According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Archie Comic Publications Inc. of Mamaroneck, N.Y. “plans to experiment with changing the way the characters look to make them appear more sophisticated.”
The news has already drawn heat from loyalists in Web forums who have seen the new incarnations.
“Betty looks like one of the Olsen twins,” wrote one contributor to Newsarama.com, a Web site devoted to comics-industry news. “I say if it’s been good enough for the last four generations of kids it’s good enough for today’s ones,” wrote another.
Sales of “Archie” aren’t what they were in their heyday in the 1940s, one issue might have sold a million copies in a month. Now, a single issue of one of the comics sells only between 15,000 and 75,000 copies, while digests sell around 100,000 copies a month.