ladies through the Korean War and the Vietnam War. There have been many times in the last 70 years where death and dying were something young people were faced with every day, but Riverdale remained an oasis from this.

We don't need to make children grow up faster by introducing them to themes that will haunt their adult lives. There are enough things out there that bring these themes home.

Jon, I've been worried for a while that your relentless pursuit of Hollywood money would lead to a cheapening of the core values of Archie. It breaks my heart that this seems to be happening already.

I beg you both, don't take the easy road. There is time to stop. You have insanely talented people (Michael Uslan, Dan Parent, Bill Galvan, Victor Gorelik) doing amazing work for you, cheap stunts are not necessary.

Cream rises to the top, my friends. It just takes time. You've put in so much amazing work, and the results are palpable. Beware the path you're heading down.

If there's one message Archie has been delivering for 70 years it's this:

The world doesn't have to be dark.

Don't abandon this message, it's the heart of Archie.

With great respect and admiration,


Monday, July 5, 2010

An Archie Haiku Duel between Jeff Krell and Mark Haney, judged by Brad Cran (Vancouver's current Poet Laureate)

Today we're very fortunate to have a couple of distinguished guests in the blog, Jeff Krell and Brad Cran.

For those of you unfamiliar with Jeff Krell, he is the writer of a comic strip called "Jayson" that has been running since 1983. Next year will see the publication of "Jayson Gets a Job", the follow-up to the enormously successful "Jayson Goes to Hollywood" (which you can find here). Aside from being a successful cartoonist, publisher, translator and writer, Jeff Krell has an unfulfilled life-long ambition. 

Jeff's ambition is to write for Archie comics, a quest I interviewed him about for First Comics News. In the second part of our interview I put Jeff's Archie knowledge to the test with the Competitive Archie Triathlon, which saw Mr. Krell deliver an incredible performance.

Today Jeff Krell and I will face each other in battle, in the most dangerous of all gladiatorial arenas: 
The Archie Haiku Duel.

The rules are simple enough: We took Betty & Veronica Digest #204, and each wrote a haiku for the seven Betty, Veronica and Betty & Veronica stories in the digest.

Judging the match is Brad Cran, the current Poet Laureate of Vancouver. Brad's excellent book of poems "The Good Life" was called "exhilarating" and "fierce, urgent and fun" by Books in Canada, and "Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside" (with Gillian Jerome) is a remarkably powerful depiction of Canada's most troubled neighbourhood. 

Brad also gave the city what is, for my money, the best response to anything Olympic: "In Praise of Female Athletes Who Were Told No".

The haikus were given to Brad anonymously in accordance with ICAF rules (International Competitive Archie Federation), and Brad's judgements are definitive.

Without further ado, I'd like to turn the proceedings over to Mr. Cran:

(Brad Cran): In homage to the world’s current obsession with soccer, and to make the Archie Haiku duel even more oddball,  I’ll be refereeing this event in reference to the World Cup. Unlike FIFA I think it is important to not only have rules but to also follow them. 
So for this Archie Haiku duel I would like to lay down the following rubric: 
Archie Haikus should follow the 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern. Often there is a turn of logic or perception in the third line. 
Haikus should not sound like they came out of a fortune cookie (with all due respect to the fine art of fortune cookie writing.) 
They should have more substance than Bon Jovi  lyrics. 
And finally each Archie Haiku should sound better in plain English than in Yoda-ese (ie they should not sound better read aloud while imitating Yoda.)

Okay, kick off. 

Betty & Veronica in “We’ve Got it Maid!”
I'm pretty sure she's trying to humiliate you, wouldn't you say?
Snobs accustomed to

being served should not attempt
to serve other snobs (Jeff K)

Brad Cran: Shot on net. Fine play but no goal. 
Ginger, Ronnie scheme

Cheryl humiliated
‘Till her comeuppance (Mark H)

Brad Cran: Back up the field. Carrying the ball far but no goal. 
Score: Nil - Nil

(I'm pretty glad Brad scored that one at Nil, I kind of thought Jeff spanked me in the opening round.)

Veronica in “Space Case”
Sigh, an already out of control ego, and now this.
Upon discov’ry
a star burns intensely but
oh so fleetingly (JK)
Brad Cran: He’s looking nice. Being fancy. Wants to score a goal and show the world his six pack. He’s juggling the ball in front of his own net. Oh no, “discov’ry” aint a word. He scores on his own net. It’s a goal for the other team.

