ARCHIE FREELANCERS REMEMBER VICTOR GORELICK
I really enjoyed working with Victor when I was at Archie. I was with Archie for 10 years. When I went to the New York ComicCon I was with Victor constantly, When he would come to the San Diego ComicCon we would hang out at the booth together for most of the show. In between, we would talk on the phone about ways to promote Archie Comics, new stories coming out and life in general. He was always warm and friendly to me and my wife. He had a wonderful, wry sense of humor. My condolences to Kathie.
In both my life and career, I’ve had many mentors. In my career, Victor Gorelick, long-time Archie Comics editor, was certainly a major one. Having worked for the publisher since he was 17, he knew the business inside and out, particularly as it related to the creation of comics (he could not only edit but was also a skilled writer, artist, letterer, and colorist). He taught me what makes a good funny strip for young readers, including where to insert the most outlandish visual gag or quip, and he shared my love for puns. As an editor of stories I wrote, he encouraged me to always remember it’s how each character individually reacts to a situation based on their unique personalities that creates the comedy. That also helped me when I edited stories by others. In my role as company historian and researcher-editor of the Archie Americana Series of classic reprints, Victor was an invaluable source of information to me, with a tremendous, encyclopedic memory of who did what and when. In later years, when I was a freelance writer-editor-researcher working on a book about the pre-Archie days of the publisher churning out superhero comics in the late 1930s and early ‘40s as MLJ Comics, Victor graciously stepped in and offered assistance there as well. His insights were always invaluable, and always tinged with a knowing wit… Victor having gone through the process so many times himself. Beyond all that, Victor encouraged and nurtured a love in me for film noir movies and classic radio shows. In those few but nice breaks from work, he’d excitedly share with me all about some ‘40s noir drama he watched, and how well-written, directed and acted it was. And he’d lend me audiocassettes of some of his favorite old radio broadcasts, especially those narrated and performed by a personal favorite of mine, Vincent Price. I am very grateful for all I learned from Victor, both professionally, and in our shared love for the arts.
For many years, Victor Gorelick proudly represented Archie Comics as a member of the Kubert School’s advisory board, an assemblage of highly placed comic book industry professionals who met regularly at the School to advise on the curriculum, offer counsel and suggestions and whenever time allowed, review the students’ portfolios. It was during one of his visits to the School, that I met Victor. I was a third year student and a life long Archie fan so it was a thrill to have Victor review my work. It was then that he hired me offering me my first professionally published job. In doing so, he launched my career. I would work for Victor for twenty-two years and over that time, Victor, one of the most unquestionably knowledgeable and experienced editors I’d ever work with, would teach me a lot. For most of my time at Archie, I’d deliver my work in person at the Archie offices. Victor and I would have long talks in his office and we’d cover a lot of ground. Aside from comics, Victor and I also shared a mutual love for old time radio shows especially the crime anthology, The Whistler, a show we both enjoyed. I’ve been teaching at the Kubert School for twenty five years. Even after Victor stopped making his visits to the School, he never lost his interest in my old alma mater. He’d regularly ask about how the place was doing and for the people there that we both knew. It will forever be impossible for me to talk about my career as an artist, a writer, and a teacher, without thinking of Victor. I’ll forever appreciate having known him. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to The Whistler again without remembering him.
Victor Gorelick was my first boss in the comic book biz, the kind of editor I always wanted to be. Vic was always generous with ideas, supportive of his creative teams and he was always encouraging his people to take that next creative leap. He set a high bar for professionalism, demanding that the work be turned in on time and done to the best of your ability (and he never, ever stopped trying to improve that ability). He taught me that my first idea is rarely my best and that comics demanded clarity and brevity. He was a good friend for more than 40 years and his influence shows in every work I write.
Victor edited over 100 of my Betty and Veronica stories. “Victor, I have a great story but I will need all 24 pages of the comic to write it” I would say and then I’d give him my pitch. “Do it in 6 pages” he’d respond. It was impossible to argue with Victor because he’d already hung up. I will be forever grateful to Victor for making me do a 6 pager. I learned how to condense a story and make each panel count. RIP, Victor.
I’m sorry to hear the news of Victor’s passing; along with Dan DeCarlo, he was instrumental in getting me started (and keeping me going!) as a writer at Archie comics. I will miss hearing his “say hi to Bill” sendoff greeting for my husband at the end of our conversations on the phone—he always ended a call that way, in a friendly manner, no matter how we chewed over a story I’d sent in or was working on. He may have been a tough editor to work for at times, but he was also a good friend.
I am very saddened by the death of my good friend, colleague, editor, and inspiration Victor Gorelick of Archie Comics. To say this is the end of an era is an understatement.
Victor WAS Archie Comics. He was there over 60 years !!! And his love for Archie never waned. He was so proud of the Archie legacy, which he was a big part of.
I’ve known Victor for 35 years, meeting him my second year at the Joe Kubert School. He plucked me out of the school and gave me my start at Archie. It’s safe to say he gave me my career!! Of which I’m eternally grateful!
I have so many fond memories of Victor, I don’t know where to begin. But the main things that pop into my head are all the great conversations we’d have sitting in his office. We covered a wide variety of topics, and Victor’s dry wit was always the best! I’ll really miss those talks.
