Starting in 2020, Archie Comics will launch Archie Blue Ribbon, a line of original young adult graphic novels that will kick off with OGNs based on Betty & Veronica and CW's Riverdale, as announced via The Hollywood Reporter.
First up is Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship by creators Jamie L. Rotante, Brittney Williams, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli, in which the two titular high schoolers dream of their post-high school lives.
“Betty and Veronica are two best friends despite being opposites — many people can relate to that,” said writer Rotante in a statement. “Sometimes your first, closest friend ends up being totally different from you as you both mature, and it can be scary thinking of how that dynamic might change further in the future.”
Then there's Riverdale: The Ties That Bind from creators Micol Ostow, Thomas Pitilli, John Workman and Andre Szymanowicz, which takes place in the Riverdale of the CW TV show.
“I'm hesitant to say too much about what the actual story of the OGN will be as these things always evolve as I work!" said Ostow, who has written for the Riverdale TV series. "That said, my goal is to ensure that each of our core four [characters] gets their moment to shine, to take the opportunity to explore settings and scenarios that are less feasible on the television show, and to play around with pairing off unexpected characters in fun ways!”
Archie is also planning a second line of middle grade reader graphic novels alongside publisher Little Bee Books through their BuzzPop imprint, which will launch with an OGN titled The Riverdale Diaries: Hello Betty! by Sarah Kuhn and J. Bone. The story focuses on the struggles between Betty Cooper and her friend Valerie Smith as Veronica Lodge comes between them in middle school.
“Betty and Veronica and Valerie are some of the chief icons of my youth,” Kuhn said. “Getting to write words for them now is mind-blowing—as is seeing them brought to life by the inimitable J. Bone!”
“The chance to reimagine such iconic characters and explore how they got to know one another back in middle school is amazing," added editor Rachel Gluckstern. "Sarah and J are just killing it. They get the middle-school vibe and audience, and this story is fresh, funny, and totally awesome!”
"At Archie, our goal is always to present the best story in the best format to reach the most readers,” said Archie Comics co-president Alex Segura in a statement. “Launching a YA-centric line of original graphic novels with Blue Ribbon and partnering with Little Bee to create graphic novels geared toward kids is a natural next step to give fans compelling, unique, and meaningful stories involving our iconic characters.”
Archie Blue Ribbon and the BuzzPop OGN series will launch at unspecified points in 2020.