Archie Comics: Finally, some respect?
September 30th, 2011
01:24 PM ET

Archie Comics: Finally, some respect?

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor and the co-founder of Girls-Gone-Geek.com. She has been an Archie fan since Jimmy Carter was president.

They’re as much a part of Americana as Spider-Man, but Archie and his pals don’t always get the respect they deserve.

Think about it: Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Reggie are instantly recognizable characters and archetypes, and I’d wager that most people who grew up reading comics, even casually, cracked open an “Archie’s Digest” along the way.

Some of us never left Archie behind, at least not permanently. While our fellow fangirls and boys might not consider Riverdale to be as relevant as Gotham or Asgard, we know what a special place it still occupies in comics, to say nothing of our personal geek origin stories. Nostalgia is a factor, but there are other reasons why Archie still matters after 70 years.

For example:

Riverdale has modernized

In case you hadn’t noticed, Archie’s hometown has made some big headlines recently. Last year, Archie Comics introduced its first gay character, military kid Kevin Keller, and he was such a big hit that the publisher gave him a miniseries. He’ll star in his own ongoing title next year, and in the more mature-leaning “Life with Archie” series, an older version of Kevin will get married in January. That’s not just big news for Riverdale but for mainstream comics in general.

“That’s something that we wouldn’t have been able to do 10 or 15 years ago,” said longtime Archie Comics writer and artist Dan Parent, who created Kevin’s character and writes the miniseries. “To keep growing as a company, we did need more diversity and we did need to shake things up a bit.”

Parent has broached the character’s sexual orientation in matter-of-fact and humorous ways. That’s not to say that the stories don’t address some of the hardships gay teens face growing up. In one issue, Kevin comforts a younger gay student who is the target of aggressive, constant bullying.

But the character is very much a typical Archie-style teen. When Kevin’s new comic launches in February, he’ll reach a coming-of-age milestone: His first date.

“We thought that was a good way to start (the series),” Parent said. “You are going to see throughout the year Kevin entering the dating world and having the same issues that Archie has.”

Speaking of Archie’s love life, his relationship last year with Josie and the Pussycats member Valerie, who is African-American, was another turning point as the first interracial romance in Archie Comics history.

“It was something I wish we’d done maybe 10 or 20 years ago, but it’s better late than never,” said Parent, who wrote that storyline. “We didn’t want to do it just because she was African-American; we wanted the story to be good. It’s the same with Kevin, too. It’s really important to make it seem genuine.”

Archie is a gateway comic

Archie comics have long been the entry point for people like me who got hooked on the medium early. After conducting a small survey of female comic book readers, writer and artist Hope Larson found that most respondents started out by reading Archie and newspaper strips. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, she offered some advice for comic book publishers seeking to attract more female readers. Suggestion #4: Look to Archie.

“Girls still read Archie because it’s accessible and because their parents probably read Archie when they were growing up, too,” Larson told CBR.

Parent hears similar stories from older comic book readers, male and female, who owe their hobby at least in part to those first Archie books.

“Archie comics were my first comics, too,” he said. “Archie is the gateway that gets you into Marvel, DC, and others.”

In this post-spinner rack era, comics aren't nearly as easy to find as they used to be, especially for children. Archie is the exception. You can still grab a digest in almost any grocery store checkout line.

Archie is influential

That comic book you’re reading may very well have a touch of Archie in it.

Though they were uncredited in the early days, the artists who gave life to tales from Riverdale are considered among some of the industry’s most influential illustrators. Samm Schwartz, Harry Lucey, Bob Montana and Bob Bolling left their mark on comics, but most well known is the late Dan DeCarlo, an accomplished pin-up artist who created the classic Archie house style that everyone recognizes today.

 DeCarlo also brought a signature va-va-voom quality to his illustrations of young women. A guy friend told me that when he was a tween in the 1970s, he and his friends spent a substantial amount of time debating Betty vs. Veronica.

“Dan DeCarlo inspired many people across the board. His name comes up a lot,” said Parent, who cites the artist as a major influence. “I remember being in awe over the way he drew girls when I was a kid.”

“Dan DeCarlo inspired many people across the board. His name comes up a lot,” said Parent, who cites the artist as a major influence. “I remember being in awe over the way he drew girls when I was a kid.”

It’s not just for little kids anymore...

Archie has always traded in lighthearted laughs and hijinks, which is why the heavily dramatic “Life with Archie” made such a splash when it launched in 2010.

The comic chronicles two alternate realities in which Archie is married to either Betty or Veronica, and the storylines have been surprisingly serious. Shady business dealings, failed dreams, troubled marriages and even death — beloved teacher Miss Grundy died of cancer — are all part of the mix. Even if you have just basic knowledge of the characters, it’s fascinating stuff.

“If you like night time soaps, that’s really up your alley,” Parent said.

… But it is a connection to childhood

No matter how much it changes to reflect the times, Archie endures largely because of what remains the same.

There’s no complicated continuity to deal with, no esoteric knowledge or minimum age requirement. A kid can read an Archie book and get it immediately. A nostalgic adult can do the same and pick up right where they left off. If we learned anything from “High School Musical,” it’s that children will always be interested in squeaky-clean stories about adolescence.

A year ago, I transferred the last of my old Archie comics from my mother’s house to mine, and my daughter, now 7, homed in on them instantly. She dug out one book after another, read them all, and then asked if she could have more. It’s safe to say that my Archie collection belongs to her now. But every now and then, I borrow one from her bookshelf and take a happy, 15-minute trip back in time.

