Friday, September 20, 2013

In Which Archie Channels His Inner Dennis the Menace

There is simply no way we're going to miss out on the first appearance of Archie Andrews from Pep #22.  I don't know why you might have thought that was an option, but it isn't.

So, here he is in his very first appearance with Betty.

That doesn't look too much like the Archie (or Betty, that matter) that we would grow to love.  He looks like someone... I can't quite pin it down...

Oh, wait.... yes, I can:

Anyhoo, this is an intro to Archie, whose family apparently couldn't yet afford all those sweater vests and slacks he would later wear:

As we see there, "Archie" is a nickname for "Archibald."  Yet, he wants a nickname of his nickname.  And he's telling you to call him what had been recognized as slang for a girl at least since Elmer Gantry was published in 1927.  I don't know where to begin with how wrong that is.  It's a small surprise they dumped that.

This is, of course, before Veronica would move into town and Kardashian up the place.

Anyway, the gimmick behind this first appearance is that Archie is an awful klutz and causes headaches for Betty's dad.  Of course, once Veronica showed up, we didn't see a whole lot of Betty's dad.  But for now, while Archie is inexplicably wearing Capri Pants:

I include that picture because the sound effect makes it look like he's farting.  He isn't, but it looks like he is and farts are almost always hilarious.

And here's the first appearance of Jughead, who is really the reason you read Archie stories.  It's like Mr. Spock is the reason Star Trek is awesome.

Jughead's family had apparently also fallen on hard times as well.

Anyway, as I'm reading the story, Archie gets manipulated by Betty into walking a tightrope, there's taffy involved, and....

... well, I think they go to England and there's a sea monster:

... okay, I'm not sure exactly where that transition was made, but then someone dies... is that Reggie?

No, it couldn't be Reggie.  Reggie is still around.  But maybe this is Reggie's dad or something.  It would explain a lot of Reggie's behavior, to tell you the truth.

To be honest, I may have started another story without realizing it.  That's the thing about these anthology comic books.

I also found this, which will be used for our new meme, My Eyes, My Eyes! (tm!), so we'll look forward to that in the future.

See you Monday!


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Betty looks young on this splash page. I can't wait for the issue where Jughead explains to Archie that 'chick' means 'girl', and the hijinks that will ensue.

Smurfswacker said...

Wayne's right--throughout this story Betty appears to be about 11-12 years old! Obviously the editor had second thoughts, because in the very next story she's drawn to appear much closer to Archie's age.

As far as "chick" goes: yes, it's been a slang term for "girl" a long time. However when I was growing up in the 50's and early 60's, there were guys nicknamed "Chick" and no one snickered behind their backs. TV actor Chick Chandler comes to mind.

Gene Phillips said...

Totally agree; without Jughead, Archie would've been as forgotten as Wilbur... and Georgie... and Willie... and Algy... and far too many others to even try to mention.

MarvelX42 said...

The picture of that dragon coming out of that lake is gonna be my computer wallpaper for awhiles. :-)