Showing posts with label Archie Comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archie Comics. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Kindness Works, an Archie comic on autism

by Mike Rhode

Recently I saw an article about Nancy Silberkleit, Archie Comics' co-CEO, publishing a comic about with a new autistic character. Since I've written a little about what's now being called graphic medicine, I sent her an email asking how to get a copy of the Kindness Works comic.

Much to my surprise, she called me to talk about the comic. We chatted for a few minutes, and I took some notes which are combined here with some e-mail exchanges:

The new character Scarlet in the Archie Comic family is a lovely young teen at Riverdale High skilled in building anything. She cherishes friends, but has difficulty expressing friendship or showing how she desires inclusion. She reacts differently to situations such as sounds and light.  Scarlet is neurodiverse, she is a person with autism. (The term neurodiversity is now trending for people with autism). Physically she has a little pony tail that flows to the side over her long hair and she wears glasses.

The comic shows the Li'l Archie characters interacting with Scarlet when they were young, and then re-encountering her as she transfers into the Riverdale High School. Some people such as Principal Weatherbee, Archie and Betty welcome her, while Reggie is his usual thoughtless self. The story is by Ray Felix, with pencils by Fernando Ruiz, inks by Dheeraj Jimar Mishra and letters by Andrew Thomas.

When writing this, Silberkleit wanted to "touch one's gut, one's funny bone, and one's mind. Scarlet being called 'weird' hits you in the gut; Hot Dog pulling on Reggie onto a barely-frozen pond touches your funny bone (and is based on a thought I had while walking my dog), and the whole comic touches your mind. I want people to understand our differences and value them to make the world a better place.

The comic is currently only being distributed electronically from Silberkleit via Paypal. She says she wants to make sure it gets a wide distribution via personal contacts and not be sidelined by the short shelf-life of one of the digests.

I am taking a hands-on approach to distribution. Inclusion is a global issue and when I use the word inclusion, it means there are folks in global societies that have to deal with exclusion, the act of isolation. That is the worst injustice that can happen to a person. I like to spark hope within people and see if I can get folks to be on a path to understand people's differences. Kindness Works is dealing with a population that has difficulty in expressing their desire for kindness and inclusion.

I feel emotional about this topic and want to see how I can help one get through the day, and in turn, hope I have sparked that individual to do the same, to spread inclusion and kindness . We are all on this planet for 76 years give or take - to me it's a short time. There was a little boy who said do as much as you can in the time you have; our talented team at Archie comics is doing just that with this wonderful story created for us.

This short comic also resonated with me for personal reasons. When I was in middle school in New Jersey in the 1970s, one town over from where Silberkleit was working as a teacher in Paramus, we had a class of autistic students that didn't interact with the rest of the school. I distinctly remember one time when 'normal' students were picking on one of the autistic kids who responded by yelling and chasing them down the hallway. I didn't like that treatment of him then, and I don't like to see it now. I work with people who have autistic children at home, and try to listen and be sensitive to the different issues they face. Anything, including a comic story, that reinforces the lesson of treating others as you'd like to be treated is worth supporting and especially teaching to children.

To order your copy, go to PayPal and send #1.99 to 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Afterlife With Archie special variant cover at Big Planet Comics

Big Planet Comics has an Archie exclusive comic book with their logo on the cover.... it's the new book Afterlife with Archie that features a zombie Jughead also on the cover.

I shop at the one at

Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

In time for Halloween: 'Afterlife With Archie'

Archie Comics Gets Horror Makeover in "Afterlife"
NBC4 Washington

In "Afterlife With Archie," a series debuting Wednesday, publisher Archie Comics is launching not just its first horror title, but also its first book carrying a rating for teens and older sold only in comic shops.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Truitt on Archie & Cable

Archie rekindles a former romance beginning in March
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY December 12 2011

Cable targets the Avengers in Marvel's 'X-Sanction' series
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY December 14 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Truitt on Archie's new gay character

Kevin Keller proves a diverse and popular asset for Archie Comics
By Brian Truitt, USA Today February 2 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Truitt and USA Today on comics

Mission creep alert!

On the assumption that USA Today is based in northern Virginia, and it's reporters probably are too, I'm going to expand to listing all their comic articles, and not just the ones by ex-Washington Examiner reporter Brian Truitt.

Captain America puts focus on suicide prevention
By John Geddes, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Take a trip to alternate realities with 'The Infinite Vacation'
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Archie to go day-and-date digitally with titles in April
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That darn Archie

'Archie' on Bended Knee
Washington Post Saturday, August 22, 2009

Regarding the Aug. 19 Style article "Arch Rivals":

Lost in the "Archie" comic's Betty/Veronica debate are the voices of Archie's parents. Has his father's 401(k) been so depleted that the parents are more concerned with their own golden retirement funding than they are with their son's moral compass and his welfare?

