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Review: The Archies #5

TheArchies5.jpgIn The Archies #5, writers Matthew Rosenberg and Alex Segura, artist Joe Eisma, and colorist Matt Herms don’t shy away from showing that The Archies aren’t very good and continue to only find success by having opportunities fall in their lap. Like they somehow get to play a gig with Tegan and Sara in Vancouver and get some critical feedback. However, even though The Archies continue to fail upwards, they experience some real consequences in this issue.

The band is named after Archie, but Rosenberg and Segura spend a little time on Jughead’s character this issue as he becomes filled with anger and ennui. Eisma is great at drawing anger clouds and anger lines. As the story progresses, Jughead is having much less fun, which is his only reason for being in the band. He doesn’t want a record label or to schmooze around with CHVRCHES or a hallucination of the Monkees. Jughead just wants to hang out with his friends and have a good time. But, hey, he happens to be one hell of a drummer and demonstrates it at an open mic in Vancouver where he’s completely unfazed by Tegan and Sara being impressed with his talent and jokes about their last album accidentally coming on his phone all the time. I really liked how Herms used blasts of primary colors in the background while he plays his drum solo, which acts as shorthand for his virtuosic skill along with whirling white speed lines from Eisma.

If there’s something that The Archies does great as a comic book, it’s capturing the energy (Or lack thereof.) of a live show in an intimate venue. Except for the occasional well-timed caption or quip (Like Archie’s disgust at Reggie’s spotlight hogging bass playing.), Rosenberg and Segura get out of Eisma and Herms’ way and let facial expressions, line type, panel shape, and color choice do the work. The yawns from the crowd in Vancouver who are watching The Archies open for Tegan and Sara is everyone who has rolled their eyes at an opening act trying to hard and gone back to the bar/merch tent. (Shout out to poor acoustic guitar playing rando who I saw open for Metric once.)

Then, after a beat panel, Tegan and Sara go on stage, and the crowd goes wild. Eisma also draws Tegan and Sara with a cleaner, almost Jamie McKelvie-esque line compared to the harder edges for The Archies’ performance. Also, Herms’ “lighting” for the Tegan and Sara gig is a glorious use of color and fits in with the glossier, more danceable sound of their two most recent records, Heartthrob and Love You to Death. (Give “U-Turn” a listen if you haven’t yet.) But after the initial Archie and Betty fangirling all over them reveal, Rosenberg and Segura use Tegan and Sara as givers of helpful feedback. They don’t sugarcoat the fact that The Archies are less than headliner status, but encourage them, and it’s all wholesome and happy. Bingo, the frontman of The Bingoes aka The Archies co-touring act, is probably a little frustrated about how many chances an average teen band is getting. But, in this universe, The Archies are a fine second choice if Josie and the Pussycats are already booked.

Matthew Rosenberg, Alex Segura, Joe Eisma, and Matt Herms put the titular band through the wringer in The Archies #5 and hold off on the big rock star climax for yet another issue. Eisma’s rawer line put the band’s flaws front and center, including Archie’s neverending quest for fame (His cheeks are so pinchable though.) and overflowing of negative emotions from the usually chill Jughead. There’s some real talk and feelings in this comic that could definitely fit in with some tracks on The Con.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg and Alex Segura Art: Joe Eisma Colors: Matt Herms
Story: 8.8 Art:9.2 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Archies #5

THE ARCHIES #5

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Joe Eisma, Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 2/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Featuring guest stars TEGAN AND SARA! After a wild, trippy ride to the 60s, the Archies find themselves back in the present day—and facing a major meltdown as one of the members quits. Can indie pop sirens TEGAN AND SARA help the band through the crisis, or has the tour gone kaput?

Tegan and Sara meet The Archies in this advance preview of The Archies #5!

THE ARCHIES #5

Script: Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Joe Eisma, Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 2/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Featuring guest stars TEGAN AND SARA! After a wild, trippy ride to the 60s, the Archies find themselves back in the present day-and facing a major meltdown as one of the members quits. Can indie pop sirens TEGAN AND SARA help the band through the crisis, or has the tour gone kaput?

Dick Tracy Not Coming to Archie Due to Licensor “Mistake”

Archie Comics‘ Co-President/Editor/Writer/PR person Alex Segura went to Twitter earlier today to say that there will not be a Dick Tracy. A “mistake on the licensor’s part” is the cause. Tribune Content Agency discovered a “preexisting licensing deal that precludes” this project. The series was announced in early December.

Co-written by Segura and Michael Moreci, it would have featured art by Thomas Pitilli, colors by Dee Cunniffen, and lettering from Jack Morelli. The first issue also featured variant covers by Francesco Francavilla, Kyle Baker, Cat Staggs, and Michael Walsh. The comic series was to kick off in April 11, 2018.

Its focus was on the earlier years of the detective, “square one,” with a blend of the classic Dick Tracy and a “modern and dark noir feel.”

Preview: The Archies #4

THE ARCHIES #4

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Michael Allred & Laura Martin, Joe Eisma
Monkees.com Exclusive Cover: Tyler Boss
On Sale Date: 1/10
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES! GUEST STARRING THE MONKEES! Still soaring from last issue’s sage advice from CHVRCHES, Archie is eager to take his friends to the next level musically on their first-ever tour. But an unexpected turn of events finds them in the swingin’ sixties—face to face with rock/pop icons THE MONKEES!

