Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Comic Book review: Afterlife With Archie

Afterlife with Archie review by Joe David Thompson
There were so many great comics this week, you'd think there was some kind of convention going on or something...

While there's plenty to talk about this week: 
Batman #33 brought Year Zero, another excellent Scott Snyder arc to its conclusion, balancing the action and character work tremendously well. Saga #21 gave us more time with Prince Robot IV, an area of this story I feel like we need more focus.  There was a double Warren Ellis whammy with Trees #3 and the inaugural issue of Supreme Blue Rose.  

I'm curious about what Ellis is doing on Trees, which is digging deep into the characters of the story with little sci-fi spectacle.  I think I'm going to reread these issues.  Supreme Blue Rose is far more interesting, a superhero meets private eye yarn told as Ellis channels David Lynch's Twin Peaks, from the title reference to the dreamlike quality of the action and art.  There's definitely something good going on here.

Still, my favorite book this week is a title which I've only recently jumped on board: Afterlife with Archie.  Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Afterlife with Archie is a mashup of THe Walking Dead and, you guessed it, Archie Comics, where zombies threaten Riverdale.  It all started when Jughead's dog was hit by a car and he begged Sabrina the Teenage Witch to revive his best friend.  Things backfire, of course, and the dog comes back as a zombie, bites Jughead, and away goes the zombies.  Issue six is the perfect jumping on point, as it switched story perspective, checking in with where Sabrina's been while all hell is breaking loose in town.  What we get is an excellently executed Lovecraftian tale that never devolves into silliness or over the top horor.  Aguirre-Sacasa lets the characters do the work here, crafting emotionally revealing moments that propel the story forward.  There's even a few True Detective references, if you're a fan of the show (and why aren't you a fan of that show?) 

Francesco Francavilla, who is also responsible for Dark Horse Comics' wonderful noir book, The Black Beetle, delivers stunning art on this book consistently.  He has a way with the gothic imagery at work that blends the horror and human elements with eye popping detail.  This is a beautiful looking book.

Afterlife with Archie is thoroughly enjoyable.  It's a perfect book for horror or zombie fans, or anyone just looking for an excellent story.

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at and follow him on twitter @jovid52