RIVERDALE — I really love the Archie universe. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats, and then for a brief fever dream Riverdale have all been major pop culture staples in my life. But nothing has delighted me as much as the Afterlife with Archie horror series that Archie Comics started in 2013.
Hot Dog* dies, Sabrina brings him back to life, but he turns into a zombie and bites Jughead and then Riverdale becomes a horror movie. The backstory of Josie and the Pussycats is that they are immortal vampires who have been ensnaring men for centuries. Riverdale is getting chomped on by zombies, and it's delightfully gory.
The whole thing is just so unhinged because it turns all your expectations of Archie Comics on its head, and then spins it around like a breakdancer. Ultimately, it's the dissonance that makes it great. Watching Betty hit a vampire with a baseball bat is like "ok, yeah I buy it," but watching Veronica do it? You're like "we have truly entered a parallel universe."
So here's the thing:
The Amazon link for the first trade** of this series is collected in "Escape From Riverdale." Great. Read the first five issues and get hooked. But then, the link for the second trade, "Betty RIP" just has the old "currently unavailable" message. On the Archie Horror website, the news page is empty and the shop page is a BROKEN LINK.
Even for those who have read the single issues in the series, the dissatisfaction has been pretty major. The series is supposed to be 12 issues total, but the most recent one (issue 10) was published in 2016!
The writer of the series is (maybe you guessed it) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. It seems he's been busy making a bunch of terrible TV shows to finish up the storyline of his highest quality work! With the almost immediate decline of Riverdale after an excellent pilot, and the obnoxiousness of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, you'd think maybe he would want to return to the creative story he was absolutely nailing five years ago? But I get it: the success of the shows is much shiner than being known as a guy who comes up with cool, unique stuff AND FINISHES IT.
Where the fuck are my final two issues of this story, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa?!
*Hot Dog = Jughead's dog
**trades = a collection of single issues all bound together