Archie Comics reveals plans for new young readers graphic novel program

As part of an ongoing expansion into new markets for some of the most iconic comics characters in the world, Archie Comics is rolling out a program of original graphic novels for young readers in 2020! Archie Blue Ribbon, a brand-new imprint for standalone YA titles by some of Archie’s brightest talents, will be joined by a line of middle grade books from Little Bee Books’s licensing imprint BuzzPop.

“At Archie, our goal is always to present the best story in the best format to reach the most readers,” said Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura. “Launching a YA-centric line of original graphic novels with Blue Ribbon and partnering with Little Bee to create graphic novels geared toward kids is a natural next step to give fans compelling, unique, and meaningful stories involving our iconic characters.”

Blue Ribbon’s launch titles will be BETTY & VERONICA: THE BOND OF FRIENDSHIP by Jamie L. Rotante with art by Brittney Williams, followed by a new Riverdale tie-in story, RIVERDALE: THE TIES THAT BIND by the longtime RIVERDALE comics creative team of writer Micol Ostow and artist Thomas Pitilli. Both titles will release in 2020 and will be 144 pages.

“Betty and Veronica are two best friends despite being opposites — many people can relate to that,” Jamie said about THE BOND OF FRIENDSHIP. “Sometimes your first, closest friend ends up being totally different from you as you both mature, and it can be scary thinking of how that dynamic might change further in the future.”

Commenting on her addition to the Riverdale universe inspired by The CW TV show, Micol said, “If there’s one thing I’ve taken from working with Scholastic, Archie, and the Riverdale team on previous books and comics, it’s that there are no limits with this universe! How fun is that?” Little Bee’s debut Archie graphic novel will be THE RIVERDALE DIARIES: HELLO, BETTY! by Sarah Kuhn with art by J. Bone. The “Riverdale Diaries” middle grade series will follow young Archie comics characters, new and old, as they brave middle school and embark on plenty of adventures throughout their storied town.

“Betty and Veronica and Valerie are some of the chief icons of my youth,” Sarah said. “Getting to write words for them now is mind-blowing—as is seeing them brought to life by the inimitable J. Bone!”

“The Little Bee partnership came together naturally, and helps us continue to reach a vitally important market. We’re all extremely excited to see THE RIVERDALE DIARIES in the hands of young readers,” Alex Segura added. “In terms of the YA line, we’ve had the idea in our back pocket for some time now, and it fell into place once the talent and stories for B&V and RIVERDALE came together. Archie Blue Ribbon will stand for the best talent telling the best stories featuring our characters, and we’re excited to launch this imprint in such a meaningful way.”

To find out more about Archie’s new original graphic novels, stay tuned for news coming out of the ARCHIE COMICS FOREVER: CELEBRATING 80 YEARS panel this Friday, October 4 at New York Comic Con.

Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship 
Written by Jamie L. Rotante, Art by Brittney Williams, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli.
$14.99 US/$17.99 CAN
144 pages
Synopsis: A Career Day at Riverdale High gets BFFs Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge thinking—what are their plans for the future and their friendship? Betty and Veronica envision a multitude of life paths for themselves; like holding seats in the White House, exploring outer space, becoming major celebrities and more! Plus: a number of fun cameos from Archie characters past and present! This original graphic novel seeks to explore what the future has in store for everyone’s favorite BFFs and if their friendship is strong enough to withstand the tests of space and time.

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind 
Written by Micol Ostow, Art by Thomas Pitilli, John Workman and Andre Szymanowicz
$14.99 US/$17.99 CAN
144 pages
Synopsis: Four interconnected stories trap each of our main characters in a unique high-stakes conflict over the course of a few pressure-cooker hours: Jughead–locked in school and left behind with Moose, Veronica–trapped with Cheryl at a suburban shopping mall, Betty and Polly–stalked by a madman when a girls’ night goes horribly awry, and Archie–held hostage by a ‘long lost relative’ of Fred’s who’s come to town seeking payback of any and every kind… Will Archie and his friends even make it to sunrise? And if they do, will they ever be the same again? This original graphic novel tells the stories in between the events of the the next season of Riverdale.

The Riverdale Diaries: Hello, Betty!
Written by Sarah Kuhn
Art by J. Bone
On Sale: 8/25/20
SERIES INFO: THE RIVERDALE DIARIES is a middle-grade, original graphic novel series that will follow young Archie comics characters, new and old, as they brave middle school and embark on plenty of adventures throughout their storied town.

AT-A-GLANCE: These original graphic novels will reimagine the classic cast with a fresh look and relatable, real-world challenges. They will explore family dynamics, the power of friendship, and overcoming personal conflicts. It’s a chance to explore new relationships and dynamics while also referencing the characters they are destined to grow up and become. If the Archie gang joined the Baby-Sitters Club, their adventures would all be written up in the Riverdale Diaries.
SYNOPSIS: In the first book, Hello, Betty!, Betty Cooper and Valerie Smith are best friends and looking forward to starting middle school. They’ve always done everything together, but then, Val decides to something on her own and take a music class. Suddenly, Betty feels left on her own to brave the drama class dominated by snobby, spoiled Veronica Lodge. Armed only with her diary for comfort, Betty will have to learn that old friendships can change, and new friends can be made.

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