Blog-O-Ween

Weirdo Wednesdays: Archie and Monsters

Afterlife with Archie #1 cover by Francesco Francavilla (Image via his blog, PulpSunday.blogspot.com)

Last week, Archie Comics published Afterlife with Archie, which, according to the website, is “Archie’s first direct market only, NOT for all ages horror title”. I forgot to have my comic shop order it, so I’m on the hunt for a first printing of the first issue. It looks incredible! Though it’s the first not for all ages horror title, it’s not the Riverdale gang’s first foray into things that go bump in the night. Let’s head to the spooky spinner rack and take a look at a couple of examples.

Archie's Mad House #16, December 1961

Archie’s Mad House #16, December 1961

Archie’s Mad House

In 1959, Archie Comics started publishing Archie’s Mad House. It was a break from the  norm for the kids from Riverdale. As a matter of fact, this title was closer to MAD Magazine than any Archie title. This cover features Jughead happening upon a monster party, and it’s why I bought the issue out of a bin at HeroesCon a couple of years ago. (Now I’m on the hunt for issue #22, since it was the first appearance of Sabrina.) Like MAD and DC’s Plop!, it was a little bit monsters, a little bit humor. Take a look at some panels from the first story, about MIT, the Monster Institute of Transylvania.

20131016-202924.jpg20131016-202934.jpg

How about that second panel? The guy has a skull tie tack. And that spectre behind him? So incredible.

Here’s the best ad for a monster magazine I’ve ever seen.

20131016-202943.jpg

This book is fun because it has a lot of slang from the time. This is how one of the stories ends.

20131016-202955.jpgI wholeheartedly approve.

By issue 19, Archie and his pals dropped from the title, but the madcap tone stayed. Stories focused on monsters, space, and other wacky stories. Eventually the title changed names several times and moved to the Red Circle Publishing Group. Issues 95-97 were strictly horror. After that, they became all comedy. I like this early issue, since it encompasses a little of both.

Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina

This one, kids, is a lot of fun. Did you ever wonder what it would be like if Archie Comics published horror stories drawn in their distinctive style? Wonder no more, because this title is what you need! The cover makes it look like maybe they are scary, but being an Archie title, I wasn’t sure.

Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina #1

Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina #1

Then, I looked a little closer and saw these guys.

Um, what are you doing on my Archie book?

Um, what are you doing on my Archie book?

What the...?

What the…?

Okay, let’s look inside. First up, a story called “Behold the Beast!” It’s a funny story about a whimsical monster, right?

Hmmm, he doesn't look whimsical.

Hmmm, he doesn’t look whimsical.

Wait, death? There's no death in Archie comics!

Wait, death? There’s no death in Archie comics!

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

Soooooo the guys are going to kidnap the sobbing blind girl?

Soooooo the guys are going to kidnap the sobbing blind girl?

Yikes, that was dark! Let’s see what this story has to offer. “The Boy Who Cried Vampire”–that should be fun, right?

Aw, that kid has an Uncle Brucie.

Aw, that kid has an Uncle Brucie.

Uh oh, being hypnotized by your Uncle Brucie is not good.

Uh oh, being hypnotized by your Uncle Brucie is not good.

You did what with the fork? And the hypnotizing?

You did what with the fork? And the hypnotizing?

Uncle Brucie, no!

Uncle Brucie, no!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ummm, okay. So maybe let’s try “Assignment in Fear”. This doesn’t bode well.

Aw, stop making fun of that kid. It won't end well for you.

Aw, stop making fun of that kid. It won’t end well for you.

Translating old Latin text that mentions Beelzebub? Bad move, creep.

Translating old Latin text that mentions Beelzebub? Bad move, creep.

Uh oh. Told  ya!

Uh oh. Told ya!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, a one-page comic. These are usually funny!

Oh, cool. A painting with a hanging tree. That's pretty funny.

Oh, cool. A painting with a hanging tree. That’s pretty funny.

 

Don't do it, burglar.

Don’t do it, burglar.

 

Yep, kinda figured that's what would happen.

Yep, kinda figured that’s what would happen.

Hmmm. Fine, let’s read the last one, “Curiosity Kills”. It’s going to be dark and scary. I’m no fool anymore.

Look how pretty and sinister Sabrina looks!

Look how pretty and sinister Sabrina looks!

 

I skipped the part with the  inheriting of the box and the guy wondering what was in it. This is the good part.

I skipped the part with the inheriting of the box and the guy wondering what was in it. This is the good part.

So that’s it! One funny monster book, and one scary. Just goes to show you should never judge a book by its publisher. I hope you enjoyed this trip back to the  monsters in Archie’s closet! Stay tuned tomorrow for another spooky song from the haunted record crate!

Advertisements

One thought on “Weirdo Wednesdays: Archie and Monsters

  1. Pingback: Weirdo Wednesdays: Afterlife with Archie | Adventures of a Geeky Vixen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s