Reading Archie’s Favorite Christmas Comics definitely brought back memories. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me comics, so I did most of my Archie reading from my cousins’ collections. I’d go to their house and hunker down in one corner, devouring new and old issues while they busied themselves playing this or that or something or other. I’d only join them once I’d had my fill.
I don’t think I actually ever owned a single issue of an Archie comic, and stopped reading these at some point in early secondary school. And while it was nice to take a walk down memory lane, I doubt I’ll start becoming a regular reader of Archie and his gang again.
What I found most interesting about this collection, though, which includes stories from as early as 1942 to as late as 2013, was how different Archie looked during his earliest years. Stories from the 50s onwards drew Archie exactly the same as how I recall him to be, with subtle fashion changes and time and styles went on. The 2013 Archie has also developed somewhat, the drawings following a more contemporary style while retaining the core features of the various characters. And even though the collection comes with a warning about the stories reflecting racial and social sentiments of the time, I didn’t really find any blatant issues, unlike the Tintin series. If anything, the oldest stories were significantly more risqué compared to the later ones! Huh!
And I must admit, the closet academic in me found this Archie collection an interesting study on the representation of teenage-dom behaviour throughout the decades from an anthropological standpoint! Who says comics are a waste of time eh? If I was in academicia, I’d love to write a whole thesis on this series from then til now. Alas, that is not so, so this little post will have to do.