One of my favorite things about comic conventions is running in to my favorite creators and talking with them about the industry, their creative approach and their own personal fan interests. For the last two Salt Lake Cons, Archie Comics penciller Bill Galvan has been at the top of that list for me. Not only is he an amazing artist, he’s incredibly down-to-earth and welcoming to his fans.
What you may not know about me is that I’m a huge Archie Comics fan going way back into the early eighties. When my family went on vacation, I always tried to buy a Double Digest to pass the time during the long car rides. I loved the way Archie and the gang had a casual and (arguably) realistic relationship, and I came to think of Riverdale as my own hometown. Throughout the years, I never really outgrew Archie Comics. Something about them just seem to resonate with me.
My first exposure to Bill’s Archie work was “Archie: Freshman Year”, which unveiled the untold sage of the kids’ first year at Riverdale High. It was a fun read, made all the more enjoyable by the refreshing yet familiar take on the Archie style. I was pleased to learn soon after that Bill lived nearby! Other great comics soon made their way into my collection, including a great “What If…” style story in which Archie falls in love with and marries Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats.
I finally got to meet Bill at the first Salt Lake Comic Con in September 2013. He shared with me his approach to drawing Archie and introduced me to a fellow Archie fan. I even got to buy a couple of great pieces of artwork from some of my favorite Galvan issues. If you’ve ever been a fan of Archie or great comic art, make sure you discover Bill’s work! He’s one talented dude!