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Fast times at Riverdale High

Archie, 7/3/06

I have a deep, dark confession to make: when I was a kid, I was really obsessed with Archie comics. There’s something about them that makes the teenage lifestyle seem especially fun and glamorous to a 9-to-11-year-old. You think that high school’s going to be about dating and friends and wacky contests, rather than humiliation and social exclusion. I’ve always been afraid to revisit Archie since for fear of being horrified at my own terrible tweenage taste. Still, it took this brilliant article at the Onion AV Club to make it clear to me that not only does Archie completely fail to capture anything resembling authentic teenage experience, but it’s actually written by adults who harbor active contempt for young people.

Anyway, I recently started reading the Archie newspaper strip, since it’s available at the Houston Chronicle Web site. I’d like to believe that I’d have recognized at least this iteration of the Archie mythos as deeply lame even when I was 10, but I have my doubts. I offer today’s installment for examination only because it illustrates the casualness with which the strip discards the characters’ long-established, deeply-held values. Specifically: Jughead has a job? For which he takes off his hat? What the hell?

Apartment 3-G, 7/3/06

Um, she hooked up with some guy who wasn’t her husband? C’mon, Tommie, keep up.

Incidentally, I think that as a nurse, Tommie has a moral obligation to set a good health example for the America’s young comic-reading public. In particular, she shouldn’t take long, soul-searching walks in the pouring rain without a hat. I’ve experienced some hard times and heartbreak in my life, and never once when I was at a low state did I say, “Hey, you know what would make me feel better? Going outside for hours and getting cold and soaking wet! Yeah!” Call me an old stick in the mud, but I’m quite capable of moping inside with a cup of hot chocolate.

79 responses to “Fast times at Riverdale High”

  1. Brad
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    I enjoyed the AV club feature on Archie… I never quite understood the whole Archie thing growing up, so it was good to see that overview of it and realize I wasn’t really missing out on much.

  2. Dilcue
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:04 am [Reply]

    Archie is no different than the lack-luster, outdated Family Circus. Bil Keane holds contempt for young people, humor in general, and modern society’s loud cars, tall buildings and need for a comic that can relate with the majority of still living, reading population.

  3. Pantsman
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    Meanwhile, mashed-up bear-related mayhem continues over at Gasoline Trail!

  4. Wimpy III
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:55 am [Reply]

    “Archie gripes about the gas shortage, buys a CB radio, celebrates the Bicentennial, and gets obsessed with Pong, while his friends counteract the Pet Rock phenomenon by introducing the Pet Stick, the Pet Bolt, and the Pet Hinge.”

    Heh heh… pet hinge. Wish I had thought of that. He squeaks when he wants to be fed.

  5. treadwell
    July 4th, 2006 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    FBOFW: “Faith”? Faith in what? How about faith that a good job and an appreciative community and a really patient boyfriend just might be better reasons to reside in an area than “Mom’s there”?

  6. Mo
    July 4th, 2006 at 3:29 am [Reply]

    Quick question. The chron site doesn’t allow me to see Sunday 3-G strips. Where can I view those online?

  7. crom
    July 4th, 2006 at 3:47 am [Reply]

    jughead is totally acting the role of reggie there.

  8. Dub Not Dubya
    July 4th, 2006 at 4:15 am [Reply]

    Pantsman: hilarious!

    Mo: It is possible to see the Sunday strips there, but you basically have to put in the date manually to get them to appear for some reason. So, click on the link for the Saturday strip and then edit the date in the URL to change it to Sunday’s date. This only works for the strips that are in color (which 3G is); they don’t carry the Sunday black and white strips, to my knowledge.

  9. Scumbaggioni
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:14 am [Reply]

    For some reason, the only Archie story I remember from my youth is one that couldn’t possibly be printed today. Although I recall certain panels perfectly, my overall recollection may be inaccurate in spots…

    Arch and Reg show up to meet Betty and Ronnie, only to find them swooning over a guy in their ballet class. This provokes Arch and Reg into “sissy” jokes and harassment. And you know exactly what I mean by “sissy” jokes; in one panel, Archie imitates a tippy-toed ballet pose, shrieking “Look at me! I’m queen of the may!!” while Reggie collapses in hysterics.

