When I was a kid, I got a lot of joy out of reading snippets of Archie and Betty & Veronica comics while waiting in line at the grocery store with my parents. There was something about these short stories, all seemingly pulled from a vast and cyclical pool of common cultural knowledge about the going-ons in Riverdale, that captivated me from a young age. In a lot of ways, I credit Archie for instilling in me a lifelong love of serial stories and graphic narratives, and Your Pal Archie has the potential to do this with a new generation of readers.

Like the original Archie comics from the 1940s and 1950s, Your Pal Archie consists of ten standalone stories that focus on the life of high schooler Archie Andrews, his best friend Jughead Jones, socialite Veronica Lodge, and girl-next-door Betty Cooper. The four teenagers, along with other friends and rivals, get into silly situations together in their small American town of Riverdale.

Your Pal Archie comes on the heels of the explosively popular CW television series Riverdale, which places Archie and his friends within a modern murder mystery. Riverdale sparked a renewed interest in Archie, and with that interest has come several new projects. These include modern comic series about Archie, Jughead, and Betty & Veronica, as well as the imaginative Archie Horror imprint, which publishes Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and other spooky re-imaginings of the classic characters. Though Riverdale’s dark reinvention of the Archie universe has been massively successful, Your Pal Archie is something else entirely. Intended as a family-friendly homage to the classic layout and storytelling of the original strips, Your Pal Archie is unique from the other titles coming out today.

The style and storylines of this title closely mirror the original strips, unlike the other current offerings within the Archie universe, which generally sport a new artistic style and follow one consistent storyline from issue to issue. Aside from Archie’s updated haircut and a subtle redesign of everyone’s outfits, Your Pal Archie sticks to the conventions of the classic stories from the grocery aisles of yore. Artist Dan Parent, notable for his introduction of Kevin Keller, the first openly gay member of in 2002, is a longtime member of the staff and manages to channel the classic artistic style with delightful accuracy. Writer Ty Templeton, known for his work on superhero titles such as Batman & Robin Adventures, sticks to the time-tested formula for an Archie story and does not stray far from the slapstick physical comedy and wacky situations that made the original comic strip popular.

While Your Pal Archie does not contain any surprises or deviations from the classic series, it will not disappoint longtime fans. The book is aimed at children 9-12 years old, and while the stories will be appealing to this age group, it is more likely that older kids and adults who recognize the Archie brand will be most likely to pick it up. It would be an excellent purchase for libraries where classic comic strips like Peanuts and Garfield circulate heavily. It would also be a great place to start for those without a current Archie collection, and may be a more universally appealing purchase than most other current offerings from Archie Comics. Your Pal Archie promises to be the first in a series of volumes, though the stories within are self-contained and can stand alone.

Your Pal Archie, vol. 1
by Ty Templeton
Art by Dan Parent
ISBN: 9781682559215
Archie Comics, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: 9-12

  • Madison

    Past Reviewer

    Madison Bishop currently works as the Youth Services Librarian at the Plymouth Public Library in Plymouth, MA, where she's learned that her lifelong love of Betty and Veronica, X-Men, and Sailor Moon actually comes in handy when talking to kids and teens about their favorite books. She got her B.A. in Comparative American Studies from Oberlin College in 2015 and her MLIS from Simmons College in 2017. She maintains a personal review blog, Maddie Reads, where she mostly writes about YA books with LGBTQ+ characters and superhero comics written or illustrated by women. When she's not working, reading, or writing, Madison can be found trying out new vegan recipes, watching slasher movies, or pretending that zombies are chasing her on the treadmill.

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