June 19th, 2006

Ariel Union

Archie & Friends #101

Archie & Friends has already been hosting a Josie & the Pussycats relaunch, and now it's adding a retooled Katy Keene to the mix.  This issue features the first new Katy Keene story, written and drawn by Andrew Pepoy.  There isn't really much different about the concept -- Katy is a semi-famous model/actress/"starlet", and these are her adventures in Hollywood.  And yes, the readers still design her clothes (but not so much in this first story)!

The main difference here (at least, the most noticeable so far) is the art.  Pepoy does not draw in the Archie house style,  but he doesn't draw like Katy Keene creator Bill Woggon either.  It nice to see something new artistically at ArchieCo. 

The 11-page story isn't really much of a story.  It reads like a huge infodump, straining to introduce Katy and all of her supporting cast.  It's like Pepoy thought he wouldn't get a chance it introduce them slowly over several stories -- and maybe he's right.  As of right now, ArchieCo has only committed to three Katy stories in Archie & Friends...

Because I find it fascinating, here's a list of supporting characters introduced in this story:

Randy van Ronson, rich producer boyfriend*
K.O. Kirby, poor athlete boyfriend*
Gloria Gold, bitchy rival*
Mackenzie Keene, teenage sister*
Cory & Val, friends from her hometown of Stemville
Chris & cathy, friends in LA
Robbie, ex-boyfriend from college in Chicago
I.C. Talent, agent

The ones I marked with * are holdovers from previous versions of Katy (as far as I can remember.  Maybe I.C. Talent is too, I'm not sure).  However, there have been name changes -- K.O. Kirby used to be K.O. Kelly, and Gloria Gold was Gloria Grandbilt.  And I don't think Katy's sister has ever been called anything but "Sis", but I guess Mackenzie could have been her real name all along.

So, that sounds like a stuffed story.  But wait, there's more!  The story is set at the "VTV Movie Awards", so we also get a lot of thinly-disguised celebrities:

Jane Rovers
Imoon Smith
Nana Nichole
Kara Nightly
Johnny Deep*
Rene Zelwiggler
Calvin Fifth
Tophy McWire*
Holly Barrie
Bill Smith*
Ryan Seebreeze
Collum O'Bryan
Without a Doubt (featuring Steph Gwefani)

Can you guess who they were supposed to be (the ones marked with * weren't actually seen, just mentioned)?

If you want to see a few pages from this story, click here