Maybe we've overestimated Archie himself these many years. Perhaps, the man is so insecure that he needs a trophy wife for validation.

Archie's decision to propose to Veronica may be revealing of his true character, not out of character.

Materialism and egocentrism vs. altruism and selflessness . . . the battle continues.




It has been a long time since I read "Archie" comics but, based on what I know, it is hard for me to believe that Archie Andrews would marry Veronica Lodge. We can only hope that he comes to his senses, recants his proposal and marries his one true love -- Jughead.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New study on superheroine breast-size issued by DC thinktank

See "Study: Comic Book Superheroines 'Improbably Busty'," CAP News January 28 2009.* The same site is reporting on a new, grittier Dark Archie movie.

*this is satire, but Sequential Tart used to run a great column entitled 'Bizarre Breasts' by colorist Laura Dupuy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Read This Comic: The Return

Many years ago, one of the Internet mailing lists I joined was Comix@ - supposedly devoted to alternative comics, but actually anything was fair game. I made a lot of good friends on the list, and was sorry to see it eventually die - done in by message boards and websites. One of the conceits of the list was "Read this Comic" in which one recommended an obscure or odd title. Here's some that I wrote up years ago. Perhaps I'll start doing this again - but meanwhile anyone can play! Mail them to me and I'll post them.

And now, Read this Comic, circa 2000 - a bit dated (Lynda Barry and Ted Rall have both lost plenty of newspapers unfortunately), but still perhaps of interest:

--Xeric-winner Ellen Forney's collection of strips from Seattle newspapers "I was Seven in '75" (ISBN 0-9660258-8-1) recalls the horrors of the Seventies in ways that retro-fashion trends can only hint at. From her brother's swept back Farrah Fawcett hair, to her mother's nudist tennis game, to Forney's favorite rainbow-stiched pants, it's all here. Her autobiographical style is a pleasant stroll compared to much of the genre. Hopefully, she'll be able to break into to a larger syndicated market and compete with Lynda Barry and Ted Rall's mean streaks.

--The strangest comic that I've read by far this year is Life with Archie #129 (January 1973). Al Hartley wrote and drew the issue around the time he began producing Christian comics . Hartley's style is instantly recognizable for his amazing overuse of facial expressions and floating objects around heads like hearts, stars, sweatbeads, speed lines, etc. In many ways, it's a very appealing style. Archie and the gang are magically transported back to the 1890s in "Nostalgia Gets Ya!" There's no attempt at an explanation; when Archie asks for one, Betty says "Nothing's impossible, Arch! If you believe in miracles, they come true!"

The gang walks four miles to school (oddly enough, I thought sprawl was a post-WWII problem) and Archie discovers that "Mr. Weatherbee seems bigger to me!" Jughead notes, "He seems to have more confidence!" as Betty remarks, "Everyone seems to know what they're doing!" presumably including the janitor Swensen, shown in the background.

Later that evening Archie calls on Veronica for a date. Mr. Lodge spends the entire time with them and as Archie is leaving, Veronica apologizes. Archie responds, "I'll bet some girls wish their fathers would pay attention to them! You father's a busy man! I'm flattered that he took the time to keep me out of trouble!"

The weirdness continues and Dilton, (the brain of the group, for those who didn't grow up on Archie) is able to draw some conclusions. "No one calls a policeman a pig! And women are treated as more than equals! People take pride in their neighborhood!" Archie agrees, "There is something different about these people." Veronica sums it up, "Everybody's going in the same direction! They have unity! But where do you look for it?" And Betty provides the capper, "That's easy! You look up!" I must confess that, as a historian of sorts, I did find his longing for a mythical golden age in the 1890s rather tiresome. After all, this is the time period when Jacob Riis was producing his photographs of child labor, published in How the Other Half Lives. Hartley didn't work for Archie much longer after this comic came out, but while he was there he created some .... memorable work. Good luck finding this.

--Another 1 para RTC: Don Rosa's Life of Scrooge McDuck series (Uncle Scrooge 285-296) is a tour-de-force. Originally done for European publisher Egmont in 1991-1993, these were published in America by Gladstone in 1994-1995. In 12 stories, the self-admittedly-obsessed Rosa pulled a multitude of facts about Scrooge from Carl Bark's original classic stories and wove them into an entertaining story. He covered Scrooge's life from 1867-1947 including the Alaskan gold rush. Rosa frequently refers to his work as overly-detailed, but he's obviously lovingly studied Elder's early Mad art. Rosa's stories work on several levels so this can be enjoyed by children and their parents. The story was recently collected by Gladstone.