Our favorite things this week include "Afterlife with Archie" and "The Other F Word."
Melissa Joan Hart’s Glad She Missed this Call: The marketing coup of the week last week was Afterlife with Archie’s new storyline, launched the same week as San Diego Comic Con. The comic book is six issues into its run, looking at the new adventures of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. As the comic’s title implies, it’s not the PG-13, kooky, romantic misadventures of the crew at Riverdale High. Instead, it tells the story of the zombie apocalypse that takes place after Reggie Mantle runs over Jughead’s dog Hot Dog and kills him. Sabrina the Teenage Witch tries to bring Hot Dog back, but merely reanimates him as a zombie pet who bites Jughead and sets in motion a prom night massacre that infects Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy among others.
The comic is more like fan fiction than the logical progression in the life of Archie Andrews, and though it still feels a bit like a stunt to put Archie back on the map, it’s a stunt with a voice, though only conceptually a funny one. In art and storytelling, Afterlife of Archie is an homage to horror comics from the ’70s, which were very different from the graphic tales of extreme poetic payback in the EC Comics of the 1950s. Francesco Francavilla’s claustrophobic, textured art is from the other side of the graphic world from Dan DeCarlo’s character-defining work, and it is well-matched with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa story, which is more interested in the gritty struggle to survive than the gore of the devoured bodies.
The marketing coup? Issue five ended with Archie and some of his pals escaping a Riverdale in flaming, zombie-infested ruins. The latest issue returns to Sabrina and the consequences of possibly starting the end of the world. She’s in an asylum, and in the last page we see that she’s about to become the bride of writer H.P. Lovecraft’s elder god Cthulhu. It’s safe to say that nobody saw that coming, and that’s a story that the national press can understand. That and cosplay photos. (Alex Rawls)
Junior’s First Words Were #@!&#!: Punk rock is all about rebellion—from society and, for a lot of people, from parents. So what happens when the legendary punk rock symbols of the ‘80s grow up and become parents themselves? This is the question that Andrea Nevins’ 2011 documentary The Other F Word tackles. In between interviews with famous rockers including Flea and Mark Hoppus, the film centers on the story of Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg and the dichotomy he feels between touring with his band and being home for his three young daughters. The interviews get surprisingly emotional as many of the musicians reveal that their own parents weren’t there for them and discuss how that has affected their attitudes as fathers. If you want to watch Flea wipe tears from his eyes while he talks about his daughter, this is your go-to documentary.
Watching these punk rock legends talk about how fatherhood has changed them and how they deal with issues like the hypocrisy of cursing rampantly onstage and then coming home and scolding their children for using words like “turd face” is endlessly intriguing and often amusing. The film also delves a little into the history of punk rock itself, which makes it accessible and interesting for people who may not know much about the genre. Overall, it’s an engaging look at a side of punk rock that you don't often get to see. (Lauren Keenan)