Thursday, June 28, 2018

I sure wish IDW would continue on their ARCHIE newspaper strip reprint series because hey, there's nothing I like better on some cold winter or hot summer or in-between spring/autumn night than staying up late reading those classic Bob Montana-era comics, marveling at the fine lines, ink work and curves being used upon the likes of Betty and Veronica. In their absence I'm turning to other sources in order to get my ARCHIE fix, most notably the various public domain efforts that GOLDEN AGE REPRINTS have been issuing these past few years not to mention a few old (mostly sixties vintage) and relatively cheap comic books which can still be purchased at flea markets and garage sales here in the tri-county area.

Gotta say that of all the characters that inhabit the Archie universe Jughead's gotta be my favorite. At least the Jughead of the Bob Montana-era newspaper universe (which had about as much in common with the Archie comic book universe as Earth One had with Earth Two) where he comes off as even more of a sloppy, sleazy, underhanded, back-stabbing yet high-larious lout than he ever did in the comic books. Given the lack of new strip reprints I'll just have to settle with those finds, and considering how easily these can be found it ain't like I'm gonna be goin' on an Archie hunger strike any time soon.

Never heard of the JUGHEAD'S FANTASY title* before, but as you can tell by the reprinted covers on either side this, like LIFE WITH ARCHIE issued under the "Archie Adventure Series" tag. Dunno why, but these mere detail might lead one to believe that this in fact was one of those more "serious" and "fraught with social significance" titles kinda like the early-seventies ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH comics which dealt with subjects that seemed so quaint once 1974 clocked in. Dunno offhand how many of these early-sixties titles actually came out (and I'm too lazy to care...you can do the googlin' for once in your sweet lives!) but I managed to get numbers 2 and 3---the first ish is a collectible item going for pretty steep prices which I kinda find high-larious because when I was a teenbo comic book fan you couldn't give these fifties/sixties issues away! Oh how times have changed...

Surprisingly enough (that is, if you've managed to maul your way through enough of these extended ARCHIE sagas to realize just how blandoid some of 'em could be especially when the corporation began to focus on adolescent gals as their main target group) this title did hold up! Far from being a Walter Mitty ripoff, JUGHEAD'S FANTASY features Jug in what might actually be events that have happened to him usually due to a case of mistaken identity (issue #2. where he's hired as a private eye and helps a curvy peanut butter heiress protect her secret formula from industrial spies) or pure luck (#3 where, while trying to develop a chemical formula for hamburgers he discovers the ways to super strength). The tales are typical of the sixties ARCHIE realm of plots and twists with Jug at the center of it all, and given how the people at the former MLJ were at least able to pull this off back before things hadda get serious they do a pretty hefty good job if I do say so myself.

While I was at it I also picked up some mid-sixties Jughead titles. The superhero parodies where he, as Captain Hero, saves Riverdale from a slew of cool and creepy characters manage to produce a bit of a chuckle despite the campiness over something that was already camped up to begin with while JUGHEAD'S JOKE BOOK features those same prunejuice gags that the company had milked for ages before hearing the call of the big Socially Relevant dollar sign.

In some ways it kinda makes me sad...I mean, even when I was a pre-teen turdburger I knew that the real fun and game jamz in entertainment were via things that were already ten-plus years old at the time, from television cartoons and sitcoms to those old records that nobody but some late-night oldies guy remembered for the life of them. Today that entire fun world has been wooshed away. What does a suburban slob kid have to look forward to after a hard day at stool...no BANDSTAND tee-vee show to present the latest instrumental flash and no old cartoons with those sly double entendre innuendos that the parents were too stoopid to understand.

It's even getting harder to find more and more of that cheap trash that kidz like me used to survive on, and frankly if I were a young 'un these days I'd join the monks. Even ARCHIE the corporation ain't the same as it was...heck I've heard that the entire comic book industry is all but nada with all the moolah being made by licensing and moom pitcher and tee-vee offshoots. What can the Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid do with such a situation at hand? Sheesh, sometimes I kinda wish that Bozo the Robot would swing into action and knock some sense into this boring world of ours, but that just might be asking too much.
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*...and with a title like that be thankful the guy's a neuter!

1 comment:

J. D. King said...

Jughead was the original soy boy.