Archie Comics announced plans to release two new book collections at the San Diego Comic-Con International: The Best of Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica, collecting the best stories starring Archie’s girlfriends over the last 70 years; and Archie’s Valentine: A Rock & Roll Romance, a new addition to the Archie Married graphic novel series in which Archie and Valerie Brown of Josie and the Pussycats get married. A Rock & Roll Romance will be released in January 2014 and the Best of Betty & Veronica will be released in April 2014,
The newest graphic novel in the popular Archie Wedding and Married Life series, stories written in a realistic style that look at what might happen if Archie were to marry Betty, Veronica, or in this case, Valerie Brown, the African American bassist of the classic girl-band Josie and the Pussycats. The Archie Married series have been very popular and Harold Buchholz, Archie senior v-p of publishing, has called it the “second-bestselling Archie-character graphic novel series.”
The series will look at what happens with Valerie moves to Riverdale and hooks up with Archie and readers will get to see a vision of what their lives together as a married couple might be like. In this world, Archie (he’s the leader of the band the Archies) and Valerie will have to harmonize their musical ambitions. They’ll also have a talented daughter named Star.
The Best of Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica is the latest book in Archie’s best of collections, a $9.99 400 page collection of stories selected from over 70 years of comics about Betty and Veronica. The two previously Best of Archie collections have combined sales of nearly 300,000 copies.
In a phone interview, Archie CEO Jon Goldwater, said that “the Archie Married series has been very successful for us. People just love Josie and the Pussycats especially the Outer Space Cartoon [a classic episode of the animated TV series from the 1970s], which is kind of a cult classic. People will love it when Valerie comes to town and disrupts Archie’s love life.”
Goldwater said part of the success of Archie over the years has been updating the character each new generation. The Married Life series, which puts the characters in naturalistic settings, gives them even more opportunities to modernize the classic characters. “Its fun dealing with Archie and Valerie as real people and gives us the opportunity to expand the Archie universe and try to make it interesting and fun,” he said. “The world in 2013 is a different place, so Archie is different as well.”
Goldwater also said to look for new announcements (there’s already a live action Archie movie in the works for 2015) about upcoming Archie projects at the Archie Comics panel on Saturday at Comic-Con.