By Derek Trum
The Archie Forever panel was held Friday afternoon at the New York Comic Con. The room was filled with fans. There was actually no seats left when I got inside. Myself and others stood in the back row against the wall, just to be a part of the panel. Alex Segura (editor) moderated the panel that included Mike Pellerito (president of Archie comics), John Goldwater (CEO/Publisher), Chip Zdarsky (Jughead, writer), Erica Henderson (Jughead, artist), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Archie Afterlife, writer), Dan Parent (Kevin Keller, writer), Victor Gorelick (Co-President), Robert Hack (Sabrina, artist).
The panel started with talk about the new Jughead series from Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson. Just the mention of the book got a great response from the crowd. Chip told the story of how he got the job. Chip had reached out to editor Alex Segura about doing a variant cover for the Archie relaunch. This conversation ended up in Chip being offered the writing job for Jughead. Erica Henderson signed on to the book as soon as she heard Chip was writing. Chip said that writing dialogue for Jughead just comes naturally to him. Growing up he's tried to emulate Jughead for years. Chip also talked about how each issue of the series will feature a fantasy sequence. This gives Chip the freedom to incorporate some great things like the Super Teens, Time Police, and Agents of Riverdale.
Next was some news about the new Archie relaunch. Once the topic of the new Archie comic came up John Goldwater was quick to say that Archie: Afterlife really made this relaunch possible. The success of that book really showed that fans are willing to check out these books when you put top talent on them. Annie Wu (Black Canary, artist) will be drawing issue #4 of Archie. Issue #5 & #6 will be drawn by Veronica Fish. The first three issues will be collected in a Collector's Edition with a new cover by Fiona Staples.
The Archie Horror books were up next. Fans were assured that Archie: Afterlife #9 is written and is now in the hands of artist Francesco Francavilla. Because of the long wait the book will be an oversized edition. Fans can think of it as #9.5. The upcoming issue will focus on Reggie Mantle and Sabrina. Josie & the Pussycats will be featured in the book soon. A fan asked a question about a possible Sabrina movie, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was able to speak about it. Originally a movie was being developed and would feature an almost super-hero version of Sabrina. That version of the movie is no longer going to happen. It was teased that a very big announcement would be coming soon about a Sabrina movie. It appears that a horror themed movie that is more in line with the current series will be announced soon.
Dan Parent spoke about his upcoming Kevin Keller series. The book will follow an older version of Kevin living his life. Veronica will be featured as a supporting character in the book. Dan really enjoys how she works as a foil for Kevin. Dan also noted that he's keen on Cheryl Blossom and may incorporate her into the book.
A new Betty & Veronica series by Adam Hughes was briefly talked about. They are still not ready to announce the full creative team. Mike Pellerito mentioned that he's aware of some the artist that Adam will be bringing to the book and he is very excited. More news on the series will be released soon.
A fourth ongoing series was teased by editor Alex Segura. While it was not made official what the title would be, it was strongly suggested that the new ongoing would be Josie and the Pussycats. Other projects that were talked about were the new CW Riverdale series. Currently the pilot is written and directors are being looked at. The series will take a slightly darker take on the Archie characters. The show will focus on the Archie/Betty/Veronica love triangle. Fans can also expect to see The Blossom Twins, and Josie & the Pussycats. The upcoming Archie Musical was touched upon. Adam McKay (Anchorman, writer/director) is writing the book while they look for songwriters.