"Is this really happening or is it just another Archie story?"

§ December 11th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "Is this really happening or is it just another Archie story?"

So, in Everything’s Archie #29 (Oct. 1973), we find Archie in a situation that’s quite unusual for him: a position of responsibility and power:

Yes, it’s high school student Archie, managing a vast corporate empire devoted to licensing merchandise based on himself and his friends, which…well, frankly, this kind of mixing of levels of reality just makes my thinker hurt, particularly when Archie gets his comics publisher John Goldwater on the horn. For about a page, Mr. Goldwater relates to Archie plans and details about their publishing concern, such as the number of titles they have (“We have 33 different comic books, Archie!”) and their readership (“We have about fifty million readers!”).

Here, Mr. Goldwater tells Archie about their penetration into foreign markets:

Archie gives Mr. Goldwater the brush-off, however, as soon as the TV people call up:

After that call (which works in mentions of the Filmation cartoons, the Hanna-Barbera Josie & the Pussycats show, and the supposedly forthcoming That Wilkin Boy, Lil’ Jinx, and Madhouse Glads), Archie moves into bragging to Betty and Veronica about their other product lines. Of course, he brings up the Archies recording group, mentioning the hit you know about (“Sugar Sugar”) and the one you probably don’t (“Jingle Jangle”).

He then shows off a not terribly impressive display of knick-knacks and gewgaws:

…as well as a slide projector, wristwatches, and such.

A “nighttime T.V. show with music” is in the offing as well:

…and you know Archie means business, what with that “T.V. SCRIPT” he’s holding.

The next item on the Archie menu, as it were, is introduced with what will probably be the most horrifying image of Jughead you’re going to see all day today:

What’s making Jughead’s mouth water, you may be wondering, assuming the nausea caused by that image has passed? Well, it’s this:

Just out of curiosity…are there any Archie’s Restaurants still around? Googling turns up plenty of “Archie’s Restaurants,” but whether they’re just coincidentally named as such, or their comic book origins are long forgotten, I’m not sure.

Anyhoo, back to the story, as Archie introduces his readers to the idea of obsessive collecting (assuming, of course, that comics didn’t already put this idea into their heads):

Well, as it turns out, this was all a dream, which you should have probably figured out from the moment you first saw Archie acting somewhat competently:

The story lingers for a few more pages, as Archie continues to wax poetically about the joy of merchandising, while pleading poverty to Veronica in regards to their date. The story closes with Veronica getting in a good one:

“Why don’t you just go back to sleep and take me out in your dreams?”

Ouch! Well, that cheap bastard Archie probably had it coming. Anyway, just so the readers don’t get the wrong idea about all that great merchandising and restaurants and TV shows being just the fevered imaginings of one Mr. Andrews, the story features this final panel:

Yes, the story wraps up asking the readers to write in if they’d like to see more commercials for Archie merchandise disguised as stories in future issues. Well played, Archie Comics…well played, indeed.

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