    When the foursome actually meets the ballet guy, Reggie changes places with him as they walk down the street, so that Reg is on the curbside–this being, at the time, the “man’s place.” Man, that’s subtle.

    The story ends in unsurprising fashion; a skinny little punk catcalls the girls, and Tough-Guy Archie (*snark*) asks him if he’d like a “fat lip.” The punk immediately brings out his gang–all big, menacing thugs–and Archie and Reggie empty their bowels in terror. Ballet Guy, however, converts his kick-spin kick-spin ballet moves into Super Lethal Kung-Fu, effortlessly destroying the thugs’ asses (not that way, smartass) in short order.

    Arch and Reg run up to Ballet Guy. “About that ballet class…where do we sign up?”

    On the other hand, Josie & The Pussycats probably caused me to jump into puberty a couple of years early. I WANTED those women. At the time I didn’t know what I wanted them for, but I WANTED them.

    And now you know.

  10. Hank Kimble
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:22 am [Reply]


  11. Scumbaggioni
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:35 am [Reply]

    Oh, and forget Jughead’s hat. (What was the deal with that thing, anyway?) The era where Jughead got rid of it for a mohawk and piercings has come and gone.

    I wish I had a link to Mad Magazine’s “Starchie.” The sight of Starchie Standrews pulling a zip-gun on Reggie or coming after Betty with a broken bottle while “Bottleneck” (Jughead) spits all over the place in grotesquely lush detail…it stays with you. And the screaming match between Starchie and his “typical teen-age family” parents (a pair of total ratbags) is more disgusting than anything even Monty Python could dream up.

  12. Adam
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:42 am [Reply]

    Jughead without his hat would be like Archie driving a Ferrari or Moose spouting the quadratic equation.

    For the poster that talked about Betty and Ronnie, maybe it was Betty and her arch rival Veronica? I spent many an allowance on Archie comics over the years. How old must Mr. Weatherbee be considering he was principal of Riverdale high AND I think he was principal of the school in Little Archie!

  13. The Paradox
    July 4th, 2006 at 7:22 am [Reply]

    I SO wanted to do Veronica when I was a kid…now I think I still want to!

  14. Old Fogeyette
    July 4th, 2006 at 7:26 am [Reply]

    What’s the deal with Mark Trail, anyway? I started reading in the Houston Chronicle because of this blog. And I am… APPALLED… at the art. I mean, really, the bears and trees and squirrels are fine, but the people are so poorly drawn and so ugly! I can kind of dig liking nature better than humanity, but do they have two separate artists, or what?

  15. Damian P.
    July 4th, 2006 at 7:51 am [Reply]

    #9: I remember that story plain as day. I also remember when they recycled it in the 1980s, this time with Archie taking the ballet classes and Reggie and Moose laughing at him. Turns out Archie’s ballet training makes him a spectacular basketball player (he even slam-dunks the ball, making a “slam dunk!” sound effect) and after the game Reggie and Moose are – you guessed it! – practicing ballet in the gym.

    #12: also in the 1980s, they had a story line in which Moose is actually dyslexic, not stupid. He even ends up on “the great quiz whiz show,” a Reach for the Top-style high-school televised quiz show, and wins it all for Riverdale by answering a question about football.

    Josh gets the pre-teen appeal of Archie exactly right. As you can probably tell, I was obsessed too.

  16. Eric
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:04 am [Reply]

    My kid sister would pick up the Archie books at the grocery store. I never read one until one issue had Veronica wearing a very 80s swimsuit, complete with notable side-boob.

    Certainly nothing remarkable for comics nowadays, but at the time it led to a much greater appreciation for whatever puberty-enhancing chemicals were going into Riverdale’s water supply.

