Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Published by Archie Comics
Release Date: August 31, 2016

You’ll never look at Josie and the Pussycats the same again after reading this issue of Afterlife with Archie. Interview/Interlude with the Pussycats provides a brief break from the haunting tales of Afterlife with Archie, giving the series a lull from the post-apocalyptic horror the audience has come to expect from the series in favor of an equally chilling story.

Aguirre-Sacasa weaves yet another tale of darkness, portraying Josie’s life in a B-grade horror inspired story of sorrow and unexpected twists. Aguirre-Sacasa transforms a high school garage band turned superstars into a BAMF trio that has done particularly kick butt things against the KKK and Nazis. I do find the reference to the Manson murders a little in bad taste and the trio completely forgetting to help a friend of theirs that has been as close to them as a sister to be a poor choice as well. However, this Interview with a Vampire-esque side story is well thought out and makes me actually want to read more about Josie and the Pussycats.

What stands out most in this is the art style. Francavilla, who has been working alongside Aguirre-Sacasa for all of the horror Archie Comics, delivers spectacular work once more. His usage of yellows and oranges within the flashbacks brings forth a feeling of danger. The intense panels where the Klu Klux Klan arrives, warning the girls that they are not welcome in distressing silence and horrifying action are captured perfectly by Francavilla’s art.

The best panel is one that invokes the most imagery of a B-grade horror. A particular woman’s eyes roll into the back of her head in anguish, colored red like her hair that falls behind her. A monster of Draculean aesthetics digs deep into her throat trying to quench its thirst, burying its head as blood sprays out like a waterfall hitting a boulder. It is as the panel before it had said. “It’s not sexy, not even a little bit. It’s…a violation. Bestial…”. If there is ever true horror in the Archie Comics’ horror runs, it is this panel.

Interview/Interlude with the Pussycats is a fantastic side story. There’s an ominous ending that makes me think that it’s not going to be the last time we’ll see the Pussycats in this series as well.

The Verdict: 9.5/10


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