Aug 26, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 548: Archie Giant Series Magazine #167, January 1970

(As I was preparing to write about this comic, I realized that yesterday was #617 and today is #167. Neat.)

So, it seems it's an era thing. Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that there didn't seem to be enough hijinks in the Archie's I've read from the 80s and 90s over the last few days. I had wondered whether or not it was something to do with the Christmas specials, if they deliberately toned down the shenanigans to put across the more salient message of the season, but today's comic blows that theory. These Christmas tales merely use the time of year as a backdrop for classic adventures. Reggie follows Archie around trying to outdo his Christmas gift purchases, only to find at the end of the story that Archie was soliciting donations for a Christmas party. Reggie manages to win the role of Santa at the school dance, but is unfortunatley paired with Midge, earning him Moose's wrath (as usual).

It must be an editorial thing, which is a pity. I think one of the big draws about Archie comics is that we get to see teenagers acting like the assholes they actually are, but in a comedic way. Bear with me a moment. I have a teenage son, so I'm speaking from a place of love, but that's one of the central facts of the teenage years: one is very self-involved - the same behaviour from an adult would definitely earn the title of asshole. It's an important step in the maturation process, one that some people never seem to get out of, that eventual realization that while you may seem like the center of the universe to yourself, everyone else is the center of their own universes, and being an adult is, in part, acknowledging that. Archie and the gang, in these stories, categorically do not. Except maybe that Zen guru Jughead. He knows where it's at.

More Archie tomorrow! Onward.

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