Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture by Jaime J. Weinman (email me)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Little Archie: "The Long Walk"
Fred Hembeck has a pretty good summary of "The Long Walk," which was Bob Bolling's own favorite among his many wonderful "Little Archie" stories. Because this story was unfortunately not reprinted in the recent "Little Archie" collection -- which focused solely on one aspect of Bolling's art, his adventure stories -- I've scanned the story and am posting it here. (It's posted as thumbnails due to space limitations.) This is Bolling at his best: a deep understanding of children and what kind of stories and dialogue appeals to children, and a sense of humour and whimsy that appeals directly to children without ever talking down to them.
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Bolling later -- in the late '70s or early '80s -- did some "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" stories where he tried to do for Sabrina what he'd done for Little Archie, turning her into more of an adventure character and giving that moribund series some sense of wit and whimsy. It didn't work as well as the Little Archie series, but as you can see from this excerpt, it had some of the Bolling touch and was certainly more fun than any other Sabrina comic, what with alliterative lines like "Violent Vortex" and the fact that the bad guy's sub is called "Rosa." Also note that Sabrina's adversary -- who lived in the house once occupied by Little Archie's Mad Doctor Doom -- was "Professor Pither," a name that sounds innocuous until you find that he has a lisp, and you ask yourself how he'd pronounce it if he didn't have a lisp.