One of the great things about the Riverdale TV series is that the spotlight is now being shone on several series and characters that up until recently have had a rather niche following in the UK – one of these being the all-girl band Josie and The Pussycats. Josie’s getting the band together to help achieve her dreams of musical stardom. But for the group to last, it needs a strong foundation of friendship and trust. Can the girls get going, or will Alexandra Cabot’s plotting put a stop to the whole thing?
If you, like me, had access to Boomerang (Cartoon Network’s UKTV Gold) when you were younger, Josie and The Pussycats was one of those strange older shows that was perpetually rerunning, that stuck out like a sore thumb from other shows on offer (think Whacky Races, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry etc). The show was a strange music toon hybrid which documented the group’s global tours whilst also getting caught up in various hijinks usually of the adventure and mystery variety. A follow up series took the hijinks even further when the group expanded their tour to outer space. It was several years later that I found that the cartoon was based on a comic series that was a spinoff of the Archie franchise and there was little in the way of mysteries and outer space adventures.
This latest series is part of Archie’s 2015 relaunch/revamp that presented a modern take on their classic series featuring work by some of the top creators working in comics today with Josie and friends being handled by the multitalented Marguerite Bennett (A-Force, Red Sonja, DC’s Bombshells) alongside newcomer Cameron Deordio. In this case, the subject matter is pretty easy to transfer to a modern setting. Beyond that, this is a very faithful new take on the series. All the characters are easily recognisable even when they’re not wearing their trademark catsuits and all the traits that made them so endearing originally are still present. Josie is still a big dreamer, Melody is a bit of an airhead and serial dater and Valerie is the more tomboyish one of the group. All our likable characters help this collection breeze by with the formation of their band and their rather hectic first experiences of life on the road organised by their rather inept manager Alan M (their first gig isn’t quite what they had in mind) and a Spring Break performance which is disrupted by Josie’s arch nemesis Alexandra Cabot (who the writers add a great twist on the character by making her a former childhood friend of Josie before they fell out).
The art from Audrey Mox is also a treat with a successful merge of modern western style and manga elements that fits really well with the current approach the new Archie era is using. She is really pushed in what she has to draw (everything from concerts to biker gang races to a hoverboard riding Alexandra to Melody freaking out over cats) and she exceeds all expectations. Her covers are also wonderful.
If you’re a fan of Riverdale, this is another chance to discover another aspect of the world of Archie comics. Anyone looking for a great comic about friends having fun will also be well served and those who are already fans are sure to enjoy this great modern but very authentic take on a much loved classic. This is an easy recommendation.
Post by Leo