Friday, 01 August 2014 15:54

SENYC 2014: Archie: Life, Afterlife and Beyond

 

SENYC 2014: Archie: Life, Afterlife and Beyond

 

 

Archie Comics was on hand at the first ever Special Editon: NYC convention to talk with readers, host signings, and conduct one of the few panels at the event, entitled Archie: Life, Afterlife and Beyond.  The panel consisted of Co-CEO / Publisher Jon Goldwater, President Mike Pellerito, Red Circle Editor and SVP – Publicity and Marketing Alex Segura, and special guest, Francesco Francavilla.  Obviously only a few of the titles published by Archie fall into the horror genre, but that was what was first on the slate for the discussion.

 

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First up was the recently announced Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Robert Hack, the comic will debut in October.  There is some parallel with the publisher's other horror title, Afterlife with Archie, which debuted in the same month last year and was also written by Aguirre-Sacasa.  Some covers were shown from the series.  A preview of the book will be included in an upcoming issue of Afterlife with Archie.

The discussion turned to Afterlife as Goldwater described the story behind the comic.  It started with a variant cover for the Halloween issue of Life with Archie, drawn by Francavilla and featuring a zombie Jughead.  The cover went on to earn the artist an Eisner award.  Aguirre-Sacasa was having breakfast with Goldwater when he brought up the idea of doing a horror comic.  Not long after, Goldwater called him back and said, “Let's do it.”  This story is included from Aguirre-Sacasa's perspective in the first trade paperback.  

 

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Bouncing back to Sabrina, everyone was quick to point out that this is NOT the TV show version most people are familiar with.  The comic will be set in the 1960's and will not take place in the same universe as Afterlife with Archie, so there goes the crossover I was hoping for.  Sabrina actually shows up in the first issue of Afterlife and is the cause of the zombie invasion after she brings Jughead's dog Hot Dog back to life using the Necronomicon.  

The panelists returned to Afterlife with Archie, with Francavilla saying that author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa “can write some spooky stuff.”  The two get along very well as they're both huge horror fans.  Aguirre-Sacasa can reference a scene from an obscure old movie and the artist knows exactly what he's talking about.  Pellerito said that the script starts out perfect and somehow Francavilla improves upon it.  

 

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Pellerito pointed out that the back matter included in the single issues of Afterlife with Archie is real and not made just for the comic.  Archie Comics has been in business for 75 years and has published all kinds of books over that timeframe, including horror.  At one point the stories were introduced by Sabrina in the same manner as the Crypt Keeper and Uncle Creepy.  

As for teases for future issues, the panelists said that the next issue, which begins the second story arc, is a “game changer.”  It shows that this is not just a zombie comic, but an overall horror book.  Francavilla pointed out that this is still a $2.99 comic and you get about 30 pages of content between the comic and the back matter.

 

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