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Archie’s Jon Goldwater on moving forward


Archie’s dynamic publisher Jon Goldwater gets the Comics Reporter interview treatment and his comments on the many changes he’s made since the venerable comics publisher had a big management change might be viewed as emblematic of much going on these days:

GOLDWATER: I think the risk would have been not doing anything. I think the risk would have been maintaining the status quo, and slowly sliding into irrelevance. We need to be very conscious of what’s going on in our surroundings, and I found the company getting more and more into some isolated bubble that, frankly, was charming, and was very much reminiscent of what had been created many years before but out of touch with what was going on in the real world. With this information superhighway at everyone’s fingertips, we needed to be incredibly aware of our surroundings.

So for me the risk was in standing pat, not moving forward. It’s so exciting to be trying these new things; a lot of them are working and people are enjoying them. We’ll figure out where we go from here. People are enjoying the new initiatives we’re embarking on.

  1. the world needs more jon goldwaters. certainly our little sub-world. the guy has enthusiasm, vision and highly values creative people. hm. i think people like that should be in charge, yo!

  2. I think most of his endeavors (New Look, Kevin Keller) are desperate attempts to gain relevance that Archie neither needs nor should pursue. Classic Archie comics from the 50’s through the 80’s are timeless and, with the occasional anachronism due to changing technology, rarely seem out of place alongside stories placed in the modern day. But these “new things” are just as problematic as the changes at DC and Marvel that have seen their sales drop precipitously. You can get a boost from the media attention these things can generate, but it is empty and will go nowhere. In the end, you will have alienated your fan base while generating no new full time readers. Pushing boundaries for the heck of it or for the few, brief moments the MSM shines it’s lights on you is no reason to abandon the core principals that have kept Archie going long after other “all ages” companies have folded. What’s next, guys? Get Betty pregnant! Sure, that’ll keep you “relevant”. It’ll get you that media attention you crave. Oh! Shouldn’t Veronica be on her third of fourth abortion by now? Yeah! That’ll get ’em talking! Tackle the issues! Drive the readers away!Of course, I’m asking this of the company that drove Dan DeCarlo away for the audacious crime of wanted recognition for the material he created for the company. If they couldn’t respect the work of DeCarlo, why should I expect them to respect their own heritage?

  3. @ David – whoah, someone’s wound up! Just a shot in the dark – the 50s-80s are when you were growing up, and you’re upset that the values of then don’t apply to modern society, and the comics have changed to reflect that?

  4. As a middle-aged man, Goldwater has gotten me to read Archie again regularly for the first time in 25 years. But now, I read them with my daughter.

    And for anyone who wants to relive the glory days of the 70s and 80s, there are still the digests, which reprint and rewrite all those old stories. Unlike, say, Captain Marvel, which I think works best in a pseudo-30s setting, Archie needs to live in the present in order to reach its primary audience, tweenagers.

  5. Jon Goldwater and team are doing new things, great things. The company and its brands refuse to be easily categorized or summarily dismissed. It’s been great fun to watch – and my 14 and 6 year girls are LOVING the content. Kudos.

  6. Here’s the thing.

    While I admire Archie’s inclusion of a gay character and the fact they’re so willing to put him front and centre which is honestly really impressive…

    The character design grates on me to no end. I haven’t read it, nor do I plan to, but he looks like a smug asshole.

    Apparently the face of the gay population of Riverdale is eminently punchable.

  7. Dear Jonathan Goldwater:

    Your dad would puke.

    Thanks for turning America’s favorite square teenager into a cheerleader for sodomy.


    Bruce Lewis.

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