Monday, December 19, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] Jughead Volume 1 by Chip Zdarsky

Title:  Jughead Volume 1

Author:  Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Erica Henderson

Genre:  Comedy / School / Adventure / Spin Off

Year Published:  2016

Year Read: 12/18/2016

Series: Jughead #1

Publisher: Archie Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 14+ (Some Suggestive Themes)


After I had finished reading “Archie Volume One: The New Riverdale,” I figured that Archie Comics was going to do a reboot on one of their most beloved characters “Jughead!” So of course, I was on board with picking up the reboot of everyone’s favorite crazy and food obsessed weirdo in Chip Zdarsky’s take on “Jughead Volume One!”

What is this story about?

It is an ordinary day in Riverdale until Mr. Weatherbee, the principal of Riverdale High, is suddenly being replaced by a new principal named Mr. Stanger without any warning.  At first, Jughead is not bothered by this new development, but when his favorite meal lasagna is being replaced by a nasty nutritious meal, Jughead (of course, being Jughead) panics and starts trying to find ways to bend the new strict rules so he could still do whatever he wants without getting in trouble.  Later on however, Jughead soon realizes that the new principal Mr. Stanger has a hidden agenda under his sleeves that might involve brainwashing the student body into becoming the perfect school for spies. 

Can Jughead stop this new principal from going through with his plans or is all this speculation about the new principal all just a part of Jughead’s overactive imagination?

Read this book to find out!

What I loved about this story:

Chip Zdarsky’s writing:  I must admit that when I first heard about Jughead getting his own book for the Archie reboot, I was bit hesitant in trying this graphic novel out since Jughead is my most favorite character from the Archie Comics and I was afraid that this graphic novel would have messed up his character.  Luckily, it turns out that Chip Zdarsky has written the character’s eccentric nature extremely well as this graphic novel is much wackier and more humorous than Mark Waid’s run on the main “Archie” series.  I loved the way that Chip Zdarsky wrote Jughead’s overactive imaginations as helping Jughead solve his problems in real life as it made Jughead into such a comical and unique character in this new “Archie” universe.  Also, Jughead’s constant reliance on his imaginations to solve his real life problems reminds me a bit of Nickelodeon/Disney’s “Doug” (although a much wackier version of “Doug”). I also like the fact that Chip Zdarsky made Jughead into a more determined character in this story as Jughead is shown as not being afraid to speak his mind about what he likes or dislikes about the new school system and tries to make things better for himself and his friends.

Erica Henderson’s artwork:  Erica Henderson’s artwork is extremely humorous and fits the tone of this series nicely as the scenes of Jughead’s imaginations are drawn in exaggerated and creative fashion. I especially loved the scenes where Jughead imagines himself to be a superhero or a time traveler as those scenes are drawn somewhat more dramatically as it portrays Jughead trying to save the day from evil.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because even though I do think that Erica Henderson’s artwork is humorous, I felt that the artwork made the characters too goofy looking and it was hard for me to really take the characters seriously at times.  I actually kind of wish that the artists from Mark Waid’s “Archie” series actually took over for this graphic novel as we would have still gotten the humorous edge for this series with the artwork from the main “Archie” series.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Jughead Volume One” is a truly entertaining read if you like reading fun loving and wacky comics and if you are a huge fan of Jughead Jones!  I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a wackier series spun off from Mark Waid’s “Archie” series!

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