Archie has been enjoying a resurgence over the last several years, and now in celebration of more than 70 years in the biz, longtime Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick joined forces with versatile comics historian Craig Yoe on “The Art of Archie: The Covers.”
The newly released hardcover features hundreds of Archie covers dating back to the company’s humble beginnings. I had the opportunity to do a dual Mighty Q&A with Gorelick and Yoe:
Victor, What makes this project so special to you?
Gorelick: Working on a book like this was very different from putting a comic together, which is what I’ve been doing most of my life. It was both a learning, and at the same time, gratifying experience for me. Researching the material was the best part. It took me back through all the years I’ve worked at Archie Comics. Remembering all the artists that created the covers, which ones I colored, inked and/or lettered. Recalling stories I had all but forgotten behind some of these covers was exhilarating.
What are some of your personal highlights of the book?
Gorelick: There is one section in this book in which all the covers selected were by Archie fans. Another highlight would be the photos of some of the artists whose work appears in this book. Some I’ve never met.
How did you get involved with Craig?
Gorelick: Craig came to the office to interview me when he was working on a book called “A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenager,” published by IDW. Craig and I hit it off right from the start. We talked about doing other books that would be published by Archie Comics. Jon Goldwater, publisher/CEO, asked us to work on a book together. A year later Craig and I finished our first book,“The Art of Betty & Veronica.”
Craig, you have a pretty eclectic background and publishing history. What does this project mean to you personally?
Yoe: I love doing my best to help get the “comic” back in comic books! And Archie epitomizes that fun in the funnies so it’s a stupendous thrill to work with this material. The Archie covers were and are funny and sexy — those attributes are a few of my favorite things!
Were you an Archie reader as a kid? Any favorite stories?
Yoe: Archie comics were always an important part of the mix of my childhood comics reading. I remember my cousin always had a big stack of them when I visited him. He was a teenager, into girls, played the guitar just like the Beatles and read Archie Comics. I looked up to him and his heady teen lifestyle, which included his preferred reading material — Archie Comics! I loved the 1960s Archie Comics; what a rich creative time for them and our culture at large! The Archie writers and artists were part of the swinging zeitgeist, and we made sure to include some of the covers that I found and loved in my cousin’s stash!
How did you work with Victor? What was the process?
Yoe: Working with Victor with his mad skills, sense of humor and his genial personality in general was a supreme pleasure. We had a lot of back and forth brainstorming over the phone, through emails and at the Archie offices. We complement (and compliment!) each other, yes we do! Clizia Gussoni, who is my beloved wife and creative partner, who skillfully produced the book, was a vital part of the process I am very quick to add. She kept Victor and myself honest!
What’s the boldest thing Archie Comics has done in its history?
Yoe: Going with a wide-eyed, gap-toothed character with a weird waffle tattoo on his bright, orange temples as their lead character! Who would have guessed THAT would pan out for nearly 75 glorious — and hilarious — years!
Gorelick: My wife is my Betty. Veronica would never put up with me.
Yoe: If I had to choose between Betty and Veronica I’d go with… Clizia!
“The Art of Archie: The Covers” has a cover price of $29.99. Gorelick and Yoe will be signing copies Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Bay Shore, Long Island.