Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Acclaimed children's writer Alex Simmons takes Archie and the gang to Nairobi

From Archie Comics

MAMARONECK , NY -- In the last two issues of ARCHIE & FRIENDS, Archie and his friends were taken on a journey reminiscent of the classic LIFE WITH ARCHIE and AROUND THE WORLD WITH ARCHIE tales of yore. Epic in scope, these stories often involved the gang getting involved in some sort of intrigue that needed to be solved before they could return home to good ‘ol Riverdale U.S.A. Famed writer Alex Simmons has brought the mystery back to the pages of Archie Comics, and in ARCHIE & FRIENDS #119 the teens’ whirlwind adventure continues with a trip to Nairobi !

In “Archie World Tour Part 2 of 4,” Archie and his friends continue their quest to see five cities in 10 days. They barely have time to reminisce about London and Madrid before arriving in Nairobi , Kenya! Everyone is excited as they visit one local landmark after another, including the state museum and zoo. Of course, no trip would be complete without some suspenseful intrigue, and this one is no different as Archie and Jughead find themselves being trailed by two mysterious men. Who are they, and what are they up to?

In a career spanning more than 20 years, Alex Simmons has proven himself to be a real renaissance man. With a particular love for children’s literature, Simmons has taken on several projects for the younger set. Among them are several juvenile mystery novels for a variety of well-known publishers (and in the great tradition of children’s mysteries, he keeps his real name mysterious by using a pseudonym).

But he doesn’t just write mysteries for children. He’s also a playwright. His “Sherlock Holmes & the Hands of Othello” received critical praise and was published in "Black Thunder: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama," by Signet/Mentor Books. And that’s just one of several plays Simmons has written.

From fiction to fact, Simmons has also made major contributions by penning two educational documentaries and three biographies for Steck-Vaughn. Among these biographies is a look at the life and career of Oscar®-winning movie actor Denzel Washington.

Speaking of movies and other similar forms of entertainment arena, Simmons has had a hand there, as well. To date, he’s written three movie novelizations for Disney. And as a voiceover talent, Simmons can be heard on a wide range of projects from O'Henry candy bars to financial podcasts for DeLoitte and Touche.

With all of his accomplishments, educating children remains Simmons’ No. 1 passion. As a guest speaking and teaching artist, he travels the country conducting creative writing workshops, and is also the educational outreach director for New York City ’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. In 2007, he launched the now-annual family-friendly Kids Comic Con, a celebration of children’s comics and their creators that is both entertaining and educational. He is also a board member on the New York State Alliance for Arts and Education, and a member of the New York Writer's Workshop.

“Archie World Tour Part 3 of 4
SCRIPT: Alex Simmons. ART: Rex Lindsey.
On sale at comic specialty shops: May 14, 2008
On sale on newsstands: May 27, 2008
32-page, full-color comic
$2.25 U.S.

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