Ever since I was twelve, I've been desperately in love with Archie Andrews, to the point that I followed a boy named Chris around my Midwestern college campus for months in a sort of lazy stalker fashion, just because he looked like the checkerboard redhead of my dreams.
I collect Archie comics from the 1940s onward and have indeed compiled a rather substantive biography of the boy once known as "Chick" Andrews in the early editions of Pep. Throughout all of this research that others of smaller mind and lesser ambition label 'ridiculous obsession', I find myself asking...where did Archie find the freaking TIME?.
In his highschool years Archie was on the baseball team, the football team, the swim team, the LACROSSE team, the hockey team AND was Editor in Chief of the school paper, the Ol' Blue and Gold. In addition to this, he was an avid skier, devoted a great deal of time to his Jalopy "Betsy" and indeed ran a successful amateur comedy club in the back of Pop's Choklit Shoppe.
"ENOUGH!" you cry, like a torture victim bleeding from the eyes. "The Boy Is Out Of Control".
Friends, I hear what you're screamin', and I would agree. But we haven't even broached the subject of Archie's crime fighting skills in The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., or his love of surfing and beach volleyball.
"Well," you counter, chortling, one eyebrow raised. "Perhaps he's overcompensating for a lack of love from the ladies."
I say, "NO SIR (and/or madam)".
If we know one thing about Archie...it is his prowess with women. Betty Cooper, girl next door, she pines forever after a boy so blind to her love it's like watching a couple of bats do a jigsaw puzzle. And then there's Veronica. OH VERONICA YOU MINX, I wail, shaking my fist at the gods that made me blonde. You're the girl we all wanted to be when we were actually Betty, not knowing back then that Bettys were better. Veronica the millionairess, treats men like dirt and never pays the price. Has there ever been a greater cock tease than the young Veronica Lodge? Who refuses a goodnight kiss because it's too humid? Oh Veronica, how many hearts are left in your wake? And let's not forget Cheryl Blossom, the redhead that all of us hate. She entered the Love Showdown and won, and Betty and Veronica found that their triangle of teen angst had crumbled before their very eyes. CURSE YOU CHERYL and all of your Vixenly ways.
Sports, women, cars and crime. Archie Andrews...where indeed, do you find the time?