Here at KSiteTV, we’ve had a lot of Riverdale coverage as of late. And there’s a good reason for that: It’s quite good. The show premieres tonight (January 26) at 9PM ET/PT on The CW, and a lot of what made it good to begin with is the series’ Executive Producer and Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Aguirre-Sacasa is an accomplished playwright and screenwriter whose credits include Glee; he’s also responsible for a lot of the great output of Archie Comics in recent years including the Afterlife with Archie series. We spoke with Roberto for a one-on-one interview at the Television Critics Association press tour so we could ask all of our burning Riverdale questions — at the very least, the ones he’d answer, so expect talk of Reggie, Sabrina, comics, “Beronica” and more within.
This interview is long so it will be split across multiple pages. Enjoy:
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: A lot of people know how you became involved with Archie Comics, but what is your “origin story” for how you first discovered Archie Comics as a reader?
ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA: Gosh, that’s a really good question. I always remember reading them; I just do. When I was a kid, there weren’t exactly comic book shops. You used to go to the drug store. I remember vividly going to 7-Eleven; my mom taking me to go buy comics and Slurpees, and I would buy superhero comics, I’d buy horror comics, and I’d buy Archie comics. And I have an older brother and sister, and they’d buy comics too, but after they’d read them they’d kind of toss them aside and I hoarded them. I remember that I used to take the panels and draw the Archies and then write different dialogue for them.
I just always remember having the Double Digests; I’d go to the dentist or my doctor, and there’d be an Archie Double Digest and I would always read it. And in the checkout line when you’re with your mom and dad, you’re like “get me that candy bar,” but for me it was like “get me the Digest!”
Has writing for the TV series affected how you would write Afterlife with Archie comics?
No. If anything, I would say that Riverdale is sort of like Afterlife minus the zombie apocalypse, in that we’re kind of peeling away the layers of these characters, and finding out what’s underneath them or how they tick, and putting them in difficult, challenging, and life and death situations.
For those who are die-hard, strict Archie Comics canon lovers: Should they rest easy that their favorite characters are in good hands?
Well, I hope so! Listen: Change is hard, right? Change is really hard. Also, I’m a comic book fan, and as a fan, for example, I loved that Peter Parker was married to Mary Jane, so when Marvel changed that and decided that Peter was not going to be married to Mary Jane, I was mad. I got mad. And then I read the issues, and I was like “Okay. This is pretty good. Okay. I’m on board now. Dan Slott’s doing a good job.” That’s just kind of a part of the deal with dealing with a really passionate fan base. My hope is that people, once they see this show and see the stories and see how they work and see the actors, they’ll be a little more easeful about it. Because I get it. From the outside you’re just hearing little snips and bits and pieces; and it’s like “wow! That’s not even Archie!” But it is Archie. It still comes down to the kids in Pop’s Diner talking about their feelings.
How long will it take for us to find out more about what’s up with Betty’s sister Polly?
I believe we meet Polly in Episode Six, and then she kind of enters the fabric of the story and stays throughout.
Navigate below for more: