|Founder||Maurice Coyne |
John L. Goldwater
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Village of Mamaroneck, Town of Mamaroneck, New York|
|Key people||John L. Goldwater |
|Publication types||Comic books|
|Fiction genres||Humor, Romance, Superheroes|
|Imprints||Belmont Books |
Red Circle Comics
Archie Adventure Series
(all currently defunct)
Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher headquartered in the Village of Mamaroneck, Town of Mamaroneck, New York, known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jughead Jones. The characters were created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater, written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana. They were based in part on people met by Goldwater "in the Midwest" during his travels throughout the United States while looking for jobs and places to stay.
Archie's first appearance in Pep Comics #22 on December 22, 1941, was drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom. With the creation of Archie, publisher Goldwater hoped to appeal to fans of the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. Archie Comics is also the title of the company's longest-running publication, the first issue appearing with a cover date of Winter 1942. Starting with issue #114, the title was shortened to simply Archie.
Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit and John L. Goldwater formed MLJ Magazines and started publishing in November 1939. The company name was derived from the initials of the partners' first names.
Coyne served as MLJ's bookkeeper and CFO. Coyne and Silberkleit had been partners in Columbia Publishing, a pulp company that published its last pulp in the late 1950s. Silberkleit had a college degree from St. John’s University, was a licensed and registered pharmacist, and had a law degree from New York Law School. His efforts were focused on the business, printing, separating, distribution and financial ends of the company. John Goldwater served as editor-in-chief. Goldwater was one of the founders of the Comics Magazine Association of America, and served as its president for 25 years. The Comics Magazine Association of America is best know to comic fans for its Comics Code Authority. He was also a national commissioner of the Anti-Defamation League.
Their first comic was Blue Ribbon Comics, published November 1939; the first issue was half color, with the remaining pages in red and white tints. In December 1941, was introduced. In January 1940, Pep Comics debuted featuring the Shield, America's first patriotic comic book hero, by writer and managing editor and artist Irv Novick. The Shield was the cover feature for Pep Comics until March 1944, when Archie became the dominant feature; the Shield continued in Pep Comics until January 1948. The Shield predates Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Captain America by 15 months, and his sidekick Dusty, from Pep Comics #11, January 1941, predates Cap's sidekick Bucky by three months.
John Goldwater, inspired by the popular Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney, wanted to create a comic about a normal person to whom readers could relate. He created "America's newest boy friend", Archibald "Chick" Andrews. In Pep Comics #22, December 1941, writer Vic Bloom and artist Bob Montana published Archie Andrews' first adventure.It starts with "Chick" Showing off for his new next door neighbor, the famous Betty Cooper. "Archie was based partly on a red-headed friend of his named Archie," Gloria Goldwater, wife of John Goldwater, said. "He also created Betty and Veronica. Then he decided Archie needed a real good friend. That was Jughead. It just grew and grew."
As Archie’s popularity grew, MLJ Magazines changed its name to Archie Comic Publications. In the mid-1950s, the advent of television caused the pulp magazine industry to suffer as TV became a dominant form of entertainment. With slumping sales, Silberkleit and Coyne decided to discontinue Columbia Publications. Coyne stayed on at Archie Comics as CFO until he retired in the 1970s. Louis Silberkleit and John Goldwater shared the same office and ate lunch together for their entire business career.
In the early 1970s, Archie Enterprises Inc. went public. Just over ten years later, Louis Silberkleit’s son Michael and John Goldwater’s son Richard returned Archie Comic Publications to private ownership. Michael Silberkleit served as chairman and co-publisher, while Richard Goldwater served as president and co-publisher, until their passing. John Goldwater served as honorary chairman, a post he held until he died of a heart attack at his home in Manhattan, on February 26, 1999. In 2009, John's son Jonathan succeeded in his family's legacy and was named CEO of Archie Comic Publications.
Although the comic started in the 1940s, it has changed over the years to stay current with the times, said writer and artist Dan Parent. One example is the introduction in 2010 of openly gay character Kevin Keller, who first appeared in Veronica #202. In June 2011 Keller will be featured in his own four-part miniseries, in part because of his popularity with fans. Other changes that have happened in the 70 years of the comic book’s history is the death of teacher Miss Grundy and Archie's wedding. Bill Yoshida learned comic book lettering from Ben Oda and was hired in 1965 by Archie Comics, where he averaged 75 pages a week for 40 years for an approximate total of 156,000 pages. In February 2010, Archie Comics partnered with (A2) and POW! Entertainment to create print and digital line. Archie Comics anounced at the New York Comic Con in October 2011 that it superhero line will return as an all-digital line under a subscription model with back issues archive access.
Archie and Riverdale
At various points, Archie Comics has experimented with publishing various superhero titles. Archie has also been a superhero in some comics,such as Pureheart. Beginning with Blue Ribbon Comics #1 (November 1939), and continuing throughout the 1940s with titles such as Zip Comics, Jackpot Comics, Hangman Comics, Shield-Wizard Comics and Pep Comics. Pep was, "before Archie came along in issue #22... home to the first ever patriotic superhero, The Shield."
During "Archie's Silver Age (late 1950s through the 1960s)," the Shield led other characters in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby title The Double Life of Private Strong, while Simon & Kirby soon added another title — The Adventures of the Fly — which in turn was later joined by The Jaguar.
Red Circle Comics
Archie Adventure Series
In the 1980s, Archie's superheros returned. Initially published by JC Comics in JCP Features #1, (December 1981), in March 1983, the first issue of Mighty Crusaders appeared, leading to a procession of new titles under the Red Circle Comics banner, soon to be re-branded (in February 1984) the Archie Adventure Series, before cancellation in September 1985.
Archie tried publishing superheroes again in the late 1980s with an imprint called Spectrum Comics, featuring a number of high-profile talents, including Steve Englehart, Jim Valentino, Marv Wolfman, Michael Bair, Kelley Jones, and Rob Liefeld. Planned Spectrum titles included The Fly, The Fox, Hangman, Jaguar, Mister Justice, and The Shield. Ultimately, Archie cancelled the entire Spectrum Comics before publishing a single issue.
Currently published titles
Dynamic "New Look" Series
In 2007, Archie Comics started making four-part "new look" series, where the first part of four issues is a different story and the characters are drawn in an updated, less cartoony style. At Comic-Con 2009, the writer revealed that the series was ending after the then-current Reggie storyline. Here are the titles for the issues:
Honors and awards
The United States Postal Service paid tribute to Archie by including him as part of a set of five 44-cent postage stamps on the theme "Sunday Funnies," issued July 16, 2010. The Archie stamp featured Veronica, Archie, and Betty sharing a chocolate milkshake. The other stamps depicted characters from the Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, and Dennis the Menace comic strips.
- Official website
- Archie Universe
- Who's Who in the Archie Universe
- Archie comic strip
- Bob Montana Cartoons 1946–1970 at Syracuse University (original artwork for the Archie comic strip)
- AiT/Planet Lar
- Another Rainbow
- Antarctic Press
- Archie (MLJ)
- Aspen MLT
- Dark Horse
- DC (National Allied Publications)
- Devil's Due
- Drawn and Quarterly
- Fantagraphics (Eros)
- First Second
- Last Gasp
- Marvel (Timely • Atlas)
- Radio Comix
- Rip Off Press
- Seven Seas
- Slave Labor
- Top Cow
- Top Shelf
- WaRP Graphics
- Charlton Comics
- Del Rey
- Eternity Comics
- Fiction House
- Gold Key
- Highwater Books
- Kitchen Sink Press
- Print Mint
- Renegade Press
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