Betty & Veronica Preview Pages

Boy, Archie’s really keeping this story going! The latest: a set of preview pages from Betty & Veronica Double Digest #151, due out May 9. Click on the thumbnails to see the full-size editions.

B&V Page 1B&V Page 2B&V Page 3

This is early work, pre-inking. The solicitation credits say that that will be done by Al Milgrom, which doesn’t bode well. Archie inkers typically use thick lines, and I don’t think that would be a good choice for this art. Hopefully, since this is a big-deal effort, particular care will be taken.

These pages suggest they’re hoping for new readers, given the clunky narration introducing the characters and their relationship.

I’m not impressed, because there’s not much special about this, nothing that stands out as particularly attractive or noticeable. The facial closeups and emotional emphasis come straight out of classic romance comics… and where’s the humor? Archie should be funny!

But then, I’m not the target — I already read their books, and I like the DeCarlo-created current style. And I’m not a teen or preteen.

Update: But I am, apparently, a friend of Betty’s. Yeeks!

17 Responses to “Betty & Veronica Preview Pages”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Those first three pages were hard to read. There is too much exposition and the exposition is poorly written. I don’t think either Betty or Veronica come off favorably in these pages. Betty appears jealous and mopey. Veronica seems selfish and shallow. Having Betty call their relationship a love triangle is awkward.

  2. David Welsh Says:

    Al Milgrom? That’s not the first name that comes to mind when a publisher is trying to freshen the look of a property.

  3. Jer Says:

    Heh – Al Milgrom huh? That will be – interesting I suppose.

    They said these were going to be longer stories too, didn’t they? Maybe they’ll get to the funny once they do the “new reader friendly” stuff. Or, they could be going for a new approach altogether and going for more soap opera, less funny. I don’t think that Archie’s writers will be able to pull that off, but they might be trying.

    Also, the folks who were worrying that Betty and Veronica should look exactly alike can stop worrying – they pretty much do here. And I guess that the short-haired girl wasn’t Ronnie after all. Maybe it IS supposed to be Midge.

  4. Barry Says:

    That looks awful.

  5. Bob Says:

    Wow, maybe you’ll be invited on their next ski trip!

    Milgrom’s a pretty versatile inker, so I suspect he’ll be able to do whatever’s asked of him with these pencils, whether DeCarlo-ize them or slick them up. Not much he can do about the deadly boring script, though.

  6. James Schee Says:

    So does that mean Archie will soon be over to moon over you too? Or Jughead to eat supper?:)

    At least they look like teens, as opposed to the pre-teens on the other page, in those pages.

  7. Nat Gertler Says:

    It’s easy to underestimate Al’s inking ability. He’s a very capable inker. However, working in the Marvel offices as he did and being capable of putting out a readable-if-not-beautiful inking job over a weekend, he was called to do that from time to time to keep Marvel comics on schedule. He often seems to be judged by his more egregious examples of rushed inks.

  8. David Welsh Says:

    Nat, can you recommend some of the stronger examples of his inking work? My memories all run to instances where his inks tended to overwhelm the style of whoever was doing pencils on a given comic.

  9. Anon E. Mouse Says:

    The script is the killer here. Even if aiming at new-to-the-Archiverse readers, it’s pretty deadly dull and spot on.

    One other thing is how the art needs a better story and characterizations. This could work as in a Montana/DeCarlo style but once the household staff becomes real, then Veronica moves from amusing stereotype into petty monster.

    And mind you, I’m someone who thinks breaking the art/story mold is a GOOD idea. This just ain’t it.

  10. Nat Gertler Says:

    The first example that comes to mind with Milgrom is just about any place he’s inking Jim Starlin. They made a strong team. I’m mentally trying to pull up some other examples, but it’s some Spidey-stuff here, some other guys there, and the old brain isn’t pulling up issue numbers.

  11. Brian Says:

    Re: Al Milgrom;
    Didn’t he shine inking over Ed Hannigan’s stuff? I grew up with them (I think) doing Peter Parker: tss-m, and always thought that was an underappreciated book, at least as far as the art was concerned. Those covers live in my memory still!

  12. David Welsh Says:

    No, Nat, I think I remember the stuff you’re talking about with Starlin, and that was a really good fit — very clean and supportive. Thanks!

  13. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Did Betty’s blog just make a sly digg at the Sabrina makeover today (12/29)??

    I have to be honest, I really wish this was true mutiny in the ranks at Archie.

  14. ::immonen illustrations inc:: - blog » rejected Says:

    […] Well the Betty and Veronica makeover story (a term I have come to prefer over “revamp”, “retcon” or even the less pejorative “redesign”) has taken on near-mythic proportions; apart from the usual mutterings from disgruntled neo-adolescents, it’s been covered in some unusual mass-market venues– the Wall Street Journal, et al. As well, Archie suits Rik Offenberger and Victor Gorelick have stepped up their online presence, and provided clarifications, explanations, hyperbole, fake blogs and more art. So what else need saying? […]

  15. Johanna Says:

    Ed, I don’t know if it was intended as a dig … but Betty’s comment “I talked to Sabrina Spellman about her makeover — she had no idea she was being redrawn; her new Manga self just “appeared” in an issue!” seems to me to give the wrong impression. If I recall correctly, issue #58, her first with the manga look, started with a short introduction to what manga was as a kind of transition.

  16. Liz Henry Says:

    If only the comments on that blog entry didn’t sound so fakey. And if only the blogs themselves were better and gave us the feeling of the secret life of the characters.

    Now I’m wondering what comic book characters would make good bloggers, or just silly ones. Bob the lizard from the Grimjack books would be a good one for LiveJournal, all memes and whining. “Smoooookes…”

  17. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » Manga diplomacy Says:

    […] Japan’s head otaku, Foreign Minister Taro Aso, plans to use Japanese pop culture as a diplomatic tool. One major obstacle is that aside from Aso, most high-level Japanese diplomats don’t read manga or watch anime. They are making diligent efforts to catch up, however. MangaBlog applauds this initiative and calls on other foreign leaders to do the same. Perhaps we can persuade President Bush to turn his attention to the Betty and Veronica makeover that is currently rending the comics blogosphere. […]




Most Recent Posts: