Archie & Friends
My friendship and association with Alex Segura dates back to late 2004 when he invited me to join Robot 6‘s ancestor blog (or however you want to call its relation) The Great Curve. I wear my bias on my sleeve for this interview–I’ve always been a supporter of Segura’s work–be it years at DC Comics, or more recently, his current role as Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing at Archie Comics. In addition to discussing what he’s accomplished to date at Archie (and hopes to achieve in the near to long term), we delve into his own writing and musical pursuits (in the band, The Faulkner Detectives).
Tim O’Shea: Before your first stint with Archie a few years back, you worked at Wizard. So I gotta ask, what’s your reaction to the end of the print magazine?
Alex Segura: On a gut level, it’s sad. Wizard was a big part of my getting into comics – or at least, sticking with them – in middle school and into college. There were times when I wasn’t actively buying any regular comic books but would still pick up Wizard to keep tabs on the industry. Working there was also huge. It was my first full-time job in the industry and gave me a crash course in comics and how they work. I also met some of my best friends there – many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis. Hell, I live with Ryan Penagos, who I first met at Wizard. So, yeah. I have a lot of fond memories of both my time at the company and my relationship with the magazine leading up to that.
Professionally, I’m not all that surprised. There was a time when Wizard was a major tastemaker – they had a big part in the rise of Image and for a long while broke major news from the Big Two. But with the rise of comic news on the web, it just seemed like they got left behind. Hopefully this new incarnation can revive the company. We’ll see.
Although it has grown increasingly topical of late, Archie Comics has a longstanding tradition of producing special Earth Day stories. This year, in April’s Archie & Friends Double Digest #4, the Riverdale gang takes a hard look at the waste stream as Dianna Cohen, founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and writer Angelo DeCesare (who wrote the “Twilite” parody) team up to produce the story “Bottle Battle!”
Annually millions of plastic bottles are recycled, but where do they go? Are they actually broken down a turned into something else? Or do they just disappear from sight? With the help of Veronica’s father Mr. Lodge, the kids from Riverdale High School discover what really happens to a bottle after the beverage is gone.
And in an interesting twist, the comic will be available through the usual venues (comics shops on March 30, newsstands on April 12) and as a single-issue subscription from the Archie Comics Store, which also offers a handful of other special issues like the “Riverdale Shore” parody, the Veronica meets President Obama issue, and the critically acclaimed Jughead #200.