Tag Archive: Archie Comics


FCBD 2021 Judge Dredd  FCBD 2021 School Extra Girls

Today at Elite Comics and your local comic book shop–Free Comic Book Day is returning for 2021.  Often overlapping with the annual Star Wars Day–May the Fourth–this year it was pushed out a few months to Saturday, August 14.  A good excuse to visit your local comic book shop and get re-introduced to some series you may have missed, the annual FCBD is also a way to check out some titles you may otherwise have overlooked.  Below, check out some of the covers and titles coming your way for FCBD 2021 today!

FCBD 2021 Sonic  FCBD 2021 Star Wars

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Chilling 9 a Chilling 9 b

Anyone who has followed comic books for a few years knows that you can rarely predict when they will arrive, especially for the very best titles.  Often it’s because of other commitments from the creators, or more important life issues that need to be addressed first.  We’ve seen this with Frank Cho’s Guns & Dinos series, which got a great preview from Diamond–the main comics source for the U.S.–then it never arrived.  Writer-artist Frank Miller’s projects were notorious for not arriving on time.  Some of these are worth the wait, like each new issue of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard (discussed last week here), and Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, and Jack Morelli′s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina from Archie Comics’ Archie Horror imprint.  It’s been four years since we saw the release of the eighth issue of that Sabrina series, but we now have our first look at Issue #9, coming in time for Halloween.

Check out the covers, and a look inside below, and take a look at a surprise from Archie Comics: a continuation of the Netflix Chilling Adventures of Sabrina television series, which ended after its fourth season, heading your way in a new comic book series.  It’s all part of the 60th anniversary of Sabrina Spellman in the pages of Archie Comics.

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FCBD 2021 Judge Dredd  FCBD 2021 School Extra Girls

A long time from now in a galaxy far, far away–actually at your local comic book shop–Free Comic Book Day is returning for 2021.  Often overlapping with the annual Star Wars Day–May the Fourth–this year it’s being pushed out a few months to Saturday, August 14.  A good excuse to visit your local comic book shop and get re-introduced to some series you may have missed, the annual FCBD is also a way to check out some titles you may otherwise have overlooked.  This week comic book retailers revealed the results of the FCBD committee’s selections for this year’s freebies.  What made the cut?  It seems plenty early, but now you have no excuse to know what you want when you get to the front of the line.  Below, check out some of the covers and titles coming your way for FCBD 2021 this August!

FCBD 2021 Sonic  FCBD 2021 Star Wars

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It had a promising first and third season, twists and turns, clever story arcs, and a contender for the most faithful adaptation of a comic book series from the past decade.  The creators of the fourth and final season of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina gave 2020 a much-needed batch of two complete seasons, and we already gave the third season kudos in the 2020 Best of TV review here at borg.  Kiernan Shipka proved to be one of TV’s best young actors, embodying a character that is next in line after Buffy Summers, Veronica Mars, and Liv Moore as young genre heroines who led series you can count on the first time and after re-watches.  Already a contender for one of the best TV series of this century, and one of Netflix’s most creative efforts, how did the final season fare for our heroine Sabrina Spellman?

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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Except for this year with the beaches closed. But you can always sit back and catch up on the pages of Archie Comics via some new books arriving soon at a comic book store near you.  The high point from Archie this summer is this great homage cover to the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer #1 hit album from 1974 that rode the Billboard charts for 155 weeks, my own personal most-listened to album ever (you owe it to yourself to listen to this great compilation album of the band’s hits–check it out here at Amazon).  The homage cover was created by Jeff Shultz and Rosario “Tito” Peña after artist Keith McConnell′s original album cover (designed just after McConnell’s tour as Marine Corps artist in the Vietnam War and a while before he would return to war as an artist in Desert Storm).

Here is the original double vinyl cover:

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To commemorate its 80th anniversary as home to some of pop culture’s most iconic characters, Archie Comics is publishing a series of special digital-exclusive one-shot comics.  Begin with Archie, Josie & the Pussycats, Veronica Lodge as Powerteen with Blackjack, plus Jughead, Cheryl Blossom, New Crusaders, Betty & Veronica, Katy Keene, and Young Salem–available now at comiXology, the Archie App, Hoopla, or wherever you get digital comics.  Then coming next week is Sabrina and Sam Hill: Private Eye, and some artist spotlights, looking at creator Harry Lucey, then on May 20, it’s Dotty & Ditto with Bob Phantom, with a spotlight on Dan DeCarlo, and finally artist Dan Parent on May 27.  Check out some looks back–inside a few of these issues–below, and a schedule of releases.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The most twists and turns, the most clever story arcs, and the most faithful adaptation of a comic book series you’ve seen so far.  After a great first season but a ho-hum sophomore season, the creators of the third season of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina kicked every aspect of the show into high gear, making for the best season of any series so far on the streaming provider (yep, including that first season of Stranger Things).  So often it’s easy to binge watch every new series.  But the best you reserve to savor, and each episode of the third season was like a good movie.  More magic, more of the supernatural, and more gold nuggets from centuries of folklore took these established characters and made them shine in exciting new ways, giving us the rare third season that bettered earlier seasons.  Great characters, great stories, great actors, and great writing as the witches of Greendale must fend off an attack by pagans that could mean the end for them and the mortals over eight action-packed episodes.  The season should put the series on anyone’s contender for best series of the year, even if we are only at February–it’s probably Netflix’s most riveting season of programming so far.

