by Alex Lu and Kyle Pinion

Earlier this year, co-writers Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg along with artist Joe Eisma took the Archie gang in a brand new direction. The Archies one-shot saw our favorite Riverdale teens form a band and rock out on stage after a requisite amount of ego-clashing and band drama.
This fall, The Archies return with a regular ongoing series featuring Segura, Rosenberg, and Eisma! Comics Beat managing editor Alex Lu and entertainment editor Kyle Pinion recently sat down with the creative team to find out what’s in store for the band as they hit the road. As a special bonus, they also get the creative team to compile a definitive Archie playlist JUST FOR YOU.

What’s next for the teenage rockers The Archies? When someone makes a decision that leaves the rest of the band scrambling, can the group keep it together? It’s friendship vs. fame in this must-read #1 issue to the new, ongoing THE ARCHIES series!

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Joe Eisma
Variant Covers: Matthew Dow Smith, Sandy Jarrell with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 10/4
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

The Beat: If you had to describe the kind of music that the Archies play, what would it sound like?

Joe Eisma: They’re an indie rock band, maybe with some throwback style in their sound to vintage garage rock of the 60s and 70s.

Alex Segura: Like Joe said, they’re an indie band – so I envision them sounding like early Rilo Kiley or the Breeders.

Matthew Rosenberg: I think Jughead probably plays too loud.

The Beat: Like The Archies, the three of you are a band of sorts, playing in sync. What is the collaborative process between you all like?

Eisma: What makes this feel like a true collaboration to me is when Matt and Alex let me in the driver’s seat with regards to the storytelling, letting me choose the camera angles and shot layout. I also really enjoy all the easter eggs, musical and from Archie continuity, that we collectively put in.

Segura: Like a good band, you have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and how we can complement each other. I’m really organized and structured when it comes to scripting, Matt is great with dialogue and pacing and we just hand Joe the keys as far as the visuals. He knows what he’s doing and does it very well – I think the best advice I’d give a new comic book writer is to have faith in your artist and let them run the camera.

We’re all passionate about music and love to load these books up with Easter Eggs and hat tips to the music we dig, but we’re also keenly aware of our purpose – to tell a fun story. That’s where we gel best.

Rosenberg:  I agree with that. It’s a fun book because everyone is bringing their own thing and compliments the other. We trust each other to make good work and do fun stuff. And that’s really at the heart of the best bands, I think.

The Beat: Which real life band are each of you most excited for The Archies to meet?

Segura: We’re talking to a lot of different bands and there are some really cool things coming up, but the first few issues will set up the world for us, kind of, so we get to see the Archies embark on this tour and get it going. By the middle of the first arc, you’ll start to see some guest stars, which will be lots of fun. I’d love to see a big mix of bands – classic, modern, indie. That’s the mindset we’re working with.

The Beat: One of the big subplots in The Archies one shot was the love triangle dynamic that Archie, Betty, and Veronica shared (with Jughead off to the side, married to his burgers). Can we expect to see this dynamic play out in The Archies series, Fleetwood Mac style?

Segura: For sure – I think this book will be fun, first and foremost, but it’s also about friends – some of whom have been more than friends – spending lots of time together, trying to be creative and to, well, survive. It leads to heightened emotions and tense situations, so we want to reflect that, and show how that might lead people into each other’s arms, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Rosenberg: The proximity of a tour van, the loneliness of being in a town where the only people you know are your bandmates, the happiness and heartbreak of playing music, all of that will push and pull our little band in interesting directions. It should be fun.

The Beat: What sorts of hi-jinks can we expect the band to get into as they head out on the road for the first time? Do any of you have personal roadie experiences that might inform these antics?

Eisma: In my college band days, we were pretty rowdy. I don’t expect The Archies to be super into debauchery or anything, but it would be funny to echo some similar experiences I had, like getting kicked out of a rehearsal space and playing really lame gigs.

Segura: Matt has much more experience on the road than I do. I’ve played shows with bands and been to many shows, but the experience of being on tour isn’t something I’ve had. That said, I get the idea of what it is – it probably feels similar to doing a ton of conventions back-to-back, which sounds nightmarish as I type it. You hit a level of peak exhaustion and delirium that doesn’t really exist in your normal day-to-day. As far as THE ARCHIES, I think fans can expect a fun, rocking book that will be a breezy but thoughtful read. This series is more grounded than ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES or even KISS. We’re telling the story of a group  of friends who happen to be in a band, and the ups and downs of that.

Rosenberg: I toured with bands for a bunch of years so I have a lot of stuff that might end up in some scripts. Some of it might only be suitable for Afterlife though. I think the fun thing about tour, the stuff we are trying to capture, is how every single day is a chance to reset and have a new adventure. New town, new venue, new bands to watch, new fans to play to. On tour you can have the worst show of your career and follow it 24 hours later with the best. And that’s what we want this book to be- a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster in a van.

The Archies playlist: