As an added bonus, when I worked for Marvel and DC, my family couldn’t care less, but now that I’m making my first sojourn to Riverdale, I’ve become a true rock star.
Grunenwald: Since this is an anniversary special, was there anything you felt it was important to include or to reflect about Archie and the residents of Riverdale in the story?
Van Lente: We definitely agreed it was important to have the Big 5 play the most prominent roles — Archie is the main focus, but Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Reggie are all prominent, and have their mini-arcs. The book is sneaky in that it looks like it has four 5-6 page tales like the Archie line has done so well over the years, but it all adds up to one big, overarching story that makes for a really terrific read.
Grunenwald: Were there any unexpected challenges you encountered while working on this story?
Van Lente: The book was slated, originally, to come out earlier, but then this worldwide pandemic happened? Not sure you heard about it. One of the original plotlines involved Archie renting out his room on Air BNB to buy a guitar (while neglecting to tell his parents), and the feeling was that might not be an appropriate story for our COVID world, so I swapped that out for another idea I had. Frankly, it’s a credit to Archie that the project outlasted last year’s troubles and it’s coming out at all!