Archie Aims for Diversity With New Writers, Characters

Pals n Gals #123 cover

Archie Comics has announced two new writers who bring with them characters of different ethnicities.

The first is their Mexican publisher, who’s been editing for 25 years:

In 2005, Jesús Gil Holguí­n started publishing Spanish Language editions of Archie Comics in Mexico. Jesús is writing his first script for Archie Comics. The story will feature the first Mexican addition to Riverdale High when Toño Diaz is introduced.

… Join Toño and his entire family for their first Riverdale adventure in Pals ‘n’ Gals #123 on sale in July, 2008. Toño’s first appearance will be released simultaneously in the United States and in Mexico.

Pals n Gals #123 cover

Later on, Misako Takashima, a writer and artist, is introducing

Kumi Tamura … a shy, cute and goofy Japanese girl. She doesn’t think she’s goofy or funny. However, when Archie, Betty and the others meet her, they think she is very funny.

That’s kind of an odd description, setting her up as a figure to poke fun at. They go on to say “She likes reading Japanese girls’ comics”, but the word “manga” is never used. The location of her first appearance hasn’t yet been announced.

I applaud the inclusion of non-traditional characters in the mostly white Riverdale, but I hope we see them more often than Ginger or Frankie or many of the other existing Archie characters who came in to expand diversity but are rarely seen. And I hope they get real stories, not just travelogue-style “and people from their country like ____”. Having creators who know the cultures is a big help.

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