While Archie Comics have managed to penetrate the direct market more successfully than they have in years by introducing the teen-focused New Riverdale line, beginning with a 2015 relaunch of Archie by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, veteran Archie artist Dan Parent has never gone away -- and now he's bringing back an all-ages, classic-look Archie in a new series.
Parent, who created the popular character of Kevin Keller, will be joined by Eisner winner Ty Templeton in launching Your Pal, Archie, a new, kid-friendly take on the character that will run alongside the "New Riverdale" line and the classic Archie Digest books where Parent has been working. Templeton will write and ink the series, which Parent will draw.
The title marks Parent's thirtieth year at Archie Comics, and a return to the comics mainstream in a way for both "classic" Archie and Parent, both of whom have been relegated mostly to Digests, reprints, and digital-only books for a while now.
That said, this isn't quite the classic Archie fans might remember.
“I've been fortunate enough to be drawing in the classic style for so long, that I eventually formed my own style based on the Dan DeCarlo/Bob Montana model,” said series artist Dan Parent.
“In addition to drawing lots of classic Archie stories for the digests, I've been working on the digital first series Life With Kevin, starring Kevin Keller. I had a feeling a classic monthly title might come back into the fold. So here it is!”
The New Riverdale reboot has been credited with informing the Riverdale TV series, and now that comes full circle as Classic Archie's return comes with just a hint of Riverdale influence, as well -- albeit not in the sex-and-murder part.
“The influence from the show is more of a fashion makeover for me. I've changed the hairstyles a bit, and the clothes. And the faces are a little more detailed, but the line work is still the simple classic lines I've always used,” Parent explained.
“I consider it an honor to write Archie’s latest adventures and a big responsibility that I take very seriously until I remember that it's my job to dump Archie in a bucket of squid now and then or it won't be fun,” said Templeton. “Speaking of fun, I get to work with the legendary Dan Parent! He's given the characters a new updated look, but they still feel like group we've all grown up with. I could not be happier for this opportunity and I hope the fans are as happy with the result.”
Victor Gorelick, Archie Comics Co-President/Editor-in-Chief, will edit the new series. Gorelick, who has worked at Archie Comics for nearly 60 years, is excited to be working on the new series.
“Archie and I have been real close pals since October 6, 1958. That’s when I started working at Archie Comics. My goal is to make Archie your pal, too. Your Pal Archie will have stories filled with humor. The kind of stories that have, over the last 75 years, made Archie an American icon,” said Gorelick. “I have two of the most talented people in the industry, Dan Parent, who has been writing and drawing Betty & Veronica, Archie and Jughead stories for almost 30 years and Ty Templeton, who is new to Archie. He’s a terrific writer and artist. I’m looking forward to working with him."
Your Pal Archie launches on July 26 in comic book stores and digital platforms. Issues #1-5 will feature a special connecting variant cover by artist Les McClaine that forms a giant image of Pop’s Chock’lit Shop featuring Archie Comics’ most beloved characters.
You can check out the official solicitation below, and both covers to #1 in the attached image gallery.
ALL-NEW CLASSIC ARCHIE: YOUR PAL, ARCHIE! #1
Classic-style Archie makes his return in this ALL-NEW, ALL-AGES comic from Ty Templeton and Dan Parent! Issue 1 features one of five connecting variant covers by Les McClaine. Collect them all to create one giant image of Pop's Chock'lit Shop!
Script: Ty Templeton
Art: Dan Parent, Ty Templeton, Jack Morelli
Cover: Dan Parent
Connecting Variant Cover: Les McClaine
On Sale Date: 7/26
32-page, full color comic