My mom just text messaged me:
Archie chose Veronica!
My first question, asked only to myself, was “How on earth does my mom do carriage returns in text messages?” My second question, which I did text back to her, was “What?”
“Archie proposed 2 her,” she texted in reply. I was beginning to feel like we were gossiping via text about real people.
“Where?” I asked. Perhaps a dumb question. “In the comic.”
I went to Google News and found the story. Indeed, Archie Comics is going to finally resolve the long-running love triangle and Archie, we are to believe, chose the raven-haired vixen over the blonde girl next door.
When Archie Comics announced a couple of weeks ago that Archie was getting married — though they hadn’t yet said to who — it provoked an enthusiastic response (A personal fave: “Oh my….Archie is getting married.I can’t believe it!!!!!He will choose Betty,no Veronica.Uhhhh!!I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!”), mixed with concern that this meant the end of comics about the gang from Riverdale (Personal fave: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”), inquiries about pre-ordering and entreaties to pick Veronica over Betty, or vice versa. Ah, those Archie fans…
…of which I am one. Yes, it’s true. When I was little, I was an avid collector of Archie comics, scouring supermarket racks for the latest issues and dryly pointing out how, as the years went by, the volumes got thinner and they reused more and more comics from decades past. (Of course, when their new comics are painful stabs at modernity such as this, maybe that’s for the best.) I went through a phase where I never ate dinner without an Archie comic in hand, rooting through the box where I kept them to find one I hadn’t read in a while. By the time I gave up the habit, all of them were hopelessly dogeared and read to pieces.
No one else I knew read Archie comics. Perhaps because they were really a vestige of my mom’s generation, more supermarket fare than comic shop fodder. But I was hooked. I am still a bit annoyed that my comic collection seems to have vanished into the ether along with most everything else I left in Florida when I came to college. Like my mom’s collection of Little Lulu comics getting thrown out by my great-grandmother way back when, history is doomed to repeat itself.
Over the years, I’ve kept a soft spot for Archie. Occasionally, whenever I find Archie comics in the supermarket aisle (which is an increasingly rare occurrence), I’ll thumb through and see how he’s doing. Reassuringly, he’s always doing just about the same — klutzy, charming, girl-crazy and broke. Veronica gets all the attention and we sneer accordingly. Betty gets left holding the bag and we cluck and empathize. Of course, when it comes to whether or not Archie will really go through with picking Veronica, the comic creators leave an out: “Could it be true?” they ask on their blog. “Has Archie finally decided to take the plunge and propose to comics’ favorite rich girl? It sure looks that way!” Hmm. (Relatedly, who knew there was a host of official Archie comics character blogs? Though the posts seem more fitting for Twitter than a blog.)
To those Archie fans concerned about this momentous occasion meaning the end of Archie comics, I say, don’t worry. At the end of the world, aside from the cockroaches, we’ll still have Archie comics, no doubt. What would a supermarket checkout be without them?