Dec 14, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 658: Archie Giant Series Magazine #592, January 1989
Some more Archie Christmas shenanigans - and there actually are some shenanigans here. Archie tries to take impossible photos, gestures of goodwill that one only sees at the holiday season. While the story is meant as comedy, it's a bit heartbreaking that some of these things are considered "impossible." Jughead gives part of his burger to a hungry dog, though this strikes me as something Jug would just do. Also, Reggie, I'm not sure it's make out under the mistletoe, just, y'know a peck on the cheek. The fact that Moose is standing there watching Reggie lock lips with Midge offers a bit of a different perspective on Moose and Midge's relationship.
Okay, there's one impossible occurrence that does ring true: Jughead kisses Ethel. Twice. WTF?
I really will try to get to some of my other Christmas comics soon. They're packed away in the depths of the collection, so I actually have to do some relatively intense physical labour to retrieve them. Collectors will know what I'm talking about. Though I have a few drawer boxes for the collection, much of it is still stored in traditional long boxes, stacked one on top of another. They're never fun to move.
I'm starting to rethink some of my pronouncements about 80s and 90s Archie comics, at least from the perspective of the Christmas issues. I've suggested that they're a bit dull, these stories, because the characters cease to act like the screw-up teenagers that they actually are. But in the Christmas issues, perhaps we can forgive this cessation - perhaps, instead, the Christmas issues represent a reprieve for the characters, from the constant stress, from school, from arguments with friends. I think it's most evident in the scene where Reggie is kissing Midge while Moose casually looks on - if Moose can let this go, even for a single issue, then perhaps it's that the Christmas season in Riverdale dials back the weirdness of life in that town. The universe just wants to give these poor kids a break.