When does San Diego Comic-Con start again? Not until Wednesday? Well, you wouldn’t know it from this first announcement from Archie Comics, as the Riverdale-centric Publisher threw the gauntlet down early by announcing a brand new crossover: ARCHIE MEETS GLEE. The new series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Dan Parent won’t launch until 2013, but we got the scoop on it from Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater for you right now. And hey, you didn’t even have to wait for Comic-Con:
MTV Geek: Most basic question, just to start off… How did this crossover come about?
Jon Goldwater: Over the last couple of years, I’ve become friendly with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is one of the writers on Glee. He’s the guy they brought in to fix Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, he rewrote that whole script. He’s a tremendous Archie fan… He just bleeds Archie orange. He’s such a fan that this past Halloween, he told me he went to his Halloween party dressed as Archie.
He stopped by New York Comic-Con this past October, just to say hi, and he was asking how everything was going with me at Archie, I was giving him the update… And Roberto just turned to me and said, “I’d love to write an Archie meets Glee comic book.” And I looked at him, and said, “Are you serious?” He said he’d love to do that, so I said to him, right then and there, “You know what Roberto? We’d love to have that happen!”
He went back to Los Angeles, spoke to all the folks at Glee, all the folks at FOX, and they all signed off, and here we are, and it’s actually happening.
Geek: Not that there’s been a shortage of musical/comic book crossovers, but in Glee, you get to hear the singing, and the music. In the comics… You don’t. Even though Archie has a history steeped in music, what are the challenges bringing the two together in comic book form?
JG: It’s not just The Archies, but Josie and The Pussycats, which is a really rockin’ band… But it comes down to telling a great fun story, making it as entertaining as an Archie comic book, or as a Glee episode. It’s hitting all the notes we did with the Kiss crossover. You could feel the music from the pages – and that’s the same thing we hope to do here, too. If you look back on all the old Archie books, or the Josie comics, even though you see the bands performing, you know they’re performing, and you’re hearing it in your head… Even if you’re not literally hearing the music.
Geek: Not to dwell too much on the Archie/KISS crossover, there you had portals, you had monsters, and generally what KISS is all about… Here, Glee is set in a somewhat more realistic world, so how do Riverdale High and New Directions end up in the same place?
JG: I can tell you that Dilton, the resident genius, plays a very large part in this story. I’ll let Roberto tell the tale when the time comes, but needless to say there are some elements that are exceptional, and it’s a very interesting concept.
Geek: Glee obviously is very broad, very big, but it also deals with some very serious issues. Again, Archie hasn’t necessarily shied away from those things, but how do you get the two tones to mesh?
JG: They fit together seamlessly… Glee, and the people who created that show, are so courageous. Not only are they creating pure, joyous entertainment, they’re also tackling some huge social issues with how they put the cast together, their storylines, their plotlines… They resonate. And for us here at Archie, we do the same thing. Even though we want to tell a fun, entertaining story, we want the world to Riverdale to reflect what’s going on in the world. Even though the characters in the Archie books maintain their integrity, Riverdale has changed. That’s reflected in us, with bringing Kevin Keller in the books, and tackling some of the social issues we’ve done, as well.
As Glee has done it brilliantly on a massive television scale, we feel we’ve done it here in the comic book world. It’s so natural for us to be together in one story.
Geek: You somewhat just touched on this, but Archie has made tremendous strides in making the brand more relevant in the past few years… So how does Archie Meets Glee fit into the overall plan, and where do you see yourselves going beyond this?
JG: It fits in perfectly. As Glee is an iconic TV show – and I mean that, even though it’s only been on for three or four seasons – it’s established itself in the pantheon of television history. For goodness sake, they’re telling a story, they break into song… And it works! It’s a brand new concept. I view Archie in the same way: we are an iconic, American brand. The post office did an Archie stamp a little more than a year ago!
For us, it’s the melding of two iconic brands together. We see Archie growing and being as socially relevant as it possibly could be, crossing over to as many generations as it can cross over to… And frankly, even though we are a comic book company, and we will always be a comic book company, we do see ourselves branching out into television, film, animation, and all those other media outlets that we’re not currently into. But those are coming in the next couple of years. Look, who knows, maybe we’ll be back to back on FOX with Glee and Archie?
We occupy a very unique place in comic book world: we’re not a superhero company, even though we do have The Red Circle. Archie is a very unique entity in and of itself, as Glee is… I think they work beautifully together.
Geek: What are the promotional plans for the crossover? Clearly you’re reaching out to comic book outlets, but are we going to see Archie on Glee, or this crossover mentioned on the shows San Diego Comic-Con Panel?
JG: You know, as far as what’s going to happen on the show… We hope so! That would be a dream come true for us here at Archie, to have a little moment on the show. We’ll see how all that goes. That said, people should definitely attend the Archie panel… It’s going to be a big, wonderful, surprising panel.
Geek: Last question: who, in the Archie Universe, is most likely to get slushied first?
JG: Reggie. It’s gotta be Reggie.
ARCHIE MEETS GLEE in 2013, from Archie Comics!