PHILADELPHIA (AP) - After 70 years in English, Archie Comics is poised to start offering some of its titles in Spanish through its digital storefront, making it the first major publisher to expand its language offerings.
Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comics told The Associated Press the titles _ Archie, Veronica & Betty and Jughead, among others _ will be available and online later Monday and Tuesday as part of its digital offerings.
"We have an incredible number of fans, not just domestically, who speak Spanish," he told AP, adding that the traditional print versions of the comic, in English, have been strong sellers in central and south America, as well as in Spain, too.
But with more and more publishers, Archie included, embracing digital downloads, Goldwater said it made sense to expand its offerings to more than just its comics in English.
"The great thing about our company is that we're not just domestic, we're a global company," he said. "We have made incredible inroads, so we have tremendous fans all throughout that part of the world."
The comics will be available through its digital comics subscriptions at www.archiedigital.com, though iTunes and the iVerse app, the Sony PSP and, in the next few weeks, Android-powered smartphones.
Goldwater said the comics are just the same as they are in English _ "The gags seem to translate well," Goldwater said _ and that means the adventures of those characters can be told while preserving the sense of story. While Spanish is the first language being offered, plans are in the works to offer editions in French and Hindi, too.
"People really do get the humor behind it," Goldwater said, adding that readers outside of the U.S. can experience a traditional American art form.
"It really is, in a certain sense, the American Dream. I know it sounds corny, but it's the typical small-town America where the kids all get along and everything is working well and there's plenty of food and everyone is sheltered," he said. "It translates very, very well."