Tag Archive: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa


AfterlifeWithArchieMagazine_01-0

Archie Comics is expanding its reach today as its successful dark zombie mash-up monthly Afterlife with Archie is reproduced in a new magazine format.  Bundled with previews of the newest dark tie-in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and some classic horror comics, its sure to be a hit with readers of horror and those who grew up with Archie and his friends.

And what’s better than laying your mitts on an over-sized edition of Francesco Francavilla’s powerful illustrations from one of this year’s best series?  It’s a great series to start up during the Halloween season for everyone from teens on up.

Contributors to the new Afterlife with Archie Magazine, include writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Vicente Alcazar, and artists Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli, Robert Hack, Vicente Alcazar, Jim Mooney, and Gray Morrow.

Archie clip

After the break, check out a preview of the new magazine, courtesy of Archie Comics:

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Sabrina_01-0   BettyAndVeronicaComicsDigest_227-0

Archie Comics is ushering in the Halloween spirit starting today with a range of comic books that will appeal to different demographics.  Fans of classic Archie will enjoy issues from two series, Archie & Friends and Betty and Veronica Comics Digest, while fans of Afterlife with Archie will dig into Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  We have previews of all three after the break, courtesy of Archie Comics.

Archie & Friends Ghost Stories is available in an exclusive digital format.  It has that Archie Comics storytelling and artwork just like you read as a kid with several fun stories.   Betty and Veronica’s Comics Digest, Issue #227, features kid friendly stories by Angelo DeCesare.  Here’s the teaser for the issue:

Halloween’s not just for kids anymore—now even pets are getting in on all the fun!  When Betty and Veronica notice a sign for a costume contest for pets they find it silly—but everyone knows the girls can’t avoid a friendly competition!  Who will win best in spooky show: will it be Veronica’s pampered pooch or Betty’s feline friend?  Find out in “Costume Drama,” the fun, NEW lead story to this comics digest! 

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Issue #1, is for a “teen+” audience.  Here’s the publisher’s description of the series:

Terror is born anew in this dark reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s origin.  On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey.  But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.  Archie Comic’s latest horror sensation starts here!

The story is by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with some inspired interior artwork by Robert Hack and Jack Morelli with covers by Hack.

And while you’re at the comic book store, pick up the trade edition of Afterlife with Archie!  It’s a great Halloween read.

Enjoy these three previews, starting with Archie & Friends Ghost Stories:

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With Issue #5 available at comic book stores this week, Archie Comics’ groundbreaking Afterlife with Archie wraps its first story arc.  Bridging a classic group of characters with the horror and zombie genres, it may be the most mainstream route to buying into this zombie thing for those who haven’t been pulled over the fence yet with The Walking Dead.

Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done the unthinkable, taking the most popular Golden Age non-superhero series full of 1940s and 1950s values–truly a title for all ages–and ripped Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty’s world from its seams.  And Francesco Francavilla brings some of his best work, and finest horror imagery, to the series.

Afterlife with Archie trade paperback

It all started when someone hit Jughead’s best pal, his dog Hot Dog, with a car.  From the pages of a Stephen King book, Jughead begins a quest that engages Sabrina the Teenage Witch to bring Hot Dog back from the dead.  What Hot Dog brings back with him was not foreseen, and the result is a fight for Archie and his remaining living friends to escape Riverdale, while they still can.

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Afterlife with Archie main cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

Nothing is more impressive than someone creating an original work that makes you interested in something you were not interested in before.  Even better, when someone creates a new mash-up that brings together two concepts that just can’t go together–like Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Sabrina–and zombies.  Yet they make it work.  A candidate for best single issue comic book this year is Issue #1 of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla’s new series Afterlife with Archie.

It’s so wrong, and yet so right.  I reader Archie Comics as a kid, but I still haven’t been swept up by the zombie thing… until now.  Heavily influenced by the monster comics of Bernie Wrightson, the art in Afterlife with Archie is as good as it gets.  Eisner winner Francavilla’s style is entirely his own, and like his Black Beetle series discussed here at borg.com earlier this year, readers are transported to the vision of the past as seen in Golden Age comic books.  Even the paper and printing on Issue #1 feels like you’re holding a 1940s comic book in your hands.  Francavilla brings together the classic characters of the Archie universe and the creepiness of “how the end of the world begins”.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

One-shot comic books—those issues that carry a complete story in typically about 24-30 pages, usually to fill a gap in a publishers current showcase of stories, remind readers of characters of the past, or even introduce a work in its own right with no intention of continuing on in a series—don’t often result in much that is memorable.  A book like Batman: The Killing Joke is an example of the best kind, and the recent Green Arrow Incorporated is an example of one that doesn’t stick with you very long after reading.

But the new series Avengers Origins has started off right with its volume of expected one-shot issues of more obscure Marvel Comics superheroes, beginning last week with Ant-Man & the Wasp.  Like all one-shots, the story must be told quickly and here writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has double-duty with two characters, albeit with an intertwined story.  He is pretty successful with Ant-Man and lesser so with the Wasp.  But the big takeaway from this issue is the almost dream-state painting style of French artist Stephanie Hans.  Her animal and insect work evokes David Petersen’s Mouse Guard work, and her depiction of Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, is both realistic and unreal.  In fact it is her creature drawings and work on Janet that counterbalances the lack of story and character development that Aguirre-Sacasa brings to Janet.

The story encompasses the back story of Dr. Henry Pym, seeking a grant to fund research into shrinking technologies after his wife is murdered, accidentally crosses paths with Janet Van Dyne, daughter of another scientist seeking grant money.  Henry is stodgy and over-focused on his work, Janet is free-spirited.  Their relationship slowly grows and doesn’t actually come together until literally the last panel. What is missing is chemistry…why she falls for him so quickly.  But all this is forgivable for the brief page count, as the rest of the story is packed with action and interesting curiosities.

Pym’s story is straight out of the classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man, although Pym takes a surprising turn at immediately taking toward liking the insects he is confronted with, experiencing no fear of horse-sized ants, and instead bonding with them and working on problems together.  That cornerstone of his character is nicely revealed.

Van Dyne’s story becomes a hurried vengeance origin that forces the reader to remember the Stan Lee school of obtaining superpowers: Sometimes you just have to accept gamma rays for what they are, a quick mechanism to move you along to focus more on character and relationships.  The how of becoming the Wasp is revealed so fast that you don’t really have time to scratch your head and question it.

Ultimately Aguirre-Sacasa and Hans come together to create a really good looking book, and the cover Marko Djurdjevic is a real eye-grabber.

If your only exposure to Ant-Man is the Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), Phil Hester (Bionic Man, Green Arrow) and Ande Parks (Union Station, Green ArrowThe Irredeemable Ant-Man short-lived series, this issue is a good flashback to the original Ant-Man story, before the off-the-wall Eric O’Grady sneaked into Dr. Pym’s lab and got his own ant suit.  If you haven’t read The Irredeemable Ant-Man, then there’s no time like the present to check out that funny series, also known for its great covers, showing the little hero actually was present in a previously released, character-packed, Frank Cho cover.  And if you’re missing the other famous little superhero, the Ray Parker Atom character from DC Comics—who inexplicably doesn’t have his own series in the New 52—maybe someone at DC will get some inspiration from Hans’s drawings of a tiny guy in a big world to resurrect that character.

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