So I was looking at some ’60s Archies the other day, and noticed a handful of sophisticated ladies just wandering the streets of Riverdale:
The odd thing is that 1) these are just background characters — with the exception of Archie checking one out in the second panel up there, they don’t interact with the story, and 2) they’re not drawn in the traditional Archie house style.
A quick search of my Archie Comics collection didn’t turn up any other examples of this, which is unfortunate, as I was planning on just posting a gallery of them today. However, I did spot some other strange shenanigans.
For example, in Archie #143 (February 1964), the story “The Kisser Strikes” relates the pulse-pounding tale of a mysterious menace sneaking up on girls and giving them a hearty smooch. Veronica is the first victim:
The next day, all the Riverdale High gals are excitedly buzzing over the possibility of being assaulted: “Something should be done about him!” one says, only to have another reply “nothing drastic like stopping him, I hope!”
At night, Reggie and Archie investigate, following their suspect Jughead, who appears to be following a young lady through the park. The woman is attacked by the Kisser, unfortunately while out of sight of Arch ‘n’ Reg. They split up, looking for Jughead…and when Archie is temporarily felled when he runs into a low-hanging branch, the mysterious Kisser takes advantage and plants a kiss right on him! Immediately afterward, Reggie enters the scene with a firm grip on Jug, and thus no longer a suspect!
The next day, Reggie begins to claim that Archie made up the story of being kissed the night before, and thus must be the Kisser! To prove it, the Riverdale High girls decided to “provide him with lots of targets,” and basically throw themselves into his arms. Archie, for some reason, wants nothing to do with it, and runs for cover! Spotting Betty, he asks for her help, and she drags him to some secluded wooded glen. Exhausted from being run ragged by those “nutty gals,” Archie falls asleep…at which point, Betty bends over him and plants a mysterious Kisser-style kiss! Archie immediately “wakes,” revealing that this was all an elaborate trap to ensnare Betty, the real suspect:
That seems like a fairly weak motivation, given that Betty probably could kiss Archie (the only male victim) whenever she pleased…so we’re left with a story where Betty dressed up in an overcoat and a hat so she could run around kissing girls.
“Plane Crazy” (from Life with Archie #37, May 1965) starts off with Betty and Veronica hanging out in the Lodge mansion, practicing the Twist, when yet another mysterious stranger busts into the house and, um, well, ties the girls up:
This opening chapter just feels like someone working out some issues, as a bound Veronica rolls around the room, opening a drawer with her gagged mouth to retrieve scissors to cut their ropes.
However, given the Google searches I’ve seen in my referral logs, this is what some of you are looking for, so never let it be said I didn’t deliver:
Add in the supporting evidence from pal Dorian’s two posts, you’re kinda left wondering…wasn’t one of Archie’s founders responsible for the Comics Code Authority?
from Batman #240 (March 1972) by Denny O’Neil, Irv Novick, & Dick Giordano
At the store today:
Kid Chris: “Did the police in Gotham City ever solve any crimes?”
Me: “I think that’s what Gotham Central is about.”
KC: “I mean, before Batman showed up…it seems like he does all the work for them now. They should just make him Commissioner.”
Me: “‘Commissioner Batman?'”
So this All-Star Superman cover
…I know it’s been discussed to death by now, but I just wanted to chime in with “it…it’s gorgeous
!” Frank Quitely handles a pen quite nicely, he said with no innuendo whatsoever.
But speaking of innuendo, apparently there are a few folks out there who think that there’s some kind of “homoerotic” underpinning to the illustration, and as such undermines the character, or attacks family values, or some darn thing. An image of Superman just sittin’ on a cloud, relaxing, glancing over his shoulder has been interpreted as a “come hither” look…give me a break. Besides, if you want “homoerotic,” drink this in, baby. (Thanks to pal Corey for reminding me!)
EDIT: Another thing I was just reminded of…apparently the other problem with this cover is that it doesn’t “represent” Superman, that’s it’s not “iconic” enough. And, of course, what everyone means by that is “he’s not hitting anyone.” Well, we’ve had nearly 70 years worth of “Superman punching someone” covers, and now there’s one “Superman being relaxed” cover. I think the Union will stand.
For my favorite interpretation of the cover, I point you in the direction of my esteemed colleague, pal Dorian.
Apologies to the right and good Tony Isabella
, who reminded me that, um, perhaps this post
would have made a little more sense had I actually remembered to include the link to his article
as I intended.
If you haven’t been visiting his site, regularly updated every couple of days or so, you’re missing some great reviews and commentaries from this industry veteran. So go check it out already…help assuage my guilt!