“I equate Archie to comfort food. It makes you feel really good,” Parent said. “We sell a lot of digest books in the supermarket. Adults have hectic lives and they’re running around, but they see an Archie book and they think, ‘I can escape. It’s my childhood.’”

soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. valtrex

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    April 2, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  2. Herb Finn

    Let's not forget Archie Publications CHEATED Dan DeCarlo out of his rights to JOSIE (Later "Josie & The Pussycats") and spend a good part of a decade dissing the man. He created Josie BEFORE brining it to Archie Publications (then Radio Comics) in 1959 – it was original created as a comic strip – he created characters, and stories. IT WAS NOT WORK FOR HIRE!

    The Current management needs to right wrongs.

    October 1, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Rodrick

      That's NOT really TRUE at all.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • ToLkin

      Amy, I thought of you right away. I know you loved cmicos and your mother didn't approve.I certainly hope this post doesn't imply that I didn't approve of this boy's reading choices. I loved his excitement, I thought it was really funny and cute. I think reading is valuable in any form, and everyone should read whatever they like. If cmicos get this boy reading, then cmicos are great.

      April 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  3. zoundsman

    My sister read Archie, more so, Betty and Veronica. This was the late 50's. When no one was looking, and I already
    read Turok , Son of Stone, Sgt. Rock, Super hero stuff, over and over, I snuk a read of the Archie World. It was cool.

    October 1, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  4. Zeon

    You think this 'gay thing' is being forced down your throats? That sounds painful for you. From experience what you ought to do is just relax and let it work its way all the way in till it is down farther than you ever thought possible. You'll start enjoying it!!

    October 1, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • gomez the gypsy

      OOooo that just tickles me silly!

      October 1, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  5. steve

    stop talking as if ANYONE reads fucking archie...dated shit that should have disappeared long ago with Lois is Low and family circus...why waste your time with stories on antiquated crap...our world sucks...archie isn't even a blip on the radar of the guy who fucking created it.

    October 1, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • gomez the gypsy

      damn you said fuck and it didn't get censored. sweet. fuck fuck fuck!

      October 1, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  6. smx

    I am abolutely amazed at the complete lack of serious self-awareness here. The 2 chicks are so interchangeable. How more fra;ckin sexizslt can you get? How about some of you arslhlsls read Asterix & Obelix for some serious fun, comix, and omg, culture!

    October 1, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  7. blinky

    Archie's Weird Mysteries is the worst television show I have ever seen. So bad and flat that I loved it.

    October 1, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  8. STLBroker

    Performing a sexual act with another person same sex or not IS a choice. If science says otherwise then scientist are morons. What about folks that are celibate their entire lives? Did they overcome their genetic makeup to be straight or gay? No, they CHOOSE not to have sex. How can anyone be so stupid as to think that performing sex acts is like being born with blue eyes? You folks are dumb.

    October 1, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • I ARE A GOP REAL GOOD!

      Spoken like a 400 pound, forty year old virgin in his mom's basement. Loser.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Oneironaut

      So you think all there is to sexuality is sex acts? When you are attracted to someone is it just because of the sex acts you might engage in? Do you fall in love with the person you're with or with the sex acts you engage in with them?

      Other people shouldn't have to suffer for your lack of human empathy.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • A. Wolf

      That's not what scientists believe; of course the act of sex is under the control of those who willingly engage in it. The evidence is that one doesn't "choose" who to fall in love with. If you're straight, I presume there was no "critical moment" in your life where you sat down, wrote a list of pros and cons, and "decided" to be straight. You're straight because you're attracted to the opposite sex rather than the same sex, not because you "make a choice" to be. If that were the case, everyone would choose to be straight. It certainly has significant social advantages over being gay!

      October 1, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • Tiago

      - These are so adorable, Marcia! I think Archie is so sweet that I'm not in the least bit suierrspd that he stole your heart. I'm sure that Cameron will come around too. That video made me laugh! At least Tichka loves the little guy! Sooo sweet together, they are! I love your ginger kids!

      August 2, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  9. shawna

    love it. I'm glad they have introduced a gay character. my son is gay and i think it may make it easier for gay children to relate to the comic a little bit more now. he doesn't read it mind you, but for others that do i think it is great.

    September 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • hah

      Here's hoping the kids can read, maybe do some math, before they start exploring their sexuality, regardless what it is. Anyone?

      September 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  10. Rodrick

    If i am a fan of the Classic TV Show The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985) the TV Game Shows The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Card Sharks, Hollywood Squares (1966-1980, 1971-1981), Tic Tac Dough (1978-1986) etc. the Cartoon Show Scooby-Doo and other Hanna Barbera Cartoons and the Dance Shows American Bandstand, Soul Train, Dance Fever and Dancing with the Stars well I'm a Fan of the Archie Comics from the Start in my life.

    September 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  11. David

    Miss Grundy died!?
    Nooooooooooooooooo

    September 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  12. Chad

    Jughead taught me that you can eat burgers all day and never get fat

    September 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • T

      Only if you have a super-metabolism, which was explained in a Jughead issue.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  13. hah

    Betty & Veronica in a civil union, while Archie pounds the pud...just like his old readers hardy har....

    September 30, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  14. LivingLifeRight

    It's too bad there isn't any research going into ways to prevent the births of gays and lesbos. And let's face it. These abominations of nature are born that way. It's not a choice. It's a birth defect. Just imagine if these two special interest groups could be phased out of existence. No more of their ramming their agenda in our faces. No more little kids being seduced and molested. Science can and will improve life for those fit to live.

    September 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      Got a little German on it, don't you think?

      September 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Roberto

      LivingLifeRight – wow. I agree..got a little Nazi in you? I hope that one day some group finds what they think is a flaw in your character, values or intrinsic being and decides, y'know what, you don't deserve to live, and starts a campaign to wipe you and your progeny out.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
      • How typical and mass culture of you

        I happen to be German and I am offended by these posts. Just because a person has some intellect and insight does not mean that they have to be referred to as a Nazi. I agree that it is not fair to judge alternative lifestyles. However, in the words of science, Humans are nothing more than animals with a slightly evolved brain. Unfortunately, this "evolved" brain has wants, needs and a pleasure center that contradicts the very reason for our existence: Survival and procreation. Homosexuals are probably a genetic flaw. I say this because they are not able to "naturally" procreate or continue the species...they are only interested in pleasing their alternative pleasure.

        October 1, 2011 at 12:01 am |
      • Oneironaut

        Calm down, no one is saying all Germans are Nazis. But all Nazis spoke German.

        At any rate, do you think the only value a person can have for society is the ability to procreate? Come on!

        Do you think that gay people don't feel anything more than mere pleasure? If that were so, they wouldn't be wanting to marry and raise kids, which would be, if anything, an OBSTACLE to a life of pleasurable pursuits.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • straight but lovin PEOPLE

      you are an abonimation for doubting God's creation...isn't that how it's supposed to work.
      Get over yourself. Your prejudice is what is wrong with the world.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
      • Lover of all People...

        "you are an abonimation for doubting God's creation...."

        Fer reals....good words right there...

        October 1, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Dad

      Absolutely no reason to believe 99 percent of gays are produced by genetics. Look at the research, no gay gene has been found in 20 years of research and mapping the human genome. Currently our culture is writing laws to prevent people from expressing disgust at sexually deviant behavior. Perversion backed by a sick and twisted legal system has infiltrated even something as innocent as comic books to promote deviant lifestyle choices in the name of "divesity". You might as well have The Nutty Proffessor 'marry' mister Ed and teach 7 year olds how to group whack off into a cup for pro-creation.

      October 1, 2011 at 12:19 am |
      • Lover of all People...

        "You might as well have The Nutty Proffessor 'marry' mister Ed and teach 7 year olds how to group whack off into a cup for pro-creation."
        Dude! Why didn't I think of that! Thanks for the idea! You are so intelligent! I'm jealious of you...

        October 1, 2011 at 12:41 am |
      • Oneironaut

        Guess what... no one has ever found a "straight gene" either.

        Laws aren't being passed to make it illegal for you to be disgusted by anything. Laws are being passed to keep your subjective disgust from being used to treat other Americans fairly. THAT'S what disgusts you, but god bless the USA.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • blinky

      To paraphrase Voltaire, If gayness did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. Meaning that, gay gene or no, people would explore same-s*x liaisons because it is one way to be s*xually creative and gain pleasure. You're not saying that gay people don't enjoy s*x with each other, are you? And they have the same organs as everyone else, right?

      October 1, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Gregoire

      You...are a crazy person. So much health is not good for you, or anyone.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • LIvingLifeCorrect

      I'm sorta hoping they figure out a way to weed out Right Wing Religious Bigots like you. Imagine a world where people don't run their lives based on fairy tales and imaginary friends?

      October 1, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • A. Wolf

      If homosexuality had no benefit to genetic fitness of the extended family unit, it would have been selected against long before humans even existed. Its prevalence in humans and other animals indicates rather strongly that the existence of "non-breeding" males and females provides indirect social fitness to society.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:28 am |
      • Bret P

        Homosexuality in animals and other organisms exists, but almost exclusively as an aberration or temporary exercise...not something that persists. It is almost always environmental or situationally adaptive. Humans are the only "species" born with this "makeup"...at least this is what we're supposed to believe. Oh wait, there is one other species that homosexuality seems to exist in about 3-8% of its population for unknown reason and only in the males of the genus – Sheep. Or Rams actually. Firmly believe that MOST gay & lesbian humans become that way and are not created that way. My 2 cents.

        October 1, 2011 at 2:23 am |
      • Oneironaut

        Actually, Bret, homosexuality occurs in other higher functioning mammals. Bonobos monkeys practice homosexuality to cement social bonds. Male dolphins often pair up in bonds that outlast their heterosexual encounters. Other sea mammals have all out same sex orgies apparently for recreation. Homosexual activity covers a wide spectrum in nature. If anything, it would seem that exclusive heterosexuality and exclusive homosexuality are aberrations and bisexuality is the most common sexuality in nature.

        October 1, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  15. atheistron

    Thanks, but I always preferred Andy Capp.

    September 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Thomas

      An alcoholic who gets routinely beaten to a pulp by his physically abusive wife....what's not to love?

      October 1, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  16. Forget The Alamo

    I sometimes with the US never would have annexed Texas.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • LIvingLifeCorrect

      So does the rest of the US. Don't worry, we're slowly giving you back, why do you think the Government is allowing all the illegals to come in??

      October 1, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  17. Herb

    Tex, you have to be a troll, right? Your spewing is so hackneyed that you could be a character in your own terrible, prejudiced comic book. Shout as much as you want on message boards – your "beliefs" are no more correct than any other person's, including comic book characters. No one can or should force you to read, watch, listen to, etc, anything that you disagree with. But you can't force me NOT to read, watch, listen to, etc, anything that I want to.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • phog1

      What's next is Veronica marries Betty.

