Archie Andrews (comics)

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Archie Andrews
Archie character
Archieandrwcmc.png
First appearance Pep Comics #22 (December 1941)
Created by Bob Montana
Hometown Riverdale
School Riverdale High School
Information
Spouse(s) Veronica Lodge (from #600 onwards), Betty Cooper (from #603 onwards)
Significant other(s) Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Cheryl Blossom, Ginger Lopez, Valerie Smith, Alexandra Boucher, Natasha Olver
Relatives

Archie Andrews, created in 1941 by Vic Bloom and Bob Montana, is a fictional character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip, The Archie Show, and Archie's Weird Mysteries.

Creation[edit]

Montana attended high school in Haverhill from 1936 to 1939, and his sketchbook, an illustrated diary of life in Haverhill, was the true origin of Archie Comics. After four years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Montana returned in 1946 to launch the Archie newspaper comic strip, which he drew until his death in 1975. Montana's daughters once made pages from this sketchbook available online. Several real-life residents of Haverhill were drawn into Montana's creation, as was revealed when film critic Gerald Peary interviewed Haverhill's cartoon character prototypes for the Boston Globe in 1980.

His friends, Skinny Linehan and Arnold Daggett, were the basis for Jughead Jones and Moose Mason respectively. School librarian Elizabeth Tuck inspired Miss Grundy and principal Earl McLeod was the model for Mr. Weatherbee. Montana knew the Boston Brahmin political family the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them; he combined their family name with actress Veronica Lake to create Veronica Lodge. Betty Cooper was based on Montana's girlfriend in New York. Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe, a soda shop where Archie's Gang hang out, was based on real-life locations frequented by Haverhill teenagers during the 1930s—Crown Confectionery and the Chocolate Shop on Merrimack Street and the Tuscarora on Winter Street.

Character and story[edit]

Archibald "Archie" Andrews (Archi Gómez in the Spanish version of the comics) debuted in Pep Comics 22 (December, 1941). Decades later, Archie is still a lovable, though accident-prone, redheaded 17-year-old. Archie is the only child of Mary and Fred Andrews. His father works as a mid-level business executive. His earlier life is revealed in the "Little Archie" stories when he had a dog named Spotty. He lives in Riverdale, where he attends Riverdale High School.

Archie is a typical small-town teenager. Generous, well-mannered, but clumsy, he is genuinely liked by many of his friends. Archie goes crazy when he sees an attractive girl, but his two main crushes are Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, forming the love triangle driving the comic's plot-lines. He has the best intentions, but often comes into conflict with Veronica's father Hiram Lodge and Riverdale High's principal, Waldo Weatherbee. As the lead singer of The Archies, Archie performs with Betty and Veronica, as well as his rival Reggie, and best buddy Jughead.

Mary and Fred Andrews are of Scottish descent. Archie's paternal grandfather Andy Andrews, immigrated to the United States from Scotland and befriended Moose Mason's Russian ancestor, who had emigrated at the same time. Archie has been depicted wearing the traditional kilt of his ancestors and playing bagpipes (but not very well).

The Little Archie series, published from 1956 through the mid-1990s, chronicles the adventures of pre-teen Archie and his friends while in elementary school.

The 2010 revival of the Life with Archie series chronicles two alternate, parallel story lines in which Archie marries Betty and Veronica. On April 9, 2014, Archie Comics announced that the adult Archie would be killed in the July 2014 issue (#36) of Life with Archie in what would be that title's final issue,[1] while the teenage Archie would continue in the other Archie comic series titles. In that issue, Archie dies when he is shot in the stomach while saving his gay friend, Senator Kevin Keller.[2] The story is written so as to terminate both storylines, without committing to which girl Archie married, and contains several flashbacks to the Little Archie days. The final issue (#37) is set one year after Archie's death, as all his friends memorialize him. The story ends with Jughead, owner of the Choklit Shop, serving a sundae to three children who resemble Little Archie, Betty and Veronica.

Relationships[edit]

Love life[edit]

The love triangle between Betty, Archie and Veronica became the hallmark of the Archie stories since the character was created more than 70 years ago. In Archie's debut, when he was nicknamed Chick, he was trying to impress the girl next door, Betty Cooper. Initially, Betty only considered him as an annoying neighbor. When Veronica Lodge came to Riverdale, he switched his attention to her, leading Betty to jealousy. She then began competing with Veronica for his affection.

It is quite apparent that Archie has feelings for both girls. Archie and Betty Cooper date regularly, and he can count on her to lift his ego by showering him with affection. Often, though, he thinks of her as only a close friend, someone that he can confide in, and is more comfortable with her. Betty clearly loves Archie, but he frequently takes her for granted. Archie often borrows money from Betty to take Veronica out.[citation needed] Archie likes it that he can use Betty as a back-up when he does not have a date with his primary girlfriend Veronica. He is displeased when Betty dates other boys, wanting her to stay available as his second choice. With Betty sporadically dating Jason Blossom and Adam Chisholm currently, he shows a tinge of jealousy. Archie is married to Betty in Archie Marries Betty: Life With Archie series.

