No Camper Is Safe In Archie’s Haunted Summer
by Brendan M. Allen
Three terrifying tales will chill Riverdale’s warm summer nights this June in Chilling Adventures Presents… Camp Pickens, an all-new one-shot from the Archie Horror imprint of Archie Comics.
“Stories set at summer camp are synonymous with Archie,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “Many fans will agree that some of their fondest memories were reading Archie digests while at camp. So, naturally, we had to do a camp-based horror one-shot.”
Camp Pickens kicks off with Bug Juice, a frame story by writer Jordan Morris and artist Diana Camero, in which Jughead Jones leads a group of campers on a quest to find a mysterious drink that counselors think will ward off evil and misfortune . . . which Camp Pickens requires because it is ridiculously haunted. As they go deeper into the woods and use all their camp skills to make it through the night, they learn more about the camp’s monstrous past.
That past is revealed in The Curse of Camp Pickens, a tale of ghostly menace through the ages by writer Blake Howard and artist Carola Borelli, and the slasher send-up Down and Out and Death Cursed by writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton.
“I’m a huge fan of Blake’s and Tim’s writing, so being able to work on an issue with them was a total thrill! The vibe was very collaborative,” said Morris. “They (along with the great Archie editors) gave me awesome pitches that ended up in my script. I think readers will have a blast going back into the issue and finding the easter eggs that tie all the stories together.”
Eagle-eyed Archie Comics fans will recognize the name Pickens from throughout Riverdale’s history (and a major plot point in the graphic novel Jughead’s Time Police by Sina Grace and Derek Charm), but this marks the first appearance of the cursed camp bearing the historical figure’s name. Each of the stories in Camp Pickens takes a classic horror trope and upends expectations, delivering something wholly unique in the summer horror genre.
“Following the lead of movies like Sleepaway Camp, TV series like American Horror Story: 1984, and video games like The Quarry, CAMP PICKENS explores the horrific things that can happen when teens are left to their own devices over the summer,” Rotante added. “We’ve got an all-star lineup on this title, too, introducing writer Blake Howard to the sinister world of Archie Horror, bringing back Jordan Morris from this month’s Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe Of Horrors, as well as returning artists Carola Borelli and Diana Camero, from Betty: The Final Girl and Fear The Funhouse, respectively, and reuniting the team behind the mega-hit comic series Revival, writer Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.”
Camp Pickens, with an open-to-order variant cover by Francesco Francavilla, colors by Matt Herms, and lettering by Jack Morelli, releases June 21 in comic shops.