Next week, Archie Comics is set to release the Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party one-shot. The summer-themed special features a new story from writer Jamie L. Rotante, penciller Holly G!, inker Jim Amash, colorist Glenn Whitmore, and letterer Jack Morelli, featuring Riverdale’s very own Barbie-esque icon, Babbi. Today The Beat is pleased to present an early preview of the issue, and a closer look at its character-crammed cover.

Here’s how Archie describes Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party:

A BRAND-NEW STORY kicks off this SUMMER FUN issue! In “Babbi’s Riverdale Beach Party,” to celebrate the release of the new Babbi movie, Veronica decides to throw an over-the-top beach party, with everyone dressed as their favorite Babbi doll. The Lodge Beach House is turned into a lifelike version of Babbi’s Beach House—complete with unicorn rides on the beach! There are even some hints that a surprise guest will make an appearance—so when a handsome, young stranger shows up, EVERYONE wants to know who he is! All that plus even more fun in the sun stories and fabulous summer fashions!

Holly G!’s design art for new character Casey

As teased in the solicit text, the story introduces a new character, Casey, to the Riverdale crew, and artist Holly G! talked to The Beat about coming up with the character’s distinctive look. “To design Casey, I used prompts from Jamie’s script about his hair color mixed in with some athletic Shojo energy,” she told The Beat. “And following [Archie Comics Editor-in-Chief] Mike Pellerito‘s input, I gave him a bit of scruff on his chin and that Archie youthful energy! TaDaaaaa CASEY!”

Holly G! is no stranger to designing new characters to the Archie universe. She and the rest of the new story’s creative team also previously introduced another new character, Cassie Cloud, to Riverdale back in January.

As for whether she has a background as a Barbie girl, Holly G! was unequivocal. “I LOVE BARBIE!,” she said. “I still remember sitting on my grandma’s bed playing with the Malibu Barbie she gifted me, designing new outfits for her and the rest of her girlfriends. Barbie inspired me; she told me, ‘We girls can do ANYTHING!’ I also had fun making my feet look like hers: high arc and ready for ballet slippers, astronaut boots, or swing heels!”

A key to the many characters Holly G! fit onto the cover of the new one-shot

“One of the very first mainstream comics I ever tried out for was Marvel’s Barbie,” she added, “And I actually got the gig . . . only to be told soon after that the book was cancelled. My heart broke. But the next mainstream comic I was assigned was from Archie Comics!”

Barbie-inspired Babbi costumes for the issue’s new story

When it comes to what she wants people to take away from the new story, Holly G! assured readers they’re in good hands. “I’m so very excited for readers to experience this story,” the artist said. “It’s filled with exuberance, summer fun and a wonderful message. Know that it has a total Barbie geek at its pencil, because Barbie was right: girls CAN do ANYTHING. This one got to celebrate her love of Barbie as a comicbook artist! (And I can still do that weird thing with my feet.)”

Check out the early preview, as well as an exclusive full look at another story included in the one-shot, “Endless Summer,” by Dan ParentBob Smith, Whitmore, and Morelli, below. Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party is due out in stores next Wednesday, July 5th.