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Thursday, August 10, 2017 

What risks is Archie actually taking with the superheroes they own?

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Archie CEO Jon Goldwater, already an unfunny joke of a publisher, about their plans to revive the Mighty Crusaders, and predictably, the guy's full of himself:
Both Riverdale and, to an extent, the recent "Over the Edge" storyline in the main Archie comic book series, have recast the characters in a more dramatic tone than was traditionally the case — and this follows on from the horror series Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Archie has diversified tonally to such a point that Dan Parent's new Your Pal Archie comic feels like a break from the norm, despite it being, in many ways, an evolution of "classic" Archie. In the past, you've talked about a desire to show that Archie and the gang could tell any kind of story — how close to that aim are you now?

We’re there. It’s now. Archie can do anything. It’s not just one kind of comic, show or concept. You can do a horror Archie story, you can do a superhero Archie story, you can do a drama or comedy. We can also redefine what we’re best known for, like we have revamped classic Archie with Dan Parent and Ty Templeton’s superb Your Pal Archie. Nothing is static. Archie is as versatile — no, more versatile — than Superman or Batman. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: As long as the story feels true to the spirit of the characters, it can be anything. Archie fights zombies, has powers, tours the world — there’s no limit to what you can do with these amazing characters. We’ve finally gotten to the point where the world is seeing that, too.
Sure, you can do practically any of these story concepts with Archie and cast, but you can't convince the public en masse to buy the books. Archie may be able to do anything, but Goldwater's not. I think it's ill-advised to say the redheaded teen is more versatile than the Man of Steel, because that's little more than a bragging, boastful way of claiming you're infinitely superior to your publishing rivals, which isn't so. Certainly not when we take their leftism into account. That's what they really mean by tonal diversification.

Furthermore, they've long moved away from the spirit of the Archie books, and I wouldn't be surprised if, despite Goldwater's boast, the personalities are even more static than what they were in the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age. Also, "no limit"? Umm, what if somebody crazy enough came along and proposed writing a story where the Archie cast was turned into vicious racists and sexists? Would they stand for that? For now, it's clear they believe there's no limit to forcing leftism down everyone's throats, as they did several years ago when the Occupy movement littered the streets of several cities.

And, what is the world seeing, exactly? They're seeing a company with sales in the gutter, appearing very low on the charts, with a publisher who believes he's succeeded in turning them into a booming business, when reality proves that's not so. Come to think of it, I'm sure he realizes this, but wants to put on the ostrich act and pretend everything's all hunky-dory.
While the mainline Archie books have been making their mark, the company's superhero properties have been quietly in the background with the Dark Circle Books for a few years now. You're putting new focus on Archie's superhero properties with the new Mighty Crusaders book. What do you think Archie can bring to the mainstream superhero genre?

One of the things I’m most proud of, is that, as a company, we’re not afraid to take risks. We’re not scared of trying something that pushes against where the industry is going. The Black Hood, the first Dark Circle title we launched under the imprint, is a perfect example of that. Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos made a crime classic — no hyperbole. It was like watching a great HBO or Showtime drama. It just happened to feature a vigilante hero. That’s how I want to approach each Dark Circle book — how is this different? What does it add to Archie as a whole and is it a unique and compelling story? With The Mighty Crusaders, I want a book that establishes the team and explores the world of these heroes. Unlike many of our competitors, Archie has a diverse and beloved library of superheroes.
What does he mean by that? From what I know about the Mighty Crusaders, the original cast was more or less all white. In fact, this promo seems to indicate they'll still be mainly white. Oh wait, does he mean their new take is deliberately meant to reflect a liberal SJW agenda by turning at least one cast member gay for the sake of it? Given they've long shoved the Kevin Keller homosexuality personality upon their productions, it wouldn't shock me if they plan such a path for the Crusader cast to boot. On which note, why does Goldwater boast about going against where the rest of the industry is, if the Archie staff's already made clear they're going as leftist as anyone else?

And if there's one risk they certainly shouldn't take, it's alienating the family audiences they once sold to. Yet that's exactly what they've done over the past decade, unable to recognize what a bad idea it is to stuff social justice agendas down everyone's throats, no matter how poor the ideas they're going by happen to be.
All of this comic book activity feels like it's happening in tandem with Riverdale, and also laying the groundwork for more TV and movie activity around the company's properties. Has the response to Archie as a company, and its portfolio, shifted over the last year or so, as the new comics and Riverdale have gotten people's attention? Do you see other media companies/potential partners act differently towards Archie as a company?

I feel like Riverdale really kicked a door down, and presented to the world an idea that was already common knowledge in comics — that Archie Comics has a wide, diverse and multifaceted library of characters. From Katy Keene to Cosmo to Dark Circle to Josie and the Pussycats — we cover a lot of ground and we have decades and decades of great storytelling to support that. Now that the show is on the air, is a hit and is gaining so much momentum as we head into the second season, I feel like people outside of our industry are starting to take notice — and they’re interested. It should be a very fun few years.
Not if they keep putting their heads in the sand, and won't recognize they're only tearing down all the hard work of their predecessors. Besides, the Riverdale TV show looks so sleazy, I have no intention of becoming hooked onto it. Certainly in the past, they managed diversity properly, but today, as the propaganda in the form of Kevin Keller and their leftism has proven, along with their dismaying shift to horror thrillers with the Afterlife title, they have no idea what they're really doing, and that's alienating the family audiences, along with right-wingers, yet at the same time, as sales receipts suggest, they're not bringing in any leftists either.

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I was once at an Anaheim Wondercon some years back when I came across a table for an independent comics publisher from Texas. He claimed if you bought his book and didn't agree that it was the worst comic book ever, he would give you a dollar back on the price. Thinking this was an unusual approach to comix publishing I asked him why he did it. After some back and forth, it turned out he just wanted to get the thrill of being a comic publisher and going to cons. He had enough disposable income to print up a book that would sell only a few dozen books but apparently enjoyed the experience. I think that pretty much sums up Goldwater without getting into complex theories or artistic criticism.

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