My deepest condolences to his family and especially his wife Kathie, who he always claimed he won the jackpot when he met her!
Thank you, Victor, for everything you’ve done for me. And for everything you’ve given to the Archie family and fans out there. Your life lives on in every page!
Sad to hear of the passing of Archie Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick. I owe much of my career in comics to Victor, who gave me my first assignment back in 2006, and also approved my son Ben’s work a couple of years ago. He was great to work with and nobody knew the characters better than he did. He was truly a legend in the comics world, having worked at Archie for over 60 years. My condolences to his family.
Victor Gorelick was my Archie editor for over twenty years. He made working for the company easy and fun. He trusted me with tight deadlines many, many times, saying “I can always depend on you”. When I needed extra work, he was there to help me. When I came to him for professional advice, Victor never hesitated to offer practical solutions. We shared lots of laughs and personal stories about our lives.
I was the first person to do an extended interview with him about his comic book career for Alter Ego magazine # 23. Victor was a walking encyclopedia about the history of Archie Comics. He worked there for sixty-two years. I knew he had been ill in recent times, but somehow, it seemed like he’d always pull through and stay strong. And he did, until now. RIP, Victor. You’ll be greatly missed by all who knew you. Thank you for everything you did for me.
This photo was taken at a New York Comics Convention in 2009. On the left is Jon D’Agostino, whose comics career lasted from the 1940s to the 2000s. On the right is Victor.
I had the disinct privilege of working with Victor Gorelick around fifteen years ago on a project called “Betty And Veronica: The New Look- Bad Boy Trouble”- a four part comic story spread out over four issues of the Betty and Veronica digest magazine. It was a new different type of presentation of these characters. as I was hired on to draw it in a similar style to my Marvel work. It marked a departure stylistically from the Dan Decarlo “house style” that Archie Comics was known for, and, despite a fair bit of pushback from fans who were against seeing their beloved characters drawn any other way than what they were used to seeing, the experiment did well enough that they continued with other storylines in the same “new look” style, and eventually, led to the modern Archie style, where new styles abound.
To me, Victor Gorelick foresaw that. He was one of the “old guard”, having been working in comics since at least the Bronze Age, but he was forward thinking in trying new and different things- at least in my own experience with the man.
I remember when he first called me up to offer me the job- I had been working for Archie Comics for around 7 or 8 years by then, but only on the Sonic the Hedgehog title, so when he offered me the Betty and Veronica story, I saw it as a challenge. I just remember him telling me they wanted it to look more akin to the types of romance comics that Marvel and DC used to do, rather than the classic Dan Decarlo look. Sounded simple enough, though I had never drawn a “romance” comic before- I just took the challenge, and we were off and running. Victor was really easy to work with, and called me on the phone fairly often while doing the job, just to make sure I was on schedule and what not. I remember one package of art that i sent them getting lost in the mail, and having to redraw the sequence, because i didn’t scan the pages before mailing them out(I’ve learned since then!!). The original pages finally showed up(after I had already drawn and turned in the redrawn pages), and Victor insisted on paying me for both sets- something he didn’t have to do, but did anyway, which spoke to his character and made him number one in my book!!
After the job was completed, I continued working for Archie, but was back on Sonic, and didn’t do any more Betty and Veronica work, so I wasn’t in contact with Victor anymore like i was while doing that particular work. Flash forward to 2014 at the San Diego Comic Con. I stop by the Archie Comics booth and introduce myself(it was my first time to meet a lot of the Archie guys, even though I had been freelancing for them for years by then). I asked them if Victor was there, and they introduced me to him. I finally got to meet the man face to face- A good bit older and a little more frail looking, but still up and about, greeting the fans, and just enjoying the interaction with the folks. I’m glad I got the chance to talk to him, however briefly it was.
To me, Victor seemed to be one of the last guardians of the “old ways” of comic book production and thought, but in a lot of ways, the things he helped set in motion were directly responsible for the “new ways” of doing things. I’m not sure if he would be comfortable with me saying this, but I believe his contributions to the comic book industry, and his faithful loyalty to the Archie Comics brand, are things well worth remembering. I know I, for one, will always remember them.
Godspeed, Victor. It was a pleasure and honor to have known and worked with you.
I woke up to the heartbreaking news that my friend, longtime Archie Comics contributor and editor Victor Gorelick has died. I’ve known Victor for forty years, ever since I wrote some Radio Shack custom comics for him around 1980. I got to know him better when we spent close to 4 years in the trenches together on LIFE WITH ARCHIE starting in 2009 and, in the years since, on a couple of online series. Victor was the literal heart and soul of Archie Comics, a 60-plus year employee who truly embodied the Riverdale spirit (but by way of Brooklyn). My condolences to his family, both at home and at Archie. I’ll miss him. You will too, although you may not realize it.
The great Editor-in-Chief of Archie Comics, and my good friend, Victor Gorelick has passed away. He is/was an institution at Archie and in comics. He kept Archie comics rolling over there for decades! He was tough, fair and funny to work with. I’m so very grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him. RIP, Victor!