Archie is in the midst of celebrating 80 years in the comics business, and although Archie and Riverdale have been referred to as throwbacks at times, they’re keeping up with the times in both comics and television — and its new top editors. According to, they’re using the company’s classic core principles of “humor, heart, and horror”—but spinning it off for today’s audience.
Archie Comics Senior Editorial Director Jamie L. Rotante has seen a lot in his ten years with the company; By moving up as a proofreader and rising up the ranks as both an editor and writer, she has come to understand the family-owned comic publisher and diverse audiences – whether on TV, in comic shops and bookstores, On digital devices, or in the checkout line at your local grocery store.
As Rotante tells us, Archie Comics will be doubling down on the anthology format in the coming months and years, starting November 3. Chilling Adventures in Sorcery. Archie is no stranger to the anthology, but he and his team are exploring new perspectives on it to capture the attention of fans (and potential fans).
In this interview with Newsrama, Rotante talks about future plans for Archie Comics, including the return of chilling adventures of sabrina, and absence of long-running Archie title.
“The future of Archie Comics begins here,” said the press release for Newsrama: Chilling Adventures in Sorcery. For you, what does the future of Archie Comics look like?
Jamie L Rotante: It may seem strange at first, but a large part of planning for the future is achieved by reflecting on the past. Namely, the history of Archie’s publication. As we celebrate Archie’s 80th anniversary, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on who we are as a company and what sets Archie apart from all other comic publishers.
The model of doing anthology-style books with a variety of short stories isn’t new to Archie Comics. It’s a big part of the company’s publishing DNA.
I think one of the major appeals of Archie (and I know it was always going to be for me growing up), was the ease of access to our comics and characters. A lot of people started reading comics (or started reading in general!) because of Archie, and that’s because there’s a great accessibility factor. There are very few barriers to entry when it comes to taking on an Archie comic – the stories are fun (whether because of humor, romance, or horror), and the character motifs are easy to grasp and, most importantly, to like. Suitable.
Longtime comic fans and brand new comic readers can pick up on an Archie comic and jump in, which is a tradition that’s very important to keep. We always say that Archie Comics is for everyone, and we mean it!
Newsrama: What do longtime fans expect?
Jamie L Rotante: The return of a lot of favorite characters and franchises. Short stories give us the space to bring in characters and alternate universes that might be hard to squeeze into a mini-series or one-shot on their own. Now we have the opportunity to play in more worlds and we have such a deep bench of characters to please fans old and new alike!
Newsarama: What are you most looking forward to, because there’s someone who’s inside it?
Jamie L Rotante: all this! I know this sounds like a simplistic answer, but it’s true. There is such a thrill in writing comics and having them illustrated and then born into the world, and that same sentiment carries just as much weight from an editorial standpoint. Putting each title together makes me feel the same excited over and over again, and it’s wonderful to be able to share these fun new characters and see the welcome from fans. I’m also looking forward to those who have probably never read an Archie comic before pick these up and feel at home here in Riverdale.
Newsrama: Let’s go back to the anthologies you mentioned earlier. You are quoted as saying that the anthology format gives your team the chance to “tackle a variety of genres and collaborate with exciting new talent and longtime favorites.”
Archie’s been doing anthologies since the beginning, but these oversized genre-based ones — are there more to come?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: Yes! We’re playing with a few different models – some genre-based, others tied to specific holidays and seasons, but each bi-monthly compilation gives us the opportunity to tell a variety of short, entertaining stories featuring different characters and stories. .
What’s especially exciting about this model is its ability to bring in a lot of talent to each book. We love to get back to work with some of our favorite creators to tell new stories apart from the tall ones they’ve created in the past. Likewise, it’s a great way to bring in lots of new faces and styles to build on our talent pool and expand our reach. It allows fans to view Archie’s characters in various art styles and trace the evolution of his designs over time. The core of these stories and artwork is unquestionably going to be Archie, but in different flavors – what we hope is to strike a fine balance so that there is something for every type of comic reader to enjoy.
Newsrama: Whenever I go to the grocery store, I am reassured when I see an Archie Digest sitting there. How is that side of the business doing these days, and do you have any new ideas on that front?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: Our digest program is stronger than ever! There’s an absolutely reassuring quality to seeing those jumbo digests in stores and checkout aisles.
The challenges we faced over the past year made us realize how many people come across as comfort food in Archie Comics. No matter what’s going on, our characters are always there to provide stories full of humor and heart. It’s a testament to the dedicated team here at Archie’s to keep these books full of great content week after week, including new major stories featured in every digest. From The Digest to our collection of classic graphic novels, keeping our publishing heritage alive is very important. Knowing that these comics are a source of comfort to so many people really helped us move forward.
Newsrama: Archie is celebrating his 80th anniversary this year. What big lesson do you take from its history that you want to convey the message of Archie Comics going forward?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: We’ve been saying a lot in the house that Archie has three H’s – humor, heart, and horror. These have been our cornerstones for more than eight decades, and they have only grown stronger over the years, particularly under John Goldwater’s reign as CEO/Publisher.
Archie Comics is for everyone, and this is something that is very important to remember. There are many different types of comic fans, and in addition, many different types. Archie Comics fans. As long as we can continue to create products that satisfy all of those who want more, we know we’re doing something right (and clearly we’ve been for 80 years!).
Newsrama: You’re still a few months into your race as Archie’s top editor, but after years of delay you already have Sabrina’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina back on track, and even a second Sabrina series. Also starting where the TV show was left off. How do you feel about Sabrina moving forward with ‘Family’ titles?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: It’s great to see Roberto Acquire-Sacasa return to comics writing, and it matches up well with our ongoing new publishing plans. She’s an amazing talent and we know our fans are eager to continue reading the stories she created with Robert Hack, and the story she’s created with Audrey Mok from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix series in The Occult World of Sabrina. Looking forward to continuing. Roberto is so talented in his approach to our characters and he has so many stories to tell, it is always an honor that he has created these amazing stories and series for us.
We’ll continue to keep fans and retailers updated when new issues have release dates and do our best to keep the excitement going for Sabrina’s 60th anniversary next year!
Newsrama: Are there plans to relaunch or relaunch the main Archie comic book series, which went on hiatus after July 2020’s Archie #713?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: Nothing is off the table but it is a matter of timing and understanding our audience and the market. These new short-form stories and compilations are a model we’d like to apply to most of our projects going forward, but that doesn’t mean an ongoing series isn’t possible—whether in print, digital, or any other form. be in the form. part of a partnership.
What we really hope is that fans of modern Archie stories will find something in each compilation that appeals to them.
Newsrama: Then the last question – what are your big goals in your first five years as the top editor at Archie?
Jamie Lay. Rotation: From an editorial standpoint, it is and continues to establish a strong publishing platform that will allow us to tell new and interesting stories with a diverse group of creators. We know there’s a dedicated and incredible readership out there looking for their favorite characters to find love and attention. Making sure they feel seen and heard is very important to us and drives a lot of what we do.
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