Archie Comics 2019
Written by Angelo Decesare & Dan Parent
Illustrated by Pat & Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Bill Golliher, Jeff Shultz & Jim Amash
Coloured by Glenn Whitmore
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Get ready for Yuletide fun and holiday cheer in this special collection of Christmas tales!
Only Archie can put together a grouping of classic stories and make them feel fresh, current and on trend. This is precisely why I love Archie Comics, they are timeless, classic and so much better, see structure, storytelling, etc. than even the most stalwart offering on the Hallmark Channel. With four vignettes we get some absolutely fun, kookie and all-around wonderful holiday cheer from the gang in Riverdale. Though I am a little sad that there's no Hanukkah tale but okay.
I haven't been feeling all that well lately and who knows maybe all this grey skies and no sun is partly to blame but I do know that reading this made me smile. It made me giggle and happy inside because that's the power Archie has on us. What I love is the usual hi-jinx that are associated with these kids and how what they do always seems to inadvertently affect someone else in the story. Also you can really tell some of the older stories by the style of the cars or the fact that Reggie is a regular in the gang. Now I'm not sure when he started not being a high profile character but lately he surely hasn't been.
The last one here is probably what I would think of as the most recent and that's mainly because the gang is at Veronica's and they are watching the Santa Tracker as it heads over Riverdale. Not sure if that's supposed to be Kevin or someone else but that's neither here nor there because it's the story that makes us all laugh.
The middle two stories are kind of what I expect them to be and yet they completely captivate me nonetheless. I mean c'mon we all knew that Archie would find himself in dating trouble in at least one story and boy are we not disappointed. That neither Betty nor Veronica are involved is even better yet. However that both girls get to watch it happen and make fun of him for it is where all the fun is really at! The writing here is excellent and how the personalities are shown and the actions and reactions are all so perfectly rendered for us.
There's something about being able to combine two stories into one as well. To see Betty and Veronica chasing after the same guy while Jughead just wants some cookies is one of the funniest around. The way that we see the sequence of events unfold and how the reader learns information just makes this classic fun in a timeless fashion.
I am a huge fan of the interiors here, every single page of them. Regardless of who the artist is all of it is seamlessly transitioning into the next as if this were one cohesive book. The outfits are phenomenal and the way we see the characters, their personal styles and how it help brings them to life really is sensationally well done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show some magnificent eyes for storytelling. The colour work is beautifully done, the four colour solid work is perfectly placed and nothing looks as if it doesn't belong. The movement and sense of action are well rendered here. Overall it's a visual feast for the eyes.
Now I have an overwhelming desire to watch the Archie cartoons, preferably the Weird Mysteries. If you need a little holiday season pick me up this is the perfect stocking stuffer!