Interview: Veronica Fish Talks Archie #5, the Archie TV Show, and the Appeal of Veronica and Reggie
You probably already know Veronica Fish from her fantastic work on Howard the Duck or her image for the upcoming Archie CW TV series, and now she’s also taking over art duties on Archie! Over email, Fish took the time to talk to us about her collaboration with Mark Waid, what we can expect from Archie #5, and the enduring, mysterious draw of Riverdale’s greatest villains.
The Mary Sue: Is there any particular media (TV, music, other comics, whatever) that informs or inspires your work on Archie?
Veronica Fish: Oh that’s a good question. Originally I watched a few episodes of The Monkees because I thought Jughead had a Mike Nesmith thing going on, but now I’m in a groove and just have music on like the Talking Heads, the Beach Boys and St. Vincent – whatever weird mix tape fits the project. As much as I love looking at other people’s work I can’t look at too much or I get confused. I’m actually looking at some old issues of the 1960s Norm Maurer Three Stooges that Mark Waid sent me. The way the physical comedy is drawn is pretty genius and helps when I can’t figure out a gag.
TMS: What is your collaborative process with Waid like?
Fish: It’s really wonderful, I enjoy working with him very much. He sends over a full script that is paneled out for me, then I do the layouts in accordance with that. In the situation where I feel I can combine two panels without losing any information, or if I think there is a different way to show something, he is always open to my ideas. It feels really rewarding for me creatively.
TMS: Your promo image for the Archie CW show made me so incredibly excited. What was the process of working on that image like? What do you hope to see from the show?
Fish: Thanks! It was fun but I actually got very few notes from the management so it was kind of a chance to do something I’d simply like to see. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do! I know there has been talk of a Twin Peaks influence which would rock my socks.
TMS: What is your relationship to the Archie universe like? Did you grow up reading the comics?
Fish: My relationship with it was simply people asking me where Jughead was for a long time. (My grandma’s name is Betty just fyi.) And I seemed to have the impression Veronica was “the mean one” which I didn’t like at all – so no, I didn’t read them for a long time. Actually nobody in my family ever read comics. EVER. It was just me. So it took me a long time to discover Archie believe it or not, not until I worked at a comic shop when I was 16 and suddenly my world expanded like the universe.
TMS: Reggie and Veronica have always been interesting characters to me. They’re frequently horrible, but the gang still accepts them to some degree. Why do you think they’re such an established part of the friend group?
Fish: I think back to my own group of friends growing up and realize now I was probably one of the jerks that my group tolerated. I never bullied anybody but was opinionated, said obnoxious things that I immediately regretted, and tried very hard to put on a front of self-confidence. Kids are very tolerant, I think more forgiving than adults are when friends do something stupid. But essentially I think they are the perfect foils to the other characters, they give Betty, Archie and Jughead forces to contend with as well as opportunities to show the nicer character’s dark sides.
TMS: Which member of the Riverdale gang do you identify with the most, and why?
Fish: Oh boy, I want to be Jughead!! – but if we’re being honest I’m gonna say it’s a mix of Reggie and Veronica actually. But specifically the way Mark has written them. He’s given Reggie a very complex back story that really hits home for me, and when you break him down he’s just a guy who has no idea how to make friends. Veronica is also quite a bit nicer than people give her credit for – and we’ll see that in issues coming up!
Archie #5 goes on sale this Wednesday, January 6th; you can check out the solicitation info and some preview pages below.
The biggest comic series of the year presses on! Betty and Jughead have declared war on Veronica over the heart and soul of Archie Andrews! Who should you be rooting for? You might just be surprised by the answer! Rising star comics artist Veronica Fish (Pirates of Mars, the RIVERDALE CW promo image) joins the legendary Mark Waid on creative duties for this brand new issue!
Script: Mark Waid
Art: Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jack Morelli
Archie #5 CVR A Reg Cover: Veronica Fish
Archie #5 CVR B Variant: Thomas Pitilli
Archie #5 CVR C Variant: David Williams
On Sale Date: 1/6
32-page, full color comic
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