I blame Will Dennis.
The new issue of Archie — #635, written by me with art by Gisele and a great variant cover by Jill Thompson — got a nice plug in today’s amNY! Thanks to Scott Rosenberg for taking the time to speak to me about the issue. Kind of bizarre to pick up a paper on the way to work and see your picture (by my friend Bob Kidd!) in print, I have to say! But very cool.
Archie #635 – written by me, art by the super-talented Gisele and featuring a variant cover by the amazing Jill Thompson – is out today! The story, “Occupy Riverdale,” brings the movement to Archie’s hometown and features most of the major players in a hopefully fun adventure. Swing by your local comic shop and pick up a copy. Curious to hear what you all think.
Also, the issue features some fun cameos – namely, NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan and traffic/weather reporter Jamie Shupak. I’d known for a while that Pat and Jamie were huge Archie fans, and I was on the lookout for a chance to get them into one of our books for a while. When I got the “Occupy” assignment, it all clicked into place. Very excited it came together and even more excited for the kind words and NY1 name-check this morning!
Anyway, enjoy the issue. While it tackles a serious and relevant topic, we tried hard to make it fun and very much an Archie story. Hope you enjoy.
Been on the road for the last week or so, and spent the last few days readjusting to NY, life and work. Here’s a quick roundup of what I’ve been reading and currently enjoying.
The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow: I was a little hesitant at first with this book. I love, love, loved Savages. It was, hands down, my favorite book of 2010. So, the idea of going back in time and exploring the origins of Ben, Chon and O (timed to the release of the movie version of Savages, natch) kind of rubbed me wrong. I’m just not a big fan of prequels. I have an issue with already knowing how a character’s going to end up. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a necessary addition to the Savages story, and made me want to re-read that book. Winslow dives into the characters fully, and creates a fluid, kinetic and fun adventure that stands on its own as a great crime novel. I was reading this in the days leading up to me seeing Savages the film, which made for an interesting viewing experience. More on that later. Short version: If you dug Savages, Kings of Cool is on par and worth your time. Winslow isn’t trying to cash in. There was obviously another story to tell involving these characters and he’s told it.
Clockers by Richard Price: Speaking of books and their movie versions, reading Clockers has been a long time coming. I saw the Spike Lee joint a few years ago. It didn’t bowl me over. It was alright. I had just finished Price’s lovely Lush Life and foolishly decided to watch the movie before the book. Unimpressed by the movie, I put reading Clockers on hold. I feel foolish now. The book, not surprisingly, is much more nuanced than the film and adds a depth to the characters that just didn’t make it onscreen. The two leads — burnt out homicide detective Rocco and Dempsy “clocker” Strike — are two sides of the same tarnished coin, and their alternating narratives push the story forward well. Price is great at showing you life on the street — warts and all. This isn’t romanticized, and there’s a plot element that he adds early on that makes that very clear. I’m only about a third into the book, but it’s definitely worth your time if you’re a crime fiction fan. I’ll be seeking out the rest of the Price library, stat.
Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez: I’m a bad comic book fan. There’s no other way to explain why it’s taken me so long to get to Love & Rockets. I’m a huge Dan DeCarlo fan, obviously, and his influence on the Hernandez Bros. is obvious. But there’s more to it than that. I’m only a few chapters in and already hooked on, well, everything — art, story, characters. I don’t want to make any sweeping comments about the series yet, but I did buy the next two volumes of Jaime’s story to keep me busy for the rest of the summer. Thanks to Jacq Cohen at Fantagraphics and Sean T. Collins for their help and guidance on this huge gap in my comic book reading.
First off, San Diego Comic-Con was a blast — saw a lot of great friends, contacts and colleagues and made a slew of new ones. We had some major announcements, busy panels and I got to sign comics with Gene Simmons and the Archie Meets Kiss creative team of artist Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski. The show’s always a blur for me, but I’ve yet to come out of one without a slew of wonderful memories. I’m still exhausted and my sense of time is out of whack, but it was worth it. Here are a few things you may have missed:
• AOL’s Comics Alliance announced Archie vs. KISS, the sequel to Archie Meets KISS, by yours truly and artist Dan Parent. The article also spotlights Dan’s career, which is worth a read! (Comics Alliance)
• Newsarama spoke to me on the con floor about our big announcements, including Archie Meets Glee, Archie’s deal with MAC Cosmetics and the aforementioned Archie vs. KISS. (Newsarama)
• Everyone should take a minute to read Tom Spurgeon’s essay on his weight loss and recent San Diego experience. I was very happy to see Tom at the show, as always, but doubly so because of how energetic and healthy he looked. Keep it up, man. (Comics Reporter)
The gang at Buzzfeed, particularly Donna D/@MildlyAmused, listed me as one of the “26 Definitive Twitter Feeds for Comic-Con‘! Craziness. I’m there with some stellar peeps, including my close bro-for-life Ryan Penagos and the always awesome Bonnie Burton. Follow everyone on this list! You’ll be glad.
My lovely fiancé Eva made the list, too, as she’s in my Twitter avatar!
Things will be relatively quiet here on the site for a week or so – I’ll be in San Diego for the pop culture insanity that is San Diego Comic-Con!
I’ll be there mainly in my role as Archie Comics‘ Vice President – Publicity and Marketing, but I’ll also be wearing my “writer” hat for a few signings, moderating a handful of panels and spending time at the Arche Comics booth.
Signing-wise, I’ll be scribbling on copies of ARCHIE MEETS KISS (and whatever else from my comic writing career you’d like me to sign!) at the Archie Booth (#2842) on Thursday from 5-6 pm, Friday (with GENE SIMMONS and ARCHIE MEETS KISS artist Dan Parent) from 4-5 pm and Saturday from 5-6 pm. Swing by! Say hello! I promise to be friendly and probably frazzled.
Additionally, I’ll be moderating Archie’s three panels at SDCC – Red Circle Comics on Thursday, Archie Comics on Saturday and Sonic/Mega Man Sunday. You can get all the particulars right here.
Hope to see you there!