Title:  Archie

Creators:  John L. Goldwater, Vic Bloom, & Bob Montana

Age Recommendation:  12 and up

Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead.  For 60 years these timeless teenagers have been the center of a never ending fountain of ice cream socials, school dances, and good clean fun in their home town of Riverdale.  Recently I attended an Archie panel at San Diego Comic Con where for the past decade the question is always, “is Archie still relevant?”  Surprisingly the answer remains yes!

The beauty of Archie Comics and their many brands such as Josie and the Pussycats, Betty and Veronica, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Double Digests etc. is they’ve never abandoned the core values at the heart of the comics’ beginnings.  And it these timeless lessons that persist in speaking to both young and old even through an age of neverending advances in technology where it can be so easy to lose touch from generation to generation.  No, Archie boils teenage life down to the important stuff; friendship, homework, and crushes.

But all this doesn’t mean Archie doesn’t push forward with the times as well.  While confusing at times, the world of Archie and the gang exists in multiple story lines and last year Archie finally made a choice on Betty or Veronica!  Well, sort of.  The company’s new magazine style publication “Life with Archie” examines how his life would be different if he married both of them… separately of course!  Archie’s not that progressive!  Although, it is great to finally see that guy get out of high school!  Talk about being held back!  Archie also introduced a gay character recently, Kevin Keller, marking a first for the title.  And all this is of course handled in a very family friendly way, making tough issues accessible to your teens.

According to the panel, lots of exciting new things are in store for Archie, including beefed up distribution (you will notice Archie all over your local drug stores etc.), lots of new products like t-shirts and Jughead’s famous hat, and the return of some old titles from Archie Comics like the aforementioned Sabrina.  So, next time your on a road trip and there’s a double digest staring at you at the checkout stand, grab one and take a trip to Riverdale.