Saturday, Archie Comics hosted a packed room of Archie fans! And a packed dais! Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa emceed, while Dan Parent, George Donovan, Jon Goldwater, Michael Murphey, Mike Pellerito, Francesco Francavilla, Michael Uslan, and Victor Gorelick entertained!
Roberto, scribe of “Afterlife With Archie“, introduced a trailer to the comic. (During the Q&A, a fan suggested that Archie make a full-fledged motion comic. Having read the comic before the panel, and then watching the animation, I’ll add my voice. It is worthy of more!)
The idea began with a one-off variant cover for “Life With Archie” by Francesco Francavilla. (He had done the Eisner-Award winning covers for “Archie Meets Kiss”.) Aquirre-Sacasa was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a zombie story inside the magazine, but a subsequent meeting convinced everyone that a zombie story would be a great idea. Turns out they were right: Jon Goldwater announced that the first issue of “Afterlife” had sold out in one day (including the three variant covers), and would get a second printing with a new Francavilla cover! (How many copies? “Tens of thousands” was Goldwater’s reply. One retailer I spoke with said it outsold “The Walking Dead”!)
Archie has a dedicated ALWA app in the iTunes store, and will be launching an Android and Windows 8 app soon. It will include extras, including scripts for each issue.
Michael Uslan, who started the “Goldwater Age” with his “Archie: The Married Life” miniseries in 2009, then teased his new series: “Farewell, Betty & Veronica”. Not much else was revealed, just that any fan of Betty and/or Veronica must read the book! (Who do I prefer? Sabrina.)
Two new characters will be introduced. One can only wonder how the dynamic of the series will be altered… Will Cheryl step into the vacuum? Or maybe one of the multiple “extras” seen at Riverdale High? Might Trula machiavate Archie to suit her needs? Or could it be someone else?
Archie then screened the trailer for “The Fox”, and it looks like fun! Emphasis was placed on The Fox being a “freak magnet”, and one can only wonder what Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel will cook up!
Dan Parent, creator of Kevin Keller, announced that Kevin would be the first comics character to serve as an ambassador for GLAAD’s Spirit Day (October 17). Issue #14 will start a new storyline.
Parent also announced the plans for Archie #650! The Archies will team with other bands previously seen in Archie comics, embarking on a world tour battle of the bands with:
- The Bingoes!
- Josey and the Pussycats!
- The Madhouse Glads!
There will be numerous variant covers, with #650 courtesy of Fiona Staples! The story begins in India, as Archie is involved with a Bollywood romance! (The cad!) The tour will continue to China (variant cover by Renae De Liz & Ray Dillon) and both Sabrina and Katy Keene have been announced as “special guests” in the series!
There will be a big announcement with “Life With Archie” (the soap opera magazine series which continues the grown-up married Archie) coming soon. The series has had some interesting storylines, many involving the supporting cast. (“Moose” Mason, for example!)
Attendees where then given tickets to redeem for swag at the Archie booth (graphic novels, magazines, comics!), which was soon inundated!