Archie Dies in the Latest Life With Archie Marketing Stunt

KC’s latest Westfield column explains several things. First are the different ways to read Archie Comics’ “Death of Archie Andrews” story, appearing in July —

Life With Archie: Death of an Icon

  • Life With Archie magazine #36 will be the final issue of that title. The first part shows Archie’s death, billed as “the ultimate sacrifice to save a friend”; the second, how everyone is coping a year later.
  • The same content will also be printed in two comic-sized issues. Those, confusingly, are also labeled Life With Archie #36 and #37.
  • The comic issues will each have five variant covers (all visible at the link) from notable artists including Adam Hughes, Cliff Chiang, Jill Thompson, Alex Ross, and Walter Simonson.
  • A trade paperback version called Life With Archie: Death of an Icon: A Life Celebrated will include the two comic issues and all the variant covers in August.

I’m trying to be optimistic and assume that they’re making the material available in a variety of formats so everyone can get their preferred type, not to sell the same story over and over. Now they’ve had Archie dating interracially, getting married, now dying, even a series where the characters eat each other. What I wonder is, what next?

KC also uses this occasion to talk about an earlier death of an alternate-universe version of Archie, the infamous Goodman Beaver story “Goodman Goes Playboy”. The publisher Archie Comics had the rights and kept the parody out of print for years, until they accidentally forgot to renew and it became public domain. You can learn more about how it satirized Archie and his gang, as well as how to read it, at the link.

7 Responses to “Archie Dies in the Latest Life With Archie Marketing Stunt”

  1. James Schee Says:

    “What I wonder is, what next?”

    Betyt & Veronica give up on Archie and leave Riverdale is the next storyline. No really,

  2. Anthony Says:

    Not sure what next… all I can think of is either a story dealing with the issue of teen pregnancy (via a newly-created character) or the characters dealing with actual sex (given “hurr, the characters don’t have sex/are virgins!” is one “criticism” I’ve seen hurled at Archie… since apparently the spate of out-of-wedlock birth/absentee superhero fathers is clearly much better…).

  3. Johanna Says:

    That leaving Riverdale story, I think, was intended to be part of another magazine-format publication that never came out. Perhaps they’ve tweaked it, or perhaps they’re now describing it differently, but then, it was presented as something of a “semester abroad” type arrangement.

    I like the idea of a pregnancy scare. Reminds me of when Archie tackled topical stories back in the 70s via other student characters.

  4. Jerry Says:

    “What’s next?” Hopefully, the sale of the company and its characters to someone else. No other publisher could do a worse job.

    I wish they had sold out right before the “Marriage” storyline and then used that to go out on. Since then, they’ve done nothing but piss on their brand with Mary-Sue-ish new characters and story ideas straight out of an Internet fan-fic.

    The only good thing about Archie lately has been their large reprint volumes and reprints of their classic material, such as the excellent Bob Montana newspaper strips. (But even then, it’s another publisher doing it.)

    The old Montana strips show how Archie should be done, but I don’t know if something like that can be done like that and be updated and appeal to a modern, young audience. Likewise, is a “modern,” more realistic Archie in today’s world, still really Archie? It’s a difficult conundrum. Perhaps this has scared away potential buyers, in spite of the brand recognition.

    So far most of the buzz about this “Death” issue has been about that hideous Alex Ross alternate cover. Probably not the publicity Archie Comics wanted.

  5. Anthony Says:

    Wouldn’t elements like Kevin Keller be seen as an update/modernized path? (Unless one’s of the “gays shouldn’t be seen by kids!” crowd, which fortunately seems to be a dwindling number…)

    As for “no publisher doing a worse job,” I’d hate to see what DC would do if they got their hands on the Riverdale characters… ;-)

  6. Jerry Says:

    Kevin was the “Mary Sue” I was referring to, a “perfect” character inserted into an existing cast. It’s what you get when you design a character as an icon/role model/publicity stunt, as opposed to an actual literary character.

    The Archie characters already wear their underwear on the inside, so DC New 52 versions wouldn’t be totally different. They would all be remade as jerks, which would step all over Reggie’s niche. The girls would be very scantily clad.

    Here’s a hip, ironic idea. They might “re-conceptualize” the gang as the new Team Green: Teen Millionaires. Oh, wait. DC did actually bring back Team Green.

    Okay, the Archie DC comics would suck, as would the movies, but the DC animated Archies would be awesome.

  7. Good Comics at the Comic Shop July 16 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] a lot more press lately is Archie Comics’ Life With Archie #36 ($4.99), which has five variant covers hit stores. In this much-promoted issue, Archie is killed […]




Most Recent Posts: