Back in June of 2014, Riverdale got a new addition. Veronica Lodge”s cousin Harper came to visit and brought with her some much needed diversity to the cast. While some argue that creating diversity for “the sake of diversity” is a bad move, the world is not populated exclusively by straight able-bodied Caucasian teenagers. Between Harper Lodge and Kevin Keller, Archie Comics has been at the forefront of the comics push to reorient fictional universes to reflect reality.
Harper quickly became a fan favorite. So much so, Archie Comics has decided to bring her back for one last storyline before the final issue – aptly numbered 666 – signals the reboot of Riverdale. Only instead of a children”s book, Harper is taking a crack at writing a superhero graphic novel…based on her friends and family
HitFix Harpy talked with Archie writer Dan Parent about the return of Harper and her character's evolution from fashion designer to graphic novelist.
HITFIX: For this issue, Archie”s favorite novelist Harper Lodge returns to Riverdale. Can you give us a quick overview for those who aren”t familiar with Veronica”s creative cousin?
Dan Parent: Yes, Harper is Veronica's cousin, who is young writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She happens to be disabled, and requires the use of a wheelchair and/or walking stick most of the time.
Harper has moved from traditional books to graphic novels. What made you want to explore superheroes and fangirl culture?
Dan: In this story, Harper writes her first graphic novel. It seems like a natural progression, seeing how popular graphic novels are. It's a great visual format where she can tell her story to a whole new crowd. And of course, with the gang involved in the story, we have some pretty colorful characters there.
Seriously, is Harper named after Harper Lee?
Dan: No, not really! But “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a favorite book of mine!
Any chance of seeing Harper”s graphic novel “The Power That Be” come to life as a meta-miniseries?
Dan: I think that's a great idea! I'll have to discuss this with the powers that be at Archie!
Harper and Reggie are still an item. What does she see in him?
Dan: Well, they do say opposites attract! Actually, I think Harper brings out Reggie's softer side (who knew he even had one?) But I think Harper looks for the good in people, and sees something in Reggie.
We”re coming to the end of the line! #665 is the second to last Archie issue before the big reboot. Any hints about what”s to come in #666?
Dan: You probably know more about the reboot than I do. But I'm a fan of both Fiona Staples and Mark Waid, so I'm sure it will be great!!
The “Writer”s Blockheads” hits shelves on March 11, 2015.
Script: Dan Parent
Art: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski
Cover: Dan Parent
Variant Cover: Sanford Greene
32-page, full color comic