(Another EDIT) Due to being a victim of my own excess, I am rapidly approaching the limits of the monthly bandwidth allotted to me by my webhosting service. I think
I’ve got it taken care of and my site shouldn’t go *poof* tomorrow when the limit is reached…but just in case, don’t panic if you get an error message. Believe me, I’ll be panicking enough for the both of us.
See you tomorrow…I hope!
…and that’s including my seeing both Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On The Move in the theatres. I thought I’d do a brief comment or two on every comic book that we got in on Wednesday. Some caveats: first, as a full-line comic shop, that means we carry purt’near every comic book that comes down the Diamond pike…though, due to the vagaries of distribution, some titles that arrived elsewhere may not be here. Second, it’s just plain ol’ comics I’m looking at…digests, magazines, graphic novels, and the manga are left off the list to keep me from going insane. Well, more insane, at any rate. Also, I just cut ‘n’ pasted the list from our invoice…I’m mostly not bothering with the [cite] tags.
So, here we go:
AFTERMATH BREAKDOWN #4 – I swear, they had better start 1) putting “AFTERMATH” in big letters on the cover, or 2) just calling it “BREAKDOWN.” Not a big deal, I know, but it’s really beginning to grate on me.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #517 – We lost a couple subscribers at the store once John Romita Jr. was off the book. Hmmm.
AVENGERS EARTHS MIGHTIEST HEROES #8 – Actually sold fairly well for us, overall. Probably could have sold more if reorders were available on earlier issues. You know, the same old Marvel story.
BART SIMPSON COMICS #22 – A long time ago, prior to their existence, we were asked every day for Simpsons comics. Day in, day out, “please, sir, can we have some Simpsons comics?” And then the requests faded away…and that’s when the Simpsons line was announced. We all thought, “oh, great, wonderful timing,” figuring the line would crash and burn right away. Well, I am very happy to say that it’s still around, and still doing just dandy for us. Well played, sirs.
BATGIRL #61 – I haven’t actually looked inside an issue of this for several months now. Is she still in that creepy costume that turns off every parent looking for Batgirl comics for the young’uns?
BATMAN #637 – …versus Amazo in this issue. It’s always interesting to see Batman square off against someone not in his regular rogues gallery in his own book. That sort of behavior is usually reserved for JLA.
BATTLE HYMN #1 – Flip cover…the “Nazi villain threatening the pretty girl” cover is the best, reminding me of an old pulp magazine.
BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR #69 – New format…now a “girl’s interest magazine!” Still looks like a comic to me. Check it out.
BIGFOOT #1 – You had me at the Richard Corben, lost me at the Rob Zombie. Sorry, man.
BLACK WIDOW #6 – Bill Sienkiewicz on inks. That weirds me out.
BPRD THE DEAD #4 – I like this comic an’ all, but I hope to see some actual Hellboy some time soon.
BURGLAR BILL #2 – I really should pick this up, since I got the first issue from its original Trident Comics release and liked it. But then, it’s probably been well over a decade since I’ve read it….
CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY #6 – we’re not going to see any more Cartoon Network Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast comics, are we?
CONAN #13 – It still stuns me that Dark Horse not only managed to get a Conan comic out in this day and age, but was able to achieve some success with it. Amazing.
CSI SECRET IDENTITY #1 – This comic attracts the attention of non-comics readers who wander into our store, but it’s an uphill battle to get them to buy it. Go figure.
DEAD AT 17 REVOLUTION #3 – Always nice art on the Dead at 17 books. Viper Comics does quality work.
DESPERADOES BANNERS OF GOLD #3 – We really need more Western titles. Who doesn’t like cowboys?
DR BLINK SUPERHERO SHRINK #1 – A long time ago, Rob Liefeld had some kind of “superhero psychologist” thing going as a potential movie project, didn’t he? And then there was Supertalk…there was some kind of minor trend regarding this topic going around, wasn’t there?
ELVIRA #142 – I wonder if, 15 or 20 years ago, Cassandra Peterson holed up in a studio somewhere and took thousands upon thousands of photos of her dressed up as Elvira, and is now slowly doling them out in advertising, calendars, covers for the comics, and so on. Then again, maybe not, since I’m sure we’ve seen some of these photos more than a few times….
ENNIS & MCCREA’S DICKS WINTER FUN SP #1 – I like Ennis. I like McCrea. Never warmed to this comic. No idea why.
ERIC RED’S CONTAINMENT #2 – First issue actually sold okay on this.
EXCALIBUR #10 – How many of you dumped this book after the Magneto reveal?
