The new Little Archie one-shot takes a concept from the company's past and brings it back for new readers to read. In the grand tradition of Muppet Babies, it's the standard Archie Comics characters, but as little kids. Oftentimes, stories would feature grand adventures involving aliens, pirates, and escapades, most of which actually happened, even if the premise seemed ludicrous. Alternately, they would be stories actually rooted in the concept of childhood, with semi-dramatic tales meant to tug on your heartstrings and invoke childhood memories.
Put simply, it's absolutely adorable. The art style works immensely well with the writing, flowing almost like a movie. It's so expressive and really gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Little Hot Dog in particular is the sweetest little puffball of a dog in the world. He looks like my adorable dog! From the tiny notes at the bottom, similar to Ryan North's writing, to the clever use of onomatopoeia, Little Archie, or Little Archie And His Pals, is a delight. It's perfect for a child of any age to read, but with just enough jokes sprinkled in to keep adults amused.
The plot has Little Salem accidentally produce a magical duplicate (or duplicat) that spreads static electricity all around school. Zombies! Spontaneous combustion! Burgers falling from the trees! These are all cherry-picked examples that may or may not come about as a result of the kitty. (Spoilers: Two of them actually do happen, one is just Jughead messing around.) Finally, on a more personal note, this special felt nostalgic for me in more ways than one. I kept feeling a strange sense of familiarity while reading the comic, almost like I had seen that particular art style before. As a matter of fact, I had!
Years and years ago, I used to check out Disney Adventures from the children's magazine section at my local section. I would always read the comics first, and one of them, known as Gorilla Gorilla, was made by the same creative team. In fact, reading this special led me to find several collections of some of the "Comic Zone" comics and put them on hold at the library, including Gorilla Gorilla. Thank you to Little Archie and Archie Comics, Inc. for not only producing a delightful story, but also for allowing me to relive and rediscover my precious childhood memories.
Little Archie is written by Art Baltazar and drawn by Art Baltazar and Franco. You can find it at your local comic book shop.
Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.