• Archie's High School Favorites



    Released by: Archie Comics
    Released on: July 22nd, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Art by: Various
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    The eternally young Archie Andrews and his friends have been entertaining us for 74 years now, it's crazy to think about their comic adventures having gone on that long. I have very distinct memories of Archie scattered throughout my life ranging from being a kid at the grocery store who would read any comic bought for me so my granddad would buy me the small Archie Digest comics from time to time because he enjoyed them as a boy and I always found comfort in this interesting little world that seemed to be timeless, tying back into that I can recall times in my twenties that I'd had a little too much fun the night before so I'd go grab an Archie Digest to revisit that childhood comfort and wash the hangover away.

    It's probably been a good ten years or so since the last time I read anything involving the gang from Riverdale and boy, have there been some changes! They've had an openly gay character which is impressive seeing as it's something DC and Marvel have struggled with for years, there's a post-apocalyptic series where Jughead is a zombie, there's an occult series that sees Sabrina possibly being sacrificed to Cthulhu, they've struggled against the Predator and met the Punisher and soon they'll be partying with The Ramones. Gosh, sure has changed a fair bit since it was just the misadventures of a high school boy

    I'm reviewing Archie's Favorite High School Comics, a 419 page beast of a collection covering the last 50+ years of Archie's adventures but where do you start with something like this? Having a collection like this works quite nicely as an overview of teenage culture from the days of malt shops and varsity sweaters to right now, it's pretty darn funny to see the different fashions and hairstyles throughout time though the characters always look pretty much the same.

    There are so many great stores that it's really hard to play favorites but there were a few I was quite partial to.

    I really enjoyed "Unsound of Music" from December of 1960, Archie convinces Mr. Weatherbee to play classical music over the sound system to help students focus and be more productive, it all goes swimmingly until after lunch, Archie then talks the 'bee into playing some "Bop" music to wake the kids back up with unseen consequences!

    I also got quite the kick out of "Rivals" from February of 1963, Miss Grundy and Mr Weatherbee are eavesdropping on Betty and Veronica which leads to them mistaking the girls' crush for the 'bee, Archie gets the last laugh in the end though

    I would say after reading this beast, I prefer the 60's art the most as it has the cleanest lines and most aesthetically pleasing style for my peepers. If I had one complaint though, Archie has been around for roughly 75 years but this collection only covers the last 55 years, I would have really enjoyed seeing a story or two from the 40's and 50's for a little perspective on the evolution of Archie Andrews. I should also like to point out that looking back on these comics, it feels like there was always a struggle between Betty and Veronica but it doesn't really come across in this collection. It's pretty clear from the get-go that Veronica is Archie's main squeeze where Betty seems to be a bit of a sidepiece.

    I've been reading a pdf review copy but this has been such a nice trip down memory lane that I'll gladly buy a physical copy as well. I never thought I'd be comparing Archie and his gang to The Fall but...the world of Riverdale is always changing, always the same.