Wednesday, June 15, 2011

World of Archie Double Digest #6 Review!

It's time for another book review, can ya believe it?

First, I want to show you this, because it got on my nerves:

More on this later.

It came out a few weeks ago, but this is another fine addition to the World of Archie series. It's six issues in and has only faltered once. Justin Bieber. That's all I can say in this paragraph.

Fernando Ruiz draws a good cover, doesn't he? His covers and interior pages all look really good in here.

My one complaint with this and all of the Double Digests is that they really should say when they are published. It's hard to tell what was drawn in the 50's and what was drawn last month. I read somewhere in a message board post that Stan Goldberg doesn't work for Archie anymore, and he's featured in this book. Is it old or new? Anyone got the answer to whether or not Goldberg still works for Archie?

I'm drawn to the older stuff. I like the nice clean lines of that era from the 50's and 60's. My favorite Archie artists are Bob Montana and Harry Lucey and Dan DeCarlo. I haven't had the time to do enough research to figure the names of all the rest of the artist of that era, but this is what I like in comics.

The World of Archie Double Digests are great collections of the old and the new, all mixed together. The Archie Double Digest and the Jughead Double Digests are similar, but focus more on character stories. World of Archie Double Digest is more of a showcase of the talent and funny stories through the years. They still feature the Archie's Mad House stories in here, and they're about the farthest things from mainline Archie comics as you can get, but they fit. It's nice to get a sampling of the part of the Archie universe I've never read.

This issue has a couple Bob Bolling stories. Once again, I can't tell when these were drawn, but it looks like they're pretty new. Naturally, I could be wrong. I just started reading Bolling in the first Little Archie  paperback. It was good and fun. I'm glad I got to meet Mad Doctor Doom before I read The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. The stories in here are good and fun, and another good example of why this is a good series.

Of course, there are the single pagers, the gags and jokes that are great. There's a Bob Montana Archie Joke book coming out soon, I hope it's full of these.

I love this book. And, in addition to the issue-length Archie's Mad House, there's another issue in the ongoing She's Josie series by Dan DeCarlo. The art is as solid as the characters, it's a treat to read. Why were there no Josie stories in The Best of Dan DeCarlo books?

And then there's Justin Bieber.

When I read what I'm about to describe to you, dear reader, I almost gave up on Archie for good. Man, it ticked me off and I had a hard time finishing the book. Took me two days to pick it back up. Go ahead and ask my wife if I'm stubborn. I think she'll say "yes."

So I turn to this, and I'm excited about it. The colors and the art are there, it looks like a good, classic story, the reason I'm a subscriber.

What's not to like?

THEN, I get to this panel and my head explodes:

COME ON!!! REALLY??!?!?!??!!!!!!
Why take a good story, a story that looks like it's from the late 60's or early 70's and edit out the text and replace it with "Justin Bieber?" It's just not necessary, and they almost lost me. I hate when this happens. I GUESS I can understand why it was done, but I hate it when they change the original. Fixing a typo is OK (Peter Palmer, anyone?) but changing a story from the past to bring it to the future is just wrong. Especially in a book full of reprints. It's being reprinted for nostalgia, not Bieber-Fever.

So I put it down and thought to myself: How many other times has this happened? And that ticked me off. It really bugs me and stripped me out of the story, and the whole book. That story's just not as good as it was before I got to that panel. And I'm sure it's not the first time and I'm going to be looking for it all the time.

But I'm still a fan. This is just one (noticed) transgression, and I can get over it. Hopefully it doesn't happen again. Or hopefully it doesn't happen where I notice it. I'm 37, I don't know every little reference that the kids are into these days.

And all of my petty, childish, possibly stupid ranting leads me to another thing I love about Archie comics.

What's better than knowing the exact date the next issue's coming out?

Naturally, everything here is my own dumb opinion.

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