The Archies Meet The Monkees in an Early Preview of The Archies #4

THE ARCHIES #4

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Michael Allred & Laura Martin, Joe Eisma
Monkees.com Exclusive Cover: Tyler Boss
On Sale Date: 1/17
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES! GUEST STARRING THE MONKEES! Still soaring from last issue’s sage advice from CHVRCHES, Archie is eager to take his friends to the next level musically on their first-ever tour. But an unexpected turn of events finds them in the swingin’ sixties—face to face with rock/pop icons THE MONKEES!

Preview: The Archies #3

THE ARCHIES #3

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Cover: Jamie McKelvie
On Sale Date: 12/13
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES! FEATURING INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING ARTIST CHVRCHES! As The Archies face a rocky start to their first-ever tour, they find unexpected drama among the members! Can Betty and Archie reconcile their artistic differences? Can real-life indie pop trio CHVRCHES provide the guidance they need to weather the storm?

Archie Reveals Dick Tracy’s Early Days Starting April 2018

Buckle up for a high-stakes crime adventure as co-writers Alex Segura and Michael Moreci along with artist Thomas Pitilli, colorist Dee Cunniffen and letterer Jack Morelli bring Dick Tracy back to comic books in April 2018! The first issue features variant covers by Francesco Francavilla, Kyle Baker, Cat Staggs, and Michael Walsh.

The earliest investigations of one of pop culture’s most iconic detectives will be explored in the new ongoing series that promises to blend the classic Dick Tracy style that readers know and love with a modern and dark noir feel.

The first arc goes back to square one and explores the early days of Dick Tracy’s time in The City, soon after the second World War.

Dick Tracy’s new adventures begin April 11, 2018 when the world famous detective investigates a deadly shooting that bears the fingerprints of a menacing killer known only as Flattop. Are you ready to join Dick Tracy on his newest case?

Advance Review: The Archies #3

The headliner of The Archies #3 is definitely a guest appearance from Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty from Scottish indie synthpop band Chvrches leading to some intense starstruck moments from Archie and Betty while Jughead continues to look for food. However, writers Matthew Rosenberg and Alex Segura, artist Joe Eisma, and colorist Matt Herms don’t let one of the coolest current bands hog the spotlight and continue to focus on the dynamic between the Archies. Jughead kind of nails it when he mentions that he, Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie are used to spending a lot of time together because Riverdale is a small town, but not 24/7 in various cities as a band. Staying in close quarters plus creative differences and a dollop of disaster and geeking out creates the plot and conflict of The Archies #3.

Band with multiple members who write their own songs and are multi-instrumentalists can be some of the best with the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac immediately coming to mind. However, The Beatles broke up after 10 years, and Fleetwood Mac have shuffled lineups over the past five decades with members like Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, and of course, Stevie Nicks doing solo or side projects and coming back to their original band ad nauseam. Add ego to the mix, and it’s even worse, which is why The Smiths will likely never reunite, and Morrissey will continue to make terrible solo albums.

The Archies experience some of these bands’ same issues in The Archies #3 when they nervously interact with the host on their first radio spot and end up playing a song Betty wrote while on tour instead of the single that Archie wanted. Combined with Betty and Archie’s romantic/friend history, it’s a super awkward moment and one of the tensest of the series. Rosenberg, Segura, and Eisma spend most of the issue exploring the fallout with Archie off doing his own thing at the record and comic book store while Betty tries to wrangle the band together. Between the lines, they look at the gendered criticism of a male artist being aloof and hard to work with getting the title of tortured artist while female artists get referred to as “divas”. The appearance of Chvrches in this issue works out for story purposes as well as general wish fulfillment because they trade off lead vocals between Lauren Mayberry and Iain Cook depending on the song and share all writing credits. There’s something the Archies could learn about synergy from them.

Matt Herms creates a terrific energy in The Archies #3’s opening splash page of Chvrches performing before an enthusiastic crowd. And then he turns off the epicness and goes for more bright and kooky as the Archies struggle through a radio interview/performance. Herms’ colors matches Joe Eisma’s art style, which ranges from divine (Any time Chvrches hits the stage) to slapstick-y (Jughead eating food, Reggie messing around with his base). They believe in the beauty of music as well as in the soapy drama of Riverdale teens and somehow mash it together in a way that isn’t dissonant. The gigs are sublime, and the in-between bits are breezy slice of life drama with lots of hijinks. The Archies are definitely not big stars even though they do have a bit of buzz.

Even though The Archies is named after him, Matthew Rosenberg, Alex Segura, Joe Eisma, and Matt Herms take the onus off Archie for bit in The Archies #3 and give Betty some time in the sun as a POV character. They use the feud between Archie and Betty to explore the gender dynamics in bands and also weave in an extended appearance from Chvrches that is both fun fanservice, a chance for Eisma to channel his inner Jamie McKelvie, and is thematically relevant making The Archies #3 the best issue of the series so far.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg and Alex Segura Art: Joe Eisma Colors: Matt Herms
Story: 8.7 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Archies meet CHVRCHES in this early preview of The Archies #3

THE ARCHIES #3

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Cover: Jamie McKelvie
On Sale Date: 12/13
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES! FEATURING INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING ARTIST CHVRCHES! As The Archies face a rocky start to their first-ever tour, they find unexpected drama among the members! Can Betty and Archie reconcile their artistic differences? Can real-life indie pop trio CHVRCHES provide the guidance they need to weather the storm?

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