Cosmic size ego

Finds new star for pride’s orbit
But white dwarves burn out (MH)

Brad Cran: And what’s this? He passes it up the wing to Yoda. Score a goal he might? Haiku sound like Yoda should not. 
Score: 0 -1 for Haney

(Ouch. At least I didn't get called with a fortune cookie foul, but still. Even though it happened through Jeff scoring on himself, it's nice to score the first point and take an early lead.)

Betty in “Mother Hen-Pecked”
Will not make 'cheep' joke about Betty and a shower scene..
Betty’s love and care

Give shelter and safety but
Leave an empty nest (MH)

Brad Cran: My grandma can kick better than that. Still a shot on net but this is not what soccer is about. 
Nature remains by

its very nature untamed 
and untameable (JK)

Brad Cran: Isn’t that nice. Is this soccer or Hackey sack? Let’s score a goal.
Score: 0-1

(It looks like Mr. Krell and I need to step up our game. Out of the first 3 rounds not one haiku was up to Mr. Cran's standards. Perhaps next time it should be a limerick duel.)

Betty & Veronica in “Fabulous Fakes”

Imitation gems
can be lustrous when paired with
genuine feeling (JK)

Brad Cran: Corner kick. Out front of the net. Bicyle kick and in.  A beautiful goal. This is what soccer is all about.

What’s fake and what’s real?
Decided by a harsh judge
The beholder’s eye (MH)

Brad Cran: And the other team is not taking chances. They are playing for a tie. Which they get. 
Score: 1 - 1

(Holy crap, Krell kicked my ass on this one. Good officiating, Mr. Cran, and congrats to Jeff for earning the first real point.)

Betty in “Borrowers Be!”
Ah, the rarely seen Polly, and a Carmel cameo!
Three Cooper ladies
Exploring three life stages
United by clothes (MH)

Brad Cran: A charming pass. Lots’ of team work, all the words working together and just when you think you know where you are: we get a shift in the third line and an unexpected goal. Fancy.

Betty’s perfect blouse
will be hard to hold onto
in a house of femmes (JK)
Brad Cran: Oh and right back with another goal to tie it back up. That’s answering the call. So simple but says so much. What a game. 
Score: 2 - 2

(Whew. I was worried none of my haikus would make the grade, but at least one did. Nice play by Jeff to keep the score tied up. Only two rounds to go and you can feel the electricity. Can't you? Don't answer.)

Veronica in “A Prom to Remember”
Yes, one night can atone for years of vile behaviour.
Hermione shames Ron
Who then grants dreams to earn hers:
Guilt-free nastiness (MH)

Brad Cran: What the hell was the coach thinking putting this guy on the field? I think he’s playing field hockey.

Veronica Lodge
opens her heart to throw a
prom for the ages (JK)

Brad Cran: Oh and a nice turn up the field a and quick goal. The lead is taken.
Score: 3 - 2 for Krell

(Wow, I was smacked with a field hockey put-down. I'm not even sure how to process that.)

Betty & Veronica in “A Quick Study”

The less fun you have
when you study with a group
the higher your grade (JK)

Really? The more you practice soccer the more goals you will score. 

Third-tier bonanza!
Nick St. Clair gets a mention
Seriously cool (MH)

You might know Ronaldo but that doesn’t mean you score like him. Nick St. Clair might be seriously cool but name dropping does not put the ball in the net. We need more sweat on this one. 

(I've got to take exception to this. Nick St. Clair getting a name mention is a huge event, and not to be downplayed in any way. Nick getting mentioned outside of "Bad Boy Trouble" is the kind of thing that future generations will want to know more about, and will turn to the important work we're doing here for these answers. Won't they? Don't answer.)
Whistle. Game. End score 3-2.  A fine match. No red cards for the Bon Jovi rule. 5 nice goals and a few of them spectacular. And the Archie Haiku World Cup winner is...

Jeff Krell of the United States. Congratulations Mr. Krell.

(A well-deserved victory by Mr. Krell. Combined with his stellar performance in the Triathlon and the great interview he gave me, I'd like to think Jeff Krell is more than deserving of a shot at his dream.)

My unending thanks to both Jeff and Brad for their time and sportsmanship, this was a truly epic contest and will surely go down in history as one of the best Archie Haiku Duels ever to be staged.

Jeff's blog is also well worth a visit, as is Brad's website.