Archie considers Veronica Lodge to be his girlfriend, but as beautiful, stylish, and wealthy as she is, Veronica can easily manipulate him, and although he sometimes realizes it, he cannot do anything about it. He keeps running back to her, but she is rarely devoted to him. Archie is always fighting for her affection with his rival, Reggie Mantle, and occasionally other boys. Veronica keeps Archie guessing, never letting him take her for granted, which makes him prefer Veronica over Betty. Archie has no problem chasing other girls when Veronica is not around, and despite Veronica's warnings he always dates Betty when Veronica is out of town. Archie is married to Veronica in Archie Marries Veronica: Life With Archie series, but then he wakes up from a horrible nightmare and realizes he's in love with Betty.

A third love interest is the wealthy red-haired girl named Cheryl Blossom. At first, she was deemed too sexual and a bit promiscuous and she was taken out of the series, but due to her popularity, she was brought back again in Love Showdown, a four-part mini-series in which Archie attempts to make the final decision between Betty and Veronica. Despite the efforts of both, he surprisingly chose Cheryl Blossom. However, he returned to being torn between Betty and Veronica, with Cheryl remaining only an occasional third option. At the same time, Archie also dates many other girls, including Ginger Lopez, occasionally.

On May 15, 2009, Archie Comics announced that Archie would finally pick one of the girls to marry. According to the Archie Blog, the miniseries would run in Archie issues 600-606 (August 2009-February 2010).[3] However, Archie Comics publicly revealed this to be a dream sequence [4] to show two possible futures: one where Archie marries Veronica (issues 600-602), and the other Betty (603-605). In both, he has twins: a boy also named Archie who looks like him, and a girl named after and resembling whichever girl he married. Issue 606 was an epilogue to Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty that returns to the comics' old format.

In Archie # 608 (May 2010), Archie began a relationship with Valerie Smith, making her Archie's first black girlfriend. The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats were touring together. While rehearsing, Archie and Valerie secretly fell in love as they co-wrote the song "More Than Words" that described their feelings. Issue #609 revealed that this relationship had seeped into common knowledge by the end of the tour. In the comic Archie Marries Valerie, Valerie is expecting a baby with Archie, whom they name Star. Archie and Valerie were forced apart when the Pussycats were touring Europe without the Archies, but hoped to keep their relationship going.

Friends[edit]

Jughead Jones has been Archie's best friend ever since childhood. When Jughead first came to Riverdale, he was in a bad mood and tended to dismiss Archie. However, Archie, of good heart, tried to cheer up Jughead and the two have been inseparable ever since. Jughead wears a trademark "clubhouse beanie" (a Depression-era style of makeshift hatwear, crafted from an inverted fedora with a scallop-cut brim, and decorated with assorted pinbacks) and an inscrutable, closed-eyelid expression. Often Jughead has to help Archie out from a tricky situation. Jughead usually knows when Archie's ideas will not work, but is powerless to avoid getting involved.

Reggie Mantle is Archie's constant romantic and athletic rival. Each often makes attempts to separate the other from Veronica, occasionally exhibiting physical violence, and both have won their fair share of scrapes with each other. Reggie takes every opportunity to play practical jokes on Archie and make cynical wisecracks. However, Reggie is often shown as a companion to and of Archie despite his arrogance and competitive nature, and they are often seen together practicing athletics or pursuing dates.

Archie's other friends include Dilton Doiley, the local genius who gets Archie into and out of trouble through his experiments and inventions; Moose Mason, the dim-witted but likable star athlete of Riverdale High who is often Archie's teammate; Chuck Clayton, another of Archie's teammates who was originally shy and reclusive but came out of his shell when Archie befriended him; Moose and Chuck's girlfriends Midge Klump and Nancy Woods, two of the very few attractive girls Archie does not fall for; and Ethel Muggs, a girl with a major crush on Jughead, who often wins his heart with the use of fresh-baked cookies. In Midge's case, however, Reggie is attracted to her and schemes to date her only to be beat up by Moose.

Interests[edit]

Sports[edit]

Outside of dating, Archie largely enjoys sports. He plays baseball, basketball, and football for the Riverdale High teams. Though often not as good an athlete as Moose Mason, Chuck Clayton or Reggie Mantle, he proves a valuable member of the school team. Coaches Kleats and Clayton value him for both his athletic abilities and his team spirit. However, Archie's athletic abilities vary from story to story, due to his frequent clumsiness. He also has a tendency to pay more attention to cheerleaders than to his playing. For this reason, Coach Kleats often tries to avoid resorting to use Archie in a game.

Archie's car[edit]

Issue 238 of Life With Archie from 1983, in which Archie's jalopy is destroyed

Automobiles are one of Archie's hobbies, and he is passionate about his car. For decades, he was shown driving a 1916 Ford Model T jalopy called "Betsy". In Archie double digest #192, it is said to be a Model A. In a story during which Archie tried to have his jalopy insured, he described it as being a "Ford, Chevy, Plymouth, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, DeSoto, Hudson ..." explaining that his jalopy was "a collection of replacement parts from several junkyards", some of which dated back to 1926.

