Archie Comics 2019
Written by Bill Golliher
Pencilled by Dan Parent
Inked by Rich Koslowski
Coloured by Glenn Whitmore
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Betty and Veronica aren’t just each other’s BFFs, they also have some furry friends as well—and in this collection of off-the-wall and heart-warming stories put those pets in the spotlight!
This one almost escaped my notice and wholeheartedly thank the folks at Archie because without them I wouldn’t have found this. Also I hadn’t noticed that I needed this as badly as I did until I finished reading it. I have no idea what it is about this classic version of Archie that makes me smile and feel good but time and time again that’s exactly what it does. I felt like some a weight had been lifted and I was smiling and all because of this one single off of a book.
The way each story is structured and how it’s placed in the order it is is beautifully done. Seeing classic Veronica not wanting to sully her hands by helping restock the new fridge but is willing to go overboard in the search for Caramel is genius. There is something about Veronica that we love and just find that incredibly endearing even when she is in high society mode. By that I mean referencing her lifestyle at Lodge Manor at every possible moment. Yet seeing her best friend distraught sends her into I don’t know how to help so I’ll go way too far and the audience is going to crack up as a result. Also it’s the perfect way to introduce the issue and to get the reader to want to continue.
That is all I'm giving you here too. I should also mention as I've been writing this I have had Animal Cribs which airs on Animal Planet on while doing this. So the symmetry in my life couldn’t get any more weird. The characterisation throughout all four stories is amazing to see. It always has these elements of their personalities and while at times they soften and others harden what we see is the absolute classic version of our Riverdale’s most famous teenage girls. Between Betty and Veronica, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats I think Riverdale and the Archie line have had the strongest female leads around I mean after all as long as they’ve been around and in every medium you can imagine that’s not a stretch to believe.
So Dan is one of those artists known for his particular style which yes is geared towards this all-ages Archie work but by branching out to other characters or doing convention sketches for folks you see the range he has all while keeping that distinct style. Also yeah that we see backgrounds being utilised like we do makes me so incredibly happy. There is even that opportunity to see his creativity and imagination on display, in this issue it’s mostly centred around pets so you’ll have to get the issue to really understand why I love it but hey.
The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off an amazing eye for storytelling. Now with Rich on Inks and Glenn on colours they help to make what we see as visually rich as possible, and by that I mean with the linework and colour saturation. To make the reader happy just by looking is something each of them has in their repertoire and together it’s near perfection.
All-ages books are something that need to be more in fashion. With the success of the television show and the new line of books, introducing kids and other adults to these classic versions should be an absolute given. Want a happy feel good book that safe to leave on the living room coffee table then try leaving a copy of this and see what kind of magic can happen, family bonding never looked better.