      September 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
      • blinky

        Every male Archie's fan dream. That would be HOT. A honeymoon miniseries.

        October 1, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  18. robb williams

    OMG
    what next, Archie surfing the internet fro kiddie porn?

    September 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • hah

      Right! Think about all those kiddie porn addicts out there. Ever wonder if they feel their rights are being trampled? Maybe the ACLU will line up in their support for equality despite their perversion. What's stopping them, really? So, everyone who's advancing some social agenda for the advancement of "I" "me" and "my" better just stand by...it just may come back and bite us one and all.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  19. Narcosis70

    What fascinates me about Archie is looking at the series in each decade, from the 1940s until now. They've always been up to date with the latest fashions, fads, and topics of the day. That's what's kept them alive so long. Some of Archie's transitions were very unwelcome to be sure, however they accurately (in my humble opinion) reflect the times during which they were published. Through the beatnik-hating, hippie-hating, racist, women's lib hating, gay bashing times, Archie has survived and I'm sure will continue to do so.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Dad

      Can't wait till Jughead teaches kids about beastiality, way to go promote sexual disfunction among the young and impressionable and call it bigotry. We know men are men and women are women, and Chaz is screwed up. Quit forcing your sickness on the people who are left that aren't porn addicts, drug addicts or the like. Out of all of the gays who I have known over the past forty years, all of them had severe attachment and perversion problems. Child pornography, sex addiction, constant insecurity, in and out of jail, in and out of relationships. Maybe you know a couple who have fooled you but the main constant I have seen is a big gravitation toward jobs where they supervise teens and young adults and experince huge moral failings. God help the well adjusted military volenteers who will be forced to live in close quarters with these twisted individuals and depend on them to hold up under stress. Did they ever publish the questions asked of the military that led to Gates recommendation? Everyone I have talked to in the military (in the hundreds) can't see how the survey could have turned out the way it did. Like the Healthcare act, 'we'll have to see what's in it after we vote for it". . . .

      October 1, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  20. MariJoy

    I can totally relate to this. I adored Archie comics in the mid-to-late 60s, and my daughter loved them in the 00s, it's great to share something that has been a touchstone for both of us over the years.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  21. JJ

    I used to buy archie comics every month and I had a little over 200. I stopped when they raised the prices and cut the pages in half. That was in the mid-90s. I think they are almost $4 for a regular digest now.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  22. Redneck Genius

    jughead jones is my idol

    September 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  23. LANCE

    Who cares if Archie gets a gay friend. The rest of the comic has modernized, why shouldn't that modernize too? The fact is gays are much more open and have more rights than in the 60s. It simply reflects that.

    And it's not like Archie is known for its overtly explicit sexual content anyway. At worst you all will see 2 cartoon guys kissing, which has happened a billion times in comedy or kids cartoons (think: pepe le pue in loony toons accidentally kissing bugs bunny!) in the past. It's just a cartoon, if you can't even stomach THAT, you need to either lock yourself in your house and be one of those bigoted religious shut ins, or you need to grow a pair and learn to have a thicker skin.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Dad

      In bugs bunny when the male character kissed it was a prat fall and EVERYONE knew it was wrong and tha made it funny. You cute reaction to perversion will just serve to screw up a bunch of teens going through insecurity and wacky hormones on the way to normal, healthy hetrosexual lifestyles. You call us bigoted for rcognizing that no homo gene has been found, and even the APA recognizes that homosexual tendancies are most likely the result of hormone imbalance and environment. Your "compassion toward the illness and sexual disfunction will likely compound the problem in our society. Most people with your outlook bellieve in Evolution, as do I , there is no room in that theory for 8 percent population with a non reproducing trait. Given thousand of generations, it would have been 'bred out'. Much like an albino, one in ten thousand or so. Like hermaphrodites. Most of your gay population is likely disorders brought about by people like you, who "encourage a thirteen year old to assume they are gay because they are insecure about sexuallity". The 12 year old daughter of the stripper in my daughters history class is holding hands with a goth girl and kissing between class and believes she is gay. She explained to my daughter that she grew up in the dressing room of the strip club trying on mommy's costumes and watching her dance with the other women and wanted to be just like her. Kids mimic the adult situations they see. Archie comics will likely provide just the push needed by an insecure teen to decide that they "might be gay". Great.

      October 1, 2011 at 12:58 am |
      • Oneironaut

        Actually, the APA and every other reputable psychological AND pediatric society in this nation has concluded that homosexuality is not a disorder, but an innate trait that one should not be forced to change. As for genetics, well no one knows what causes ANY sexuality, gay, straight or otherwise.

        Many heterosexuals are murderers and child molesters too. Should then all straight people be treated as such potential threats? Gay people are everywhere whether you realize it or not, in every profession and from all walks of life. They bag your groceries, fight your wars, perform your surgeries and make your favorite entertainment. You seem all to happy to take advantage of their contributions to society, but don't seem to mind vilifying them when they ask to be treated as contributing members of society. Hypocrite.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  24. LANCE

    Isn't the solution for Archie obvious? Marry Veronica for the money, divorce her within the year and cash in. Then, marry Betty.

    It's win-win. You get to be rich AND have the non-annoying b*tch.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • phog1

      No no no. Veronica marries Betty and they both sue Archie for sexual harrassment.

      September 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  25. John Savage

    Anything that advances the PC agenda gets respect from people who share that agenda. In this case, liberals appreciate that Archie is doing its part to mainstream homosexuality. Therefore, "respect."

    September 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  26. Craig

    It is really sad this has come down to an anti-gay thread? It is sad you feel it is being forced down your throat. The glory thing is, as a parent you have the choice to not purchase that comic book. There appears to be an audience out there that seems to want to read this. You have every right to not purchase it for your child. Because you do not like it does not mean anyone is forcing it on you in any way, DO NOT BUY THE COMIC BOOK.

    In fact Zorpie is correct about his statement "...in 1962, and they introduced a black character you closed minded people would be claiming that integration was being shoved down your throats." The same talk now is as it was in 1962, about people who are gay. Comics have had a long history of tacking social issues.

    By ignoring an issue you close you mind to new ideas. There are topics that I do not think I agree with, or ways that I would live my life, but I listen to these people to get a broader view of the world. Knowedge is power. Wishing something away like gay being gay is not going to make it go away. Just like integration, people were wishing it went away, and thak god it didn't.

    As I stated before, A smart man once told me before you judge other behavior or the life they live take an objective look at it from the other side of the coin you might be shocked at what you see in yourself.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      Thank God "integration" didn't get wished away? Is that a @#$%-ing fact? I wish it would have been wished away or something. If you ever came home from school with a busted lip or a black eye because of these welfare-fed bully-boys some Auntee sent to school thinking whites had to answer their every whim, then YOU would feel different about these little punks.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
      • Craig

        I am saddened by your response, and I feel sorry FOR you. That you have a closed mind and judge an entire race on a small minority of that population. There are a lot of adults and kids of every race which do not represent the mass of people. There are Latino gangs (MS-13), White gangs (KKK), African American Gangs (Bloods), Asian gangs (Fullerton Boys), Italian Gangs (Dead Rabbits), Indian Gangs (Indian Posse) to just name a few.

        To wish an entire race's right to be identified as a person is just sad and show an ignorance that I am at a loss of words for. I just hope that you wanted to place a comment in to be shocking, and racist as most inter-net tough guys out there. If it is true you have my sympathies you have decided to live your life so closed off and scared which prevents you from meeting new and interesting people of many races and cultures and have a better understanding and respect for the world we all live in.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • AFS

      I applaud you for this wonderful comment.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Bret P

      Pretty sure that as of 2:27 am EST 'gay' wasn't a race. It is an identity, and it is "agenda-ized" (real word – almost positive :p ) Stop saying things like "I understand what it's like to be Black – I'm gay" Reeee-diculous.

      October 1, 2011 at 2:30 am |
      • Oneironaut

        What's ridiculous is actually believing that any gay person has ever claimed to know what it's like to be black. Or that no one other than blacks could possibly understand what it's like to be hated for an innocuous characteristic.

        As for homosexuality being an identity , it's no more or less so than heterosexuality. What's your point? Gay couples aren't falling in love, raising families and wanting to protect their relationships and households just to fulfill an agenda. They are doing so because they are just as human and deserving of basic human dignity as you are.

        October 1, 2011 at 3:12 am |
      • Craig

        You are 100% correct, being African American and Gay each have their own independent identities and have had their own struggles. But one can easily connect the similarities within the struggle both homosexuals and what African American's did and still do at a point struggle with. The rights to be identified and be treated as an equal and have the same rights as every American does.

        Just because a person is gay (It does not matter if it as some people choose or are born that way) should not not be allowed to have the same rights as the person right next to him. They should be able to marry anyone from any race or sex they want; same with getting divorced. Because someone is gay, does that mean they should not be allowed to provide benefits for their loved one? Why is what is good for the goose is not good for the gander?

        So, yes being gay is not the "same" as being African American, but struggles are similar, and appear to be on the same path of equality.

        Change can only be made by people strong enough to at first face the ridicule to allow others to step up in solidarity. That is what MLK and Gandhi and other great leaders have shown that works. To fight past the racism, homophobia and bigotry that fear and ignorance create.

        Again I have no agenda with what I say, but to know and wish that one day we all can accept each other for who we are...individuals.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  27. Jimmy

    I don't know, I still think Betty Rubble was hotter.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  28. erich2112x

    Everything's about the connection to childhood now, "Oh, my childhood band", "Oh my childhood comic book" "Oh my childhood Movie,"......fck you.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • yousuck

      Sounds like someone's childhood was dominated by a step-dad with boundary issues.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  29. SB

    At least some of that lack of respect comes from the religious spin off aimed at young Protestants using the Archie characters to pitch Bible verses, Christian morality, and anti-science propaganda.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Dano

      Anti-Science propaganda???? You're a m<oo>n!

      September 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  30. Aristocles

    Every straight man wants Veronica, but we ALL know Archie is better off with Betty. It's a kind of choice between what you want and what you know is good for you.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  31. Zorpie

    Wow. Since when is talking about gay people and including them in a story "shoving it down your throat?" Your kids are in school and in real life they have to deal with gay friends all around them. It is part of life now. It is better that they read about it in a comic book and get an understanding of what it must be like to be gay. (And the crap they must have to put up with from people who insist it is BAD.)

    *sigh*

    I suppose if we had this conversation in 1962, and they introduced a black character you closed minded people would be claiming that integration was being shoved down your throats.

    The human race is so good at holding itself back from growing and advancing because we are always so afraid of what we don't understand.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Joy

      Perversion is different than racism. It's the action people choose that I'm judging. Not things they can not help. Like I said I have a lot of gay friends. Most of them admit. THEY ARE PERVERTED! lol haha If no one stood up for what is the best thing for people's lives then a lot of children will be misled. Being gay is not a good choice.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
      • ohsnap

        I agree. BTW I don't even SEE comic books anymore. Where do people buy them?

        September 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
      • Chicken wings

        Well put!

        September 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
      • Tex Gritter

        You're right, Ma'am. It is perverted. Makes me wonder what the next generation will be like when THIS generation is the one taking out all the stops. If my children do happen to spot this stuff on the store shelves when they are older, they won't be reading it with my permission nor will my hard-earned dollars pay for it. And, I am still the PARENT.

        September 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • Craig

        It is sad you feel it is being forced down your throat. The glory thing is, as a parent you have the choice to not purchase that comic book. There appears to be an audience out there that seems to want to read this. You have every right to not purchase it for your child. Because you do not like it does not mean anyone is forcing it on you in any way.

        Life goes on all around you. There are people who are gay straight, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, celibate. They all have views. You can have your head buried in the sand and not be willing to accept people for who they are, individuals.

        A smart man once told me before you judge other behavior or the life they live take an objective look at it from the other side of the coin. What if there was a trait about you not socially acceptable and people shunned you? Felt you were less than human? Do you feel it should be overlooked?

        I am sorry you feel equality is being forced upon you. It might not be a lifestyle you might want for yourself, but you can flip the coin and say, why do you have to force people to adapt to you your mode of thought.

        Funny thing is I know if someone responds to this will think I am a liberal, gay, tree hugger. Well I am a card carrying Republican, who is sick of the decisive nature we live in. Not a tree hugger, as my co-workers will tell you, I print way too many things off and drive an SUV that get 15 mpg.

        As for the gay thing... What does it matter? How doe it hut you?

        September 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
      • LANCE

        Hahaha, you've got to be kidding me. "Being gay is a choice"? I can't believe there are still backwards hicks still out there that believe that.

        Science shows that there's a strong biological link to homosexuality. Brain scans show that homosexuals' brains will light up differently in certain situations vs. hetero males.

        It's not just a choice, it's an innate part of them. Look at the science, morons.

        September 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
      • Rebecca

        Gosh. You are so bigoted it's ridiculous...and the worst type - the kind who insist they're not. You should go share your opinions with all your supposed "friends" and see what type of discussion follows. Protip: Enjoy being told how ignorant you are to your face. You are about to not have any homosexual friends if you truly had any in the first place (which I doubt).

        September 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
      • Oneironaut

        What is so perverted about natural attraction and (gasp!) maybe even love? Gay people don't choose who they love any more than you do. Sexuality is as innate as race, left-handedness or anything else. But even if it were a choice, who cares? You can choose your religion, your political affiliation and your marital status, but it's not right to hate or discriminate based on such choices. As Americans, we value our freedom to choose. You have a choice not to acknowledge the reality of homosexuality, but other people have a right not to be vilified for their choices either. So cram it.

        September 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
      • STLBroker

        Performing a sexual act with another person same sex or not IS a choice. If science says otherwise then scientist are morons. What about folks that are celibate their entire lives? Did they overcome their genetic makeup to be straight or gay? No, they CHOOSE not to have sex. How can anyone be so stupid as to think that performing sex acts is like being born with blue eyes? You folks are dumb.

        October 1, 2011 at 12:16 am |
      • blinky

        Joy, People thought "miscegenation" was a perversion. It was called an act against nature. So anti-gay stances fall into the same trap.

        My hunch is that sexual orientation in practice is a mix of nature and choice. Those people saying it's all nature, Be careful what you wish for. There are people out there who want to take you out of the gene pool by eugenics. And if you're theory were right, you have to admit they could, too.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:11 am |
      • Jodi

        Gay is NOT a choice. The most perverted people I personally know are heterosexual.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Sodomy is Gross

      Zorpie, my kids attend public schools and no, there are not "gay kids all around them." That's a fallacy pushed by the liberal media. Sounds like you've been watching too many episodes of Glee. Yeah–we know of ONE openly gay kid at our local high school and you know what? He's a nice guy–honors student, the whole bit. And he does NOT push his lifestyle on the rest of us so I respect him for that.

      In terms of equating the sodomy lifestyle with the color of one's skin...well, you must be a liberal white guy to make such a foolish statement like that. As an African-American, I can assure you that being gay isn't the same as being born with a certain skin color. Visit the awesome Civil Rights Museum here in Memphis TN. You'll find ZERO exhibits dedicated to the sodomy lifestyle. That's because black people do NOT think that our struggles for equality are the same as the twisted, perverted "struggles" that gays have brought upon themselves.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
      • Oneironaut

        It's sad that you reduce people's lives to what you THINK they supposedly do in the privacy of their own relationships. But civil rights and acceptance don't just apply to race. Black people don't have a lock on civil rights. Civil rights applies to women and other minorities too. People in the minority have just as much right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the majority. That's the beauty of the USA. It sounds like you're upset that others can demand their civl rights too, but you're going to have to get used to it.

        And obviously not every school is filled with gay kids, depending on where you live. But whether there are two, ten or a hundred gay kids, there's no reason to think that all of them want to push anything on you. The problem with you is that any respect or fairness they ask for would be considered "pushing" something on you in your mind.

        September 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Dad

      Comparing perversion to genetic skin color and appearance is stupid. Homosexual activity is social disease, brought about by continually pushing the envelope. After 20 years of looking no gay gene has been found. People aren't born with it they develop it through decisions they make during puberty, your mainstreaming of it will cripple the sexual health of our nation and backset core families for generations. Your future "normal" will be filled with Chaz Bono look alikes, kids who are taught to question there sexuality and experiment in unhealthy ways. You are just to "compassionate" to the individual to see how badly this will effect the rest of the population.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:15 am |
      • Oneironaut

        Just to correct your statements a bit...

