Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! THE ADVENTURES OF LITTLE ARCHIE VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (Archie Publications, 2004/2008 respectively)

Back during my "serious" comic book collecting days in the seventies, I didn't care one iota for Little Archie. Can't even pinpoint a good reason as to exactly why other'n I didn't like the artwork and the stories were kinda stoopid even by anarchic kiddie comic book standards. Not to mention that it always was better looking at Betty and Veronica when they were teenage what with all of their equipment in order rather'n when they were kids and not in proper operational mode, but that was just the teenage hubba hubba in me talkin'. 

An' hey, maybe by the time I was reading the Little Archies my adolescent turd detector was pretty much in full gear because like, how can Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy be overrunning these kids in grade school when in fact they were working at Riverdale High at the very same time! And how could Mrs. Andrews look so ravishing in these comics yet come off like such an old bag a few years later? You can fool a dumboid eight-year-old suburban slob true, but you can't fool a dumboid thirteen-year-old one that's for sure!

Of course that was then and this is then to a certain extent, and for the life of me I couldn't get it through my dunceoid beanie that maybe the Little Archie universe was a way different one from the teenage Archie Comics one, or the daily newspaper Bob Montana Archie universe which I must admit was the favorite of the batch. Maybe using this sort of not-so-strange comic book logic I could enjoy these adventures of Archie as a single-digiter the same way I can Archie as a high school junior who drove a beat up twenties jalopy long after such cars were the teenbo norm thanks to World War II. 

Well, eh, not really, but these collections of Little Archie adventures did make for a nice li'l rainy day read. There's nothing here that makes me go "wow!" or "ahhh!" or even coaxes out a giggle, but as far as cheapoid fifties-bred cartoons go I'm not complainin' at all. 

Bob Bolling's acquired quite a good reputation for these sagas o'er the years to the point where some comic wags have been likening him to none other than DONALD DUCK legend Carl Barks (well, that's what the on-line hype says), but I ain't buying it that much! Bolling's good and I prefer his Little Archie to the guy who was doin' it inna seventies, but I find his artwork to be standard late-fifties/early-sixties decent stuff that (again) doesn't elicit any oohs or aahs from this turdburger! 

Still his Little Archie adventure stories are pretty hotcha things in themselves what with the likes of aliens, time-travel and even a perennial badguy enemy in the form of "Mean Dr. Doom" ('n where was the lawsuit for that considering how both Archie Comics and its rivals were more'n apt to sue each other over even the least infractions!) and his Jay-Dee sidekick Chester taking precedence over the usual kiddie capers the seventies Li'l Archie was known for! These collections are heavy on the adventure and low-church sci-fi which is fine by me because frankly, I find the everyday stories dealing with school and extracurricular activities (as well as the usual prepubescent boys and girls acting like grownups in love which worked in NANCY but not here!) not that ship shape in comparison.

But at least there was a nize li'l balance between the hotcha Little Archie gets kidnapped by aliens type of stories and the ones where he's involved in more kiddieish things like joining the girl's softball team and hey, it's sure nize to get a li'l variety in packages like these!

Dunno why there were no appearances by LITTLE ARCHIE regular Li'l Ambrose here (other'n his visage drawn on a chalkboard) since I am totally unfamiliar with this character (kinda comes off like a cross between Jughead and Beetle Bailey) and I sure woulda liked seeing exactly how he acted up in this mix considering his legendary status in the LITTLE ARCHIE universe! But whaddeva the omissions may be the choice is yers, though considering that the original fifties title can be found rather inexpensively you might wanna hold off for some of those instead of these if only to get more comics bang for your buck.

Either way you might be in for some great toilet reading you can't get from LADIES HOME REGURGITATION but then again so what else is gnu?

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