Afterlife with Archie volume 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Auirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francovilla
Archie Comics, 2014
Available: New, used & digital
Oh, Riverdale. The iconic small town USA, perpetually stuck in the 1950s, where a boy struggles with such heady things
as which girl to invite to a movie Friday night. Archie-with-zombies could have been a silly, campy adventure and still have been a fun read.
Instead, we have the comic book that spawned a Lovecraft-themed version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The authors go all out with a dark, moody story of a teen who loves his dog enough to court dark magics to bring him back, for which thewhole town will pay.
Zombies aren’t the only thematic element here. The writers also address substance abuse, some of the darker aspects of Riverdale relationships (like Reggie’s obsession with the taken Midge, Midge and Moose’s mismatch, and the more realistic angst of Archie being caught between Betty and Veronica), and even the struggles of being gay/lesbian in Riverdale. Highly recommended for horror fans and especially public library collections. It’s easy to dismiss this one, but Afterlife with Archie is
wonderful: self-aware, inclusive, and innovative.
Contains: gore, violence, animal abuse