Sunday, May 31, 2009

Archie Already Married Veronica

One more thing about this whole Archie marries Veronica in a flash-forward future story business: it's sort of been done already. This story, "Dream Boy," is from the '60s (I assume; I read it in a digest, but it has the early '60s look). The art is by Dan DeCarlo and while the writer is, as usual, uncredited, it seems like it could possibly the young George Gladir (or maybe a freelancer). And it takes them only six pages, rather than six issues, to explain how an Archie/Veronica marriage would go and how Betty would be involved. I doubt if the much-hyped new story will be as plausible.

I also love the stylized, single-color backgrounds for the fantasy sequences, and DeCarlo's portrayal of Betty's evolution from Small-Town Teen to unrecognizable glamour girl. (Click on images to see the full-sized versions.)

It's not a new observation, but: part of the secret of Archie's success is that the characters are not goody-two-shoes. They all live in a clean, wholesome fantasy world, but within the context of that world, the main characters alternate between being friends and being mean to each other, both consciously and unconsciously. I mean, it doesn't seem at all implausible to either Betty or Veronica that Betty might try to steal Veronica's husband. It's just the way they naturally see themselves.

They've all been toned way down over the years, and were even starting to be toned down within Frank Doyle's lifetime (he and DeCarlo may have created Cheryl Blossom to do some of the nasty stuff that Veronica could no longer get away with) but even now they have something resembling actual flaws, which most kids' comics characters do not.


Not the Wicked Stepmother said...

Oddly enough - I remember reading that story when I was a kid! Kids these days who read Archie comics (DO kids these days read Archie anymore?) I'm sure are unfazed about all this brou-ha-ha. This storyline is meant solely to generate interest in Archie again, and to open the old "good girl, bad girl' debate (Betty vs. Veronica? Ginger vs. Maryann?) that those of us in our -ahem- 30s remember discussing with such passion when we were teens. This debate will rage on through the summer, until the actual wedding takes place.
Now if they suddenly time travel back to 1977.... well, that's a story for another day.

Anonymous said...

I read these comics as a child and remember this one as well. And to the previous poster, I am 25 and gave all my old issues to my little cousins and the LOVE them!

Anonymous said...


Elly said...

Hey.... interesting.. I missed this issue... but that would make sense coz I'm only 16. My dad introduced me to Archie comics, and they are the best thing in the world. I have introduced them to all my friends and I will give my collection to my children. I own around 100, collecting them off ebay and 2nd hand stores. Archie is timeless and it shows the good old days. I love them to death. I don't think enough people read them. There are too many people with corrupted minds these days. I think they should force everyone to read Archie and the world would be a better place ... except we might all get fat because the cravings for burgers and milkshakes are hard to resist after reading... damn you jughead!! lol