Next week Archie Comics will release Archie & Friends: Summer Lovin’ #1, a new one-shot in the Archie & Friends series of seasonal releases. The issue features a new main story, “Carnival Love,” from the creative team of writer Tee Franklin, penciller Dan Parent, inker Bob Smith, colorist Glenn Whitmore, and letterer Jack Morelli. Today The Beat is proud to present an exclusive preview of the story, which introduces new pansexual character Eliza Han to Riverdale, and reveals new information about Veronica Lodge’s cousin, Harper.
Here’s how Archie Comics describes the “Carnival Love” story in Archie & Friends: Summer Lovin’ #1:
It’s time for some fun (and maybe even romance) at the Riverdale summer carnival! Looking to rekindle their relationship, Reggie is excited when he finds out Veronica’s cousin, Harper Lodge, will be visiting a traveling carnival that arrived in Riverdale! Plus, a collection of fun-in-the-sun stories perfect for a beach read!
“As a child, I remember my grandmother collecting Archie digests way back in the ’70s,” writer Tee Franklin told The Beat. “Archie Comics’ longevity is a sight to behold; they’ve been inclusive for decades and for me to be given a chance to create a brand new bi-racial, plus-sized, pansexual, disabled character for Archie is truly surreal. I wish my grandmother was still here to see her namesake, Eliza Han.”
Talking more about Eliza and what she brings to Riverdale, Franklin elaborated on her goal for the character. “I hope that readers of all ages can see themselves in Eliza,” she said. “While her debut shakes things up around Riverdale — that fun-loving gag city — hope, optimism, and friendship remains.” Franklin also offered a hint for sharp-eyed readers, saying, “One more thing . . . pay attention to the background. winks”
Check out the exclusive preview of “Carnival Love,” as well as a look at one of the reprint stories from the one-shot, “Windsurfing Woes” by writer Tom DeFalco, pencillers Pat & Tim Kennedy, inker Rich Koslowski, colorist Digikore Studios, and letterer Jack Morelli, below. Archie & Friends: Summer Lovin’ #1 is due out in stores and digitally next Wednesday, June 8th.