Smash Pages Q&A: Cullen Bunn on ‘Blossom 666’

The writer of ‘Harrow County,’ ‘The Sixth Gun,’ ‘X-Men Blue,’ ‘Unearth’ and more discusses the recently wrapped-up Archie Horror title.

Cullen Bunn has written a lot of horror comics in recent years – along with a lot of comics in a lot of other genres. In comics ranging from Harrow County to The Empty Man to Bone Parish to The Damned, he’s played with the genre in different ways.

The five-issue miniseries Blossoms 666 which Bunn made with artist Laura Braga just wrapped up, in which Cheryl and Jason Blossom compete to become the Antichrist. The Archie Comics horror line has a reputation for being shocking and brutal in a lot of strange and creative ways, but Blossoms 666 is a much quieter book compared to the others, with the horror being much more subtle and running under the seemingly placid surface.

Now that the series has wrapped up, Bunn answered a few questions about the comic and playing with an ideal version of Riverdale.

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Who will reign as the Anti-Christ? Find out in ‘Blossoms 666’ #5 [Exclusive Preview]

Cullen Bunn, Laura Braga, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli’s tale reaches its final conflict, and no one in Riverdale is safe.

The Blossom twins’ devilish schemes will come to a head in the final issue of Blossoms 666 by Cullen Bunn, Laura Braga, Matt Herms and Jack Morelli.

Part of the Archie Horror line, Blossoms 666 features the two Blossom siblings, Cheryl and Jason, competing for the title of Anti-Christ. Throw in their long-lost brother and Satanist family, and you’ve got all sorts of trouble for the rest of Riverdale.

Courtesy of Archie Comics, take a look at an exclusive preview of Blossoms 666 #5 below, which wraps up the five-issue miniseries.

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Archie rocks ’n’ rolls into the 1950s

Waid and Augustyn unite for another take on history through the eyes of the Archie gang.

Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn recently took the Archie gang back to the 1940s, and now they’re turning their attention to a different decade — the 1950s.

“As a boy who grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, I’ve been a rock-origins aficionado my entire life,” Waid said. “Archie: 1955 is my chance to visit that era I so love, and do it with an Archie spin. As with Archie: 1941 we’re very true to the time while telling a story in a modern way that’s exciting and dramatic. Using Archie as a lens through which to really examine the beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll is a blast.”

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Exclusive Preview: ‘Riverdale Season 3’ #4

Check out pages from the hit TV show tie-in comic by Micol Ostow, Joe Eisma and Thomas Pitilli.

Calling The CW’s Riverdale a guilty pleasure implies that I feel guilty about watching it, which I don’t — it’s crazy bonkers fun, featuring a great cast and surprising twists. Some weeks I consider giving up all of this (motions at Smash Pages) and just starting a Riverdale recap/fan fiction site to satisfy my cravings for more.

If you feel the same way, then maybe you’re wondering how you can fill the void between now and next fall, when the new season returns and we find out what the heck happens on Spring Break? Luckily Archie Comics has been publishing comic book tie-ins to the show each season, with two more issues still to go on Season 3. Courtesy of Archie, we’re pleased to present an exclusive preview of issue #4, which arrives in stores June 26. It features two different stories, both written by Micol Ostow and drawn by artists Thomas Pitilli and Joe Eisma respectively. We’ve got pages from both.

Check it out below:

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Archie returns to ‘The Married Life’ this August

Find out how Archie, Betty and Veronica are doing 10 years after getting married.

It was 10 years ago that Archie Comics took their flagship character in a new direction and launched the Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty miniseries, which showed two alternate futures where Archie married Veronica and married Betty. (Not at the same time, of course … although maybe that’ll be the main plot of season seven of Riverdale, when all the kids are older.)

To celebrate their aluminum anniversary, Archie Comics will publish Archie: The Married Life 10th Anniversary this August, uniting the original writer, Michael Uslan, with artist Dan Parent. The story picks up with the 10-year anniversary of each couple.

“Now is the right time for new stories taking a look at where the former newlyweds, Archie & Veronica, and Archie & Betty, have wound up ten years later,” Uslan said. “We’ll see how they’re struggling with, among many current and relevant things, a widening generation gap with their own children and much more.”

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‘Jughead’s Time Police’ returns in June

Sina Grace and Derek Charm tell a time-travel story featuring Riverdale’s resident foodie.

Archie Comics will give another of their older concepts a modern spin, as they’ve announced a new Jughead’s Time Police title by Sina Grace and Derek Charm.

The original series ran for six issues back in the early 1990s. It featured a mysterious organization that drafted Jughead into its ranks, and using a special beanie, he could travel through time with his partner January McAndrews — who, yes, was a descendant of Archie Andrews. She’s back for this new series as well.

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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It’s gotta be Cheryl: ‘Blossoms 666’ imagines a Blossom twin as the Anti-Christ

Cullen Bunn, Laura Braga and Matt Herms team up to tell us which Blossom twin will destroy the Earth. Why can’t it be both?

Cullen Bunn has proven a natural at tackling the supernatural in comics (see: Cold Spots, Harrow County) as well as teenagers (see: X-Men Blue), so it only makes sense that Archie Comics would recruit him for one of their “Afterlife with Archie” titles.

Blossoms 666 teams Bunn with artists Laura Braga and Matt Herms for a different take on the notorious Blossom twins, Cheryl and Jason. According to Nerdist, “They’re wealthy, popular and likeable, but they also harbor a deep, dark secret: one of the Blossom Twins is the Anti-Christ. But neither one knows which of them is the Anti-Christ, and both want the title! In short, no one in Riverdale is safe.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Audrey Mok on ‘Archie’ and more

The ‘Heroine Chic’ artist discusses her work on ‘Josie and the Pussycats,’ the latest issue of ‘Archie,’ how she works and more.

Audrey Mok made a big impression when Josie and the Pussycats #1 came out in late 2016. Some of us knew her for her work on the comic Heroine Chic, but her work on Josie managed to straddle the original work of Dan DeCarlo and put her own spin on the characters and their designs. She found a way to visually balance the madcap humor with honest emotion, and find interesting ways to draw both battle scenes and concert scenes with equal ease.

Since Josie wrapped, Mok has been drawing Archie beginning with issue #23. Issue #31 of the series is out this week, and I asked Mok a few questions about her career and how she works.

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