THE BEST OF JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (2017)
This collection was bound to happen....sooner or later. After all the reprints, 'graphic novels' and countless digests sold in racks at retail bellemith chain stores like Wall-Mart and Wallgreens....and thanks to the additional push of Archies TV series on the CW, it all lead to this, a historical collection of Josie and her Cats....well, in Archie terms, that is.
The 2001 version of this same title was a simple production of a Josie collection; with some incomplete stories reprints and the artists and writers credits edited out....especially Dan's! Sadly, there wasn't much importance with that one.
With a 400-plus page count, this 2017 edition has more than enough room to trace through each and every chunky decade of the Pussycats run; from beginning of the band, the TV series run and straight through to the Valerie/Archie romance, the 2015 relaunch and the Riverside variation! There are no traces of the 'Manga' series....and that's not such a bad thing.
LEFT: The original cover to 'She's Josie' digital collection when it was sold through Archie web site
RIGHT: The original cover 'Pussycats' edition as sold through the companies site with lesser page count.
There are remembrances about these characters from staff and behind the scene discussion by the writers and artists before each story....including writer and artists names....including Dan's (though they do dance around Dan as creator).
There's not much else I can go into here as this set feels more complete and definitive than past attempts. There's are other variations of a Josie collection digitally available like 'The Best Of She's Josie' set (Pep Digital #69, covering the pre-Pussycat days), two separate collections (most of which sadly crosses over each other) and a 'Manga' set (see, that wasn't such a loss!). Still, this is more satisfying and you can actually hold it in your hands!
The only real complaint is that for a large page count, it is a small book: 5 1/3 x 7 ½. I don't know about you but opening this brick to read it feels pariless; if I read it too many times the spine will give out and the pages comes loose a little too easily. Well, Archie is trying their best......despite their usual penny-pinching.