Shorts Illegal? An Archie Flashback

I love popular history and culture, so I’m always thrilled when they put a really old story in one of the Archie digests. (I would be even more thrilled if they bothered to cite when and where it first appeared and said who wrote and drew it.)

This month, it was “Leg Work” in Betty & Veronica Double Digest #162. (The lead story was part two of readers voting for Cheryl’s new boyfriend, with the introduction of Austin, a outdoor nut.)

Leg Work p1

It seems that Mr. Lodge (who for once drives himself, without a chauffeur) is scandalized and aghast that his daughter and her friend would wear such inappropriate garb on a city street!

Leg Work p2

What a different world, where you would actually have different clothes for hanging around home or appearing in “the business section of town”! The concept that shorts were not to be seen in public has got to stun today’s teen, who thinks nothing of wearing pajamas to school or bikini tops almost anywhere.

And Mr. Lodge is trying to make them actually illegal to preserve “dignity and decorum”?!? Talk about old-fashioned!

I bet you can guess where this story goes: Betty and Veronica are set to scrubbing the empty pool to “give them time to think over what [he] said.” (Again, where are the servants?) Dad puts on his Bermuda shorts to do chores, but then has to drive downtown for more supplies. The car dies, so Dad is seen in shorts in public, where he nearly dies of embarrassment as men (in suits and hats!) and women (in dresses, hats, heels and gloves!) laugh at him.

With that kind of wardrobe considered expected attire, no wonder shorts stand out so much. This is a real time capsule and all the more entertaining for it.

6 Responses to “Shorts Illegal? An Archie Flashback”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I would think he’d be a bit more concerned with them wearing tops that left little to the imagination.

    Check out Betty in that last panel on page one. It looks like the shirt is painted on. Hmm maybe Mr. Lake is too cheap to run the AC in his car?

    I wonder if you’ll find one that has Betty & Veronica in miniskirts next?:)

  2. Inane_Fanboy Says:

    Mr. Lodge = capitalist pig oppressor.

    Let the legs fly free, regardless of district demarcation.

  3. Cal Says:

    I buy these throughout the year for Christmas stocking stuffers – and for the
    occasional appearance of these gems.

    I suppose there’s no attribution so as not to date them ( other than bythe content), but it would be nice to see the creators given their due. There’s a grace and elegance in these works that stands out in the context of the newer work that surrouns them.

    It’d be nice to see these period pieces reproduced at regular-comic size and collected. I was stunned to see a couple of what must be contemporary to the above Josie stories that didn’t include Valerie or Alan M. – I didn’t realze there was a Josie before the Pussycats –
    featuring an interesting character name of Pepper.

    All this has be wondering what you think of MAD MEN, Peggy is particular, Joanna.

  4. Johanna Says:

    I watch the show, but I wouldn’t call it a favorite — I like best the milieu and props and costumes. I’m curious to see what they do with Peggy. (I haven’t seen any of season 2 yet.) I can sympathize with her frustration over being treated like an accessory in a “man’s job”.

  5. Bob Says:

    James: It’s Mr. Lodge. I think you’re confusing Veronica Lodge with Veronica Lake.

  6. Archie Gets Political With Occupy Riverdale » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] tackling political debates, as with this 1971 story about draft-dodging or this sillier piece about shorts not being appropriate for being seen in public. It’s nice to see them continuing that tradition […]




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