Bite Sized Archie | Review
Bite Sized Archie Vol. 1
Writer: Ron Cacace
Artist: Vincent Lovallo
Archie Comics; $12.99
Bite Sized Archie Vol. 1 collects the first year’s worth of the new Archie webcomic, a four-panel strip by Ron Cacace and Vincent Lovallo that features chibi versions of the familiar Archie cast in silly, often fourth-wall breaking gags.
Perhaps because the strip is an online one, a remarkable number of the jokes revolve around evoking memes, generally by inserting the classic characters into the set-up.
So, for example, the Anakin/Padme meme where she repeats herself is here transformed so that Archie is in the Anakin role and Jughead the Padme role, Archie stating that “I’m going on dates with Betty and Veronica tonight” to Jughead, who replies, “At different times, right?” It works regardless of one’s familiarity with the meme, but works better if it can use that familiarity as a slingshot of sorts.
Other, similar meme-referencing jokes are incorporated throughout, although usually with a twist of some sort, as in the one of Sabrina at a Halloween party, standing in a corner and saying to herself, “They don’t know I’m a witch…”, at which point everyone turns on her and makes sure she knows that they know that she is indeed a witch.
Because 52 pages is awfully short for a book–and perhaps because all of the strips are available for free online–the collection contains copious amounts of bonus material, at the rate of about one sketch per strip, with the creators often inserting commentary that explains their process and occasionally explains a reference or joke.
Generally, if you have to explain a joke, it’s not the strongest joke, but then, Cacace and Lovallo make some pretty obscure references to material I didn’t get, like, for example, The Shining or multiple references to Key & Peele, neither of which seem to be on the Archie wavelength. For what it’s worth, their commentary never steps on the joke, but just adds context.
As far as webcomics go, this one is extremely online, even when read in its collected, printed-on-paper format.
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About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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