FANTASTIC FOUR #523 – I’ve noticed a decline in our sales on all FF-related books following the widespread release of the FF movie trailer. Coincidence?
FLARE #4 – Of all the ’80s comics I did not expect to come back….
FLASH #219 – Hey, who got Wonder Woman subplots in my Flash comic?
FOLLOWING CEREBUS #3 – “Dave Sim Interviews Harvey Kurtzman:” “Hey, Harv, you hate feminists too, right?” “Um, what?” In fairness, this issue does have a killer foldout cover. The countdown continues to Cerebus: The Untold Adventures….
GI JOE #40 – Dear God, number 40???
GRIMJACK KILLER INSTINCT #2 – I sold this comic to someone on Wednesday with two words: “Ostrander. Truman.”
HELLBLAZER #205 – Hey, this looks nothing like Keanu! Seriously, though, I’m wondering if Hellblazer TPB demand will drop now that the movie’s finally out. No one asked for any on Wednesday….
HUNTER KILLER #1 – Too bad the artist is leaving with issue #…I’m kidding, I’m kidding!
INVINCIBLE #20 – I’m only reading this in trade form (I like the look of the trades, and they come with lots of extra goodies), so looking at the monthlies is like looking…into the future! “Hey, who’s that guy? What’s he doing there…hey, what?”
JINGLE BELLE #3 – It’s a hard sell outside of Christmas-time.
LADY DEATH 10TH ANNIV ED QUEEN OF DEAD #1 – I have no idea if this is actually new, or a variant cover on a previously released comic, or a replacement on something that was shorted…Avatar can really try my patience, sometimes.
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #3 – I’ve always loved the Legion, so I’m hoping this series will grab at least a few new readers and keep it alive. I liked the first issue, and the second really didn’t do anything for me (though, oddly, most everyone else really dug it). The new issue was an improvement, with a nice reimagining of Triplicate Girl.
LOSERS #21 – I probably should have been reading this comic. Ah, well, can’t read everything. Sorry.
MANGA CALIENTE #4 – Your choice porn selection of the week.
MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS ADV O/T ESCAPIST #5 – The first issue of this series sold incredibly well, given the price point. Later issues have been harder sells, probably because they’re all waiting for the collections.
MYSTIQUE #24 – Sells okay for us…if you want to save it from cancellation, why, here’s an online petition you can sign. Online petitions always work!
NIGHTCRAWLER #6 – Isn’t Nightcrawler supposed to be fuzzy? That’s awfully smooth skin I see on the cover, there.
NIGHTWING #104 – I have a few people picking this up just for the Year One storyline.
NINJA HIGH SCHOOL #124 – A long time ago, I was chatting with an editorial higher-up at a former publisher of this comic, and I mentioned to this person that every time I looked at NHS, I couldn’t make heads or tails of what the heck is going on. That person’s reply? “Neither can I.”
OUTSIDERS #21 – Batman and Nightwing yell at each other for several pages. References to Identity Crisis are made. Hijinks ensue.
POWERS #9 – You know, I’m always this close to thinking that this is a comic I would really like. But every time I pick it up…I don’t know. It’s not the art…it’s always nicely illustrated. It’s not the writing, as such, I guess. Perhaps it’s that it suffers in comparison to the similarly-themed Top Ten, which I adored. Wheras Top Ten is about exploring the reaches of its particular milieu, Powers seems to be more about shock value. There’s nothing wrong with shock value, of course, but I guess I want something with a little more meat on its bones. Unfair? Probably. I’m glad other people really like it, though.
RICHARD DRAGON #10 – I still can’t believe, of all characters, DC revived this one. I mean, that’s fine and all, I guess. But where’s my Rima the Jungle Girl revival?
RIDE FOREIGN PARTS ONE SHOT – This was the series that, in the first issue, had a woman shooting a big gun at a bus while, er, touching herself, right? Well, you do have to admire a certain clarity of vision. This new issue features no women touching themselves, as far as I can tell, but it does have Ron Marz and Chuck Dixon. Whether that’s a warning or a promise is up to you.
ROGUE #8 – Does Rogue still look like the actress from the X-Men movies? I forgot to check.
RUULE KISS & TELL #8 – Well, give Beckett points for keeping the price points down.
SAVAGE DRAGON #120 – Little late for election humor, isn’t it? Ah, well, that’s okay, it’s still stuffed with Larsen nuttiness.
SEVEN SOLDIERS #0 – The first person I hear at the store say “I don’t get it” is going to get a sound thrashing. It’s Grant Morrison…just grab a hold and hang on, baby.
SILENT HILL PAINT IT BLACK – Dear God: Please, no more comics based on video games. Well, maybe Sonic, but that’s it.
