Since 1941, Archie has been a part of our lives. That is an extremely long time for the existence of a comic book character, yet Archie lives on. Until, July, that is. For the past five years, Archie Comics publisher and Co-CEO Jon Goldwater along with Paul Kupperberg have been developing the series Life With Archie, which takes the reader into the post-college years for the main characters of Riverdale including Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie, per Uproxx.com.
In the Life With Archie series we see Archie and his friends facing the challenges of what it’s like to be a grown-up. According to Comicbookresources.com, Archie and his friends face everything from careers, illness, marriage and babies and more. All this leading up to issue #36 where Archie ultimately sacrifices his life for a friend.
In an exclusive interview with Comicbookresources.com, Kupperberg reveals how he was in a meeting with all the creators of Life With Archie as they were trying to decide on an ending. When asked how they came to this decision, Kupperberg recalls, ” We’d already taken Archie and the gang to a lot of new places over the course of the last three years, but when he (Goldwater) said ‘Let’s do the death of Archie,’ I really thought he was kidding.”
But he wasn’t kidding. It took months of writing and revisions before the final draft was approved by Goldwater. After Archie’s death in #36, the very next edition, #37, has Archie’s friends remembering Archie, sharing memories, and how they will hold him near and dear to their hearts as they move on with their lives, as per USAToday.com. “It just made sense to end Life with Archie this way — showing our hero at his best and then celebrating his life,” explains Goldwater.
Kupperberg goes a little further in Comicbookresources.com to say, “We didn’t want to end this particular Life With Archie on the death. After all these years, we thought readers would want and need closure, kind of like a memorial service where anybody can stand up and talk about the dearly departed. So we gave the supporting cast that opportunity. They’re sort of like proxies for the readers.”
Don’t let the tears start just yet, because Archie will live on in other current series that will continue to be published. Kupperberg states, “This is the final Life With Archie story, but by no means the end of anything except this title. As I said, there’s limitless potential in all these characters and they’ll keep right on living as long as we can keep on telling their stories in whatever “universe” that happens to be,” according to Comicbookresources.com. Thank goodness for that.
On an interesting note, in 2011 a copy of Archie Comics #1, which was first published in 1942, was sold at an auction for $167, 300. This holds the record for a non-superhero comic book. I’d say there are some die hard Archie fans out there. At least one wealthy one.