Archie Gets Political With Occupy Riverdale

Archie cover by Jill Thompson

Several sites have covered this brief Archie Comics blog post (no longer available) about an upcoming “Occupy Riverdale” story to appear in Archie #635 due in July 2012.

It’s typical of Archie lately to pick storylines based on what will get them free press coverage, especially if it’s a hot-button political issue, such as gay marriage, or here, economic inequality.

Archie cover by Jill Thompson

Using Veronica and her family to personalize the issue is a great idea, actually, and I hope they follow through on it. Archie’s got a long history of tackling political debates, as with this 1971 story about draft-dodging or this sillier piece about shorts not being appropriate for being seen in public. It’s nice to see them continuing that tradition here.

While I haven’t cared for the one piece of Archie writing by Alex Segura I’ve seen so far — he did the Archie Meets KISS story that made very little sense, but I could have guessed that from the premise — I am highly excited by the artists lined up for this upcoming tale. Under a variant cover by the amazing Jill Thompson, shown here, Gisele Lagace will be drawing the interiors. I know she’s wanted to draw the Archie characters for a long while, and even though her current work is very Not Safe for Work — it’s an unapologetic sex comic — her previous art for Penny and Aggie shows how excellently she draws teens.

(Actually, a Google shows that she’s drawn the Archie characters before, for Archie Double Digest #221. There, she’s credited as simply Gisele, which should help prevent kids from searching for more info about her and finding images that will shock their parents. Gisele’s also not the first artist to balance Archie assignments with adult work — Holly G! both drew Sabrina the Teenage Witch and works on Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose.)

Segura reveals in this interview that the idea for Occupy Riverdale came from a reporter. He also provides more plot description, emphasizing that the story will stay true to Archie’s roots of being light-hearted and humorous. Meanwhile, Gisele’s former writer T Campbell wrote an educational essay tackling the idea of whether Archie Comics is politically liberal or conservative that’s an enlightening read.

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