Monday, March 21, 2011

Archie Comics Review: World of Archie Double Digest #5

The World of Archie Double Digest #5 came out last week and it was a little bit of a surprise!

I don't read a lot of regular monthly (or semi-monthly - World of Archie Double Digest comes out 10 times a year) but this is my favorite book every time. This Double Digest seems more like a "Greatest Hits" collection of stories every month. There's a good bit of the 5- and 6-page Archie stories like the other Double Digests, but World of Archie has been putting other great stuff in there too. The first few issues had some classic Sabrina the Teenage Witch and a really nice section of Archie's Mad House.

The most recent issues have featured She's Josie, starting with her first issue. This is Dan DeCarlo at his finest. I'm just recently getting into DeCarlo and it's amazing how much of an influence he's had on Bruce Timm. They draw very similar - and beautiful - women.

I was surprised that this issue featured the Tiny Titans/Little Archie from a few years back. It's my first look at the Tiny Titans and the work of Baltazar and Franco, and I really like it. Through the story, you really get the sense that they either know the Archie universe pretty well, or had seriously done their homework for this series. There are a lot of little references to past Archie, one in particular is "Sugar, Sugar," and one of the stories features Mad Doctor Doom! I love that guy!

It's Mad Doctor Doom!

The book goes from the Tiny Titans/Archie stories, through some good fun (grown up?) Archie stories with the regular cast of characters, and good stories with some secondary cast members, and rounds out the middle with She's Josie.

My only complaint with the She's Josie stories in here are that they aren't marked. I don't know which issue this was. It would be nice if there was some sort of legend in the back of the book, or on a dedicated World of Archie Double Digest page on the Archie website that listed where each story in the book came from. Archie books stories are pretty timeless and you can see a good mix of comics from the 60's to now in there.

I feel like the Josie stories in these digests, and the Sabrina stories from the earlier issues, are comic book gold. They're great stories to study to learn how to tell a good story. Dan DeCarlo is a master at work here, and it really looks like he was having a great time with this series.

Each issue of this series has been better than the last. I bought the first issue off the newsstand at a bookstore, and made sure I got the next one when it came out. The quality really held up and now I'm a subscriber. I'll have the fine World of Archie Double Digest delivered to my mailbox for as long as they publish it.

I stopped reading monthly comics because (while the price was going up and the content staying the same) I made a pact with myself to only buy books that shipped on time. Six months later I was buying nothing, and didn't really miss anything. I read this book and the Archie Double Digest every month, and pick up the occasional trade here and there, so I still get my comic fix. I also write and draw my own comics, and that helps a lot.

Anyway, this is a huge selling point for the Archie Books:

A preview of the next book AND a shipping date! What an amazing concept!

Once again, everything you've read above is my own dumb opinion.

PS: I wish I could tell you where to buy this. You could try Borders, if there's still one open around you. I've always found a good selection of Archie Comics and Digests there. I first saw this at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which is a good bookstore, but it's an hour and a half away from me, so I don't get there often. Good thing Archie Comics does subscriptions!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
World of Archie Double Digest, Archie Double Digest, Archie Comics, Dan DeCarlo, She's Josie, Josie & the Pussycats, Art Baltazar, Franco, Archie Subscription

1 comment:

  1. I've seen Archie digests on sale in some grocery stores, at the checkout counter along with the other digest-size magazines (Reader's Digest, Penny Press crossword puzzle books). They are the only comics I ever see on sale anywhere outside of comic book specialty stores.