    On a mildly related note: anyone else read “Jane’s World” on Yahoo comics? I think they’re all reprints, but it’s getting a bit more Skinemax than I ever imagined any syndicated comic would. However, I may be naive. After all, I was way totally impressed by an Archie comics side-boob.

  17. ComicsFan
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    #6 Mo, build yourself up a Chronicle Comics page and bookmark it. When you pull that up on Sunday, you see the Saturday comics, but can click “Next Day” to see Sunday’s. Most of the comics are not available on Sunday online, but A3G is, though I’m ashamed to admit I know that.

  18. BigJoe
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    A3G: How is it that Ted is casually walking around in a torrential downpour in a suit and tie with no umbrella, yet he appears perfectly dry? His hair isn’t wet, his tie and jacket are perfect, while Tommie looks appropriately drenched.

  19. Bob T.
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    And what happened to the days of Jughead not opening his eyelids? You can actually see his pupils.

  20. Meggie
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    We know, Josh, we know you can.

  21. mere cog in the machine
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    Jughead without his hat is like a plugger without a trailer hitch.
    And as for Tommie, I’ll admit that I’ve always had a kind of morbid fascination for her, continually anticipating a story arc in which she’d demonstrate some deep-seated wisdom, passion, or spiritualitiy that had lain hidden behind her coy, silent exterior. Now I realize that she’s just dumb.

  22. Adam
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:48 am [Reply]

    #19 It makes me think Jughead and Reggie morphed into one being!
    I know I’m being picky now, but Jughead’s nose is not as squared off as it should be. I think the lad has had some work done..

  23. MossMoses
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    18: BigJoe: Ted’s waterproof breathable gore-tex xcr leisure suit and his power helmet hairspray repel moisture like water off a duck’s back.

    I was hoping DooRight would grab some blubbery Elly Saint Patterson trunk junk when he was introduced but apparently he saves that for the younger chicks (like Chips an’ Apeshrill).

    The much anticipated extended platitudinous farewell has been replaced with a moving soliliqy with Doc Jeff’s severed cranium.

  24. Mo
    July 4th, 2006 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Thanks for the tips everyone. Until I read this blog, 3G and all of the soap opera comics were wasted comics space in my mind. But the snarky commentary actually has me interested in reading them (as much as I hate to admit it).

  25. grinderman
    July 4th, 2006 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Does anybody remember the National Lampoon parody of Archie back around 1973? After high school Archie gets drafted and sent to Vietnam where he gets shot up and comes home with a metal plate in his head, then dies. Betty is living in a trailer park in Ohio with some ne’er do well. Reggie is gay. Jughead is a bum on Skid Row. And Veronica is living on the Riviera with her Moroccan boyfriend who wants to have anal sex with her.

  26. Malnurtured Snay
    July 4th, 2006 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Where’s Jughead’s crown?!?!?!?!?!

    (I want to have anal sex with Veronica, too).

  27. mere cog in the machine
    July 4th, 2006 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    #25: I don’t remember that particular story, but it sounds typically hilarious for NL in the seventies. What I wouldn’t give for a pile of back issues from those days – Dirty Duck, Trots and Bonnie, the story about the donkey at the kids birthday party…good times.

  28. Damian P.
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    #16: I’ll never forget an “Archie 1″ story (featuring Archie and the gang as cavemen) in which a dinosaur steals Betty and Veronica’s clothes. Veronica was shown, side-on, hiding behind some bushes with some stategically placed leaves. I kid thee not.

  29. Weasel Boy
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    I remember reading Archie comic books when I was a kid. There was a letter section that paid five bucks for the best letter, three bucks for second best, and I think a buck for third. I’m wondering what some of these posts would fetch from the Archie editors. And yes, I was hot for both Betty and Veronica when I was a kid – especially when they wore bikinis.

