Thursday, January 1, 2009

Archie Comics – Archie Comics are often laden with swimsuit wearing teenagers exploring unsolvable love triangles, but despite the skimpy attire and potentially adult themes, they have until recently maintained a relatively innocent veneer in pop-culture. For many readers, the adventures of Archie and his friends from Riverdale High represent a simpler time when jukebox dances and co-ed volleyball matches were standard activities in teenage courtship. While the writers of Archie Comics and its various spinoff publications have attempted to modernize the franchise since Archie’s 1939 premiere, much of its content has remained consistently conservative in attitude. Whenever the teenagers were daringly depicted in an edgier fashion, diehard fans condemned the changes as sensationalistic and not in the spirit of Archie’s original appeal.

The naïveté and wholesome quality of Archie Comics are mirrored by one of its readers, Matthew Brock who references the comic in two episodes of Newsradio. When Matthew mistakenly believes that two women are fighting for his affection, he likens to situation to that of Archie’s two pursuers—Betty and Veronica (Episode 13, “Friends”). While this pop-culture reference can easily be made and identified by most people of Matthew’s generation, he really shows his affection for the comic when he mentions more obscure characters like Moose, Midge, and Reggie in a subsequent episode (Episode 24, “Physical Graffiti”). After Matthew accuses a seemingly jealous Dave of acting like the overprotective Moose, Dave counters by suggesting that Matthew’s experience with love is limited to his reading material. This proves apt when Matthew reveals a year later that he is still a virgin at 28 years old (Episode 50, “The Real Deal”).

Matthew: “You’re a regular big Moose.”

Dave: “What?”

Matthew: “Big Moose, Dave. Wake up. The guy in the Archie comics who’s always beating up the other guys for talking to his girl Midge.”

Dave: “Well, you know what. I’m not about to start taking romantic advice from a guy who bases his whole life on Archie Comics.”

["Friends", "Physical Graffiti"]