Advance Review: Your Pal Archie #1
Your Pal Archie #1 is a cute, funny twist on classic Archie stories from writer/inker Ty Templeton, artist Dan Parent, and colorist Andre Szymanowicz. There are two stories plus a classic Betty and Veronica yarn in this fantastic comic. The first is a one-off where Jughead finally decides to learn how to drive, and video game inspired hijinks ensue. The second story is the beginning of a multi-part saga featuring Archie trying to up his cultural literacy to impress Veronica, who has blown him off for a night at the opera with some rich fop.
The new/old art style that Parent and Templeton have created for Your Pal Archie #1 is something to clink your milkshake glass too. They have successfully given Jughead a goatee without making it tacky and made Archie a little muscular and “hot” while bringing back the freckles and crosshatchings on the side of his red hair. But their real accomplishment is reviving slapstick car based humor in the lead story about Jughead learning how to drive with panels that tilt and move with each pratfall that Jughead and Archie get into. The pink colors from Syzmanowicz create a soothing feel for the rural setting, then Jughead gets behind the wheel, and the rest is history. The car is also kind of a symbol for the all give, no get friendship between Jughead and Archie that extends to the second story where he spends their bus fare on soda and scratch offs.
Parent and Templeton’s art in Your Pal Archie #1 is simple, but can instantly establish a character through a change in expression like Veronica lifting her eyelashes when she talks about her opera tickets, or Reggie sneering at Archie’s grovel-y attempts to get back in her good graces. I look forward to more installments of Your Pal Archie that will give her more opportunities to throw shade on Archie’s oblivious behavior. Then, there’s Jughead in general, who looks like the god of all trolls, the Loki of the Riverdale set and takes over every scene he’s in. He goes from comic relief to comedy central, the idyllic town of Riverdale and its surrounding rural areas are his stage, and Pop’s is the “bar” he goes to cool down between sets.
Your Pal Archie #1 has all the melodrama and slapstick of an old school, supermarket Archie digest with relevant 21st century jokes and a hint of suspense from Ty Templeton and wacky layouts and visual comedy from Dan Parent. It’s a (crazy) summer vacation in comic book form.
Story: Ty Templeton Art: Dan Parent
Inks: Ty Templeton Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review