Archie Comics has rolled out a new imprint for original graphic novels for young adults. Beginning in 2020, Archie Blue Ribbon will release these stand-alone titles. There’s also a partnership with Little Bee Books‘ licensing imprint, BuzzPop for other books.
Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura says:
At Archie, our goal is always to present the best story in the best format to reach the most readers. 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.
The first two titles under Archie Blue Ribbon are Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship from writer Jamie L. Rotante and artist Brittney Williams and Riverdale: The Ties That Bind from writer Micol Ostow and artist Thomas Pitilli. Both will be released in 2020 and will clock in at 144 pages.
Writer Jamie L. Rotante says:
Betty and Veronica are two best friends despite being opposites — many people can relate to that. 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.
Riverdale: The Ties That Bind, is a tie-in to the Riverdale TV show on The CW. We’ve already seen a few other comics and even some novels from this world so it’s refreshing to see Archie publish some more.
Writer Micol Ostow says:
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?
The first Little Bee graphic novel is The Riverdale Diaries: Hello, Betty! from writer Sarah Kuhn and artist J. Bone. It’s a middle grade series that follows young characters from Riverdale as they head into middle school and have plenty of adventures in this storied town.
Writer Sarah Kuhn says:
Betty and Veronica and Valerie are some of the chief icons of my youth. Getting to write words for them now is mind-blowing—as is seeing them brought to life by the inimitable J. Bone!
These programs show Archie’s commitment to trying new things and reaching new audiences. These titles look like they’re tailor made for the young adult crowd. Kids should read more comics and this is a great way for them to do that.
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. 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.