Thursday, July 14, 2016


Since it looks as if there ain't gonna be any Bob Montana-era ARCHIE newspaper collections for quite awhile, I thought I'd dish out some rare lucre for this book. After all, I can't go for too long a time between comic strip fixes, and since this one features nada but early ARCHIE comic book adventures, most of 'em written and drawn by Montana and of course pointing the way towards the ARCHIE of comic strips fame, it was like I had little choice. It just goes to show you what kinda comic book crazoid I remain even after all of these years, or just how hard up I am for some "new" olde tymey reading material.

It's quite a ripoff in many respects, since many of these stories have been re-re-reprinted in a variety of ARCHIE collections these past fortysome years. Of course this 'un starts off with the debut saga back when the main characters were twelve-years-old and naturally contains the one where Veronica makes her first appearance etc. and so forth, and frankly if you've seen any of these recently you might wanna wait a few years before reading 'em again. True they might be nice li'l sagas that are historically important to the comic shapes of things, but they ain't anything like those quick witted and wonderfully bad gag comics that Montana slapped onto the funny page for twenty nine years!

Fortunately the stories are presented in chronological order so thankfully a few that haven't gotten the royal reprint treatment before do show up. A number of proto-Mr. Weatherbees who look nothing like the well-known rountundus are here as is the first ever appearance of Miss Grundy (not a mere teacher but the principal---who sez continuity matters?) who is even creepier than the one we've known for years dressed like a Civil War old maid in blonde curls and extremely decrepit skin who gives The Old Witch a run for the moolah looks wise! If you're a stickler for accuracy you might go nuts reading these but hey, I dig em goofs, gaffes and all.

The artwork had yet to mature and is comparatively shaky next to the strips you and I are more familiar with (I date the official classic ARCHIE look as having appeared during the autumn of 1947) and Betty has yet to develop that otherworldly charm that only Bob Montana could deliver on, but Veronica looks pretty va-VOOM especially in a couple of panels where she is either roasting under a hot lamp or taking a bath. Nice mammary and hot thigh action here, and although no bullseyes or bellybuttons can be seen the mere suggestion of her au naturel woulda been enough to get Junior headed for the lavvy and ya better put a chair up against that door cuz you know li'l brother never knocks!

The stories are pretty good even if the ARCHIE theme had yet to be fully developed, some good enough that they were even re-used in the early comic strip days with the proper changes and updates needed for such endeavors. And although nothing here can touch the classic newspaper strip in style or even gags it's still much better'n what the comic became once it catered more to its target audience of li'l girls 'stead of comic book creeps like myself who read just about EVERYTHING onna stand! (But then again, if it weren't for us sprouting adolescent type o' guys why would they've slapped alla those Betty and Veronica in bikinis drawings onna front cover inna first place???)

When you've sated your inner suburban slob with alla the other comic book gunk I've mentioned on this blog try some of this for an even more aged look at one of the things that kept comic kids yukkin' it up for years on end. Don't worry, you're not the ONLY fifty-plus stunted mental growth menial still wowed out by comic strips and books that made up your early existence, and I for one can attest to that!

No comments: