2015/09/01

Archie

The famous (and chaste) love triangle of Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge was born in Archie Comics #1 in 1942. In 1954, Archie's cultural cred was established by Mad magazine via a Will Elder/Harvey Kurtzman parody. I read a number of Archie stories in the late 60s and early 70s. 

For many decades, Archie comics have been relegated to the “kid's corner” of comics shops while the more mature super-hero titles occupy the main section (Some comics shops have a far-back section where they keep the sex comics, but that sector isn't anywhere near as big as it once was). The company that publishes Archie has been trying lately to break out of the kid's corner by first introducing a gay character and now by introducing a re-boot of the comic with much better artwork and a more complex, mature storyline.

Heh! Betty prepares to go out on the town and gets herself all glammed up over the course of nine silent panels where she struggles mightily with all sorts of beautification processes. I checked the credits and sure enough, the comic has a female artist. I got the feeling she was being a bit autobiographical by depicting Betty's struggles.

Unfortunately, Archie is presented as such a klutz who screws up so badly that he tries to work on the mansion of the Lodges, who have just arrived in Riverdale, and accidentally sends a bulldozer into the wood frame of the mansion, collapsing it entirely. Veronica catches a glimpse of Archie running off and reacts by blushing and going “Tee-hee.” Sorry, I realize that Archie is a silly romantic comedy, but that's stretching “suspension of disbelief” a bit too far. I think Archie is going to remain in the kids corner for awhile yet.  

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