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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

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Jughead (comic book, #1) written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Erica Henderson

Jughead #1 - Chip Zdarsky

The Jughead reboot made it onto my radar when I learned that Jughead was explicitly revealed to be asexual in Jughead No. 4. Still, Archie Comics has never even vaguely been my thing, so I was going to pass it by. Then Grimlock changed my mind by raving about the Jughead reboot even though she, too, didn't like the original Archie. She also let me know about a Comixology coupon code, which helped seal the deal. It's for 50% off and good until 11:59 PM EST tomorrow (2/14), if you're interested.

So I bought digital comics for the very first time, and single issues at that. I was a little nervous about what the reading experience would be like on my tablet, but I ended up liking the guided view (one panel at a time on the screen, rather than the whole page) quite a bit. In some ways, it increased the element of surprise in the story, since I couldn't see the full page and didn't know what was going to happen in the next panel unless I jumped out of guided view. It also made the comic seem longer than it was.

Okay, now to the comic itself. In this issue, Riverdale High is faced with unexpected and unpleasant changes. Jughead is apathetic about it all, until it affects something he really cares about: the cafeteria food.

This was slicker and funnier than would have ever expected something from Archie Comics to be, from Jughead's introduction (an all-night gaming marathon in which he killed every game character that so much as spoke to him) to Jughead's weird game-influenced dream. The part that really won me over was Jughead's discovery of the solution to his problem – something that was obvious to everyone but him and absolutely blew his mind.

I enjoyed Jughead's attitude, his oddness, and his clever solution to the cafeteria food problem, and I'm glad I bought the next few issues already. I'm looking forward to them. Pretty much the only thing I wasn't really a fan of was the artwork. I liked the bright colors, which fit the story's tone very nicely, but people's faces looked weird.

As far as the asexuality aspect went, no, there wasn't any mention of that yet, but there was a panel in which Jughead made it clear he wasn't interested in being touched when Betty hugged him. It was the kind of thing that would work well in someone's asexual headcanon, but I know from personal experience that one person's asexual headcanon is another person's slash fic inspiration (one good example: Saitama from One-Punch Man). That's part of the reason why I'm glad that Jughead will be explicitly identified as asexual in issue 4 and that I already know this information. It makes that particular panel even better.

Extras:

An 8-page classic Jughead comic in which Jughead's uncle convinced Jughead to test some of his experimental chemicals out on one of the football players. It didn't really do anything for me except remind me why I'm reading the reboot and not the original comics.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)