Exclusive: Annie Wu gives the inside scoop on the infamous ‘Lipstick Incident’ in ARCHIE #4

11.19.15

One of the most intriguing parts of the ARCHIE reboot has been the mysterious incident that tore apart Riverdale”s power couple Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper. When ARCHIE #1 was released, the teen icons had broken up over the summer, much to the consternation of their friends and classmates. What was worse? Neither Archie nor Betty would divulge the details of their split, other than to refer to the “Lipstick Incident.”

Thus a hashtag was born. #LipstickIncident took Riverdale – and the Archie fandom – by storm. What could it mean? The prevailing in-universe theory was Betty caught Archie cheating on her until Ms. Cooper vehemently shut down that rumor. Now in ARCHIE #4, all will be revealed. HitFix Harpy chatted with Annie Wu via email about taking over artistic duties for an issue that will surely go down in Archie history.

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HITFIX HARPY: Welcome aboard Annie! With Fiona Staples passing the torch, how are hoping to make your mark?
ANNIE WU: I had the opportunity to illustrate the big #LipstickIncident reveal, so I feel like that's already quite the mark. I just wanted to do it justice!

What”s the biggest difference in drawing ARCHIE as opposed to BLACK CANARY or HAWKEYE?
ANNIE: There's been a lot less punching in ARCHIE, slightly more sad teens. Also, in both BLACK CANARY and HAWKEYE, I had to do some research before feeling like I had a grasp on the characters. ARCHIE, on the other hand, was a big part of my childhood so I knew all the characters super-well. It's rare when you can dive into an existing project and be like, “Oh! Yes, I already know exactly what everyone's deal is.”

I”m a huge fan of BLACK CANARY – especially the clothes – was is fun to get to draw more fast-fashion for the Archie teens?
ANNIE: Yeah, for sure. It was nice to put, y'know, a sweater on someone and not worry about all the ways their enemy could use it against them in battle. Or, I dunno, maybe I should've worried. I don't know what that Reggie Mantle kid gets up to.

What would you say the “style profile” is for each of the main cast?
ANNIE: Archie is classic cool — I'd put him in a lot of basic items with a modern, well-fitted cut. I imagined him as one of those guys that'll end up going through a Steve McQueen or Paul Newman phase as they get older. Jughead's got that slim-cut, distressed thing going on — I'd say he's got a little punk rock to his vibe just because of how little he cares, but such a label might even be too ostentatious for him. Betty's a tomboy who I probably would have dressed in a wide assortment of vintage thrift store tees and other stuff she wouldn't mind getting motor oil on. And in my mind, Veronica's got a lot more emphasis in shape for her wardrobe. I probably would have put her in a lot of black and cream colors as well as items that are unusually polished for Riverdale. She's sophisticated without teetering into “glam” and a little flirtatious.

People have been wondering about #LipstickIncident since Issue #1. How early did you find out the cause of the drama and what was your reaction?
ANNIE: I found out when I got the script! I thought I had been assigned a completely different story — when I realized it was the infamous-but-as-yet-unrevealed #LipstickIncident, I was desperate to find out what happened and sped through the whole thing.

Who”s side are you on? Archie or Betty?
ANNIE: Sorry, Arch — I think I'm Team Betty on this one.

HitFix Harpy also got an exclusive peek inside Annie Wu's debut issue. Check it out below! ARCHIE #4 is available wherever comics are sold on 11/25/15.

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