Archie Comics Wants To Reboot All of Riverdale, And They Need Your Help
Archie Andrews and his friends at Riverdale High are currently getting ready for a new ongoing series with “Archie #1“, which will propel them into the 21st century with an all-new story by Mark Waid and art by Fiona Staples.
But that’s not the only way they’re updating themselves for the modern era! Archie Comics has plans to expand the world of “New Riverdale” with three extra titles — but they need your help to do it.
Announced today, Archie Comics is starting a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the new series they’re hoping to add to the line up. We sure hope that Archie fans pitch in, because these titles sound amazing: “Betty and Veronica” by Adam Hughes, “Jughead” by Chip Zdarsky and a yet-to-be-named artist, and “Life With Kevin” by Dan Parent (who created the LGBT-friendly Kevin Keller character in 2010) and inker J. Bone.
We have an exclusive preview of the interior of “Archie #1″ as drawn by Fiona Staples, as well as an interview with Publisher and CEO of Archie Comics Jon Goldwater about the campaign and the titles they’re hoping to bring to the fold.
Jon Goldwater: Archie’s been around 75 years – we celebrate this monumental moment next year, officially, but we’ve been ramping up our party planning for a while now. But we don’t operate like a stodgy, old company. We’re still a tight ship – privately owned, more a jet ski than a cruise liner. We can move fast and push boundaries. We’ve gone from being seen as a brand trapped in the ’60s to one of the most forward-thinking in entertainment.
But we don’t have the bottomless pockets of corporate comics like DC or Marvel. We have to be extremely selective when it comes to green-lighting a new project. That means we have to all – and by all, I mean myself and my trusted group of editors and execs – be in. We have to all believe the book is going to be of the highest quality and that it will find an audience.
We all felt that way when we read the first script for “Archie” by Mark Waid. We knew it would look amazing when artist Fiona Staples brought it to life. So, we let our minds wander a bit. What would we do if we could relaunch a few new books as part of this New Riverdale? A new “Jughead”? A new “Betty and Veronica”? A new “Life With Kevin”? We mapped out the creative teams – names like Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Dan Parent, J. Bone – it’s a veritable who’s who of top talent. But, in the reality we live in, we would have had to spread out the launches over a few years. To me, that would have lost some of the impact. We would have missed a moment created by the launch of “Archie #1.” We met with the great team at Kickstarter and realized that we could make all these amazing titles happen much more quickly if we enlisted the help of the most important people we know: our fans. With their backing, we can build a whole New Riverdale for fans – featuring the best characters in adventures written and drawn by the best creators. And we have a ton of exciting rewards and incentives that will make this a can’t-miss opportunity for fans of Archie old and new.
Goldwater: Adam is the perfect person to handle this book. He just got the look of Betty and Veronica instantly – from the first variant cover he did to the great one we just released with “Betty and Veronica #275.” And it’s not only the visuals. Adam knows that this book has to be more than just about Betty and Veronica competing over Archie – it has to be about friendship. it has to be about life in high school and the adventures you have with your best friend and what defines that relationship. Betty and Veronica are best friends first. They both like Archie, sure, but they are also the greatest of friends. You’ll see that in this book.
MTV: Chip Zdarsky’s been knocking it out of the park lately with his writing on “Howard the Duck” and “Kaptara.” How did he come on board for the Jughead series?
Goldwater: Chip has known Alex Segura, our PR chief, for a long time and they got to chatting after we announced “Archie #1.” Alex referred Chip to our president and me. Once we got to talking to him and heard his ideas, we knew it was perfect. Chip is a natural storyteller, and his unique, heartfelt and amazingly weird sense of humor just screamed Jughead to me. Hell, I’d say he IS Jughead. He, like Adam, was born to do the book he’s working on.
MTV: Kevin Keller’s only been around for the past five years, but he’s now one of the most recognizable characters in Riverdale. Is that something you all are proud of, given the initial controversy around him as an LGBT character?
Goldwater: Nothing makes me prouder than Kevin. He changed the entire comic book landscape and he changed this company. His introduction was us yelling from the mountaintops that this was not retro Archie. This was not Archie from 50 years ago. This was Archie today. It was a huge honor to introduce the first gay character in Riverdale and a huge responsibility to make sure he was a key and lasting part of this company’s story. We never saw Kevin as a flash in the pan or trick to make headlines. Kevin Keller is here to stay, and launching this new Life with Kevin series, by the man who has been with Kevin since day one, Dan Parent, and inker J. Bone, was a complete must.
Goldwater: Never say never. I think we’ve done a nice job of keeping people on their toes, but with that comes a sense of anticipation that I don’t want to tap into just to tap into it. We want people to not only be surprised, but we want them to be intrigued about what the story is. If there’s no story, if it’s just a gag, we’re not interested. So, we take each opportunity and look at it carefully. We have a few things in the works, but for now our main focus is building a New Riverdale with our fans that will last another 75 years.