        In the history of genetics, no one has found a straight gene either. No one knows what really causes ANY sexuality.

        And gay kids exist younger than teenage ones. Many gay people have known all their lives that they were gay. I've known since I was at least 7 or 8. And I didn't even know that any other gay people existed because I lived in such a sheltered, conservative, religious environment. I wasn't "exposed" to anything to make me "choose" who I'm attracted to.

        Homosexuality, or more accurately bisexuality, has always existed and has been accepted or rejected to varying degrees in different cultures. It's nothing new and it's not going to go away no matter how much you hate it or wish for it to just disappear. Gay Americans pay their taxes, contribute to society and aren't breaking the law just by being gay, so you have to give them the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that you do others whose lifestyles you may not agree with, such as people of other religions, races or beliefs. Sorry, you'll just have to get used to it. I'm not going to go back to living like a spy in my own country because of the ignorance of people like you.

        October 1, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  32. Joy

    ewww a gayfer in my Archies?! I've been reading Archie for 20 years now... Don't think I can stomach the thought of a more perverted twist than the threesome Veronica, Betty, and Archie already have going on. Mine as well make Mr. Weatherbee a child molester ..... you know.... to make it more diverse for people who like that sorta thing. LOL I have a lot of gay friends but I stil don't think guys should boink guys and then stick it in the comic. It's a little nasty nasty. Going to have to write them a letter telling them they are idiots.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • yousuck

      What your woman doesn't do a nal? Your loss

      September 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Ashley

      Wow you are extremely ignorant and immature

      September 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      Joy, do you think that any time gay people are mentioned or depicted it has to be about sex? Do you realize how juvenile that sounds? Archie has had very clear heterosexual feelings for both Betty and Veronica but sex never needs to be mentioned. Chill out. I know it might be hard for the likes of you to stop imagining what other people might be doing in bed long enough to see them as human beings, but I assure you, simply addressing the topic of gay people doesn't necessarily mean that any "boinking" has to be discussed.

      October 1, 2011 at 1:53 am |
      • Giri

        Any idea how old this kid was that he didn't know what comic books are? I can't remember ever not konwing!This post brought back memories of discovering that the library had Archie comics! I already read Archies, but I was dependent on the whims of grownups buying them for me as a treat. (To this day I have fond memories of occasionally discovering a comic book in my school lunch.) Then I found them in the library, and I suddenly I could READ ALL THE ARCHIES! I checked out the maximum number allowed and read this enormous pile of comics, then went back and did it again and again. Soon I was coordinating with my sister so we'd each check out different ones and have twice as many to read. Then we realized a better strategy would be to check out all the digests first so we'd get more stories, and read the single-issues in the library while the grownups did their thing. That's like the only thing in life we ever cooperated on.

        April 8, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  33. Dr. Cesspool

    Who cares about Archie? Hows about an update on what Stumbo the giant has been up to?

    September 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  34. slupdawg

    The article is good, and correct. I didn't give Archie comics as much respect as they deserved. They always were willing to take on tough or debatable topics, much like Marvel comics, maybe even more so. Yes, the depictions of the females were a primer to female sexuality to a prepubescent boy! I also liked that they were not all episodic. Most of the stories were self-contained and the conflicts were resolved in that very issue. You could pick up a comic today and not feel like you missed out on 10 years of back story or have to endure constant monologuing and recapping to bring new readers up to speed. Nothing not to like.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  35. Moe Smith

    Archie is about to do a stint with KISS... Respect? Hell-fncking-no there is no respect. You are taking to absolutely inconsequential icons of our times, putting them together... to do what? create one great amalgamation of meaningless, senseless, worthless, useless nonsense and bullsh!7?

    great.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Donald

      I have never said this before: It sucks to be you. The one with no meaning in life is clearly you. Why else would you so stridently denigrate such a harmless, happy, light-hearted diversion so desperately needed in such horrific times? Go set a rock on your head and stay there.

      October 1, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  36. Dan Collins

    Seems a shame that so many comments have to go to the sodomy side of things. I refuse to call it gay. Call it for what it is: sodomy! Archie is a fun character and to suggest that he never married either of the girls because he has a thing for Jughead just goes to show how many sick minds are out there. You may have been joking but the sodomy card is being overplayed everywhere.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Sodomy is Gross

      THANK YOU Dan Collins for having the cajones to speak the TRUTH. 2 guys having a "relationship" isn't something my kids will be reading about in their flipplin' comics! Why oh why do the gay agenda folks keep pushing their SODOMY lifestyles onto American families–especially kids?! It's getting ooooold. OK, we get it gay people. You like to sleep with members of your own $ex. Fine. Just keep it to yourselves. Stop ramming your SODOMY lifestyles down our throats. (no pun intended)

      September 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
      • Orac

        You do realize that heterosexual people commit sodomy on a scale that would make gay people envious, right? I think you'd better look it up...

        September 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
      • blinky

        Sig, More straight people do it than you think. That doesn't mean that everybody has to. What are you so uptight about?

