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‘Bite Sized Archie’ (review)

Written by Ron Cacace
Art by Vincent Lovallo
Published by Archie Comics

 

A few years back, my wife and I were chosen to write a book on the new and excitingly diverse field of webcomics. After several months of fun research and creator conversations, we dropped out of the project with the belief that any such book would be outdated by the time it got to press. Apparently, our publishers agreed with us as no such book ever came out from them.

In the years since, the field has continued to grow and expand with many new and unique characters. One webcomic showcasing an all-new look at some very familiar characters, though, is Bite Sized Archie, by Ron Cacace and Vincent Lovallo.

Essentially a modern-day descendant of the long-running Archie’s Joke Book, with its single page and half-page gags, Bite Sized Archie offers without a doubt the most realistic version of the classic Riverdale characters in years.

As such you’ve got everyone on their cell phones all the time, as well as lots of references to anime, video games, K-Pop, cute cats, laptops, and hashtags (like the ones in Archie’s hair). Many of the gags are funny, even to an old fogey like me, and presumably more so to the tween audience this is likely aimed toward.

They say if you have to explain a joke, it’s not really funny. But every single strip in this collection is annotated by Cacace, so even if I don’t get one, I can see how clever it was…or how clever it seemed to him at the time.

All the usual Riverdale gang are present here—Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Veronica, Betty, Sabrina, Cheryl, Josie and the Pussycats, Kevin, Pop, Mr. Weatherbee, the spider…

Wait, what? Who?

Yeah. My favorite character is a spider who first appears in a particularly dark Cheryl gag, only to escape by the direction of Publisher and Co-CEO Goldwater and pop up again and again throughout the book, unnoticed.

The simplistic art unfortunately makes everyone look like a little person. While it’s a look, a style, it comes across a tad weird to me. They don’t look like teens or children but tiny adults.

That personal caveat aside, Bite Sized Archie is a funny, enjoyable, and well-put together collection.

Booksteve recommends.

 

 

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