Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Number 44

COVERING IT: Classic Golden Age comic book covers: Archie Halloween.

When I was a teen I should've had Archie's problems.Archie didn't seem to have to work; none of his friends did. They just hung out at Pop's Choc'lit Shop, drank sodas, drove their jalopies (how long has it been since the word "jalopy" has been used, anyway, and where the hell did it come from in the first place?), and went on dates.

Archie had a problem of too many girlfriends. He also had the problem of a smooth hustler, Reggie, liking one of his girlfriends and making plays for her.

It's amazing how many stories can be gotten from a simple triangle. Maybe Archie should have joined a polygamy cult and had both Betty and Veronica, or they could have some sort of kinky arrangement they couldn't mention in Comics Code approved comic books.

I'm sure that Archie comics were aimed at pre-pubescent girls. Or were they? Why would a girl want to read about a guy's problems with two girls? Would she identify with that? Was it aimed at young boys? Why would they want to read about a guy and yuchhy girls anyhow?

I read Archie when I was a kid I don't remember thinking this was anything like real life, except to wonder how two beautiful and desirable girls would go for a dorky-looking guy like Archie. You've got to admit, he wasn't drawn to look like a stud that girls would fight over. Archie has been popular enough on the newsstands to keep going continuously for over 60 years. That's a long time to have a triangle going, and if it were real life by now the once beautiful teenage girls would be fighting over an equally elderly Archie at the Senior Citizens' Center.

I like this old Halloween cover from a 1940s issue of Archie, but in the opposite way from how it was intended. I can't imagine why anyone thought putting Archie on a broomstick with a witch's hat was funny. I see some hidden symbolism is the long broomstick with the pumpkin head between Archie's legs. If you had a couple of babes like Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge fighting over you your broomstick would be long, too.

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