PR: What Not to Do: Archie Aiming at Marvel

This doesn’t strike me as a good idea. The most popular Archie Digests sell over 110,000 copies an issue, but they aren’t going to your typical comic shop audience. Are the readers going to get the reference, or care?

From the pages of Marvel Comic’s [sic] Civil War to DC’s World War III, the comics community has been facing strife and conflict, turning brothers against each other, and friends against friends. The fever pitch of war has hit Riverdale High as Archie and Jughead turn against each other in “CIVIL CHORE!” Archie Comics takes its look at the divisions that shake the foundation for the comics community and we ask our loyal readers…

Civil Chore art


It all begins when Archie complains to his Father [sic — at least, I’m assuming that Archie’s not complaining to God] that he needs a raise in his allowance for all the chores he does. Archie’s Father tells him facetiously if he doesn’t like it to go on strike. Archie decides to follow his Father’s advice, and begins marching around his yard with a strike sign demanding an allowance increase. As the other kids from the neighborhood pass by they join up with Archie. All the kids in town are in favor of the strike until Jughead sees what’s going on! Jughead quickly realizes two things; first, while Archie is on strike he’s not making any money so Jughead can’t borrow any for his hamburger habit and two if he does get more money, he can afford to make dates with Betty & Veronica on the same night causing more times Jughead has to help get Archie out of trouble. So, Jughead starts striking AGAINST the kids want a raise in their allowances. When Veronica finds out what’s going on she also joins Jughead’s side realizing that if Betty gets an increase in her allowance Betty will be able to buy nicer clothes or even treat Archie to dates. This would take away from Veronica’s time with Archie. These events lead to a deep division between the kids at Riverdale High, as everyone chooses a side. WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON!

Given all that, why do we even need to read the story? That’s much too much plot summary.

Since it’s Archie, of course the status quo will be restored before the end of all this. The story will appear in Tales From Riverdale Digest #22, due in July. That’s a long time to expect those fans who do get the joke to remember it.

3 Responses to “PR: What Not to Do: Archie Aiming at Marvel”

  1. Tommy Raiko Says:

    Oh, I dunno. This may be a silly publisher trick, but I don’t know that it’s cringeworthily stupid like some other things you hear about.

    Despite all the references to Marvel’s Civil War in this (far too detailed) copy, the story seems to be fairly typical Archie fare that doesn’t require a foreknowledge of the Marvel story (Certainly the pun “Civil Chore” is understandable whether or not you follow what Iron Man and Captain America are up to.) And if Archie thought they could drum up a little more interest from the traditional comics market by drawing comparisons to the Marvel story, that’s understandable too (and, heck, might even work!)

  2. Johanna Says:

    I’m seeing several indications that Archie is trying to pursue the direct market more than they have in the past, and I’m not sure at all it’s a good idea for them. They have strength in a market that no other comics have access to (with their digests, whose only other competition was Disney Adventures, and I don’t think they do many comics any more). I’d rather see them trade on that strength (such as “hey, Mr. Direct Market Retailer, we sell to this audience quite well, let’s work together to get them into your stores”) than trying to ride the coattails of the latest DM fad.

    Although I suspect you’re right, in that the story may have little to nothing to actually remind readers of the Marvel marketing ploy.

  3. Bill Galvan Says:

    Yeah, I don’t see this as a “Stupid Publisher Trick”, either. Archie has a history of parodying the superhero genre, and I think that this is just another story in that tradition. I think that if a mainstream comic buyer sees this in a supermarket, they’ll get the reference and maybe check it out. If they aren’t in that group, it looks like an interesting story anyway.




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