Though the publisher is also known as Archie Comics, I’m celebrating the comic books themselves. Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Jughead, Moose, Miss Grundy, and Mr. Weatherbee. The town of Riverdale, and Riverdale High. The quandary over whether he likes Betty or Veronica more. The rivalry with Reggie. Yeah, those Archie comics.
I’d never thought of it before, but when John Goldwater created Archie in 1941, he was inspired by the popular Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. He had a nickname then – “Chick” – and he showed up in Pep Comics #22. And while Goldwater guided the magazine through its most popular era, the comic was written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana.
Betty and Veronica have had their own title through the years. So has Jughead. And in an attempt to be “relevant,” Archie Comics now has its first openly gay character, Kevin Keller. Archie now seems dated to me; I can’t imagine today’s kids buying into these characters. But when I was growing up, I loved them. They weren’t challenging, but they were fun. And, of first importance, aren’t comic books supposed to be fun?