What’s Going on at Archie?

At the official Archie site, Betty has a blog. Ok, that’s typical marketing.

However, this post, about the upcoming makeover, is a bit odd: Betty hates the idea (link no longer available).

Veronica Santa

I mean, have you SEEN these new drawings? THEY’RE HORRIBLE!!! Veronica looks ORDINARY — and you know THAT will never fly with Veronica. And the new “me” doesn’t even look like she knows what a socket wrench IS… let alone how to use one to change a flat tire! In my opinion, I have been doomed to the fate of Air-headed Fashion Plate. Eeewww!!

Veronica is LIVID! She’s already talking to her dad’s lawyers. As for me, well, I’ll leave all the legal stuff to her. Am I mad? Yeah, I’m mad and I don’t mind telling you I cried a little, too.

Veronica and I have been THE Archie Comics Duo for longer than I can remember! We’ve worked really hard to keep current! And what thanks do we get? Some guy with a box of colored pencils gets called in to re-draw us!

It’s an OUTRAGE!!

There’s more, including a request to send comments to support her. As expected, most of them are about how much they hate it too and how they’ll stop buying.

Betty Santa

The next post (link no longer available) suggests SOMEONE was aware of a line being crossed…

I’d also like to thank our BOSSES at Archie Comics Headquarters for posting our… um… rant yesterday. They didn’t have to give Veronica and me the space on their website, but they were gracious about it… and I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!

That said, Veronica and I have decided we really aren’t comfortable blogging here on the corporate website, in light of our CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE MAKEOVER. So we’ve started our very own independent BLOGS!

Currently at Betty’s new blog is this picture of her in really short-skirted Santa gear and a recipe for popcorn balls. Update: Thanks to Ed for pointing out the similar Veronica blog, although hers is as shallow as you’d expect.

Is this the Archie equivalent of Marvel’s Assistant Editors’ Month? Did someone leave for the holidays without logging out of the blog posting account? Or is this more milking the story, or are they setting up for a quick return to the traditional style by saying they were only responding to their readers?


18 Responses to “What’s Going on at Archie?”

  1. Brian Cronin Says:

    That is soooo bizarre.

  2. Comics Should Be Good! » An Odd Tempest in a Teapot Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson had an interesting link to a blog by “Betty” which is hosted by Archie Comics, and in it, “Betty” rails against the change even!! Yes, even fictional characters are freaking out about this tempest in a teapot! […]

  3. Phil Says:

    This reminds me of the controversial redesign of Dennis the Menace (the UK character) a few years ago, which turned out to be just a single-issue publicity stunt. I suspect that all of this is a preplanned stunt and that in a few weeks the new look will be abandoned.

  4. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Veronica also has her own blog and an equally skimy Christmas outfit. So it is strangeness squared.

  5. Justin Says:

    Betty has had her own blog for a while. It was mostly just fluff bits, and I think it might have only been monthly or something at one point. While quite bizarre, for whatever reason I find it refreshing.

  6. Ed Sizemore Says:

    I don’t read Archie comics often, so forgive the ignorance. When did Betty become an auto mechanic? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see her brag about her independence as a woman, just why the specific references to auto repair?

  7. Johanna Says:

    Oh, there’s a history of stories in which Betty’s better at fixing Archie’s car than he is. It’s kind of a symbol/shorthand for her welcome tomboyish skills and abilities.

  8. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Thanks for the info Johanna.

  9. Blog@Newsarama » Betty turns out to be the rebellious one after all. Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson has noticed something fascinating about the upcoming Archie revamp: At the official Archie site, Betty has a blog. Ok, that’s typical marketing. However, this post, about the upcoming makeover, is a bit odd: Betty hates the idea… The next post suggests SOMEONE was aware of a line being crossed… […]

  10. James Schee Says:

    Gosh that’s gotta make that artist they hired to do the redesign feel good this holiday season. When even the company is taking potshots before the story even comes out.

    The shame is that the Archie main books could probably use a bit of a revamp. Not sure about the little one off they are doing, one preview page didn’t look promising.

    Yet they probably never will get much of a change because they are such a big line and the other marketing stuff involved.

    You can change the smaller, insular books like Sabrina. Which thankfully thanks to great talent has been really great. Yet with the others there is just too much going against them.

  11. Crocodile Caucus » Wednesday Tidbits Says:

    […] Wow. So, the ghost writer who wrote an official, fictional blog for Archie Comics heroine Betty complained about an upcoming revamp of the character and then moved to another blog off of Archie Comics’ website to air greviences against the new look? How strange. […]

  12. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Well, we know the people at Archie are reading the blogs. Betty’s blog thanks Johanna by name and Veronica’s blog thanks Brian at Comics Should Be Good. If the internet reaction is negative enough, will they scrap the make-over? I have to admit it makes for some interesting reading.

  13. Jer Says:

    “If the internet reaction is negative enough, will they scrap the make-over?”

    Gads, I hope not – comics Internet fandom represents some of the most reactionary parts of comics fandom in general – as most of the discussions about Archie comics daring to change anything have put on display for all to see. Archie’s target market skews much younger than the comics Internet does, and is going to be much less reactionary to change (younger folks USUALLY are more amenable to changes in stuff like this).

    Now, their revamp may end up being a horrible mistake, but unless they actually put it out there were people can buy it, they won’t know what their readers think. They’ll only know what a group of older comics fans on the Internet think – and some of those folks haven’t picked up an Archie comic in two or more decades.

    I would hate to see comics companies changing their strategies before even trying them out just because of the say so of a bunch of fans on the Internet – that would be silly. They shouldn’t be jumping in these kinds of changes willy-nilly anyway, and if their market research is so shaky that a bunch of older fans on the Internet can sway their plans for a pre-teen comic book, they should be doing better market research.

  14. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, I agree — at this point, they don’t lose anything by running the stories. A certain type of fan loves buying stuff they hate… and Archie comics are getting a lot more press than they have in a long time, both mainstream and internet. I wish I could find the clip of Meredith Viera on the Today Show showing the art and then saying how she doesn’t like it.

  15. Oliver Says:

    Yeah, I admit the new art style is not favorable over the current and lasting one.

    What I’ve been noticing, though, is that Archie Publications is trying many different things to attract more readers (e.g. changing the logos on the digests almost every issue, Sabrina makeover, removal of Josie and the Pussycats and Katy Keene from Archie and Friends, renaming Archie and Friends, adding color backgrounds to the digests and then scrapping them entirely, and so on).

    I’m worried that Archie might be so desperate for more readers that they might just claim bankruptcy soon. In fact, I don’t see them lasting another five years if sales continue to drop each and every year.

    Who knows? Maybe the new Archie All-Stars will be 3 issues long or 150? I love reading the comics but people are just not biting.

  16. Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Unbound: Calling Riverdale on your iPhone Says:

    […] impending wedding, she got 184 comments. That’s pretty enviable for any publisher’s blog. (This backfired, as these things so often do, during the New Look controversy: Betty and Veronica used their blogs […]

  17. Groovy Superhero Says:

    You had me at “popcorn balls”.

  18. Mark Says:

    I am *years* late to this I know, but man that is some funny stuff.

    Never liked the new look either, too ordinary.




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