Pop Rocks

Archie's Comic Comeback: File Under "Things Destined To Fail"

(Note: Pete Vonder Haar is on vacation.)

Saturday The New York Times examined the attempt by the owners of Archie comic to transform him and his Riverdale pals into "global brands in comics, film, apparel and more."

"We're at the beginning of the beginning," says Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comic Publications. "We're going to expand. Publishing will always be part of it, but we must morph into a multimedia company."

Yeah, Jon, before you get too caught up in things: If you're at the beginning of anything, it's the beginning of a hilarious, doomed attempt to try to make the world's lamest comic into a cash cow.

Archie and friends were known for one thing in the comic-book world -- being the comic book you reluctantly picked up when you'd read your Batmans and Supermans too many times.

Oh, the joys of Jughead's hat, Pops at the Choklit Shoppe, pureheart Betty and rich Ver -- wait. There was no joy attached to these things at all. The jokes were so obvious and shopworn that even as a kid you knew what was coming and why it was going to stink.

It was as if Archie was some creation of the American Library Association, a bit of subterfuge to get kids to read real books.

And now it's going to be a worldwide brand? Including for clothing?

We can see the movie now -- trying to get by with a nudge and a wink like the first Brady Bunch movie, failing like the second Brady Bunch movie, and eventually and quickly ending up in the direct-to-vdeo market like the third Brady Bunch movie (What, you didn't see The Brady Bunch in the White House?)

Meanwhile, your warehouses will overflow with unsold Jughead hats, Archie sweaters, "hot" Veronica gear and "sensible" Betty clothing. And the strip malls of America will be festooned with failed Choklit Shoppe franchises.

Please, please get the message: You're not wanted. We don't care how many times you marry Archie or try to drum up stupid web debates on whether Betty's better than Veronica or vice-versa.

Go away, new-fangled Archie. You're not wanted. Unless there are no other comic strips in the house that haven't been read 75 times.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly