- Posted by Johanna on January 21, 2006 at 7:33 am
- Category: Archie Comics
- CREDITS: written by Craig Boldman; art by Henry Scarpelli
- PUBLISHER: Archie Comics; $10.95 US
This book collects a selection of the Archie daily comic strips from the mid-1990s. Since the artists are limited to three panels, the gags focus on the core of the characters. Jughead’s lazy and eats a lot, Archie’s screwing up or looking for a date, Betty’s the nice girl next door, and so on. Jughead’s non-conformity, especially, gives him a lot of potential for wisecracks and silly circumstances. The characters look like they should, following what many think of as the classic style.
Scarpelli is obviously experienced in the way he constructs his panels. The art actually matters, adding to the punchlines instead of simply carrying them, or even serving as a visual gag. The lack of topicality of the jokes keeps these strips fresh for new readers. The writer is quoted as saying that the strip doesn’t try to be current or teach life lessons. Instead, it’s about characters and comedy. This comic strip ranks with some of the best Archie stories of the last decade.
The foreword (by Creators Syndicate president Rick Newcombe) captures some of the key points of appeal of the character — Archie represents childhood innocence, cheerful humor without violence or cynicism. It’s speculated that Archie has lasted over 50 years because he’s always been hopeful and optimistic, regardless of what’s going on in our culture. He’s got a nostalgic appeal to many who remember reading him when they were a kid. He’s the icon of the All-American boy.