  30. punk
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:16 am [Reply]

    I was another obsessed-with-Archie young ‘un (a few years ago, a book reprinted a partial panel from one of its digests and I knew the exact story it was from). But, taking target audience into account, I still think that there were some good stuff in its comic form. Bob Bolling’s Little Archie/Archie stories, Harry Lucey/Dan DeCarlo/Samm Schwartz’s art…and whoever did the wonderfully B-movie-ish story where they travel to the center of the Earth. That was sweet.

    But even back then, I thought the Starchie parody mentioned above was great: “Chee, Starch! Why can’t you choose between Biddy and Moronica?” “Can’t you see, Bottleneck? Those eyes! Those lips! Those faces! They’re so different!”

    And, I’ll admit: there was one story with Veronica who, thinking Betty has bought a string bikini, goes out of her way to get an even smaller one (the store owner even says that it wouldn’t be allowed on a public beach). And they show her in it. And yeah, my pre-pubescence got even more confusing.

    It’s funny that they’ll probably never print that one again; once in a blue moon, I’ll riffle through a new one at the grocery and see old reprints with “cleaned-up” dialogue and other random changes. One would think Archie‘d loosen up over the years…

  31. bob dobbs
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    The “Dobie Gillis” TV show of the early 60′s was totally modelled after Archie comics – The all-American teenager protagonist, slacker buddy, jerk rich kid, unattainable rich girl, etc.

  32. punk
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    oops: Salonica, not Moronica.

  33. SNF
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:57 am [Reply]


    Oh come on, he’s not even trying to be stealthy. Or maybe he figures that the purple outfit would defeat any attempt at hiding, so he may as well just stand right there in plain sight.

    Also, why doesn’t he just shoot the lot of ‘em and be done with it?

  34. DCBirdblaster
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Actually, I have found walking in the rain to be quite cathartic. When I lived in Japan, the month of June is rainy season. It rains all month, ranging from a light drizzle to torrential downpour. The point is, you’re wet all the time and everybody else is too. Once you’ve stopped trying to stay dry, the rain is actually quite soothing.

    Mind you this is clean warm tropical rain, not the cold poluted acid that oozes from the sky where Josh lives.

    Now I live in the high desert. Haven’t seen any significant precip since February.

  35. Frankie Machine
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:20 am [Reply]

    Dilton. There’s the Archie character that proves the writers hate the kids. They made Dilton into the white Urkel.

    Full disclosure: I actually own “Dilton’s Strange Science” number 1. Because I was the original white Urkel.

  36. Da Scrodfather
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    Am I the only one who remembers the Archie animated series from the 70′s? They even wedged in Sabrina the Teenaged Witch (the real one, not this 21st century tween ho). Yeah, THAT was my Woodstock.

  37. Dr. Johnny Q. Beavispants
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:24 am [Reply]

    After reading some of these posts, I feel less guilty about making the following admission: I just did a Google search on [naked archie betty].

    I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, but I did find this link to a nicely risque Archie story. (It’s the September 3rd post titled “The greatest Archie story ever told”.)

  38. treedweller
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    FOOB: Oh, come on. We’re supposed to believe she’s in love with this guy, when she’s calling him a bug? Mount the mountie, if you must, but get rid of him and on to the coffenience store, before we all gag.

    Pooch Cafe: If you don’t read it normally, you might not be terribly amused, but I found this one quite funny today.

  39. loudfan
    July 4th, 2006 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Oh boy, I too used to LOVE Archie when I was a tween. My dad used to buy the newest Archie Comics Digest for me every Monday on his way home from work. The storyline I remember is one in which Betty tries to impress Archie by losing tons of weight so that she has “The Twiggy Look.” This was the late ’70s, mind, so I’m guessing the Digests frequently reprinted stories from the ’60s, when Twiggy was a popular English model known for her stick-like figure. Of course, Archie is totally bowled over by Betty’s new Twiggy-like figure. Heh, no wonder I have body issues today…

  40. treedweller
    July 4th, 2006 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Oh, yeah, this is what I want.

