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Freak out: That time Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention were in Archie Comics…
09.06.2017
11:56 am
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Okay, okay, perhaps that title is just a little bit disingenuous, but it’s still “close enough for government work,” as the old saying goes.

So no, Frank Zappa didn’t actually bring his rockin’ teen combo to fictional Riverdale High School, and no, this isn’t from Archie Comics either, it’s a National Lampoon parody by Michel Choquette from the September 1970 issue. But it’s probably exactly what would have happened had The Mothers of Invention roared into town.

Betty and Veronica probably would have gotten VD, too.

If you click on the images you’ll get to larger, easier-to-read versions.
 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.06.2017
11:56 am
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‘SPLAT!’: Archie Comics and the Joy of SFX

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Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art diptych painting Whaam! would not be as powerful without the giant yellow lettering spread over a large part of its canvas depicting the sound effect of a missile hitting a target and a plane blowing up. What the image cannot convey, the word ‘Whaam!’ signifies. There it is in stark bold letters—a brilliant sound effect open to a million academic interpretations.

In the 1960s, the much-loved Batman TV series interjected fight scenes with wonderful descriptive graphics of the various sound effects: “Ka-Pow!” “Smash!” “Aiiieee!” “Awk!” “BAM!”. These colorful images added greatly to the excitement of watching Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) defeat the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, the Penguin and all their other arch nemeses.
 
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Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Whaam!’ (1963).
 
Comic books, of course, have always had panels filled with such wonderfully onomatopoeic words that greatly add to the reader’s enjoyment. Away from the usual superheroes and action comics, artist Dan DeCarlo and Archie Comics brought a whole new level to the power of graphic book sound effects. DeCarlo has been described as:

...a master at framing a scene, clearly portraying the action, and conveying the appropriate emotions of the characters…. not as easy a task as you might think.

The figures in his frames are active—they are dynamic and appear to be moving and responding to the action around them. Add to this the incredible sound effects in every frame, then Betty, Veronica and their pals are suddenly in a work of surreal mini Pop Art.
 
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A collection of ‘Batman’ graphic SFX.
 
However, it should be noted that it was the writer who usually picked the words to represent the various SFX and then the letterer who then placed them within the panel—as comic book writer and editor Paul Castiliglia explains:

....most of the sound effects are first indicated by the writer in the script, and then are added in to the art by the letterer after the pencil artist has drawn the figures in each panel. The pencil artist may write in sound effects (in plain text) to indicate their location in each panel but most of the time it is the letterer who determines the shape and lettering style for the sound effects and who actually renders them, inking the outlines.

Archie has employed many letterers over the years. It is highly likely that the majority of the panels you posted were lettered by Bill Yoshida; some may have been lettered by Archie’s long-time editor Victor Gorelick as well.

These written SFX often become the focus of our attention—creating a dynamism mere illustration alone could not provide. This is a little something I find quite fascinating—how did these writers come up with say “Smeerp!” to represent a kiss? Or “Sceeeee!” to depict something untoward just out of frame? Do people actually say “Awk!” when scared? Do we say “Aaaiiiiieeee!” when fleeing in terror? In fact, is there a thesaurus of these wondrous words? And if so, where can I get a copy?

This selection of Dan DeCarlo’s artwork with lettering by (most likely) Bill Yoshida and Victor Gorelick for Archie Comics are a superb example of the surreal joy of comic book SFX.
 
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More of the joy of comic book SFX, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.23.2016
10:56 am
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An Archies/Ramones comic book is an actual thing that is going to happen
07.12.2015
12:27 pm
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Um, holy shit: this weekend, at a San Diego ComicCon panel called “Comics & Pop Music: Making New Noise,” Archie Comics’  Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg announced an impending special issue wherein the fictional bubblegum pop band the Archies will meet real-world ur-punks the Ramones. Via Comics Alliance:

Segura: “Matt got in touch with the Ramones’ people, and they were super into it. So I reached out to Gisele [Lagace, illustrator], whom I’d worked with before on the “Occupy Riverdale” story and other things. We’re all huge Ramones fans, and though it took a while to work out the details, once things started moving, it actually went pretty quick. It’s gonna be a super-fun oversized one-shot, with covers by some truly amazing artists (whom I can’t announce just yet), and it syncs up nicely because it’ll be the 75th Anniversary of Archie, and the 40th Anniversary of the Ramones… It’s really kinda like a dream come true to be doing this.”

While the pairing may seem counterintuitive at first glance, the Ramones drew a lot of inspiration from bubblegum music. I recall once reading a quotation that I can’t just now find—Joey Ramone saying the band formed with the intention of being “a nouveau bubblegum group with guts.” And indeed, it’s mighty easy to imagine songs like “Rockaway Beach” or “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”  being 1910 Fruitgum Company, Archies, or Ohio Express covers, which they of course are not. And Johnny Ramone once offered this info to the Guardian:

“I hate to blow the mystique,” Johnny Ramone once confessed, “but we really liked bubblegum music, and we really liked the Bay City Rollers. Their song Saturday Night had a great chant in it, so we wanted a song with a chant in it: ‘Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!’ on Blitzkrieg Bop was our Saturday Night.”

This won’t be the first time the Ramones have been cartoonified. Dangerous Minds told you about the wonderful animated video for “Chain Saw” just a few months ago, in fact. Here’s another, an amusing mashup of the Ramones with the Flintstones.
 

 
Hat-tip to Derf

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Eye-popping Bad Brains and Ramones’ cartoons that will rock your world
Sex Pistols and The Ramones as Hanna-Barbera cartoons

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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07.12.2015
12:27 pm
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Archie Comics go gay
04.27.2010
12:30 am
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With the new student at Riverdale High being the openly gay character, Kevin Keller, Dangerous Minds pal James St. James reminds us that Archie Comics have been gay for a while now…

Via World of Wonder. From the collection of Charles Johnson.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.27.2010
12:30 am
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