Archie: The Married Life Book 6
Written by: Paul Kupperberg
Illustrated by: Fernando Ruiz and Various
Publisher: Archie Comics
Format: Softcover, 7 x 10, 336 pages, Full Color, $19.99
With any medium (movies, television, novels, and even comic books) sequels are often seen as or feared possibly anti-climatic. Our initial reverence for each story's originality has been discovered and subsequently drifted away. Archie Comics is one of the most influential and long-lasting story series in American literature. Timeless and responsive to each successive generation Archie Comics is continually able to both retain their original readers and attract new readers.
In this new Archie Comic readers will find a thoughtful reunion or introduction (for our young adult readers) with the gang from Riverdale High. Now, however, they are graduated and trying – just like many of us – to live out the American dream in their personal and professional lives.
In Archie: The Married Life Book Six, Archie is married to Veronica and the writers, artists and publishers take one of the most courageous risks in comic book history. How do you keep your loyal decades worth of fans while also inviting new readers into a story whose main character dies? In a superhero comic book the ideas has had its few shared experiences. But Archie and his friends are not superheroes. Adored and popular from generation to generation Archie and his friends represent your family, your friends, and probably yourself.
Responsive to today's sociocultural contexts Archie dies in a final act of genuine, sincere love for one of his friends. As Co-President and Editor and Chief of Archie Comics perfectly captures the point: "Archie Andrews died as he lived – helping his friends, and showing and showing the bravery and heart that we all hope is inside of us."
Elements of Story
Plot: Find out why Archie Comics would decide to end the life of its staple and beloved title-inspired character, and how his friends and the city of Riverdale celebrate his lie as they mourn beside you.
Major Characters: Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty, Kevin Keller
Settings: city of Riverdale
Themes: grief and loss, friendship, past-present-future, individualism and community, sacrifice
Recommended Common Core Standards for Early Readers
Craft and Structure
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Because this graphic novel deals with a subject as serious as death I would suggest teachers design a carousel activity.
To begin, teachers need large paper pieces of paper hung around the room (with writing utensils at each station). On each piece of large paper the educator has only written one word: each of the MAJOR characters names. In groups, ask students to visit each carousel station twice, rotating clockwise.
1. "How does this character relate to Archie? What makes this character unique?"
During the second seven minutes per station ask students to think more closely and intimately about point of view and how each of the individual characters expresses it in their words and actions . . . . Moreover, teachers need to add these second and finally last days of Archie
2. "In the wake of Archie's tragedy, in what ways does this each character express their grief? How do you know? Can you find a quote or an image to support your thoughts? Can you find any quotations to support your thoughts?"
When finished bring all of the large pieces of paper to the front of the room. Going through each carousel paper station and each group's postings be sure to remind students that it would be ideal for the entre class to view the specific words and images that caused them to respond as they did at each station.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.