One imagines that the constant press drummed up by the content of Archie
Comics these days is a welcome antidote to the press resulting from its internal politics.
The company was profiled last week in a New York Times article written by Robin
Finn, with spot illos drawn by Mark Matcho mimicking a vintage Archie style. Co-CEOs Jon Goldwater and Nancy Silberkleit have been trading accusations for some time now; Silberkleit has been barred from the offices.
Archie #636, meanwhile, will offer up the latest spin on the 70-year-old franchise.
The publisher's flagship character has married Betty and Veronica in recent years, via competing daydreams / parallel universes (as I wrote in late 2009 and in 2010), as well as welcomed openly gay hunk Kevin Keller to Riverdale, started up a romance with Valerie of Josie and the Pussycats, and mined fertile ground at the crossroads of marketing and creativity in other ways (as I noted earlier in 2009).
Now it's been announced that the newest possible future of Archie Andrews', in which he weds Valerie in a multi-part story from writer/artist Dan Parent, will be followed by a switcheroo that's, if you'll pardon the pun, engendered by Sabrina Spellman's magical cat Salem.
Tania del Rio, who recently ended a long run on a different approach to everyone's favorite teenage witch, has written the story to be penciled by the artist Gisele and inked by Rich Koslowski. Gisele's standard cover to Archie #636 previews the boys-vs.-girls plot, while her variant cover riffs on a classic Archie image by showing "Archina" flanked by the transformed Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, now Ronnie and Billy; the issue is scheduled to hit comics shops in late August.
Related: Kids Meet • March with Archie • Swap Things
• Betty's Here; Veronica, Too • Teenage Daydreams