B&V Friends Forever: Rock ‘n’ Roll #1

Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Yes I am in fact reviewing an Archie comic book!

I grew up reading Archie comics, not as much as I read superhero comics, but I’d pick up a digest at the grocery store now and then, and watched reruns of the Archie cartoons from the early 1970s when I was little. I distinctly remember turning 16 and realizing that made me that I was now the same age as Archie and his friends, which felt a little weird at the time. It was like I was outgrowing these characters that I’d grown up with.

Anyway, it’s been decades since I bought an Archie comic, but I picked this issue up because it features a new cover story written and drawn by a woman credited Holly G! (that’s with the exclamation point included). Who is Holly G!, you ask? She’s Holly Golightly, the colorist, letterer, and editor of Jim Balent’s Tarot, a comic-book series that could not be more opposite in genre and tone of Archie comics. So of course I had to check it out.

Holly G! presents a 5-page story called Rock Candi, which is also the name of the new band that Betty and Veronica have formed with their new friend, a girl named Jola, who convinced them to drop out of The Archies due to Archie and Reggie dismissing their talent and input. So Jola is on the drums, with Veronica on bass, and Betty on guitar, and is maybe the lead vocalist. We see the girls rehearsing, and although it’s only been one week since they formed the band, they already have their first gig at some club that night. They’re being helped Trev, a Black boy who is the brother of Val from Josie and The Pussycats, and there seems to be a mutual interest between her and Betty.

Whoa, Betty with a Black guy?!? Archie comics sure have changed.

The tale ends after their performance, which includes Archie and Reggie in the audience. It’s a fun little story, exactly the kind of short adventure I remember, with Holly G!’s artwork fitting the traditional house style of Archie Comics (not that bland “New Look” art that they embraced years ago).

The rest of the book is filled with reprints of older stories, each written by Frank Doyle and involving the kids performing in their bands.

There’s a 5-page Josie And The Pussycats story drawn by Dan DeCarlo, called “Brawn Is Beautiful” where Alex’s jealousy of Josie’s attraction to Alan leads him to make a rash decision about the band’s management. The 6-page story “Music Soothes” is drawn by Harry Lucy and has Archie, Reggie, and Jughead trying to find a place to rehearse, but their music just drives everyone, from their parents to Pop Tate, crazy, so they keep getting kicked out. And in the 11-page story “Labor Of Love”, drawn by Dan DeCarlo, The Archies get hired to perform at a club called The Roving Eye, which they’re very excited about. The show goes well but after it’s over they discover that someone has robbed the club, stealing all of the money that was earned that night, including what The Archies were going to get paid. This story reminded me of a Scooby Doo cartoon, as the band scheme to figure out a way to catch the thief.

This issue is full of fun fit for all ages. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS


4 replies »

  1. Heya Chance!
    So happy you enjoyed the story ☺️🤘🍭
    I worked on MANY Archie stories 20 years ago & now I’m back 🥳
    ( just so you know- I mainly letter & do production for Jim on Tarot- he does Eve else & Neil Morris is our editor 🤓
    Sorry- Virgo tendencies to OCD with accuracy😜)
    Holly G!

    Liked by 1 person

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