Saturday, January 29, 2011
Beyond Betty & Veronica
When I was a kid it was not a Super, Aqua or Bat man that I was interested in, it was a red haired kid from Riverdale High I wanted to read about. When I think of Archie Andrews I linger back to those Archie Double Digests I used to covet. Oh how exciting it was to be at the grocery store with my mother and see a bright new digest as we went through the check out. Of course I now know they were placed there just to torture poor parents who foolishly drag their offspring with them to shop. My mother is a wonderful woman, but she is not soft. We did not have a lot of money for extras and despite my tantrums the answer was always a firm no.
I did however make my own money dog walking and with my paper route. My parents spending ethics, though I hated, I smartly followed. I never rode my bike back to that grocery store but rather to the one used book store in my town. Then I could get 3 or 4 double digests for the price of one. I could also return them the following weekend to trade in to get more. It was so exciting riding home on that bike with the digests in the brown bag, early awaiting getting home and seeing what the gang would be up to.
Archie Digests make me think of summers, and summer camp (I would always get a few to take with me). I remember reading them on the front lawn and taking them to the beach and family vacations.
The world was asking who you liked better, Betty or Veronica, but for many of use was all about Archie. Archie was like the one guy in every grade in school. You know the guy, cute but not the cutest, athletic, but not a sports star. He played basketball yes, but was also in choir and in the school play. The one trait most of these guys, like Archie share is a level of caring more pronounced than those around him. This guy usually had quite liberal parents who promoted equality and tolerance within there home.
I remember that guy from my school years; we ended up being best friends through most of high school. I also remember being surprised that many told me, for them, I was that guy. My parents from the time I can remember taught us that although humans are all special and unique, they are also all pretty much the same.
Archie was a crush, a hero not because he wore a cape or saved the planet every issue. Archie was my comic hero because he struggled with right and wrong, was not always the greatest student but except for the odd bad day was basically kind to all those around him.
Below: Some unintentional (I think) innuendo.