Well, let me rephrase that. Archie does not sell in comic shops.
Check the listings for the top 300 comics in any given month and if Archie even places , it is somewhere in the high 200′s.
But there is something special about Archie…something that makes it a bit different. Archie sells a significant amount of books outside the comic shop. Archie is still sold in grocery stores across America. Archie Comics was one of the first publishers to embrace digital distribution. And Archie is not afraid to link itself to mass media movers and shakers.
Recently, Archie developed a whole new fan base by debuting an openly gay character, Kevin Keller, as part of the gang. It wasn’t a stunt. It wasn’t a hastily tossed together wedding issue complete with sketch variant covers and a marketing blitz. It was just an introduction of a character who happened to be gay. The fans took care of the rest (helped along by a group of “one million” mothers who wanted it pulled from the shelves) and Kevin Keller comics now sell just as well, if not better, than most Archie titles. I’m not saying that Archie Comics did not immediately recognize that they had a hit on their hands and start trying to capitalize on it. But it was not the company that decided Kevin was a hit. It was the fans.
The end result?
Archie is far more popular than most people imagine.
So it was no surprise when I walked by MAC Cosmetics, about a block away from the Convention Center, and saw a line out the door. Dan Parent, the artist for Archie and one of the creators of Kevin Keller was doing a signing.
That is the one thing that often gets overlooked in the comics community. The companies do not dictate what is popular. The fans do.
So, get out there and support what you love. Buy the comics. Go to the signings. Tell your friends. Decide for yourselves what is important and worth buying.