How’s Life With Archie Doing?
We won’t know for sure until the year-end sales figures are out, but I’ve been wondering how Life With Archie has been doing. I’ve noticed a number of format changes in the magazine that concern me. Issue #12, shown here, changed its cover noticeably between solicitation (on the left) and what actually shipped (on the right).
The feature promos are missing, with no celebrity pictures on the cover to draw teen attention. They came close to being false advertising at times in the past, but they gathered interest in venues like Toys ‘R’ Us. Speaking of which, has anyone seen it there lately? Are they still carrying it?
The interior paper stock has changed to cheap newsprint. Of its 64 pages, only nine carry ads, and those are all for Archie comic back issues or subscriptions or graphic novels sold at a discount, not any outside products that would pay for the space. Archie the publisher has even dropped the price on books that are only three or four months old by a third if you buy multiples. There were, however, two blow-in lap cards for subscribing to Tiger Beat magazine. You know, the teeny-bopper celebrity picture mag?
Beyond the two stories (one each for Betty and Veronica), there are only two pages of other content. One pinup has the cast drawn “as the cast of Mad Men” while the other is the now-standard “Everything’s Archie” promo back page. What happened to the magazine idea, with other pieces and features? Has the company cut the additional material to avoid the costs of generating it? At least it hasn’t gone to 100% reprints, as the Archie & Friends comic title has.
Meanwhile, Archie’s second planned magazine, Veronica & Betty, was supposed to launch this past spring. Looks like it’s been quietly cancelled.