Pop culture

Archie getting a makeover for 75th anniversary

2015 seems to be the year of reboots - the X-Men series, Fantastic Four and now the all-time classic Archie Comics. The lovable, accident prone redhead, Archie and his friends in the Riverdale High School will be rediscovered with a touch of the modern times. Jon Goldwater, CEO Archie Comics hopes to make the comics more fresh to appeal to a newer and younger audience while preserving its ethos for old loyalists. With help from television and comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, actress and writer Lena Dunham and various other, Goldwater aims at keeping the brand relevant and vibrant. He also plans on increasing the fan base by creating a television show and a movie. Gregory Schmidt feels that watching the comic books transform from a classic to a new fad will be interesting. 

Read an excerpt of the article written by Gregory Schmidt :

After nearly 75 years of chasing girls through the halls of Riverdale High and hanging out at Pop Tate’s soda shop, the teenage Everyman Archie Andrews is headed for a makeover. Plans for the redheaded Romeo include a new look and an edgier tone, which will be introduced in 2015 when the Archie comic book is reset at No. 1 with a new creative team. The effort is timed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Archie, who was introduced in 1941, and coincides with plans for a television series on Fox and an apparel line from the fashion designer Marc Ecko. The overhaul at Archie Comic Publications extends to other parts of the company as well, including Red Circle Comics, an imprint that will be rebranded Dark Circle Comics and will reintroduce vintage superheroes like the Fox and the Shield. The updates build on changes that began about five years ago, after Jon Goldwater took over as chief executive and publisher of Archie Comics. Mr. Goldwater stepped in after the 1999 death of his father, John L. Goldwater, who helped found the company in 1939. ‘‘I found Archie to be dusty, irrelevant and watered-down,’’ Mr. Goldwater said. ‘‘It has taken me a while to really wrap my hands around where we are as a brand.’’ Reinvigorating the brand included introducing new titles like Life With Archie, which imagined the teenager’s life as an adult and ended with his much publicized death, and Afterlife With Archie, a darker comic book in which Riverdale is overrun by zombies. The success of those comic books led Mr. Goldwater to broaden his plans. ‘‘These changes are crucial to keep the brand relevant and vibrant,’’ he said. And they are already starting to pay off. Since 2008, bookstore sales have increased 736 percent, and direct-market sales, which include those in specialty stores like comic book shops, rose 226 percent, according to the publisher. Albert Ching, managing editor of Comic Book Resources, a website that tracks the industry, sees the changes as a smart move. ‘‘They are doing bold new things,’’ he said. ‘‘They’ve given people a reason to check them out again.’’ ...read more