• Archie Archives Volume Nine

    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: Mar. 19, 2014
    Artist: Bill Vigoda, Al Fagley, Irv Novick
    Cover: Bill Vigoda
    Purchase at Amazon

    Volume Nine in the archived series of Archie vintage and early Archie comic stories brings the reader back to one area of the comic scene between World War II and the Korean War, keying in the curious on just what the kids were reading back then for entertainment. This particular volume reprints all stories from Pep Comics #65 and #66, Laugh Comics #2 through #26, and Archie Comics #29 through #31, and has a nice introduction by comic veteran Jill Thompson.

    It’s hard to imagine anyone under the age of 80 not having read an Archie comic or two as a youth, and anyone who’s read a number of them from various decades knows the writers always tried to keep with the hip lingo and fashions of whatever era the books were published in and the 40s were no different in that regard. But what’s great about these old issues is they are an interesting window into what was accepted by society as normal, which by today standards may seem gasp-worthy. That always sits wrong with this reader. We are in an age where there seem to be few boundaries that cannot be crossed spanning the various media categories (television, books, movies, comics, video games…): such as high violence, sex scenes with little left to the imagination, or the use if the “N” word so freely it almost...*almost*...ceases to lose the nastiness in which the word should be associated. But then we turn around and point fingers when someone smokes in a movie, or we arrest a 7 year-old for using a lime green toy gun on his front lawn. Seems out of whack.

    A couple of examples in Volume 9 that fall into what different times we live in are at least conversation-worthy, or something to snicker at and think to yourself “that would never make it in a kid’s comic today”. Archie is in gym class and guess what today is? Target practice with real guns. That’s right: guns in the high school. And not only that, but he gets shot at by the other students. Another story has him kicking cats. He managed to spill catnip all over himself and when the cats went crazy on him…PUNT!...skyward go the kitties. Heh heh…it’s awesome. Not kicking cats, but that it’s in a kid’s comic.

    The stories in these pages are nothing earth-shattering, not really funny, and certainly not high octane entertainment. But one thing they certainly are is fun to read. Its good bathroom reading. The greatest thing about Archie comics is that other than the attempt to stay hip for the kids, they never change. You always know what you’ll get in an average Archie comic. The same girlfriends, the same horny teenager, the same food-loving best friend, a dad that wants to kill him, teachers who want to kill him, girlfriend’s dads who want to kill him, that piece of shit jalopy that by all rights should have killed him, and boyfriends of girls he bangs who want to kill him. Yes, Archie had to have been getting laid. No one chases the same chicks for decades without getting some. That would just be insanity.
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      The cafeteria of one of the schools I work at used to be a firing range. I think that rifle training used to be mandatory around here.Love some Archie.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Do you still read Archie comics when you do laundry?
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      is "doing the laundry" code for something other than doing the laundry?As a youth, Archie and Richie Rich were the comics I left in the bathroom for entertainment while doing my business. That is code for pooping.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      No, when I was in college, we had to take our laundry to the laundromat. I hated doing the laundry, so what I would do is stop at the store and buy smokes, a bag of Munchos chips, a bottle of Coke, and the latest Archie comic. Walk over to the laundromat, and sit, read, eat chips, and smoke. It was an enjoyable way to kill a Sunday.