Chapter Eleven
part two
In 2013, in the middle of the zombie craze, spearheaded by Max
Brooks ‘World War Z’ and the comic and TV series Walking Dead,
Archie launches ‘Afterlife With Archie’, a drama/horror mini-series
speculating a zombie apocalypse raging through Riverdale with
Jughead as ‘Patient Zero’
(9). Issue #10 offered a solo story that
takes place on ‘Halloween B. P. (Before Plague)’ where a reporter is
about to interview Josie at the Chateau Marmont in L. A. Right off
the bat, Josie reveals that she was born in 1906! Talk about

What follows is an alternative goulash history of Josie which begins
as a small baby left at the doorstep of an orphanage and she is left
to her own wits through abusive hands of the owner, Alexandria
Cabot. Despite the harsh surroundings, Josie makes friends with her
fellow roommates, Melody, Valerie and Pepper and in short order
they discover they could sing well together. A boyfriend of
Alexandria senses an show-business opportunity, crowns them ‘The
Cabot Sisters’ and puts them on tour.

The group proves to be a success, but the act is soon broken up
when Alexandria marries Pepper off to her ‘Uncle Buddy’. The rest
of the girls are soon whisked off to a private party at a secluded
mansion and it is there that Josie meets the owner who offers her an
opportunity to ‘be a star and live forever’ and the night ends with a
lot of blood and red ink. When the girls later press Josie on what
happened on the previous night, she pulls them aside and turns
them into vampires and are soon seen flying off to their new ‘non-
daylight’ lives.
At this point, I won’t give away any further plot points other that the last scene features The Pussycats about to land
in Riverdale in the middle of its plague….and as for the reporter….and
Pepper? To say the least, this is a very
dramatic and interesting read. Like the rest of the ‘Afterlife’ series (and unlike standard Josie fare up to this point),
this is meant for the older teen crowd who do like a little horror in their reading.

The success of these new comics launches more titles that are separate from the rest of the companies main
output, aimed at an older audience with higher level of quality and maturity with artists far outside the usual stable,
names like
Adam Hughes and Jamie Hernandez (of Love & Rocket fame) soon started to appear in their pages. It
seems that any animosity the comic industry had against Archie over Dan DeCarlo’s treatment (and vice versa)
began to fade off. A bigger and historic example of this new calmer age was the demise of the Comic Code Authority.

By 2010, many publishers were abandoning the CCA to set up their own ratings system leaving the Authority with
only one participant left, Archie, who also owned and separately ran the CCA. Sensing a path to its demise, Jon
Goldwater finally pulled the plug on the CCA by taking the ‘Approved’ logo off Archie covers and closing the offices

Another break from the past came when Archie began to offer digital copies of compilations of their old catalog
through their web site and Amazon’s Comixology. Under many of these old pages offered actual credits of artists
behind these once anonymous pieces…..Including the name of Dan DeCarlo!
Chapter Twelve
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