  41. Brent
    July 4th, 2006 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    Jughead gets a job where he has to take off his hat – out of character. Jughead gets a job at a restaurant where he can eat all the leftovers he wants but has to take off his hat – definitely in character. In fact the story of the fool who hired him for such a job would be funnier than the strip printed here.

  42. treedweller
    July 4th, 2006 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    Re: #40 so that link won’t work. Trust me, that was one great shirt. But I think I’ll just make my own.

  43. AppleGirl
    July 4th, 2006 at 12:52 pm [Reply]

    ARCHIE: As a young girl, I developed my mad mod fashion sense by studying the fabulous Veronica. Her aloof, rich-girl attitude was inspiring to me, too.

    Josh, thanks for bringing Archie back to our attention. Good times.

    FBOFW: I am irritated by the colorists’ choice of clothing for Paul, turning him into monochromatic Paul. Please, some contrast between the skin and the shirt! Canada isn’t THAT beige, is it?

    Lynn and her coven are portraying Paul as 2-dimentional as possible. Most likely, to make the inevitable break-up less painful for the readers. Not gonna work. I’ll always love Paul the most. After Ringo, of course.

  44. Hank Kimble
    July 4th, 2006 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    My favorite Archie memory was from a few years ago watching “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” on Sunday morning cartoons. I was at work a few days later, and the name Norm Chompsky popped into my head. I tried to figure out where the name came from. Best I could guess was that he was a Chicago Bear linebacker.

    I asked everyone if they knew who Norm Chompsky was. After 2 weeks, I figured I could find out more about Norm Chompsky on the internet. I found that I was probably looking for Noam Chompski (sp). Something about language. I still couldn’t figure out how I knew the name. A few weeks later, I saw an “Archie’s Weird Mystery” when Moose got a gigantic brain.

    Long story longer, to distract Moose, Dilton yelled out, “Look! Noam Chompski!”

    Hey, I know it’s not the greatest story, but it beats (DT)GT. And yes, Veronica and Betty did it for me as a kid, too. Along with the Mark Eden “Bust Developer” ads in the back of Ladies Home Journal.

  45. dalton
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:02 pm [Reply]

    It’s funny how Archie is “updated” every few years to “keep up with the times”, and yet, is still always so freakin’ out of date.

    Speaking of which, I hear Bazooka Joe has gotten a refresh for the new millenium as well. Topps did some focus grouping, and found that kids really liked that “Aston von Kutchmare” guy from That 70′s Show, so the new Bazooka Joe is based on him. His friends include a lesbian, a handicapped African-American science nerd and a German named Wolfgang.


  46. Hank Kimble
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:04 pm [Reply]

    Sorry folks, it’s Chompski. Back in the day, Vernoica and Betty did it for me, too. Oh yeah! And those Mark Eden Bust developer ads in the back of Ladies Home Journal, too!

  47. grinderman
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    Somwhere I seem to recall seeing an authorized Archie comic (not published by Archie comics per se but by the Campus Crusade for Christ or some other Bible-thumping outfit) where Archie and the gang are all “born-again.” Does anybody else remember this or was I taking too many hits off the old bong?

  48. treedweller
    July 4th, 2006 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    OK, this is getting out of hand. I find myself using the “Oh Yeah!” phrase in my head throughout the day. Go to get some milk, but someone put it back with only a dribble in the carton? OH, YEAH! Waiting for a check in the mail and it arrives, finally? OH, YEAH! Fueling up and realize I almost pump gas instead of diesel? OH, YEAH!

    It works in any situation. It comes unbidden. I enjoy it a lot. Either Scaduto has possessed me, or I am becoming Duff Man. OH, YEAH!

  49. King Dogmeat
    July 4th, 2006 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    These days, they put out Archie comics in digest form. This is most convenient for me when I have to wait in the check-out line at my local supermarket or K-Mart. Yes, I’ve read my fill of Archie over the years, free of charge!Outside of a few topical references, the Archie comics haven’t really changed, either. That syndicated Archie from the Houston Chronicle? No way that’s Archie. No way in hell.

