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Archie Historia: Now and Again

In the beginning (1930’s aprox.), the world was a dark and desolate place. Depraved comic fans cried out for something more than just Super Cheesy Heroes, I mean, cheesy Super Heroes. Whatever. Anyway… the point I was getting to is that it seemed no matter where you look (as long as it’s in a comic) you saw Batman, Super Man, Wonder Woman, and who knows what else. When MLJ (first called Blue Ribbon Comics, and later, Top Notch Comics) started their run for the money, they planned on taking the hero route as well. Three guys: Maurice Coyne (“M”), Louis Silberkliet (“L”), and our man, John Goldwater (“J”), fueled the creation of heroes such as the Shield, who is supposedly the comic world’s first fictional patriotic crime fighter. While these were good ideas, it was difficult for the Shield to compete with the already up-and-running figures, like those listed above. Then John Goldwater had a world shakin’, record breakin’ little stinker of an idea. Duh! Goldwater created Archie and said “Archie is good.” (well, what did you think I was going to say… that he invented post-its?) Now I’m not saying Archie was the first person to actually make a comic book a comic book. There were others. They just, um, well they STANK compared to Archie. Got it? As a precaution, they didn’t give Archie his own comic right away, but stuck him in the midst of the Shield so they could draw him back quickly had he not been successful. The first comic looked something like this… Now why on earth Betty would even flirt with something that looks like that is a mystery to me (unless it’s that amaaaazing upper torso) Look at this, folks, they are still the Betty and Archie we know, but they don’t look any older than 14 years! In their next comic strip, though, they appeared as teenagers, staying that way for the next sixty years. Their first approach was a simple one, the plot hardly straying from Archie’s misadventures while trying to impress the new girl, Betty. Aaah, life is good. Betty and Archie, Archie and Betty, Jughead a welcome accomplice to it all. Then, in April of 1942, Pep Comics #26 hosted that raven haired, voluminous heiress you can’t help but love. She added a totally new spin on the comics, catapulting them into a (funny?) vortex in which they will never escape. God help us if they do, it’s the (dun dun duuun!) Love Triangle!!

Stick Around for More Next Week!!