Lots of different opinions swirling around over Archie Comics' decision to change art styles.
In May of '07, Archie will be going from the standard, in-house, Dan Decarlo-inspired look to something that's a little more modern.
New Vs. Classic
They've already done something similar to this with Sabrina the Teenage Witch - shifting from the house style to something more Manga-inspried - and that seems to have worked out for them.
So why is this a big deal?
I'll admit I'm not the Archie fan that this guy is - I did read a lot of the digests when I was a kid and I try to keep up with the whole Americana series as those come out, but trust me, I am by no means an Archie-phile.
But I also think that's one of the best things about Archie. Even though I haven't really read Archie since I was much younger, I could pick up an Archie comic today and not be lost. I love that, and I think most everybody else does too.
But with this new look, I wonder if the creators might not be tempted to play around with the story elements a little more. They've already announced that the formatting will change, going from the standard short-story format to a longer, full-length tale each issue. And now that Archie and the gang look different - a little more realistic - will the stories start to veer towards the same?
If that happens, it might not be a bad thing either. Archie's been around a long time, and a little change could be good. I usually side with the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory, but I'm interested to see where this goes.
It's certainly got people talking about ol' Arch', and I'll be picking up the first issue when it hits in May... and I haven't been to Riverdale in over twenty years.
What my pal Phil "the deal" Looney has to say about Archie...
Newsarama's coverage of the Archie announcement...
Archie Comics Site...
More on Dan Decarlo...