Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Comics Review: "ARCHIE Christmas Spectacular" is Filled with Holiday Cheer


STORY: Tom DeFalco; Frances Bonnet; Dan Parent; Bill Golliher
PENCILS: Holly G!; Bill Galvan; Dan Parent; Bill Golliher
INKS: Jim Amash; Bob Smith
COLORS: Glenn Whitmore
LETTERS: Jack Morelli
EDITORS: Jamie Lee Rotante; Vincent Lovallo; Stephen Oswald
EiC: Mike Pellerito
COVER: Steven Butler and Lily Butler with Rosario “Tito” Peña
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (January 2024; on-sale December 6, 2023)

Rating: All-Ages

“Christmas Chaos!”

Eternal high school student and teenage boy, Archie Andrews, and his friends made their debut in M.L.J. Magazines' Pep Comics #22 (cover dated: December 1941), and before long, Archie was the publisher's headliner character.  In 1946, the company changed its named to Archie Comic Publications, also known as “Archie Comics.”

Archie Comics frequently publishes holiday themed one-shot comic books featuring Archie's characters (sometimes referred to as “the Archie Gang”).  The latest is the Archie Christmas Spectacular.  It features one new story and four reprint stories.  Entitled “Christmas Chaos,” the new story introduces Archie Comics' newest characters: Jangles, Sourplum, and Grumpus.  The story is written by Tom DeFalco; drawn by Holly G! (pencils) and Jim Amash (inks); colored by Glenn Whitmore; and lettered by the great Jack Morelli.

Archie and the Gang in “Christmas Chaos”:
The story opens at Riverdale High where Archie, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang are decorating the gym for the annual big Christmas party, “the Riverdale Holiday Happening.”  They are waiting for the arrival of their friends, Jingle the Christmas Elf and Sugar Plum the Christmas Fairy.

However, the two have mistakenly teleported inside the “Eyegor Estate,” and now, they are the prisoners of Grumpus.  In their stead, Grumpus sends Naughty Christmas Elf Jangles and Sour Plum to Riverdale High.  Will the mischievous pair keep the Holiday Happening from happening, or can right magic make everything right again?

THE LOWDOWN:  I have been reading comic books, on and off, for decades.  I have sporadically read Archie Comics titles over that time.  For many years now, Archie's marketing department has been sending PDF copies of some of their titles for review.  Archie Christmas Spectacular is the latest.

I like Archie Christmas Spectacular, especially because there is a bit of pop Gothic in this story, especially that one panel that features the Eyegor Estate.  The story has a sweet Christmas slash Happy Holidays ending.  I can like a comic book that makes me jealous because I can't attend its admittedly fictional party, but damn, the Riverdale Holiday Happening looks like a blast.

The rest of this issue features reprints of classic-style Archie Christmas and holiday stories.  Dear readers, I will always recommend classic-style Archie, especially when it comes in Christmas packaging – anytime of the year.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of classic-style Archie Comics will want to find a copy of Archie Christmas Spectacular.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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