  50. Margaret
    July 4th, 2006 at 2:44 pm [Reply]

    We had these rubber houses that my folks got out at Christmas to make a weird little village under the tree– it had a filling station, a duplex, and some others. They’d gotten them free from someplace, as models of some fifties town. I always pretended that Archie and his friends lived in them– Veronica & Betty in the duplex, Jughead in the filling station, etc.– even though I’d read exactly 1 Archie comic. Yes, I was alone too much as a kid.

  51. Bill Peschel
    July 4th, 2006 at 2:50 pm [Reply]

    This thread reminds me of a blog by Jaime Weinman. He writes about animation, and musicals and other arty things, but he wrote a post on “the worst of Archie comics”

    And Frank Doyle, who wrote a lot of the Archies, which he compares (favorably) to Seinfeld.

  52. Badly_Computer_Animated_Boy
    July 4th, 2006 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    #16: If it’s the light purple swimsuit held together by little rings, I remember that as fondly and vividly as you apparently do.
    If not, um, that’s a good one too.

  53. punk
    July 4th, 2006 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    #47: Spire comics! As a kid, my mom used to take me to a Christian children’s store on my birthday because you could take a select number of items from a special box for free that was full of these comics and other assorted religious toys, so I’d totally load up since apparently no one else wanted them. I think my favorite was when Archie and Jughead end up in the underworld with freaky anthropomorphizations of things like Hate and Fear, and get saved by three hot girls (symbolizing Faith, Hope, and Charity, natch). Or the one where a guy with helmet hair and another hot chick (Jerry and Debbie?) make fun of Archie and Betty for being “Mr. Clean and the Fairy Princess”, tempt them with cigarettes, then get in a horrible, horrible car crash in Jerry’s sweet ‘vette.

    The art was actually interesting because it was so frantic; if Archie was in love, there were tons of hearts; if his jalopy was sputtering, clouds of smoke; if anyone was alarmed, stars and dizzy circles and shock lines and double-takes everywhere, all in bright bubblegum colors. Seriously, Curtis and Apartment 3-G could take a lesson from this. And Al Hartley could draw a bumpin’ chick.

    …I’m sure I wasn’t needing this brain space for anything else back then, really.

  54. Frank Drackman
    July 4th, 2006 at 3:29 pm [Reply]

    Mooses girlfriend Midge was the hottest, I always wanted to see her and Betty and Veronica in a 3-way. Sometimes Jughead was depicted as a total loser, but then he’d be shown as a member of the football team. I could never figure out Archies 1920′s style Jalopy though.

  55. Chris Jeffery
    July 4th, 2006 at 4:15 pm [Reply]

    There was a time when Archie used to entertain me. There was also a time when I would laugh at the word “pickle.” I guess as we get older our standards of humor tend to rise, because today I can’t look at any, and I mean ANY Archie comic without feeling compelled to roll my eyes.

  56. Islamorada Girl
    July 4th, 2006 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    #25–All these years later, all that dope and Annie Greensprings later, I still remember National Lampoon’s Archie parody fondly. A couple of years ago, that issue came up on eBay. I bid $50, but someone got it for $250. Veronica kept having rich girl abortions, Betty lived in a trailer park with a series of men she made her kids call “Uncle Daddy” and proudly showed off her new teeth that “the welfare paid for” after an Uncle Daddy knocked the real ones out.
    And Junkhead was, what else, a junkie. Good times!

  57. Zorba.the.Geek
    July 4th, 2006 at 5:00 pm [Reply]

    Somehow, I was never all that interested in the Archie comics- it was Superman for me (once a nerd, always a nerd, I guess). I wish I had kept all those Superman comics from the 50′s.

  58. mere cog in the machine
    July 4th, 2006 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    #55: Oh, so the word “pickle” is not funny anymore?? Humor Elitist!!

