Good job on this 2-parter. Interesting in that of all writers, Paul K was the one I always thought there was nothing of his I really think is above average (I give Giffen credit on the Ambush Bug stories.)
Also, as it (the podcast) went on, I could feel the series running into the usual comics trap of continually having to up the ante, from multiverses to reviving obscure characters from earlier in the run, to being over-topical. Despite that, I may pick up issues in junk bins if I see them.
For the record, my favorite period of Archie was in the mid-late 60s, when, over the title, they'd have a random character vignette from somewhere in the book.
This also coincides with period of superhero and spy stories. Also stories where they'd be in prehistoric times or ancient Rome with no explanation.
“If you’re not good enough to be a cartoonist, maybe you can be an artist." --S. Clay Wilson
Post by The Captain on Mar 18, 2017 15:47:02 GMT -5
I listened to this podcast on Friday afternoon at work (I was the only person in my building that day, so I had no distractions). As with the first part, I give you major credit for keeping me engaged and wanting to finish it even though I have no familiarity or interest in the material being discussed. From what it sounds like, this really isn't a series for me, primarily because of Kupperberg's politics as well as him bringing back characters from the past that I would be completely lost about.
Looking forward to the next one! Keep up the great work, CB.
"As a youngin' I used to share the colt 45 on the street corners with my friends. I'm not proud." - icctrombone
"If you are strong, be a protector. If you are smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, so do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that." - Chris Pratt
Post by Roquefort Raider on Mar 23, 2017 7:53:26 GMT -5
Thanks to your very entertaining podcast, I re-read the series last week... and boy, is there a problem with that ending.
In the post-crossover period, we continue to follow the lives of our characters as plot lines are tweaked so as to appear to ignore the cross-dimensional adventure that may have been too comic-booky for the general public. The general atmosphere is a very positive one, in which people grow and develop... like real life, thus justifying the title of the mag. There is drama, there is joy, there is tragedy, there is relief.
But then Archie dies violently and the book stops. I know that the PTB would probably claim that "this was planned for a long time, we wanted to reflect that in real life people do die, we wanted to send a positive message about recovering from a tragedy and blah blah blah". I wouldn't buy it for a second. Archie's death comes from the left field, and has "THIS MAG IS NOT SELLING ANYMORE SO WE GO OUT WITH A STORY THAT'S SURE TO MAKE THE HEADLINES" printed all over it. Well, not literally, but metaphorically.
Were it true that this was a natural, organic plot development, it would mean that the entire series built up to this moment. A moment leaving us with an unspeakable feeling of waste. If that was the goal, then congrats... it worked. It does feel like a waste. But honestly? Not for one second do I believe that the hopeful storyline we followed for years was meant to generate a sense of waste. Nope.
The last issue where people "celebrate" Archie's life was like a slap on the face. Of course, in real life people eventually get over their grief... of course, time is a great healer... but this is a comic-book story, and depending on whether you read it in magazine form or in collected form, barely a month or a few seconds elapsed between Archie's senseless death and everybody feeling all warm and sunny about what a great guy he was. "Come on", thinks the reader, "don't you people realize? Archie's dead!!!" That the story is set one year later justifies the characters' behaviour, but it doesn't work at all for the reader. Imagine how poorly the aftermath of Jean Grey's death would have been received if, in X-Men #138, instead of having Scott Summers mourn and reminisce for an entire issue before quitting the X-Men, we had been sent "a year later" and shown the man carousing with a new girlfriend? We'd have gone "whaaaa...?" (even if, a year after Jean's death -real time and comic-book time both- Scott was involved with another woman).
On top of that, the book ends right there. In the real world, people do get on with their lives after a tragedy, and life goes on. But here it doesn't; Archie dies, and that's the last we'll see of all these characters. So there is no "getting on with life"; it just ends with Archie's passing.
The "Archie marries..." comics that preceded "Life with Archie" ended with our hero fathering twins... a new, exciting and even more daunting adventure. That, in my opinion, was a much better ending... far more in tone with what Life with Archie had been up to that point than the tragic conclusion it eventually got.