Children

Happy birthday, ARCHIE!

Happy birthday, Archie!

Happy birthday, Archie!  

For a 75-year-old, Archie doesn’t look a day older than 16. That’s right, Riverdale’s favourite freckled, clumsy, red-headed teenager completes 75 years of making readers laugh, cry and enjoy as they become part of his craziest of adventures. He made his debut on December 22, 1941.

Archibald “Chick”Andrews was created by Bob Montana. The character was based on the 1930s Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. Archie was portrayed to be lovable, clumsy and perhaps slightly annoying, as he tries to woo girls who are out of his league, including his neighbour, Betty Cooper. The arrival of Veronica Lodge brings in the storyline where Betty and Veronica are constantly vying for his affection. His best friend Jughead has absolutely no interest in girls. The only love of his life is food.

The comics have undergone several changes in the past 75 years. From Archie and his friends’ appearance to their fashion sense, many things have changed but the spirit of the series remains the same. Apart from the original comic, there are also other series that explore Archie’s world. Life with Archie series revolves around Archie’s life after leaving Riverdale High School, and how his future has shaped up. Unfortunately, at the end of the series, he is killed as he saves one of his friends. In Afterlife with Archie, Riverdale is plagued by zombies who are killing off people, who in turn become zombies. And there are more such spin-off series!

How did Archie Andrews enter the conscience of teenagers all around the world (and even younger audiences through the Little Archie comics), and capture the essence of their everyday lives? It isn’t too difficult to figure out. Archie is a relatable character. Everyone goes through certain situations in life, from childhood to adolescence, most of which Archie’s comics aptly represents — whether it is getting into trouble at school over not doing your homework or accidentally setting the lab on fire, trying to help out a friend when they are down in the dumps, surprising a loved one with a sweet gesture, being the subject of public embarrassment or bullying, and how to overcome it, or simply going out with your friends for a fun day at the mall or the beach — Archie and the gang have got your back, and will give a hilarious and happy ending to it.

Meet the gang

Let’s have a look at the residents of Riverdale.

Archie Andrews is constantly torn between Betty and Veronica. He likes them both, but can never get to choose between them. He is clumsy, but big-hearted. He often gets into trouble at school with his teacher Miss Grundy, the principal Mr. Weatherbee and also Veronica’s father, Hiram Lodge. Archie had a red jalopy that he had christened Ol’ Betsy.

Betty Cooper is the girl-next-door who likes Archie. She is charming and creative and often helps Archie with fixing things like his old jalopy. She also helps out her friends whenever she can even if it means she has to sacrifice something of her own.

Veronica Lodge is the spoilt rich brat of the group. Her father is a wealthy businessman, and pampers his only daughter. Veronica likes high fashion, shopping, money and Archie. She is also Betty’s best friend, but not when it comes to Archie.

Reggie Mantle is Archie’s frenemy — a friend who also acts as an enemy. He is similar to Veronica, and there are times that the gang gets fed up of his antics.

Jughead is Archie’s best friend. Give him a hammock and an endless supply of food, he is more than happy. His real name is Forsythe Jones and he is not into impressing girls in school like any of his other friends. He is generous and would help out his friends in a jiffy.

There are many others too. The pals and gals include Dilton, Chuck, Moose, Midge, Miss Grundy, Mr. Weatherbee, Ethel, Cheryl Blossom, Sabrina (the teenage witch) and also Josie and the Pussycats!

Quick facts

The fictional town of Riverdale is based on Bob Montana’s hometown Haverhill, Massachusetts. He had made sketches of life in Haverhill prior to creating Archie, and based many other characters and some specific locations accordingly.

The United States Postal Service included Archie in a set of five 44-cent commemorative postage stamps on the theme “Sunday Funnies”, issued July 16, 2010. The Archie stamp featured Veronica, Archie, and Betty sharing a milkshake.

“The Archies” is also the gang’s rock band which had Archie on lead guitar and vocals, Reggie on bass, Jughead on drums, Veronica on keyboard and Betty on tambourine.

Archie’s ancient red jalopy — Ol’ Betsy which was forever breaking down — was a 1916 Ford Model T. In more recent comics, he’s seen driving a red Ford Mustang from the 1960s.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 7:26:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/Happy-birthday-ARCHIE/article16777989.ece

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