  59. Frank Drackman
    July 4th, 2006 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    I was a Superman freak also, especially when I found the used comic stores back in the early 70′s(this was before they were collectors items, the used comics usually had no covers and were almost falling apart, but they almost gave them away they were so cheap.) When I started buying comics in 1969 ew comic books were 15 cents, and with my allowance of $1/week I took great care in making my selections. My sister got the Archie comics, but I admit I loved reading them, especially when I got old enough to like Betty and Veronica.

  60. Samantha
    July 4th, 2006 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    I’m SURE you know this already, but Apartment 3-G is where Detective Frank Serpico was shot in the face while his two partners stood and watched. How’s that for wacky coincidence?!

  61. Noel Murray
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:26 pm [Reply]

    As the author of that A.V. Club article, I have to tell you that this mention on The Comics Curmudgeon has brightened my July 4th more than any fireworks display. Shine on, friendly Curmudgeon.

    Also, thanks for turning me back on to THEY’LL DO IT EVERY TIME, which I used to read (and scratch my head at) in college.

    Also also, you should check out FRED BASSET sometime. It’s the ANDY CAPP of talking animal comics.

  62. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    July 4th, 2006 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    But there’s no violence or cruelty to animals in Fred Bassett.

    Mo, my approach to sunday comics is to use the Washington Post list, which are shown on Sundays without any trickery needed.

    They also have a subsidiary list of links to strips maintained at other sites, mostly and, which also show the sunday ones. I haven’t tried them all, though.

  63. Ferd Berfel
    July 4th, 2006 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    #61/Noel Murray – Fred Basset the Andy Capp of talking animal comics? Heaven forfend!

    For one thing, Fred doesn’t beat his wife.

  64. yellojkt
    July 4th, 2006 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    My sister read Archie comics constantly. Mostly in the bathtub. The batroom was constantly littered with waterlogged Archie comics. I would only read them when I needed a little time-passing material. I can’t remember a one. Pure mental cotton candy.

  65. Dr. Johnny Q. Beavispants
    July 4th, 2006 at 10:13 pm [Reply]

    I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but I like the gentle minimalism of Fred Basset. Ziggy, by contrast, seems to be aiming for gentle minimalism but missing. FB, with its lack of trying to be anything other than the vaguely cute routine of an anthropomorphized Basset hound, is so barely-even-a-comic-strip that it acquires a certain koan-like charm.

    Nevertheless, I am extremely amused by the following two quotes from the Wikipedia entry on Fred Basset. (Heck, these sentences might have even been added to Wikipedia by some of the folks who post at this very blog!)

    (1) “Some have gone so far as to suggest that the strip had a final panel each day that was cut off prior to printing.”

    (2) “Some readers, especially those outside of England, who do not understand Fred Basset’s humor or simply do not find the comic amusing, have jokingly created the theory that the day the Fred Basset strip published in their local paper is funny, it will be a sign of the apocalypse.”

    On a totally unrelated note, after being a loyal Comics Curmudgeon reader since the Christmas holidays, I was surprised to learn, when Josh posted the picture of himself in the hippie shirt, that he kinda looks like me. Or I kinda look like him. Or something.

  66. Mibbitmaker
    July 5th, 2006 at 12:54 am [Reply]

    #59: I started buying comic books in ’69, too. I was 7 at the time. My first was a Sad Sack Laugh Special. I bought mostly Harveys and Charlton (Flintstones and Popeye), some Gold Keys. I didn’t start Archie until 1970 when I saw some at my barber shop (oddly enough, my current barber has a few by-now old ones as well. Guess Barbers with Archies is like dentists with Highlights).

    My first wave of comic book buying was in its later years when I discovered Mad paperbacks of the comic book years, including “Starchie” (it was “Poopeye” in “Mad Strikes Back” that drew me in, appropriately enough). It was notable for the grunginess of the story, which Will Elder was as great at as background gags and style immitations. This was around 1972, while my 1st comic book era petered out in ’74-76.

