‘Archie and Friends’ stuff their faces with Filipino street food in first PH-exclusive cover

The nearly 80-year-old teen comic book series Archie is releasing its first-ever Philippines-exclusive cover, with a sneak peek of the new edition unveiled yesterday at a comic book convention in Pasig City.

Illustrated by artist Miguel Mercado and presented by local comic stores Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey, the comic book marks the first time uniquely Filipino elements have been front and center in the popular teen comic franchise.

The cover of the first volume of Archie and Friends Travel features the gang taking an obligatory photo in front of the statue of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal in Manila’s Luneta Park. Upon closer inspection, Betty and Veronica can be seen flaunting cups of halo-halo, while burger-loving Jughead stuffs his face with not one, but two sticks of isaw (skewered chicken intestines).

Archie and Friends Travel is a sort of greatest-hits compilation of previously released adventures of the titular characters traveling to different parts of the world. Included in the new edition is a story about Archie’s band going to Manila for a concert tour, which first appeared in “Archie’s Funhouse Spring Annual” two years ago.

Three years back, Archie Comics also visited the Philippines for an off-road trek through the countryside, palm trees in the background, with Betty helpfully exclaiming, “Isn’t this exciting? We’re in the Philippines!”

Read: Archie and his pals visit Manila in the storyline of the latest digest

Artist Miguel Mercado, who also drew the cover for the recently announced Spiderman#33,  told ABS-CBN News that Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey reached out to commission him for the artwork with the idea of a jeepney being thrown into the mix. Mercado instead relocated the jeepney to the design of the T-shirt Archie is wearing on the cover.

“I thought of doing something different from the usual designs,” Mercado said, adding that street food element “made me kind of hungry as well.”

The 31-year-old illustrator, who revealed that he drew the cover while listening to Filipino music on full blast, also said he was “so happy seeing something from my childhood.”

“Me being a big fan of Archie as a kid and seeing them ‘coming here’ and drawing it just made me so happy.”

This Filipino issue Archie and Friends Travel is set to hit Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey this November.

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