Me, Age 11, Roanoke, Virginia
Eating Peanut Butter and Crackers on a T.V. Tray in Front of the T.V.
(Oh, we never bought the already prepared peanut butter crackers, we made them ourselves with Saltine Crackers and peanut butter. It was my favorite thing to eat, other than candy. See that cracker tin on my tray? My mother still has that tin. She carries her peanut butter and crackers around in it.)
July 15, 2014
I am Going to Miss You Archie
The Last Archie Comic Book
(Where else will I ever read the sound, “ACK”?)
If you have been reading my blog over the past 3 years then you know about my childhood love of The Archie Comic Book Series and all of its characters. I grew up moving around a lot, being the new kid in school almost every year, (not quite, but almost), the one constant that I had in my life were my books and my comic books because they allowed me to escape into other worlds. When you move around as much as I did whatever friends you make, you end up leaving behind a year later never to hear from them again. Of course this was all before social media. Reading Nancy Drew for me was becoming Nancy Drew. Her adventures were mine, her friends Bess and George were mine, her boyfriend Ned was also mine. In addition to my love of Nancy Drew there was also my love of The Archie Comics.
The earliest that I can remember buying and reading them was when we were living in Roanoke, Virginia when I was in the 5th/6th. grade? That was in the early 70’s. Every Saturday my mother would give me my $1.00 allowance and I would skip down to the 7-11 to buy my sweet treats and my comic books. Back then an Archie comic was about 15 cents. With my $1.00 I could buy about 4 of them and lots of candy too. Then I would go back home and read them while stuffing my face with chocolate and bubble gum in my bedroom watching Saturday t.v. I loved them! Archie Andrews was the good guy, I loved his jalopy. I always wanted my own jalopy. Still do.
Archie and the Gang in Archie’s Jalopy
I thought it was the coolest car ever. I loved all the Archie characters except for Reggie. Reggie was the trouble maker, the schemer, but isn’t that real life? There is always that one person in your life that just loves to cause trouble for you and other people?
My favorite of all the characters in The Archie Comic Book series was Veronica Lodge. I thought she was beautiful, wealthy, popular and everything that I wanted to be in life. (When I was young). Of course I would! The lonely girl that didn’t have many friends? Who else am I going to envy? I knew she could be a bit mean but that didn’t matter. I still loved her. I knew she wasn’t perfect but yet to me she was.
Betty and Veronica
I did love the friendship that they all had for each other. Archie and his friends, Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, and Reggie Mantle. As well as their other friends like Midge Klump, Moose Mason, and Dilton Doiley.
Veronica, Archie and Betty
The love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica. Meeting at Pop’s after school for a milkshake with a burger and fries. Life just seemed so simple and happy for all of them. I understand that the characters were all based on people that the publisher/editor, John L. Goldwater, met during his travels throughout America but specifically the Midwest, while he was looking for a job. The comics were written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana. The Archie Comics were founded in 1939. So by the time I discovered them they were almost vintage.
There was also a cartoon television series while I was growing up and even a few hit songs by The Archies. I even have the CD of all their hits tucked away. My favorite of course was Sugar, Sugar.
I even sing it to my dog Sugar every now and then and of course not to neglect Monk, he has his own song as well sung by Randy Newman, It’s a Jungle Out There. I tend to serenade them a lot. Not that they care in the least.
Archie Comics filled a void inside of me when I was growing up and probably filled a void inside a lot of other children as well. Otherwise the official website would not be getting over 4 million hits per month.
I have such happy memories of all of the characters, but especially Veronica. So much so that I even named my daughter Veronica.
I even gave Veronica a new Veronica Lodge t-shirt for her birthday this past July 6.
I’m going to miss Archie. The last comic will be coming out this month where Archie is killed by a gunman that is trying to kill his gay best friend, Kevin Keller, who is a politician trying to enact gun regulations in Riverdale. Archie will heroically throw his body in front of his friend.
When I hear of the reaction from people of how horrified they are that our favorite hometown boy is going to get shot and killed in this final issue and in such a gruesome way I can’t help but think what is more “American” than being shot and killed by a hater? Unfortunately, I think his death couldn’t be more befitting of our own culture.
Do you think they could have ended a comic book character’s life like this when I was young? No way! It would have been too horrific! Too unthinkable to dare have a beloved icon die in such a way. But times have changed and I don’t think for the better either.
Thank you for entertaining me and giving me something to look forward to every Saturday morning after my horrible 6:00 a.m. horseback riding lessons for 2 years where I always had to ride the meanest horse on that ranch who always tried to kill me, AJAX, he would either kick me or bolt me off him or run through the clothesline on the property trying to knock me off. I hated that horse! (It’s funny how childhood traumas just sort of creep out occasionally).
Goodbye Archiekins you will be missed.
September 25, 2014
National Comic Book Day
If anyone of you have been reading my blog over these few years then you know how much I have loved the Archie comics.
When my daughter was born I even named her after Veronica from the comic book series. The comics above I bought for MY Veronica, when she was little and Veronica the character, got her own comic book series. The first one was Veronica in Paris. I have that debut issue framed. Unfortunately it is packed away in the attic.
However, when my Veronica and I were in Rome this past summer I dug out my old comic books from my mother’s storage barns and brought them home with me. So viola! My Veronica’s, Veronica comics that I bought for her to treasure.
Veronica In Hawaii
My daughter Veronica was born in Hawaii so I wanted to frame this one in particular. When my daughter was born I had her room filled with Veronica and Betty posters and these sorts of comics all around her room that are now packed away. Well I decided to dig them out and display them.
Julie’s Vintage Archie Comics
These are my particular comics that are from my youth. Notice the Veronica doll in the midst of them? The Life With Archie paperback book? This is my childhood right here. I adore this nostalgia. I just hope that my daughter Veronica will cherish it as well as she grows older. All of this has meant a lot to me, I just hope it means a lot to her someday.
p.s. Me, doing the photographing.
You can see the comics on the table.