    In Archie, itself, Harry Lucey was my favorite artist (as was Howie Post at Harvey and George Wildman at Charlton)

    …..Oh, and Death to Gil Thorp!

  67. Craig Shergold
    July 5th, 2006 at 1:01 am [Reply]

    #45: And all three are the same person: a handicapped German lesbian African-American science nerd named Wolfgang.

    Handicapped German lesbians are the best.

  68. Pozzo
    July 5th, 2006 at 7:32 am [Reply]

    To keep in the traditional Archie canon, shouldn’t Archie be working at Pop Tate’s, and Jughead be making his comments while sitting at the counter with a plater of burgers in front of him? After all, there’s nothing in the situation that actually requires Jug to be working.

    And isn’t the depiction of Archie sweeping up in the third panel rather awkwardly done, even by Archie standards?

    As for A3G, come on, Josh; Tommie looks hot with her hair drenched, especially if you consider that in the next few minutes she’ll have to go back up to the apartment, where LuAnn will no doubt say, “Tommie; let’s get you out of those wet clothes!”

  69. Noel Murray
    July 5th, 2006 at 8:59 am [Reply]

    I actually really like FRED BASSET too, if only because most days the punchline seems to be, essentially, “Hey, were in England!” A lot of pubs, and football on the telly, and Fred using the latest youth slang. And all beautifully drawn.

  70. Bitter Scribe
    July 5th, 2006 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    The thing that always struck me about Archie was how Betty, Veronica and just about every other teen female in the strip had completely interchangeable bodies. Except for the ones who were obviously supposed to be fat or skinny, they were all identical from the neck down. It’s like they all came from the same Stepford Girlfriends factory.

  71. Jocko
    July 5th, 2006 at 9:43 am [Reply]

    MW 7/5 is being stalked by the Charterstone serial rapist.

  72. bupdaddy
    July 5th, 2006 at 1:28 pm [Reply]

    Anybody who’s ever had to have a real job knows that it’s much easier and steadier to carry a large food tray one-handed than two-handed.

    My mom bought lots of those Christian Archie comics for me. If any of you know her, please don’t tell her that I used them for tracing Betty, but not putting clothes on her.

    That’s pathetic, even for this group, isn’t it?

  73. rich
    July 5th, 2006 at 2:17 pm [Reply]

    72: Oh, yeah, never did anything like that!

  74. Vince M.
    July 5th, 2006 at 8:38 pm [Reply]

    15: Moose dyslexic? Duh-h, say it ain’t so! His stupidity is the very stuff of my favorite one-page story:
    The phone rings, he answers it, a voice says “Long distance from London.” He replies “Duh-h, yeah, it sure is!” and hangs up. And then the last panel luxuriates in his silently reading the book “Mother Goose Made Easy” with a challenged look on his face. Dyslexia just spoils the party here.

  75. Islamorada Girl
    July 6th, 2006 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    3G—Why does Dry- As a Bone Ted show up in the city wearing an electric blue suit and a tie? Even GQ would say he’s overdressed for a desperate search for his errant wife. And who’s minding the kids? And who’s reading this? It’s two posts behind. Move on with your life. Let go.

  76. Martini-Corona
    July 6th, 2006 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    # 26: You know that Google game where you try to enter a string that gets just one hit? Well, “anal sex with Veronica” gets just one hit. I win. (I didn’t actually click on the link provided… I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with Archie comics.)

  77. deeeeeeeeelightful
    July 8th, 2006 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    I don’t care what anybody says……Theres nothing wrong with the archie comics! In the great words of Joey Tribiani of Friends fame, “I love archie…….and the whole gang!”

  78. Mike
    December 5th, 2006 at 8:02 am [Reply]

    #9. I’d love to see that strip! You’re right you couldn’t print it nowadays. We must around the same agae since I know what ya mean about Josie and the Pussycats.

  79. joanna
    April 16th, 2009 at 12:33 am [Reply]


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