Beard: Jughead, we hardly knew yeWritten by Jim Beard | | email@example.com
The weird hat. The gluttonous appetite. The misogyny. Ah, Jughead, we hardly knew ye.
You’ve been there on the comic racks for more than 60 years and it’s like we never really connected at all — and now you’re leaving us. Archie Comics, your infernal taskmasters, are putting you into cold storage, leaving us with only a few core Archie titles and an empty, hollow feeling that something special has been lost. Will you come back? Will you have changed? Does anybody, for the love of God, really care anymore?
“I think that Archie comics are as relevant as they’ve ever been to comic book fans,” said Ed Katschke of Monarch Cards & Comics. “Obviously the core concept, the adventures of a group of teenagers in small-town America, is a timeless subject and Archie should be applauded for continuing its line in such a small marketplace. Jughead’s imminent cancelation means little in the big picture, as I am sure Archie will find some other character to spotlight in their own series. Archie books have been around for quite some time and I can’t imagine that the demand, however small, will ever completely go away. The kids at Riverdale High have quite a few miles left in them.”
Some pundits might say those miles are being fed by gimmicks and “events” other companies rely on heavily for sales, and that Archie had never really needed in the past. Perhaps the company’s changed in a more intrinsic manner, and not for the better.
“While I am sure that Archie’s recent penchant for controversial storylines, such as introducing gay character Kevin Keller or showing us a future with Archie married alternately to Betty or Veronica, has been well-publicized for the purposes of bumping up monthly sales, I don’t think that it is necessarily something that has been done by the company for shock value,” Katschke insisted. “Any title, be it Archie or Batman, that has existed for 60-plus years is bound to be the recipient of a certain amount of revamping. A comic like Archie in particular is going to have to constantly reinvent itself in order to reach its target audience of pre-teen/tweeners. Considering the amount of diversity that is currently present in our society, it only stands to reason that introducing a more racially and socially diverse cast of characters would be necessary in order to cater to a new generation of comic book fans. The fact that such introductions have the effect of being controversial says more about our society than it does about Archie Publications.”