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Hope you all like it!
Growing up I collected Archie comics, capping out in the thousands. In fact, they are all still boxed up in the corner of my room, and in quite good condition if I do say so myself. But what’s awesome about Archie is that they’ve become one of, nope, the most progressive comic of all time.
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has become one of the most socially progressive comic book publishers in the market, with genuinely solid storytelling that’s been pushing the boundaries of what they’ve done with their formula in the 70 years since the freckle-faced teenager made his debut. Today, they announced their latest move: In the upcoming Archie #633, they’ll tell the story of a future where Archie marries Valerie Smith (of Josie and the Pussycats fame) and they have a daughter.
It won’t be the first time that Archie has portrayed an interracial marriage in their comics. This month’s Life With Archie #16 already hit that mark by putting the marriage of a gay soldier right there on the cover of one of the few comics you can still pick up at the grocery store:
That was a huge deal, but it’s also worth noting that as big a step as it might be, it also involves two characters — including Archie’s gay classmate Kevin Keller — that were largely created to fill that role. Valerie and Archie’s romance, however, is something different. They’re two established, high-profile characters, one of which has been a fixture in Archie’s media efforts and another that the actual company’s named after — coming together in something that you just wouldn’t have seen from those characters, even five years ago.
When Archie and Valerie first started dating back in 2010, I wrote about what it meant in the context of a company that in the past had treated interracial dating as something so controversial that obviously black characters were colored in the stories to have lighter skin. In fact, it was standard practice for years to introduce minority characters in twos so that they could pair off without having to date Betty or Veronica — a Nancy for every Chuck and a Frankie Valdez for every Ginger Lopez.
Archie and Valerie change all that, and the way that it’s been pulled off in the past by writer/artist Dan Parent, one of Archie’s strongest creators, has made perfect sense. They build their relationship on a mutual love of music and, in Archie’s case, the fact that he falls in love with beautiful girls regardless of race. As an isolated idea, it meant a lot, but in elevating it to this level, their relationship is being treated as something just as valid as Archie’s relationships with Betty and Veronica. The addition of a daughter, something that hasn’t been explored in the Betty or Veronica marriages and something that has traditionally been even more controversial in American history, goes even further — in a good way…
Seriously though, is awesome.Archie was a staple of my childhood - and considering how I turned out - I think it’s safe to assume they’ve been slipping in positive messages for awhile now. Thanks, Riverdale!
One of the most powerful articles I’ve ever read. To be anti-abortion is to be for it, because access to proper medical care doesn’t increase the number of women who get them, it just saves a majority of their lives.
The problem isn’t the legalization of the procedure, the problem is the startling number of women, majority young teens, who are faced with having to make such an incredibly difficult and terrifying decision. We need to work towards fixing the root of the problem, not punishing them - that’s how we’ll lower the number of women being faced with the decision in the first place. And it certainly won’t be done through “abstinence only” anything.
The Way It Was
The Beatles ruled. The mini was in. I was seventeen, and pregnant. What happened next is what could happen again.
By Eleanor Cooney
In 1959, when I was a precocious smarty-pants still in grade school, I wrote a fake letter to Doris Blake, the New York Daily News advice columnist. I pretended to be a teenage girl “in trouble.” I spun a tale of a liquor-soaked prom night and passing out in the back of a car. I included a cast of entirely fictional characters — a worthless boyfriend, a mentally unstable mother, a strict, brutal father. I ended my letter with: “Now I think I am pregnant. Please help me. I am desperate.”
I’m not sure what I expected, but my letter was not printed, and no advice was forthcoming. The silence was utter. Possibly Miss Blake, like Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, had a drawer where such letters were tossed. If so, the other letters in that drawer were no doubt a lot like mine — except that they were not written by wiseass children. They were real. And for the writers of those letters, the silence was real. And I remember thinking: Gee, what if I really were that girl I made up? What would I do?
One summer night some years later, when I was not quite 18, I got knocked up. There was nothing exciting or memorable or even interestingly sordid about the sex. I wasn’t raped or coerced, nor was I madly in love or drunk or high. The guy was another kid, actually younger than I, just a friend, and it pretty much happened by default. We were horny teenagers with nothing else to do.
Nature, the ultimate unsentimental pragmatist, has its own notions about what constitutes a quality liaison. What nature wants is for sperm and egg to meet, as often as possible, whenever and wherever possible. Whatever it takes to expedite that meeting is fine with nature. If it’s two people with a bassinet and a nursery all decorated and waiting and a shelf full of baby books, fine. If it’s a 12-year-old girl who’s been married off to a 70-year-old Afghan chieftain, fine. And if it’s a couple of healthy young oafs like my friend and me, who knew perfectly well where babies come from but just got stupid for about 15 minutes, that’s fine, too.
In the movies, newly pregnant women trip, fall down the stairs, and “lose the baby.” Ah. If only it were that easy. In real life, once that egg is fertilized and has glided on down the fallopian tube, selected its nesting place, and settled in, it’s notoriously secure, behaves like visiting royalty. Nature doesn’t give a fig about the hostess’s feelings of hospitality or lack of them. If the zygote’s not defective, and the woman is in good health, almost nothing will shake it loose. Anyone who’s been pregnant and didn’t want to be knows this is so.
To the man that changed the way the world will forever look at apples. May you rest in peace.
Someone decided to illustrate the very best ‘missed connections’ that were, well, probably forever missed. But either way, the illustrations are good and the stories are better. MUCH BETTER (insert accent here)!
Sigh. Love at first sight for sure!
P.S. For more artistic interpretations of love lost, click here.
Maybe someone should tell PETA that an organization that actually wants to help the world would not consistently oppress other groups of people nor would it use an ad campaign based purely on the objectification of women’s bodies. I dunno, maybe it’s just me…
I know I’m a little late, but this is why I love me some Apple.