Aug 22, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 544: Archie Giant Series Magazine #474, October 1978

After waking up to thunderous hail this morning, I figured a summer-y comic was called for. Though, actually, the cover is the summer-est part of this issue. The rest of the stories happen in that delightfully ambiguous season that Riverdale seems to exist in when it's not Summer or Winter explicitly.

Two of the stories in this issue revolve around buying things (a hair dryer and a blouse, respectively). One involves Veronica losing her shit over boys. And one involves two guys (Archie and Frankie) making a "classic" blunder. They're pretty standard Archie stories. The story with Archie and Frankie is interesting to note, as it includes an attempt at un-whitewashing Riverdale with Maria and Frankie, two Latin American teenagers. I think Maria is still a part of the Riverdale crew, but this is, as far as I can recall, the only time I've seen Frankie.

The cutest thing about this comic is that whoever owned it in its previous existence decided they were not happy with Veronica's hair, and gave her enormous "flowing" locks in just about every panel. The collector in me recoils slightly at seeing a comic drawn in in this way, but really it's an interesting way of recognizing the way that Archie and his pals make their way into our cultural consciousness - specifically, this is a Veronica Lodge modified by an individual to reflect more what this person saw in the character, and perhaps saw of themselves in the character.

No real stand-out stories today, from a scripting or artwork point of view. But I think that's what often brings people back to the classic Archie stories - you're getting a pretty standard quality of stories, and it's nice to be able to rely on that occasionally. Onward.

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