Friday, June 12, 2015

Tales from the Bookshelf - Afterlife with Archie Book 1, Escape from Riverdale

I think Archie was the first comic book series I read (that or Inuyasha if you want to count manga, I can't remember for sure). Archie and friends have been around for so long that I'm sure lots of other people will say the same. They're classic ;) I think it's hilarious that each issue runs more or less the same but with different tidbits thrown in (like a mad lib, hahah) yet we all still love 'em anyway. Betty and Veronica constantly try to one-up each other and fight over Archie, Archie's kind of a doofus and oblivious to everything, Jughead's in search of food and Reggie's running around being a jerk. That's why when I first heard about the new Afterlife with Archie series I was instantly intrigued. How would this sort of formula mix in with a story about zombies? Or maybe it wouldn't? With entirely new art and direction, I couldn't wait to see how it would turn out. Since I don't really like reading single comic book issues (in the past I would buy the digests), I painstakingly waited until the first volume of the book came out, Afterlife with Archie Book 1: Escape from Riverdale. It includes issues 1 through 5. I'm SO glad I was finally able to start reading this, because I'm now ridiculously obsessed with it. I can't wait for book two! As in I literally might not be able to wait and might have to track down the single issues somewhere.

Afterlife with Archie
Various panels from the book! Also FYI good friends don't spoil book endings, HOW DARE YOU.

Our story begins with Jughead, when his dog Hot Dog is run over by a car in the middle of the night. Jughead rushes Hot Dog over to Sabrina's house, hoping she can save him (you know, because she's a teenage witch). If you've seen anything dealing with witchcraft then you already know that bringing back the dead is never a good idea, so Sabrina and her aunts sadly decline Jughead's request. Sabrina and Jughead bury Hot Dog in the backyard, and after seeing how distraught he his, Sabrina decides to meddle with some darker magic, trying to bring Hot Dog back. Which kind of worked, except not really, because now Hot Dog's a vicious zombie.

I was really surprised with how well-written the characters are. They still have their same characteristics, but with more depth and in a more realistic way . For example Betty and Veronica still fight over Archie, but it's not fun and games anymore. It's actually pretty hostile...I mean who stays best friends with the girl who's trying to steal your man? If you're looking for the classic happy go lucky Archie and friends comics, look elsewhere. Afterlife with Archie gets really dark, really fast...and it's kinda awesome.

Run down:
Afterlife with Archie Book 1: Escape from Riverdale
Author: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Writer), Francesco Francavilla (Illustrations)
Published + Publisher: May 13th, 2015 by Archie Comics
Pages: 160 pages, paperback
Source: Library!

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