Has anyone done this before?  I’m talking about Robert Aguirre-Sacasa.  From the pages of Archie Comics, in 2014 Aguirre-Sacasa took Sabrina Spellman, a 50-year-old supporting character, and with a lot of love and dedication, and the visuals of artist Robert Hack, made her relevant for comic book readers in a new millennium in the pages of Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  Then he took her story to television and created a hit show to match, and kept it going for three seasons (with a fourth season due by year end).  Has any comic book series received this expert an adaptation and a singular champion of a classic character?

In front of the camera, Kiernan Shipka owns her title character and performs at the level of an actress who’s been doing it for 25 years.  Stunningly confident, she carries a swagger when called for as if Clint Eastwood or Arnold Schwarzenegger or some other big movie star’s badass character walked onto the set.  Viewers believe her because she knows this character, able to flip from several versions of a put-upon, angsty high school teen to a genuine leader, fierce manipulator, and ferocious force to be reckoned with–even the forces of evil know to stay out of her way.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s not an overstatement to say Francesco Francavilla is the artist who brought Archie Comics back to life.  At the very least he has turned a new generation of readers onto one of comicdom’s longest lasting titles.  Along with Jon Goldwater and Alex Segura behind the scenes and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and later artist Robert Hack in the pages of the monthly books, it was Francavilla’s haunting, brand new look at Riverdale and its teen characters that kick-started reader interest in new titles and take another look at the classic stories, the ones with the traditional Dan DeCarlo look that 70 years of readers were familiar with.  Francavilla, the Eisner Award-winning cover artist, is the focus of a new hardcover book Archie Comics is premiering this Wednesday.  Featuring all of his Archie Comics standard covers and variants, plus selected interior artwork and cover artwork for books outside the Archie universe, The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla is a must for collectors of his books and neo-pulp styled art prints.

In part because of his use of fantastic colors for his imagery, his designs seem to pop on every page.  You’ll find his several covers for Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vampironica, Jughead the Hunger, Archie Meets Batman, Archie vs Sharknado, Archie vs Predator, Chilling Adventures in Sorcery, Riverdale, Life with Archie, Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, and Josie and the Pussycats.  Other pages highlight Francavilla’s style on the covers of New Crusaders, The Black Hood, and The Hangman.  The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla also includes some cover and page roughs–preliminary sketches used for approval and story breaking, all shown along with the final versions.  You’ll also find exclusive cover art from convention-only covers and other variants.

Woule we have a Riverdale television series if not for Francavilla’s darker look at Archie?  Probably not.  Here is a first look at some advance preview pages of The Archie Art of Francesco Francavilla for borg readers courtesy of Archie Comics:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you’re wondering who is the best current comic book interior artist, you only need to turn to the current issue of Archie Comics/Dark Horse Comics′ mash-up series, Archie vs. Predator II: Revenge Comes to Riverdale.  Consistently Robert Hack is one of the industry’s best producing artists, and with this series he immerses readers into new territory where sci-fi meets small town America.  And he’s a double threat–take a look at his incredible covers for Issues #1-3 above and below with co-creator Kelly Fitzpatrick (along with a nice variant cover from Francesco Francavilla).

Dark Horse Comics and Archie Comics have partnered again, bringing back writer Alex de Campi, who crafted the initial bestselling 2015 story (for both publishers) with artist Fernando Ruiz.  Our preview below takes you right into the story where de Campi last left us.  Something’s not quite right with Archie Andrews, and Betty and Veronica are attempting to track down a “Diagon Alley” of sorts called Memory Lane to get everyone back to where they are supposed to be.  Funny and clever, it’s peppered with pop culture references, and some of Betty and Veronica’s best frenemy banter.  Predator dogs!  The Mars Curiosity rover!

  

Artists Rick Burchett, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent, and Billy Tucci are providing some great cover variants for the series, too.

You won’t want to miss it.  Here is a preview of the first issue of Archie vs. Predator II, plus a look at the variant covers, courtesy of Archie Comics:

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