MTV Geek spoke with Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater about this big event, how Archie is evolving with the current music scene, and Goldwater’s love for American Idol!
MTV Geek: Archie revolutionized the world’s view of Riverdale with the introduction of pop culture topics. What gave you the idea to pit American Idol and The X Factor against each other?
Jon Goldwater: I just love American Idol; I’ve been following it forever! For Simon to leave, quite honestly, I felt terrible about him leaving the show. I looked forward to his critique every time! The fact that American Idol regrouped and brought in J-Lo and Steven Tyler in addition to Randy – I thought that was so interesting and different.
You had a sense that J-Lo would be a strong personality, but with Steven, you had no idea how he would translate to the screen. Then there’s Simon, who is the ultimate big personality, and he’s going to want to trump anything that he’s ever done with Idol. I thought it would be a really interesting dynamic to see the two shows competing against each other. It’s going to be a fight to the death to see who will be number one!
Geek: Classic characters like Josie and the Pussycats and The Bingoes pop in for some healthy competition. How do you think the auditions will affect Archie and the gang?
JG: Well, it’s going to make Archie and the gang step up their game! You’ve got a lot of talent out there in Riverdale. You know, Josie and the Pussycats have been practicing really hard, and they’re going to come out with more of a heavy rock sound than we were used to in the past. The new Josie is kind of a Joan Jett meets Pat Benatar. As for The Bingoes, we’re looking at a little REO Speedwagon, and a little bit of Styx. The Archie’s are going to have to keep up!
Geek: The Archies have been around since the late ‘60s, and continue to evolve with the times. What 21st century band would you compare them to?
JG: The Black Eyed Peas do a great job of straddling the line between urban and pop. The Archies are like a more pop version of the Black Eyed Peas, with those same infectious hooks and grooves. You’ve got Veronica – who sounds a little bit like Fergie, taking the lead vocals from Archie. I think you’ve got a little bit of a Fleetwood Mac thing with Archie and Veronica as well. The new Archies are definitely going to sound very, very fresh.
Geek: Coming from a world of text and pictures, how did Archie approach moving the reality shows to the page?
JG: From an artistic standpoint, our artist [Bill Galvan] did an unbelievable job. We tried to make them as realistic as possible. Artistically, we tried to go as close as we could to the real people and the real storyline. Within Riverdale, of course!
Geek: Are there plans to involve Archie with other aspects of the pop culture scene?
JG: Absolutely! We have an issue coming up this year with Archie, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Archie visits Comic Con in June, which is very exciting. And of course, the Kevin Keller miniseries debuts in June as well!