Archie's jalopy was destroyed permanently in issue #238 of Life With Archie, which was published in 1983.[5] In the newer comics, he drives a mid-1960s Ford Mustang, which is more contemporary in appearance, but still unreliable and prone to breakdowns. Archie Digest 239, published in October 2007, included a new story in which Mr. Lodge owned an antique car that had a strong resemblance to Archie's jalopy. The story featured Archie's grandfather who, as a teenager, looked and dressed like Archie from the 1940s. It turned out that he owned the same jalopy that Mr. Lodge now owned.[6]

The Archies[edit]

The Archies is a garage band containing Archie (lead vocals and lead guitar), Reggie (bassist or guitarist), Veronica (vocals and keyboards), Betty (vocals and tambourine), and Jughead (drums). Archie founded the group himself. Although not as famous as Josie and The Pussycats, the band plays numerous gigs and has some notoriety. In the Little Archies series, the band just starts to form, although Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, and Veronica start to play different kind of songs.

Archie on radio[edit]

Archie and cast: The Adventures of Archie Andrews, 1947.

Montana's characters were heard on radio in the early 1940s. Archie Andrews began on the NBC Blue Network on May 31, 1943, switched to Mutual in 1944, and then continued on NBC radio from 1945 until September 5, 1953. The program's original announcer was Kenneth Banghart, later succeeded by Bob Shepard (during the 1947-48 season, when Swift and Company sponsored the program) and Dick Dudley. Archie was first played by Charles Mullen (1943-1944), Jack Grimes (1944) and Burt Boyar (1945), with Bob Hastings (1945-1953) as the title character during the NBC years. Jughead was portrayed by Hal Stone, Cameron Andrews and later by Arnold Stang. Stone later wrote about his radio career in his autobiography, Relax... Archie! Re-laxx! (Bygone Days Press, 2003). During the NBC run, Rosemary Rice portrayed Betty, Gloria Mann portrayed Veronica, Alice Yourman portrayed Archie's mother, Mary Andrews and Arthur "Art" Kohl was Archie's father, Fred Andrews.

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again[edit]

On 6 May 1990, NBC telecast Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, a TV movie (and subsequent comic book) depicting the characters as adults 15 years after their high school graduation.

Christopher Rich portrayed Archie with Lauren Holly as Betty and Karen Kopins as Veronica. As the gang prepare for their 15th high school reunion, their teenage years are only memories. Archie is an attorney engaged to image-conscious Pam, while Jughead (Sam Whipple) is a neurotic psychiatrist with a troublemaking son (dubbed "Jughead Junior" by Archie). An elementary school teacher and aspiring novelist, Betty is engaged to Robert Miller, who is jealous of Archie. Living in France, Veronica charters a Concorde to attend the reunion. She remains in love with Archie, who still has divided feelings for Betty and Veronica.

Moose Mason (Jeff Hochendoner) and Midge Klump (Debi Derryberry) are married chiropractors, while Big Ethel (Cindy Ambuehl) is a beautiful model. Having worked for Mr. Lodge (James Noble), Reggie (Gary Kroeger) owns several businesses. Reggie plans to demolish Pop Tate's to gain extra space for his gym, which Archie contests in court. In the end, Archie breaks up with Pam, Jughead moves back to Riverdale to open a practice, and Betty plans to teach in Riverdale High. Veronica stays for a while before going back to Paris, and Reggie is forgiven. Panned by both fans and critics, this pilot film was not picked up for a series run.

Riverdale[edit]

Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, Veronica, Kevin and Josie & the Pussycats will be appearing in a drama series for Fox called Riverdale.[7]

Official site[edit]

According to Archie publisher Michael Silberkleit, the official Archie website receives 40 million hits a month.[8] There have been many Archie licensing deals and products, including Archie tattoos from Topps Chewing Gum in 1968.

On the blogs on ArchieComics.com, there also is a story starter page where the beginning of an Archie-related story is listed, and replaced once a week. Fans may write a story about the starter and post it on the blog for all to read. In a couple of weeks, if the fan wins because their story is the best, they are rewarded with either a comic subscription or a comic collector set. They may go on to win the grand prize and get their story published in an Archie comic book.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ethan Sacks (April 8, 2014). "Archie slated to die in pages of comic book". NY Daily News. 
  2. ^ "For fans of Archie, comic book character's sacrifice to save gay friend makes an impact". The Gazette, July 14, 2014.
  3. ^ Comic, Archie. "Archie Blog". Archie-blogs.archiecomics.com. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  4. ^ "Media Discover Archie/Veronica Marriage an Imaginary Story". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  5. ^ Life With Archie #238, The Grand Comics Database Project
  6. ^ Archived October 12, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Andrews, Nellie (October 23, 2014). "Archie Comics Drama Series 'Riverdale' Set At Fox With Greg Berlanti Producting". Deadline. 
  8. ^ "Michael Silberkleit: Archie Andrews' Best Pal - [First Comics News]". FirstComicsNews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 

External links[edit]

Audio[edit]