        October 1, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • ohsnap

      THANK YOU. You will be in the minority here, but THANK YOU.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      Thank you, Mr. Collins. I think it is time to say to the political-correctors that enough is E-NUFF! This is loony. And wierd and sick. I remember the old westerns for kids. Yes, the Lone Ranger and Tonto and their outlaw nemisis were created to teach lessons: that there is always an end to every action. You play with fire and you will get burned. How many pre-teens(not "tweens") will be influenced by this wierdity? There are children out there who have almost no parental guidance and have never sat through a Church service a day in their lives. These kids will be influenced by media in all it's forms.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • yousuck

      I guess i should tell your wife that we have to stop doing anal then

      September 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Oneironaut

      Dan, you act like all gay people practice "sodomy" and no straight people do. It's really easy to hate someone when you can boil their lives, feelings and relationships to a matter of sex acts you don't particularly care for, as if it's any of your business to regulate people's sex lives in the first place.

      People like you seem obsessed with what gay people supposedly do in bed. You just can't wrap your head around it and see past it and see them as the human beings they are, no better or worse than you. Thank goodness fewer and fewer people are taking temporary comfort in such ignorance.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  37. Nostaligc1

    I was an avid comic reader from age 7 until about 20, and then I got busy with being an adult. I loved Archie comics, and especially the double digest ones. The Jughead comics were hilarious too. Reading this article made me think back to the days of reading other great classic like: Sad Sack, Lil Hot Stuff, Casper, Richie Rich, Dot, and Beetle Bailey. I even remember buying Sea Monkeys, and those cheap gag toys in the back of the books. You weren't a cool kid if you didn't have the sanke in the can o' nuts, or a handbuzzer, or the every boy's favorite...the fake dog doo. I'm split on the more adult themed version of Archie, but I understand the writters intent. When you look at the piss-poor selection of children's cartoons and tv programming I weep for this generation of kids. It seems that the innocence of being a child has been stripped from them. Even the Disney Channel has fallen off when it comes to Saturday morning cartoons. Hopefully, Archie comics will stay around to preserve some of the wholesomeness those of us born in the 50's-70's had while reading comic books.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  38. Mark C

    Archie sucks no matter how much you spin it. It's the Family Circus of comic books.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  39. bannister

    If they REALLY wanted to be modern, why didn't they have Archie marry Jughead? Veronica could be a heroin addict and Betty could have mulatto children out of wedlock!

    Come on Riverdale – let's celebrate diversity!

    September 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • gdbnnh

      You must have missed the issue where Moose buggered Jughead in the locker room at Riverdale High School!

      September 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • STEELWOLVES

      Hilarious @ bannister. And true too, sadly.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      YOU ARE RIGHT ON, SIR. There, that's the very first time that I EVER used all capitols in a sentence. I guess there really is a first time for everything. Well, MOST everything, anyway....

      September 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  40. Orac

    Did you catch the Archie shoutout in an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" last season? Penny's then boyfriend Zach goes to the comic store with the nerd gang and basically explains the entire premise of "Life With Archie" when they make fun of him for being into that instead of superhero comics. Raj comes around to his way of thinking, which I thought was a great plug for Archie comics.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • T

      I saw that one, very funny especially Sheldon's remark to Zach's question.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  41. John King

    I remember that the characters as drawn in the 40s had a more realistic look. Betty and Veronica were extremely attractive whereas now they are kind of typically goofy looking comic characters. Can anyone confirm that the change in appearance really happened?

    September 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Liam

      John King, what are you doing on the comments board? Don't you have work to do?

      September 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  42. Kathy

    I grew up with Archie (along with Richie Rich, Dot and Baby Hughey), but haven't noticed any of these comics in my local grocers. I"m of two minds about the evolving comics into adulthood rather than changing the times in modern tween-time. These comics now are more for adults and adults who are familiar with these comics. On the other hand, the Archie comics lend itself to evolving. Super heros don't really need to do that except to update to fighting modern crimes, such as computer hacking etc.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  43. gdbnnh

    I always wanted to see Mr. Lodge give Veronica a bare bottom spanking.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      This is no attempt to be facetious onn my part. I actually remember when (probably in the early eighties) Archie and Jug Head are depicted coming out of the principals office with their backsides smokin'. I remember thinking"well, well. Guess even ol' Archie get's a little lickin' with the old paddle." That was almost thirty years ago, was'nt it?

      September 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  44. Billu

    Archie is a great character, and very fun comics. Great article!

    September 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  45. Doug

    Miss Grundy died?

    Damn...the things you miss when you're too busy growing up...

    September 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      Phooey, the poor ol' womern probably was so shocked when she heard.... ya know how it is. You are aware of the fact that there are a few of "those" kind out there. But Heck, when it turns out to be a kid ya helped ta' raise...For Pete's sake....!!!

      September 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  46. PassItOn

    Enjoyed going to 7-11 to buy new issues back in the day. Are new issues being published? Where can you buy them and for how much?

    September 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • sean McElligott

      Look on google maps for your local comic book shop

      September 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Sodomy is Gross

      You can find old issues on eBay. Tons of them. And you can buy the good ones from the 70's & 80's–before Archie Comics started pushing the sodomy lifestyle on innocent kids.

      September 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
      • Tex Gritter

        This garbage would have never even have been deemed to be news-worthy by CNN had there not been a way to incorporate the Hardships and "acheivements" faced by the so-called "gays"....By the way...where on the Good Lord's green earth did these twisted people ever come up with the word GAY to express their oddities? When I was a little lad, the word "gay" belonged only in Christmas songs.

        September 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • lynn

      wal-mart

      October 1, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  47. wildone

    The real reason (that was hidden from the readers) that Archie couldn't choose between Betty and Veronica was because he was actually in love with Jughead.

    September 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  48. Matrigna

    Great article, E! Archie was totally my gateway comic, and it's great to see it still around and evolving.

    September 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  49. Greedo

    I always thought they were smokin' hot

    September 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm |