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BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS Scribe Jamie L. Rotante Talks About Archie Comics’ New Series

BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS Scribe Jamie L. Rotante Talks About Archie Comics’ New Series

Archie Comics can do no wrong these days. You may think that sticking Betty and Veronica in a motorcycle gang wouldn’t work, but Betty & Veronica: Vixens #1 will prove you wrong. We absolutely loved the first issue and that’s largely because of writer Jamie L. Rotante’s razor-sharp script. We had a chance to pick her brain about motorcycles, action, and the Riverdale gang, all of which it turns out she has an affinity for.

Betty & Veronica: Vixens #1 from Archie Comics

“I’ve been reading Archie Comics since I was probably about seven or eight,” Rotante told us. “My mom would always grab me a digest when we’d go to the supermarket and I’d pick up the issues of Betty and Veronica and the girls’ individual series whenever we’d go to the bookstore.” This love of Archie Comics would serve her well when she eventually started writing for the publisher about six years ago. The Archie characters work best when they have elements of classic Americana mixed with modern sensibilities, which Betty & Veronica: Vixens does perfectly.

I was intrigued by the idea of having the ladies of Riverdale get together to form a girl gang—but the idea of putting them on motorcycles worked even better since it meant we could create a new world that blends the old and the new,” Rotante said. “It feels like the ‘50s in terms of the vibe, but it’s the present day with modern sensibilities. So it manages to be subversive while feeling familiar at the same time.”

Betty & Veronica: Vixens #1 from Archie Comics

Readers will no doubt notice how dark the story is at times, while still having a fun, campy feeling. Rotante told us this was exactly the direction she wanted the series to go. “I didn’t want it to be too heavy-handed in terms of the serious matters it gets into since humorous Archie comics are my favorite, but I also couldn’t write a story like this and have it only be light-hearted. You’ll definitely see a healthy balance of both drama and humor.” This also explains why Archie Andrews is such a dummy in the series. He almost feels like comedy relief in a story that could otherwise be pretty bleak. “Archie has a good heart; he just doesn’t always use the best judgment. That’s something that’s been true to the character since his inception. Betty knows that deep down he means well and wants to do what’s right, he just (often literally) stumbles into bad situations,” Rotante said.

One thing that clearly adds to the lighter side of the is the artwork of Eva Cabrera. The synergy of Rotante and Cabrera as collaborators is apparent on every page and this really struck Rotante as something special from the beginning. “As cheesy as it may sound, I teared up a bit. No joke! I happened to check my work email in the car (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving!) when she sent in her sketch ideas and seeing the idea come to life for the first time was just overwhelming. She has such a great grasp of the vibe!”

Rotante also assured us that Betty & Veronica: Vixens could have a nice long run assuming fans embrace the title. She said at this point, she’s just taking it arc by arc, but there is lots of open road out there for the Riverdale ladies to explore. Maybe even, perhaps, a crossover. Archie Comics has a long tradition of crossovers with other properties, so naturally, we had to ask if Rotante saw a possibility of the Vixens coming up against, say, The Sons of Anarchy. “Oh wow, I haven’t actually thought about that! Sons of Anarchy would be way cool and make a lot of sense. I heard Elvira might be making an appearance in comics again—that would be amazing. I’m not even sure how that would work story-wise, but it would be a lifelong dream of mine!”

We’re not sure how an Elvira/Vixens crossover would work, but we’d definitely be first in line to buy that issue. In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy the biker gang adventures of Riverdale’s heroines. You should do the same.

Betty & Veronica: Vixens #1 is available at fine comic book shops everywhere.

Images: Archie Comics

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