Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa injects zombies into the beloved comic
How do you reinvent the Archie comic? By adding zombies, of course! In the premiere issue of the new authorized series Afterlife With Archie, the traditionally undead-free town of Riverdale is transformed into a burg of blood after Sabrina the Teenage Witch foolishly casts a spell to revive Jughead’s deceased canine pal Hot Dog. And according to Afterlife With Archie writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, things are only going to get worse for Archie and his chums. ”The body count rises significantly in the second issue [out Nov. 20],” says the red-hot scribe, whose other credits include Glee, the Carrie remake starring Chloë Grace Moretz (in theaters Oct. 18), and the in-the-works Magic Mike musical.
Aguirre-Sacasa’s dealings with Archie Comic Publications haven’t always been so friendly. The company hit him with a cease-and-desist letter in 2003 after he wrote a play called Archie’s Weird Fantasy, in which the titular character shared an apartment with real-life killers Leopold and Loeb and also came out as gay. So how did he wind up writing both Afterlife With Archie and a previous comic, Archie Meets Glee, which debuted in March? Aguirre-Sacasa explains that he was approached by Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater, whose envelope-pushing over the past few years has included introducing the comic’s first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, in 2010. ”Jon said, ‘Bring us an idea,”’ Aguirre-Sacasa says. ”I thought it would be fun to do a mash-up between Archie and Glee, and that’s where the working relationship started.” The writer reveals he has an idea for at least one more Archie mash-up: ”I think it would be hilarious if Archie and his friends spent a summer at Barbie’s Malibu dream house. I’d love to see the rivalry between Veronica and Barbie.”