Archie Comics Announces Partnership with Webtoon

Archie Comics has been an integral part of the comics industry for decades now, bringing slice-of-life stories to readers for decades. The publisher and its characters have had a sort of renaissance in the modern era thanks to shows like Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and it looks like that modern sensibility will soon carry over into the comics as well. Polygon recently confirmed that Archie Comics plans to release original content on Webtoon, making them the first American comics publisher to officially partner with the popular portal.

“The WebToon platform and audience is perfectly suited for the Archie brand, and we’re excited to partner with them to create new stories that expand and build on the tales we’ve been sharing with fans for almost 80 years,” Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura said in a statement. “Archie’s goal is always to be accessible and everywhere, and this is another step in that direction. We’ll be sharing more details about the story and creative [team] soon, and we can’t wait to hear what fans think about this major digital partnership.”

“We are thrilled to add [an] Archie series to our program as we are constantly looking to broaden our offerings on the platform for the US audience,” David Lee, head of content for Webtoon, added. “This story will provide an opportunity for Archie fans to experience the vertical scroll format on Webtoon and we appreciate Archie Comics for allowing us to be creative with our pitch.”

While Archie titles have made their way into digital before, the notion of them being formatted into Webtoon's "infinite canvas" layout is certainly a new step for the brand. And as Polygon points out, Archie is a surprisingly good fit for Webtoon's readers, with the most popular strips largely falling in the romance or comedy categories.

This decision comes at an interesting crossroads for Archie -- while the brand is still going strong with Riverdale and several of its comic titles, it also has had to recently endure the cancellations of the Katy Keene and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV shows, and the surprise hiatus of the main Archie series.

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Archie Comics' Webtoon content is expected to debut sometime in 2021.