“Well, I’m back.” -Sam Gamgee
I just spent a day on the Jersey shore with some family, and my return trip to Astoria, Queens is a four hour saga that will live in infamy in my memory for a long time to come. But I won’t use this space to describe the horrors of the New Jersey Transit combined with a Giants/Jets game letting out followed by a sweltering 34th Street station wait for an N train that never seemed to come, and the drunken teenage riot of karaoke that plagued the final leg of my journey.
I will, however, use this space to hip you onto an article I came across in The New York Times’ business section (of all places) discussing Archie Comics…
At 68 years old, Archie is suddenly looking awfully spry.
His new zest for life is the work of new management at Archie Comics. The team is aggressively trying to take the tried, true and previously lethargic Archie family of characters, including Betty and Veronica, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and her bandmates, and transform them into global brands in comics, film, apparel and more.
“We’re at the beginning of the beginning,” says Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comic Publications. “We’re going to expand. Publishing will always be part of it, but we must morph into a multimedia company.”
With more than $40 million in print and digital sales last year, Archie Comics, based in Mamaroneck, N.Y., is a small player in a large but unforgiving market dominated by DC Comics and Marvel Entertainment. Archie’s titles capture less than 1 percent of sales at comic book specialty shops, and the competitive challenge is only growing: Comics in general are battling the popularity of other distractions like video games and YouTube. And traditional readers of comics are aging, with no steady stream of new ones to take their place.
But comics alone are not what generate the hundreds of millions of dollars that characters from DC and Marvel can rake in, which is what Mr. Goldwater wants to emulate.
The full article can be found here.
And to the comic fan who interrupted me while I tackled the crossword, here’s the full list of this week’s new comics to answer your question.