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Saturday, February 10, 2018 

Archie's bringing back the classic design, suggesting the new didn't work

Some time after Archie went out of their way to throw out the cartoonish character designs they were once noted for, they're now bringing them back, as told in this CBR interview with artist Dan Parent. But first, what's the reporter starting with:
The past few years have proven once again that the Archie Comics characters can be reinvented and reinterpreted in as many different ways — maybe more — as comic book icons like Superman and Batman. The current trend started in comic books such as Life with Archie (Archie and the gang dealing with serious adult problems) and Afterlife with Archie (Archie and the gang dealing with the zombie apocalypse), and continued in the “New Riverdale” era of publishing, with a visual style more reflective of contemporary comic books than the distinctive artwork of Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg or original Archie artist Bob Montana.
But have they proven artistically and financially successful? Nope. What they engaged in was just products they thought would appeal to grownups who grew out of the original approach, under the flawed assumption former consumers would actually take interest again if the stories were more violent and such. It's offensive and demeaning to adults to assume they only care about bloodletting and can't enjoy an all-ages story. Similarly, it's a slight to think modern audiences can't appreciate DeCarlo, Montana and Goldberg's original character designs.
The CW’s hit Riverdale TV series has shown that Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead somehow fit perfectly into serial killer and crime family narratives, and now in the various current comics, Jughead’s a werewolf, Veronica’s a vampire and Betty and Veronica are both in a biker gang. So it figures that it’s as good of a time as any for a return to the classic Archie Comics format of five-page all-ages stories, DeCarlo-inspired art and plenty of pals and gals, in a new series titled Betty & Veronica Friends Forever.
"Somehow"? Oh, that's a real laugh riot. What they produced for TV is just another example of the desperation that's overcome much of the entertainment industry.

At least they may have realized their recent shift wasn't working, and that's why they're reinstating the original character designs. It's just a shame that Parent's the same artist/writer who conceived the Kevin Keller character as their own social justice entry. The interview paragraphs include:
CBR: Dan, much like the recent Your Pal Archie, Betty & Veronica Friends Forever is a return to the classic Archie style in single issue monthly comics. But while YPA featured updated character designs, this looks even more like a return to the “classic Archie” visuals, now primarily seen in the digests. How do you define this new series?

Dan Parent: Well, where Your Pal Archie was a tweaked version of the classic, Betty & Veronica Friends Forever is true classic! Back to the five-page story format, drawn in the classic style!
That may be the good news, but then, there's this vague statement:
Beyond Betty and Veronica, what other Archie characters will we see in this series?

The whole gang is here! And then some!
If that's a hint the Keller character will return unchanged from the propaganda angle he began with, that'll be the bad news. If they're willing to drop that, then they might even stand a chance of regaining family/children audiences, but if they don't, then classic character designs alone won't be enough. Especially if there's going to be more of that Occupy junk in store. We don't need more of that overly political propaganda cluttering up modern comics.

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People still dare to defend Riverdale after everything it has done to normalise rapey plotlines in the Archie/Grundy relationship! This is insane!

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