Betty & Veronica Spectacular #75

When magazines run sponsored sections trying to sell the reader products while appearing to be content, they prominently label them as advertisements. I was surprised I didn’t see such a disclaimer on this Archie comic, since it’s full of ads and product placements.

Dan Parent writes and draws the story, in which Ginger is having trouble coming up with ideas for her latest fashion show. It’s Betty and Veronica to the rescue — by fighting, they give Ginger her theme.

Betty & Veronica Spectacular #75 cover
Betty & Veronica
Spectacular #75

“Are you a Betty or a Veronica?” is her clever idea, which is just coincidentally the tagline this comic has been running for months. It’s also the basis of new licensed clothing lines, helpfully footnoted within the panels.

Various Riverdale girls walk down a runway wearing pictures of Betty and Veronica on their t-shirts, skirts, and bags. It’s especially stupid-looking with someone wears more than one piece at a time — there’s nothing but grinning heads staring at the viewer. Then the Veronicas, the insipid girl band, appear.

It’s unfortunate, given the importance of looks to this story, that the art is so slapdash. At times, the girls resemble stick figures with Texas-girl hair. Details and anatomy change from panel to panel.

Soon the boys are wearing their own logos as well, with licensed sneakers drawn into the corner of a panel to get more ads in. It looks as though the boys are about to be stomped on the head, which would be a wonderful ending, but instead, the story just stops.

After two filler pages of ipod skins (rectangles with random designs), there’s a forgettable story where Betty and Veronica go shopping while camping, thanks to the wonders of the internet. Come to think of it, it’s very appropriate, given the emphasis on buying throughout the issue.

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