SLEEPER SEASON TWO #9 – You know, almost two years in, I have no idea what this comic is about. None. Not a sausage. I know it sells well. I stock the trades. Couldn’t tell you a thing about it. Just one of those things, I guess.
SMALL GODS #7 – Sells well via mail order.
SOLO #3 – Full of Paul Pope goodness! I really like this man’s work.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #146 – I wonder how many kids that buy this are even aware that this was a video game character?
SPAWN #143 – Remember when this comic used to outsell X-Men books? How the mighty have…well, you know.
SPIDER MAN HUMAN TORCH #2 – “Finally, a Spider-Man comic I can sell to kids!” (“But, Mike, what about the Marvel Age Spider-Man?”) “Finally, a Spider-Man comic I can sell to kids that kids will actually want!”
SPIDER-MAN INDIA #4 – The only customers at our store who bought all four issues? Two comic savers: one who gets all Spider-Man, and another who gets all Marvel mini-series. No one…and I mean no one…looked at this comic and said, “hey, what a great idea! I can’t wait to read the continuing adventure of Spider-Man: India!” As far as I can tell, the express purpose of this series was to piss off actual Indian people.
STAR WARS EMPIRE #29 – Dark Horse tries to tie in the original Star Wars trilogy with the current movie series by having Luke encounter people who react negatively to his Skywalker family name. Not a bad idea, I guess. Like pal Corey has said in the past, Luke’s dad was “Space Hitler” — that’s not something people are going to forget too quickly.
STAR WARS TALES #22 – We were drastically shorted on our order of this issue. Poop. Though people are beginning to lose interest in this title anyway. I don’t understand why there had to be a format change, anyway…people liked the less-serious Star Wars stories. I’m sure, though, there were some exceedingly vocal fans who didn’t care for the non-reverential treatment occasionally given the saga who just couldn’t stop complaining about it. Ah, well.
STARGATE SG1 FALL OF ROME DRAKE PAINTED CVR #2 – Like Lady Death, above…no idea if this is new, restock, or what. Sigh…I guess I’ll check the paperwork today.
STRANGE #4 – Is anyone out there liking this series? Everybody seems to just grumble about it. Oh, and this is another series that has suffered because first issues aren’t available. If I could get more #1s, maybe I can move some of the #2s and #3s that are gathering dust.
STRANGERS IN PARADISE #71 – Feh.
TEEN TITANS GO #16 – Still sells great for us.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #20 – Completely shorted on our order for this title. Not that we’re really selling all that many of them.
ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE #5 – Glad to see Marvel has stopped being coy and called the trade paperback for this series Ultimate Galactus. Nobody was fooled, were they? Good stuff, though…Ellis’ tough guy dialogue for Nick Fury is a hoot.
UNCANNY X-MEN #456 – Alan Davis on art was almost enough to get me to buy it. Almost.
UNCLE SCROOGE #339 – New Don Rosa!
WALT DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES #654 – New William Van Horn!
WITCHBLADE #83 – If nobody likes this comic, why is it at issue #83? Goodness.
WITCHING #9 – Has a small following among our customers, but it never really grabbed me, I’m afraid.
WONDER WOMAN #213 – Why is Wonder Woman still blind? Is there no post-Crisis Purple Ray on the Amazon island? Is that previous sentence something I ever imagined myself writing?
X FORCE SHATTERSTAR #1 – God bless Rob Liefeld for, you know, just being Rob Liefeld.
X-23 #1 LTD ED VARIANT COVER – I.E. “Reprint.” Just say “reprint,” Marvel, we won’t laugh.
X-23 #3 – There’s nothing I can say about this comic that can beat pal Dorian’s review (under Jan. 31st).
X-MEN #167 – Even with Peter Milligan on the book, it has a long way to go to recover from the post-Morrison plummet.
X-MEN PHOENIX ENDSONG #2 LTD ED VARIANT COVER – For all the grief I give Marvel, at least they’ve finally seen the light and are offering reprints on in-demand books. They still do the Marvel Must-Haves, which nobody likes, but they’re trying, anyway.
X-MEN PHOENIX ENDSONG #3 – I wonder if it’s selling so well because it’s explicitly picking up from Morrison’s X-Men plotlines? Or are people just that enamored with the Phoenix character?
Y THE LAST MAN #31 – this comic is the perfect marriage of trades and monthlies. The trades support sales on the monthly book, rather than people waiting for the monthlies to get collected. They buy the first book or three, then buy back issues from after the end of the last book to the current issue. And Y monthly sales haven’t taken a hit. Well done.
Whew. I’m never doing that again.