Riverdale (Archie Comics)

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Riverdale is the fictional town where most of the characters appear in Archie Comics. Conflicting details on its geographic location have been given over the years.

Overview[edit]

Riverdale is usually shown as being a medium-sized town (possibly a suburb of a bigger city), with all the usual amenities of shopping malls, restaurants, and parks. The climate, appearance and geography of Riverdale varies from story to story. Riverdale has been shown to have beaches, lakes, rivers, deserts, farmland, woodland, mountains, plains, a transit system (as noted in the Josie and the Pussycats film) and four distinct seasons with changes in climate.

Archie Comics publisher John L. Goldwater and initial Archie artist Bob Montana differed on the inspiration for Riverdale, with Goldwater saying it was based on his hometown of Hiawatha, Kansas, and Montana saying the town's high school was based on his own in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where as in the comics a replica of Auguste Rodin's famous statue The Thinker stands.[1]

In Jackpot Comics #5 (Spring 1942), a story written by Montana has the gang going on a river trip. One panel says "...the good ship 'Peter Stuyvesant' settles into the Hudson, as Riverdale High clambers aboard for a happy trip to Bear Mountain."

In one issue[volume & issue needed] of Archie and Jughead Digest, when one of the readers asked in a letter, "Where is Riverdale located?", the editor replied, "Riverdale is more of a state of mind than an actual physical location. It could be anywhere that kind people live and just have fun, like Archie and his friends. It could be in the Midwest, or along the Eastern Seaboard, or even a town in Canada, Mexico, or England."

Riverdale High School[edit]

Riverdale High School is the local educational institution of Riverdale where Archie and his friends attend the 11th grade. Its school colors are blue and gold, and its school newspaper is the Blue and Gold.

Only a few of Riverdale High's staff appear regularly in the comics. These include school principal Mr. Weatherbee, homeroom teacher Miss Grundy, chemistry teacher Mr. Flutesnoot, history teacher Miss Haggly, physical education teachers Coach Kleats and Coach Clayton, cafeteria cook Miss Beazley, custodian Mr. Svenson, secretary Miss Phlips, and superintendent of schools Mr. Hassle.

In the five-issue miniseries Faculty Funnies (cover-dated June 1989 – May 1990) by writer George Gladir and penciler Stan Goldberg, faculty members Mr. Weatherbee, Mr. Flutesnoot, Miss Grundy and Coach Clayton secretly become the superhero team the Awesome Foursome after a lab accident involving Archie's science project. They lose their powers after putting out a chemical fire.[2] [3]

The series Archie at Riverdale High ran 113 issues (August 1972 – February 1987).[4] This was followed by Riverdale High, which ran six issues (August–June 1990). After a brief hiatus, it was retitled Archie's Riverdale High and then canceled with issue #8 (August–October 1991).[5][6]

Places[edit]

Places in Riverdale besides the high school include the following:

  • Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe, the soda shop frequented by the teenaged cast.
  • Pickens Park, the community park named for the fictional Civil War hero General Pickens.
  • The Lodge Mansion, the large and luxurious home of wealthy Veronica Lodge and her parents.
  • Homes of other members of the gang, including the Andrews residence, Jones residence and Cooper residence.
  • Dilton Doiley's science lab, a home-based setup where Dilton invents and conducts experiments.
  • Chuck Clayton's studio, where Chuck draws his cartoons at home.
  • The beach, where Archie and the gang spend much of their time in the summer.
  • The Riverdale Mall, a source of shopping and entertainment, particularly for the girls.

Nearby towns[edit]

Some nearby towns include Greendale and Midvale. Greendale is the home of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, who once lived in Riverdale but eventually moved. Characters who appear in Josie and the Pussycats come from Midvale.

Riverdale High School's main scholastic and athletic rival is Central High School, located in another nearby community. Central High seems to consist of nothing but villainous types. The males are generally thuggish, conniving brutes, and the females are usually lecherous, scheming vamps. In most of their encounters, Central students seldom compete without using unsportsmanlike conduct, if not out-and-out cheating. The coaches and teachers often are not only aware of this skullduggery, but encourage it. In most cases, Central's team colors are bright red and silver-white.

Pembrooke Academy is a private school attended by siblings Cheryl and Jason Blossom and their snobbish friends Bunny and Cedric. They look down on Riverdale students as "townies" and will not (except for the Blossom twins) willingly associate with them. Other schools that have been featured as Riverdale rival schools include Hadley High and Southside High. In one comics,[volume & issue needed] a letter sent to Riverdale has "U." where the state should be, and a ZIP code of 10543 (which in real life is Mamaroneck, New York, the home of Michael Silberkleit, an Archie Comics editor).[citation needed]

Related media[edit]

  • In the pilot of the 2017 series Riverdale, the town's is described as being located in "Rockland County". Only one county in the US has that name, Rockland County, New York, close to Archie Comics' headquarters in Pelham, New York.[7]

Cultural references[edit]

  • In The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts" (Episode 2F02), several Archie Comics characters, including Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, Moose Mason and Jughead Jones, make a brief cameo appearance. After Sideshow Bob's stooges pull up to the Simpsons' house, toss Bart Simpson (who had been investigating Bob) out of their car, the Archie gang, in one of the show's frequent non sequiturs, pull up to the Simpsons' house and toss Homer Simpson out of their car. Moose warns Homer to "Duh, stay out of Riverdale!" Later in the episode, Homer is reading an issue of Archie Comics and mutters, "Stuck-up Riverdale punks, think they're too good for me!"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harvey, R. C. (July 28, 2011). "John Goldwater, the Comics Code Authority, and Archie". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ Faculty Funnies at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ "Did You Know?". Archie Comics. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ Archie at Riverdale High at the Grand Comics Database.
  5. ^ Riverdale High and Archie's Riverdale High at the Grand Comics Database.
  6. ^ "Did You Know?". Archie Comics. May 2000. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. 
  7. ^ "The River's Edge". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 1. January 26, 2017. Netflix. 

External links[edit]