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Writer Arie Kaplan talks about Archie & Friends #132, due in stores on June 10.

Question: You are new to the Riverdale crowd. What brought you to Archie?

Kaplan:: Some time ago, I met Stan Goldberg at a National Cartoonists Society event, and he suggested that I approach the folks at Archie about possibly writing for them, and he referred me to Victor Gorelick. Another friend of mine, Danny Fingeroth -- who's written some Sonic stories for Archie -- also referred me to Victor. I met Victor and Mike Pellerito at the New York Comic Con in 2008, and a few months later, they gave me the opportunity to pitch stories to Archie Comics. The first Archie story I wrote was a short story called "Home Insecurity," which was published earlier this year in Archie #595. That story was illustrated by Stan Goldberg, fittingly enough. More recently, I wrote the two-part "Archie Is History" story, and that comes out in Archie & Friends #132-133.

Question: You are known for your work on Mad Magazine and Jewish history in the comic industry. How did you have to adjust you style to fit with Archie and Friends?

Kaplan:: I'm used to writing for children's comics, since I've written quite a few of them. So it wasn't that much of an adjustment. I have a lot of fun writing the Archie characters and getting into their heads.

Question: What is "Archie Is History" about?

Kaplan:: In "Archie Is History," Archie and his friends get jobs as historical reenactors at a "living history" festival in Washington, D.C. Archie figures that it'll be an easy way to meet girls, and that it'll be easy money. He couldn't be more wrong! Everything goes haywire, and without giving too much away, Archie gets everyone stranded in Washington, D.C. It takes no less than Benjamin Franklin himself to help Archie out of this predicament.

Question: Why is it set in Washington D.C.?

Kaplan:: Last November, my wife Nadine and I were visiting Philadelphia, which is where the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) is located. Anyway, Nadine and I were walking down the "old town" area of Philly, and we saw these teenagers who were historical reenactors. They were dressed in Revolutionary War garb, and they stayed in character no matter what. I figured it'd be funny if Archie and his friends found themselves in that situation, so I pitched it to Mike Pellerito. He loved the idea, and his only comment was that the story should be set in Washington, D.C. rather than Philly, because D.C. is more iconic. And he's right. D.C. also lends itself to more jokes and gags than Philly. People will really love the work penciller Pat Kennedy and inker Mark McKenna are doing on this historical adventure.

Question: Does the story teach actual historic facts, or is it just a fun look at our nation's capital?

Kaplan:: A little bit of both, actually. You do learn some facts about history, and I did a good amount of research for this two-parter. For example, not only does Archie dress up as a Revolutionary War soldier, but Betty dresses up in ancient Roman garb, and Reggie dresses up as a Viking. So, I had to research all three of those eras. But yeah, it's also a fun look at history, and I got a lot of mileage out of just thinking about what would happen if these characters were let loose in our nation's capital!


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