Archie Digests for October 2008

Since I’ve already done the Archie comics for this month, it’s time for the smaller, thicker digests.

Betty & Veronica Double Digest #165

It’s the conclusion of the “pick a date for Cheryl” fan voting story, and my choice won! Beyond that, it’s not much of a story, instead serving mostly as a recap of the characters involved. It’d make a great “Who’s Who” introduction to Cheryl, come to think of it. Maybe even a collected TPB first chapter.

I enjoyed a tale reprinted from the 60s, based on the minidresses the two are wearing. Veronica is trying to maneuver Betty and her father into throwing her a surprise birthday party with a transparently obvious scheme. It’s silly, but the fashions are simply di-voon! There’s also an active one with the girls practicing cheerleading in the school hallways. That one’s worth it just for the body language. Especially once the guys get into the act.

Later, in another story, my fave Dilton shows up creating a love potion for Betty that somehow gets into the drinking water. That’s via one panel that shows a sink with a note that says, “I have temporarily hooked this sink to the drinking fountains. — Svenson” Old-school storytelling doesn’t mess around much; it just gets straight to the plot complications. Shame that not much is done with the setup, and even less with a conclusion.

Archie’s Double Digest #193

I find Archie the least interesting of his family of characters, so I was going to skip this issue, until I ran into the last story, “Who Is the Person of the Year?” It’s a tribute to editor Victor Gorelick. It starts out with the characters trying to name an important person to Riverdale, before they go all meta and start talking about the comics that they’re in. They finally conclude those who make the comics are important:

Veronica: “You mean the writers and artists who created our world?”
Archie: “No, the man who oversees all of them … and the whole Riverdale universe!”

That leads into a section where a whole bunch of characters are mentioned. Apparently, they all sprang into being independently, with no creative input whatsoever, to be overseen by Gorelick. They all “entered” the Archie universe, or they were “introduced” or “returned”. I’d say this was because the characters themselves were speaking about their histories, but they have no problem saying, “Thanks, Victor” directly. Then there are two pages of notes from current writers and artists, as well as a page of thank-yous from company staff.

Don’t get me wrong, 50 years with one company is quite an achievement, but I do wish that the Archie company wouldn’t be quite so generous to the staff and quite so stingy when it comes to actual creators, those who originated the ideas.

I did get a hoot out of Jughead finishing an earlier story with the line, “In the words of Eric von Zipper, why me? why me alla time?”

Archie Digest #248

No! Mid-October is too early for Christmas stories, touching as they are! Jughead’s Double Digest #144, also out this month, was full of Halloween stories! Are there no Thanksgiving tales to space things out?

At least the one where Hot Dog gives away some of his possessions to less fortunate dogs was unusual and charming. I did look askance at Little Sabrina and her aunts celebrating Christmas — that’s not typical of witches, is it? The last one in the book, a modern rewrite of “The Night Before Christmas”, ends the collection on a high note.


2 Responses to “Archie Digests for October 2008”

  1. Colonel Sartoris Says:

    I can’t imagine reading a Christmas story right now. It’s 75 degrees where I live. I’ll put that one at the bottom of the ‘to read’ pile.

  2. Archie Comics for November 2008 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] meaning of helping others. It’s a nice high note for an ending. (Ironic, isn’t it, that last month I was complaining about the holiday stories being out there too early, and now I’m [...]




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