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.


  1. Hey Mark! I had no idea you were an Archie blogger! Neat neat neat. I admit to being awfully tempted by those Double Digests while in line for my granola and eggs, but usually opt for the New Yorker instead. Am I missing out?

  2. We'll the past the double digests have held the key to the secrets behind the doors of Archie, it remains to be seen if that's still the case or if Jon's malevolent reign has ruined this.