[Editor’s Note: There was a big emphasis on kids at this year’s New York Comic Con, with a sizeable chunk of Sunday’s programming geared toward the youngest of the comics-reader age bracket. While we consider ourselves a pretty young-at-heart crew, we thought it best to go to an actual member of the event’s target audience for this report on Sunday’s kid-savvy "Growing Up With Archie" panel. The author of this report (with a little help from our own Martha Thomases) is Lillian Baker, daughter of popular writer/artist Kyle Baker, and an aspiring artist in her own right. -RM]
We attended Sunday’s presentation by Archie Comics. The room was nearly full, with lots of girls sitting next to their mothers. The panel included Archie Comics editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, publisher Michael Silberkleit, managing editor Mike Pellerito, artist Dan Parent, creators Barbara Slate, Fernando Ruiz, Misako Rox and ComicMix’s own Andrew Pepoy.
After a slide show that presented Archie and his friends through the ages (including a character named Wilbur we had never seen before), Mr. Silberkleit said that parents can trust Archie Comics to always tell good stories. He let everyone introduce him or herself (Mr. Gorelick has worked at the same company for nearly 50 years!) and talked about some new projects, including a new look for Jughead and a series called Archie’s Freshman Year. He said there would be stories about the characters applying for college, too.
Since Archie has been around more than 60 years, we asked, "Shouldn’t they be old geezers asking for pills instead of going to college?” Mr. Silberkleit asked if anyone wanted to read those stories, and only a few people said, “Yes.”
We also asked, “Why do Betty and Veronica like Archie so much? He’s the nerdiest guy in the school. He drives a crappy car. He doesn’t have any money. He doesn’t look great and he has freckles and crosses on his head.” Dan Parent said all of this gave hope to him when he was a kid.
They talked about a bunch of new series, including Riverdale Jones and the Temple of Food. The company is also publishing a “Who’s Who” of the MLJ superheroes, such as The Shield, The Fly and The Web. Andrew Pepoy is doing a new Katy Keene graphic novel that will be out in August. There’s also going to be Archie’s Vault, which will reprint all the old stories, like the DC Archives.
The stories look like they’ll be fun, and you can find them at newsstands everywhere. You can also find them at places like Wal-Mart.
Our thanks go out to Lillian for providing this special report from the show!