Archie Comics’ Chip Zdarsky Talks Reinventing Jughead

10.07.15 4 years ago

Currently in the midst of their 75th anniversary, Archie Comics is not content to rest on their creative laurels. Following on the heels of their compelling Afterlife with Archie zombie comic, the launch of the gritty, adult-oriented Dark Circle superhero imprint, and Mark Waid’s recent Archie reboot, the company’s latest attempt at reinventing their offerings for modern audiences is a relaunch of their Jughead title from the creative team of Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard the Duck) and Erica Henderson (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl).

Hitting stores today, Jughead #1 sees Riverdale’s legendary burger-eating non-conformist dealing with a new principal who threatens to replace his beloved school lunches with — gasp — a nutritiously dense gruel. Along the way he shares his views on the world and gets involved in a spine-splittingly funny Game of Thrones parody that will forever change the way you look at Archie’s sleepy-eyed best pal. We had the chance to interview writer Chip Zdarsky and ask about his work on the book and what readers can expect. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you get involved with this project?

I just wanted to do a cover! When the Archie reboot was announced, I was super excited as a fan of the characters and of Mark and Fiona’s work. So I reached out to the folks at Archie and I asked if I could do a variant cover for Archie #1. That’s when they floated the idea of me writing Jughead for them, which just sounded crazy to me. It was weird enough when Marvel let me write Howard the Duck, but Jughead? He’s iconic!

So, I ended up having a lot of conversations with Archie’s president about the character and my vision for him. I was just happy having the conversations, really. It was surreal and fun to talk through possibilities! Then I got the job, and it became super real. SUPER REAL. The first issue’s coming out and it’s barely sunk in.

What do you think it is about Jughead’s personality that continues to resonate with people?

He’s the weird teen! There have always been weird teens and there will always be weird teens. I love that he’s the coolest uncool guy around. People can relate to the guy who wants to float through life and just be himself, but still manages to solve the problems around him from behind the scenes.

Early on in the issue, Jughead says to Archie, “The world is out of our hands, pal. You’ve just got to make your own weird way in it,” which is the perfect mantra for the character. Tell us a little about how you’ll approach Jughead and his worldview in this series.

Yeah, Jughead is at the age where you think you’ve got the world figured out. It’s when cynicism sets in, but no matter how jaded you are, you still have your friends and family to offset that. So he may act like he doesn’t care, like, what’s the point, but he actually does.

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