The Occupy movement went global, and its influence has even landed it in the fictional town of Riverdale.
In the new issue of "Archie," No. 635, Archie and Jughead are caught in the middle of the movement after they happen upon "Occupy Riverdale" at Perkins Park.
amNewYork spoke with Queens resident Alex Segura, who wrote the issue, which was drawn by Gisele and is in stores now.
Why bring the Occupy movement into Archie? It came up in a really funny and random way, actually. I was sitting in on an interview with our co-CEO, Jon Goldwater, in my role as VP of publicity at Archie. The reporter was closing the interview out by praising us for all the timely, progressive stuff the company's been doing and asked, "What's next, Occupy Riverdale?" Jon and I kind of looked at each other and it clicked. We just figured, why not?
How does Occupy Riverdale compare to Occupy Wall Street? I'm hesitant to compare the two - not just because one is happening in the real world and the other in the pages of an Archie comic. But we tried to take the main elements of the movement and translate them into an Archie story. Basically, Archie and Jughead run into a protest at Perkins Park in Riverdale on their way to school. One of their classmates, Andy Martinez, is leading the Occupy Riverdale movement. Archie's friends take sides and our favorite redheaded teen is left to decide where he stands. We didn't want the comic to come across as preachy or overly political, but we also wanted to be true to the movement while still telling a fun, entertaining Archie story
What's Archie's take on it? Archie is, not surprisingly, on the fence. He's an everyman, so he's content to do his thing. But what I like about him is that, when presented with the facts, he makes an informed decision. I don't want to spoil too much, but it shouldn't shock people that Veronica is against the movement and Betty is for it. So it's an interesting tweak on the veritable love triangle, too.
What are the keys to making the Occupy movement accessible for Archie's core audience? I grew up reading Archie Comics, and the best stories for me - even though I probably wouldn't admit it at the time - were the ones that entertained and taught me stuff about the world. So the goal with Occupy Riverdale was to inform but, most importantly, to give readers a situation where they can see their favorite characters do their thing ... Our mission was to tell a fun story, and I think we did!