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Puttin' On The Ritz

First off, a little trip down memory lane.  I have so far done two Special Cheap Publicity Stunt Alternate Gimmick Covers for Sound Waves.  I shy away from it for the most part because the interior of the book is the same and I think different covers are just pushing things.  So when I had the one cover done for #4 and I drew the one for #5, it was to make the covers interesting.  Something people will enjoy.

So, I try to make them stand on their own.  I try to validate their existence.  So far, they've both been gags.  #4 was the parody of the "death of a major character as another major character holds their dead body" pose, complete with warning that nothing remotely resembling the cover happens in the book.  #5 was when over a third of Marvel's comics that month had alternate covers with Deadpool.  I had Rhapsody and Melody dress up like Deadpool (with Melody straining to lift one of his energy blasters) as Rhapsody states in exasperation, "Okay...this has officially gotten out of hand."  (I will point out to a certain comic pro that that is NOT Deadpool on the cover, that is Rhapsody in a Deadpool costume.  You can tell by the hair sticking out in the back of the mask and that the outfit has a sash tied on her left side.  Oh, and the breasts.  Deadpool has a lot of growths, but breasts ain't among them.  Eat shit, motherfucker.)

One idea for an Alternate Cover that I ultimately rejected was a riff on the image you'll see on the right here.  This is Adventure Comics #247.  Some of you will recognize this as the first appearance of the Legion Of Superheroes.  My idea was to do the cover, but with Rhapsody being rejected by Josie And The Pussycats.  I thought it would be hilarious.  So why didn't I do it?  Well, first of all, I've already done two Special Cheap Publicity Stunt Alternate Gimmick Covers for Sound Waves, which has only had eight individual issues so far.  It just seems like overkill right now.  But the second is that, this is Archie Comics.  Archie is notoriously defensive of their characters and doesn't put up with much.  A guy tried doing a small theater production about Archie coming out.  No sooner did word get around than he got C&D'ed by Archie Comics.  He tried to say what he was doing was a parody, a satire, and he was protected on 1st Amendment grounds.  No dice, he had to fold.  Archie isn't as jumpy as George Lucas or the rights holders for Tetris, but they do watch closely.  I just didn't feel like dealing with the headache and rejected the idea.

(The idea got rejected a second time because I thought about replacing Josie And The Pussycats with the judges from American Idol.  But I don't watch American Idol, although, from the complaints I hear, someone with Rhapsody's talent getting booted from the show would very likely happen.)

Now, there is a distinction.  Comic companies do put up with some interesting takes on their characters.  Artists Alleys at conventions are full of people doing unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted and trademarked characters.  Or even depicting the characters that could impact the commercial potential.  Wanna see Supergirl's underwear under her skirt?  Pick a color.  Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy feeling each other up?  Sure, just let me finish this drawing of Jean Grey and Emma Frost making out.  For some, these kinds of drawings are SOP.  (Side note:  I had asked an artist to do a sketch of Rhapsody.  Without blinking, he asked, "Do you want her nude?"  My jaw dropped and I snarled, "She's fourteen, you asshole!"  No, I didn't commission him.)  Dan Parent goes to the Chicago conventions a lot, and has lots of drawings of the Archie characters as superheroes.  He had Betty as a Green Lantern, Veronica as Wonder Woman (with the stars on the blue bottoms replaced by dollar signs, which I thought was a nice touch), and Archie as Superman.  So it's kind of grey area, although what exactly keeps you out of trouble and what's asking to get nailed, I couldn't tell you.  Take it from an experienced fangame producer -- when it doubt, don't do it.

The reason I mention this is because of the upcoming cover of Archie And Friends #156.  A sci-fi convention comes to Riverdale, and the kids cosplay.  Here's the results.

My biggest complaint?  They look too good.  If this was a real fandom convention, you'd have people in outfits completely inappropriate for their body type.  Like Mr. Weatherbee as Superman.  Or maybe as Sailor Moon.  I will never forget the first time I saw Sailor Bubba.  How is it my mind will forget the trauma of childbirth but not that?

I notice Cheryl Blossom, the Archie Universe's resident sexpot, isn't there.  They probably worried that they would dress her like Poison Ivy and people's heads would explode.  Yeah, that one, too.

Isn't Josie as Catwoman kind of redundant?  Yeah, it's in-jokey, but it's not really a stretch.  Besides, she's too goody-two-shoes to be Catwoman.  And with her being a redhead, I would have thought Batgirl would be perfect.  Of course, with the mask, we wouldn't see for sure that it's her.

I will point out that, based on the discussions I've seen online, Kevin down in the lower right corner is not a Twilight vampire.  The hairstyle apparently suggests a character from True Blood.  (I don't know, I can't watch True Blood.  Anna Paquin is still the little girl from Fly Away Home in my mind.  The thought of seeing her in some of those scenes in True Blood squicks me big time.)

I think Veronica would be better suited as the Evil Queen, not Snow White.

Uh, who the hell is Archie supposed to be?!?

Chuck Clayton in the lower left is not some Jedi.  That is Mace fuckin' Windu, the Sam Jackson Jedi.  Notice the light blade is purple.  Sam Jackson!

Reggie?  Close, but not quite Griffyndor.  "A" for effort, though.  And who do you think would win a duel, Sabrina or Harry Potter?

At least the cover is fun.  Maybe not perfect, but fun....

...

...what's that?

You want to see Sabrina as Slave Girl Leia again?

All right, but only if you promise to keep both of your hands on the keyboard until you navigate away from my blog.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ozma914
Mar. 15th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC)
Sailor Bubba? I'm glad I missed that.
sinetimore
Mar. 15th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
Nothing can prepare you for that....
ying_ko_4
Mar. 15th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Archie isn't "supposed" to be anyone, Archie IS Pureheart the Powerful!!!

http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/p/purehart.htm
sinetimore
Mar. 15th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
...there goes the secret identity....
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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