victor-gorelickVictor Gorelick is an institution at Archie Comics. He is the companies, Vice President and Managing Editor. Next year marks his 50th Anniversary with Archie Comics.  Victor was nice enough to answer 10 questions for First Comics News

 

1) In an industry with a lot of turn over, how did you maintain steady employment with the same company for 50 years?

 

Victor: I would like to think  the main reason I’ve been with the company all these years, is that my contributions as an art director/production manager and eventually managing editor, has contributed to the ongoing success and longevity of Archie Comics.

 

2) What is the main differences working at Archie Comics for Louis Silberkleit & John Goldwater and  working at Archie Comics for Michael Silberkleit & Richard Goldwater?

 

Victor: I have been working for Michael and Richard for almost 50 years.  A lot has changed in the world of Archie, the world and our culture, and the comic and magazine industry.  As the leading newsstand publisher, we continue to increase our sales into other areas like the direct market and mass market  chains, supermarkets and drug chains.  25 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Archie Comics to publish Graphic Novels, now we have more than 30 active titles and many more in the works. 25 years ago, there was no internet. Now, our website archiecomics.com receives more than 20 million hits a month. Also, Richard Goldwater and Michael Silberkleit have been more receptive to new ideas and I believe are more in touch with our core readership.

 

3) Are Archie Comics funnier now then they were 50 years ago when you first joined the company?

 

Victor: The stories produced in the forties, fifties and sixties, in my opinion were funnier.  However, what was funny then is not necessarily funny now.

 

4) Do you have to worry about being politically correct with your humor and does that limit story ideas?

 

Victor: We’ve been taken to task occasionally over a reprint story from the fifties because in 2007 it may not be politically correct, or something a parent might not want their child to imitate.  We pride ourselves in responding personally to each complaint (there aren’t many), and find that parents are greatful that we took the time to respond. We would never intentionally run a story the parents or our readers would find objectionable.  We have to walk a thin line to produce good, clean, wholesome stories through the medium of humor. Humor is universal and you don’t have to be sensational to be funny.  Remember, the bulk of our readers are kids and we can’t ever lose sight of that fact.  Recently, we started Bety & Veronica blogs on our website archiecomics.com.  Today, thousands of readers blog our characters and each other on our website.  Each blog is carefully read by our “Fairy Blog Mother” to see that nothing inappropriate goes on our site.  At the same time, we are encouraging our readers to use their writing and communicating skills.  Educators love us.

 

5) Who are the comic book greats that started working for you at Archie when they were unknowns?

 

Victor: Tom DeFalco and Neal Adams immediately come to mind.  However, many great artists and writers were already in place at Archie Comics and were not that well known until years later:  Dan DeCarlo, Bob Bolling, Sam Schwartz, Harry Lucey, Stan Goldberg, Rex Lindsey, Al Hartley, Bill Vigoda, Joe Edwards, Frank Doyle, George Gladir and Craig Boldman, to name a few. Of course, Bob Montana who created the likeness of Archie was perhaps the best influence.

 

6) When you look at all the art samples sent to you and shown to you at conventions, what is it that catches your eye and lets you know “this kid has IT”?
Victor: I like to see if the artist can draw the Archie characters.

 

7) Many writers and artist have been with Archie Comics for quite a long time, as an editor how do you determine which artist is right for a particular story?

 

Victor: Each artist has strong points.  For example:  I might have a story where Archie is traveling to Paris.  I would use an artist like Rex Lindsey, who presents his artwork with meticulous detail to backgrounds, planes, trains and automobiles.

 

8) Archie has been in the news a lot this last year with Betty in NASCAR, the Dynamic New Look, Archie meets Archie and Raj the new Indian Archie. Are these things all gimmicks to get press or unexpectedly interesting to the media?

 

Victor: I wouldn’t call these things “gimmicks.”  As I said back in question #2, the publishers, Richard and Michael, are very receptive to new ideas.  Introducing new characters, producing stories that have a new look, showing our characters in contemporary storylines, are what has kept Archie Comics popular for over 65 years. Rmember, African Americans,  Hispanics,  Asians  and  East Indians among others are part of America and it would be wrong not to include these diverse characters in the Archie storylines.  Look for more interesting stories centering around these characters coming in 2008 in our comics, digests and graphic novels.

 

9) How do you decide which comic a story with Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica goes in?

In other words, is each title distinct from one another, or are they interchangeable?

 

Victor: For the most part, I choose specific stories for each title.  While some stories are interchangeable, particularly in the digest books, the characters featured in the stories are paired with the titles.

 

10) What is the next BIG thing we can expect to see from Archie Comics?

 

Victor: We have a great many big things scheduled for 2008.  (See my answer to #8 above). One thing in particular,  is another four part story being drawn in a dynamic new look by Joe Staton.  The first part is scheduled to appear in Jughead’s Double Digest #138, on sale in March 2008 .  And more and more.  Keep looking at our website www.archiecomics.com and in our comics and digests to learn about these new “things” as they develop.

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Victor Gorelick is an institution at Archie Comics. He is the companies, Vice President and Managing Editor. Next year marks his 50th Anniversary with Archie Comics.  Victor was nice enough to answer 10 questions for First Comics News   1) In an industry with a lot of turn over, how did you...