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Friday, November 21, 2008

Archie & Friends #117, 23 pages and $2.25 from Archie Comics


Sold in comic and other shops, and on-line at www.archiecomics.com.

The format of Archie and Friends usually includes a story focused on Archie and a story about a secondary character like Dilbert (the resident boy genius), or Katy Keene (the fashion model), or Jughead (the jughead). Not so for issue #117 in which Archie, assorted pals, and several high school teachers travel to London with promised trips to Madrid, Nairobi, Rome, and Zurich.

In addition to leaving the familiar haunts of Riverdale, this first of a four issue ‘mini-series’ within the title also promises a James Bond type adventure for the ensemble. Imagine a Saved by the Bell episode on television.

If this all sounds atypical, throw in an atypical team of writers and artists. This is Archie with a twist, and a fun twist at that, because the artist and writer of the first of the four issues are exceptionally talented.

While staying true to the visual icons of Archie and cast, artist Rex Lindsey adds much more to his backgrounds and setting than usually graces an Archie issue. His line is clean and sure, and his visual storytelling is flawless.

Writer Alex Simmons keeps each cast member in character while adding believable dialog and the plot twists needed for such an extended story. Since most Archie stories are six or eight or twelve pages in length, this promised four issue adventure is an Archie novel by comparison.

My kudos to the creative and editorial staff of Archie Comics whom consistently turn out solid entertainment that can be enjoyed by anyone. In an industry where the dark underbelly of life now dominates, Archie & Friends and all of the Archie titles are recommended for the young and the young at heart.

Michael Vance

Check out Dark Corridor #2 for a Michael Vance short story at www.mainenterprises.ecrater.com.