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Friday, August 14, 2015 

Once, Archie mattered. But does Waid's approach?

Macleans recently wrote about the history of Archie's comics. Granted, they are right that output of the past has its value. But at the beginning, when they're talking about Mark Waid's reboot, they say:
The best Archie writers, like Frank Doyle, made no attempt to mimic the way real teenagers acted and spoke, instead using stylized, deliberately old-fashioned slang. One difference with the new Waid run is that he’s actually trying to get teenagers to read the comic, which requires a slightly more realistic approach.
Does it really? This is another example of the unproven notion that realistic storytelling is all audiences of any generation care about. Yet there's just so many manga tales from Japan - which are chock full of unrealistic situations - that are doing well with many readers, women and teens included, yet they act like foreign stories are an exception to their contrived rules, fully exempt from what we expect in a comic written in the USA. That's not so at all, and telling mainstream writers surrealism is bad only hurts creativity.

There's never genuine "realism" in worlds with science-fantasy prevalent. And even Archie's had their share of sci-fi stories, so they shouldn't act like so-called realism is a full requirement. Also, if they looked at the low sales, it shouldn't take much to figure out hardly any teens are reading Archie anymore. That could be attributed in part to the intrusive politics they forced in recently, and whether teenagers want realism, it doesn't mean they want agendas crowding up the books being offered.

As for Waid, he was once known for at least a few books in the 90s, but post-2000 lost his way. That's why his writing no longer matters.

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They intend to get teenagers to read this? Have today's teens ever even heard of Archie? And why would they go to this book for teen realism/drama when they can watch the CW or other networks and see it played out by three dimensional people? And how is Waid of all people going to capture modern day teenage realism? Bring some high schoolers onboard as co-plotters?

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