Archie comics have long faced pressures to confront social issues and produce more diverse, inclusive narratives. With Riverdale, the Archie-verse has newly asserted its cultural relevance by simultaneously embracing and revising a nostalgia for earlier Archie comics and characters. This essay explores how the social media paratexts of the Riverdale actors negotiate between the feminist aspirations of the television show and the less progressive politics of earlier Archie comics. Examining these transmedial paratexts, it demonstrates how the beloved Archie characters from earlier comics become newly embodied and vocalized by the actors who portray them in Riverdale, thus inviting comics readers and television fans to embrace a new feminist vision for the Archie-verse while also opening it up to postfeminist critiques.
“Now That It's Just Us Girls”: Transmedial Feminisms from Archie to Riverdale
Nicholas E. Miller is an assistant professor of English at Valdosta State University, where he teaches multicultural American literature, gender and a/sexuality studies, and comics studies. He is the author of “‘In Utter Fearlessness of the Reigning Disease’: Imagined Immunities and the Outbreak Narratives of Charles Brockden Brown,” Literature and Medicine 35, no. 1 (2017), and “Asexuality and Its Discontents: Making the ‘Invisible Orientation’ Visible in Comics,” Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society 1, no. 3 (2017). He is a former executive board member of the Charles Brockden Brown Society and a founding member of the Comics Studies Society.
Nicholas E. Miller; “Now That It's Just Us Girls”: Transmedial Feminisms from Archie to Riverdale. Feminist Media Histories 1 July 2018; 4 (3): 205–226. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.3.205
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