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on August 20, 2011
I have been spending the last few months buying a couple of treasury collections of my fave comic strip books such as Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. While I was at Barnes and Noble a few days ago, I found this little gem for 9.99. I have actually been waiting for such a book for quite some time because I love Archie.

If you are like me, you probably don't want to fork up the money to buy the various Archie, Betty and Veronica, and Jughead comic books each month. And while there is now an app on iTunes that enables you to buy some of the digests for .99 to a 1.99 and even free to read on your ipod, its still at times hard to justify.

But when I saw this, who could resist. The Best of Archie Comics brings 70 years worth of short story comic books about Archie and the gang. It is categorized by decade with a brief description of the culture of that decade. It also contains descriptions of each story (2 on each page)and it even includes samples of the comic strip series (which itself has its own collection book somewhere on Amazon). It also includes the the Archie comics when they were little kids!

Another great thing about this book is that it includes other stories about other characters you would often see in the digests such as Sabrina, Josie and the Pussycats, and even forgotten ones such as Super Duck, Ginger, and Wilbur.

This is a great book and I am enjoying it immensely! Its great seeing the evolution of the comic digest and how it is revamped to match our current decade. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone that has ever been curious about Archie's long run and how much it has changed, or if they simply would like to have a collection of some of the best work.

The only downside to this book is that it couldn't cover everything. It is even mentioned in the welcome page that they had to restrict the stories to ones that are short because of page length (but you still get 400 pages worth of stories so don't fret!).

Hopefully we'll see other comic strips and books that are as old as Archie come out with a best of collection too (I am talking to you Blondie).
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on October 3, 2011
WOW. I have been a fan of Archie comics for over 20 years, and this collection really has it all. People from Archie Comics history chose their face stories by decade, and there are some true gems here. I loved seeing notes on how Archie influenced notable writers like Stephen King and Stan Lee. I also loved the early stories because it is fun to see how much the gang has changed...and stayed the same since the 40s. Plenty of amazing artwork and countless laughs abound in this volume. I agree that most people do not pay for monthly comics, but boy, they should. Archie and friends never let readers down. They are always clean cut, funny, sweet, and socially relevant. Pick this book up today. It is well worth the cost. I am hoping they release a best of volume 2 because this was so well done...I want more!!!!!!!
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on August 19, 2011
Too many "Best of..." collections throw together a random assortment of stories with no justification for why they were chosen. THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS is NOT one of those collections; in fact, it goes above and beyond with an informative foreword, an explanation of the publisher's intent, and brief intros that for the most part, were written specifically for each story. This 416-page full-color digest is a treasure trove pulled from Archie's 70+ years of publication: comics, strips, gags, and even pin-ups. Picked by Archie Comics staff and historians, and well as fans, the selection gives a good overview of what was happening with the Riverdale gang from the '40s up to today, as well as reflecting the changing American culture. Featured creators include Vic Bloom, Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo, Bob Bolling, Harry Lucey, Sam Schwartz, Stan Goldberg, Dan Parent, and more. The writing and art styles are much more varied than I expected, for while many of these stories spring from a standard mold, they each have their own little quirks - for example, there's an impressive but very dark Little Archie story that looks as if Bolling were emulating Will Eisner. The selection runs up into the present day with some attention-grabbing stories that have attracted a new generation of readers.

The title of the book is somewhat misleading, as it includes some non-Archie material. The intro states that the stories were pulled from various Archie Comics humor titles, so the publisher included other MLJ characters such as Wilbur Wilkins, Ginger Snapp, Super Duck, Katy Keene, L'il Jinx, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Josie & The Pussycats. It's not a big deal, as most of them are very similar to Archie and his pals, but they could easily receive their own collections, thereby freeing up space exclusively for the Riverdale gang (in fact, I'm very excited over the publisher's mention of saving other characters, such as The Fly, for future collections).

While I am all for digests, 400 pages pushes the limit of the format, as the binding on the book is VERY tight. I had to be extra careful to not crease the spine when trying to view the inside page edges, but for this price, you could buy two of them and just use one for a reading copy. If you're put off by the expensive hardcover reprints from Dark Horse and IDW, check out the inexpensive digests from Archie Comics. Simply put, THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS is also "The Best" deal of the year!
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on July 9, 2014
The Best of Archie Comics is a large collection of Archie comics from the range of the comic's history. One of the longest in comics. The book is divided into decades from the 40's to the present including short essays about changes, callenges and successes of the comics with the changing times. The essays come across as too much cheerleading and self-promotion (as do some of the comics themselves) but they do have some interesting information. The stories I find most engaging are the earlier ones. It is great to see the changes and the similarities from the first and earliest Archie to the present. The choice of stories are pretty good although the closer we come to the present the worse they become. The text explains that today, Archie comics are read by younger readers and cater to this audience. So simplifying the stories they actually suffer. Also in recent years Archie has engaged in "event" stories meant to attract more readers. Part of one of these stories is included (where Archie and Veronica marry). But only a part. Which is an odd choice in a collected edition. If you're into Archie or want to relive childhood memories its a neat collection. Also enjoy the formative years of Archie and how he became the trite, tired character he is today.
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on October 7, 2012
I have loved the Archie comics since way back when I was a kid. I usually purchase the supermarket Archie double digest comic books which can cost 2.75 or more a piece. So when I saw this deal I grabbed it up. The paperback is THICK! It is 416 pages and packed with all the fun loving antics that Archie and the gang can cook up! So grab yourself a big bowl of popcorn and "The Best of Archie Comics" book and reminisce about a time when life was simpler and carefree with THE ARCHIES! Thanks and God Bless!
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on August 22, 2014
Archie has been popular through the decades. Not only was there a comic but also a radio show and a cartoon where everyone showed off their music abilities. "Archie's here, Betty's here, Veronica too. Reggie's here, hey Jughead, where are you?" Archie comics bring back memories of my childhood. I still remember my first Archie comic, my aunt bought it for me while we were at the beach. This book has enough Archie and friends for everyone. You get to read the first comic and see just how different the character and storyline were. Who knew Veronica showed up in Riverdale because of a bonehead move by Jughead and Archie's creepy obsession with writing her letters he never intended to mail? Before each group of comics you have short articles by people who worked on the comic telling why they liked this particular story. There is also an appearance by Stan Lee, who knew he was such an Archie fan? Other comics from the Archie family show up as well. Enjoy your ride down memory land and get to know Archie and the gang all over again.
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on February 10, 2013
This is a sampling of Archie over the years...it literally starts at the very beginning of Archie Comics. It had some classics...and then there where pages of posters...I didn't understand that....it seemed to be a waste of pages...it should have just been comics. the pages they wasted on long commentary could have also been left out...for 8.00 it was ok...
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on June 20, 2014
I didn't grow up reading DC or Marvel. Archie and the gang were my favorite comics.

I think "Best" in the title is a little misleading. This is more of a broad survey of Archie Comics (including the non-Archie titles). However, I did enjoy the selections they included--even the newer stuff that I had not previously been interested in (the wedding/marriage titles) that I may check out now.

Mixed in with the comics were some stories about the history of the franchise, including decade overviews that put the changes made to the characters in the context of the changing trends.
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on May 30, 2015
I wondered how my nine year old would react to these old Archie comics, and she loved them. This is a very old fashioned look at the high school years, but the strip always had good coloring and easy to understand plots. My guess is that kids 9-12 would like the book.
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on July 16, 2014
A dazzling array of gems from the Archie-verse, from the raw but promising beginning to the sophisticated yet (amazingly) still family friendly present, this generous compendium offers more than simply stories: for instance, each decade (1940's-2000's), is introduced with a historical overview to set the scene and provide context. The format makes it easy and fun to watch the evolution of "America's favorite redheaded teenager", and to see what changes (e.g., the style of artwork, the pop cultural trappings and references) and what remains the same (e.g., the core values of wholesomeness, kindness, and most important: warmhearted humor). One thing that surprised me: the legendary, supposedly "eternal" triangle of Archie and his two girlfriends, Betty and Veronica, did not exist at the beginning. Betty was, as always, there for her beloved Archie, but Veronica took a while to grace Riverdale with her presence. After all, who notices you if you arrive on time? Far better to make a belated--and grand--entrance.

As one may judge from my five-star rating, I found it nearly perfect. What didn't I like? Well...Super Duck, for one. Raised on the incomparable Disney's "good Duck artist", Carl Barks, I found Super Duck a Super Dud. My other complaint is the scantiness of the Katy Keene material. Oh, well. With seven decades to cover, not every star in the Archie-cosmos will get equal sky-space.

Bottom line: I was thrilled when my sister, a voracious Kindle-reader, alerted me to this reasonably-priced anthology. Fellow Comic book- and Kindle-lovers: Do yourselves a favor and download this treasure trove of American popular culture from a publishing company that has never been afraid to innovate (and along the way, slyly educate)--but that has never abandoned its primary purpose: to entertain and to amuse.

Long live Archie and company!
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