At an early age, I took very quickly to the much-loved Archie comic book digests which still hold their own in amongst the population of supermarket trash rags at the cashier lanes. In the digital age, the comic has managed to retain an audience and attract a new generation of readers. Pretty good for something that was first printed in 1942.
Somewhere in grade school I would begin to pick up one or two digests and read them a million times over. It always amuses me today that I will still find a strip in some of these old digests where suddenly I “get the joke”. I suppose this could be viewed as a lesson in language deciphering.
In my sixth grade year I remember an old friend who had an entire library of digests. We would sit for hours on end reading the stories and making comments about some of the dialogue. Another friend from school who had fire-red hair similar to the comic’s lead character and I decided it would be funny if I called him Archie and he referred to me as the hamburger-loving Jughead Jones. Just for the sheer hell of it. This was a few months before we would embark on the field trip. There were a few tourist guides who were amused that Archie Andrews and Jughead Jones from Riverdale had signed their guest books. That friend is now working as a model and has appeared in some movies. Wonder if he has ever thought of these good times in his auditions.
I supposed because of my giant head which to this day still draws cracks from some of my oldest friends, and my love for food the Jughead moniker suited me well.
During the last few weeks of reading some old classics I have figured out what I actually have learned from the comic book characters.
From Archie Andrews – Being with two women at the same time may seem exciting, but it is likely to cause problems.
From Reggie Mantle – Having self-confidence is fine, but having a giant ego makes you an idiot.
From Archie love interests Veronica and Betty – Never share unless you are a bona-fide swinger.
Finally from Jughead Jones – Contrary to what I have seen in the comic cooks, eating tons of junk food will make you sick, eventually.