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Get Free DC and Marvel Comic Download only on GetComics. Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica ran issues (cover-dated March Read Betty and Veronica Double Digest comic online free and high quality. Fast loading speed, unique reading type: All pages - just need to scroll to read next. Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, along with Archie, form a love triangle that The Associated Press, “Archie Comics Unveils Gay Character,” New York: The.
Universal Heterosexuality: The Mid s to the Mid s During the last half of the s, the AIDS epidemic made it difficult to ignore same-sex desires and practices, even in comic books. When aging Hollywood star Rock Hudson, dying of AIDS, was revealed to be gay and dying of AIDS, many fans felt curiously betrayed: Hudson had been emblemeatic of male heterosexuality, even though rumors of 'homosexuality' had dogged his career, and many of his Archie Comics I films were plotted around various hints of transgressive desire.
But, as Marita Sturken states, when the revelations were made in the summer of , "we had to accept the fact that many of our fundamental, conventional images [of heterosexuality] were instilled by someone gay" The absent had suddenly become present, the unstated stated. Archie comics characters could no longer solve the 'problem' of lack of heterosexual desire in certain characters by invoking blindness or ignorance and deferring heterosexual destiny to a future epiphany.
Even young readers would know that a boy who did not like girls might like boys, and Archie comics found that possibility intolerable. An increasing awareness on the part of Archie comics that gay and lesbian identities exist can be seen in the increasingly blatant attempts at excluding them.
Veronica talks about having "a wild old time" instead of the traditional "gay old time. A somber Mr. Weatherbee stands before a blackboard while the gang, drawn considerably smaller than usual, look up from desks arranged in a semicircle. The minor character Chuck has replaced Reggie, perhaps because he is African-American and thus might appeal to a wider audience. The choice of the word "problem" instead of "disease" is wise, since AIDS has had an impact on practically every human activity, from the cultural to the economic.
The phrase "all ages" includes both teenagers the Archie gang and preteens the comics' usual audience , but "all walks of life" simultaneously encodes and erases both gays and straights. The students look somber, almost frightened, except for Jughead, who is leaning back with a smirk.
His smirk is significant. By , AIDS was decimating gay communities, and gay people would have been particularly attuned to Mr. Weatherbee's presentation.
But Jughead's smirk indicates that I Dennis he does not see himself as much at risk as his fellow students, that is, as certainly not gay. It is a gesture that explains that thirty comic book years of not liking girls signified a ' healthy' shyness, certainly not same-sex desire.
During the mid s, Archie Comics blatantly attempted to defuse any reading of Jughead's character as gay. In "Genesis - the Beginning," Jughead is up late, when a beam of light emanates from his TV set and paralyzes him. He loses consciousness.
The next morning he has received a facelift, and there is a curious masculine symbol affixed to his beanie. I have a desire to talk to A girl! Reggie doesn ' t believe in Jughead 's transformation and intensifies his evaluation of"women-hating" from mere deviation to pathology: "That boy is one sickie! Further stories in the mid s had Jughead, Archie, and Reggie recounting this experience over and over to practically everyone in Riverdale, and of course to every reader.
In "Seeing is Unbelieving," Archie notes that Jughead had "either a close encounter or a mad nightmare, but it left him a self-confident, girl-loving, prowling wolf' 1. The "woman-hating" of the past is dismissed as shyness though Jughead was never shy or lack of self-confidence though he was always the most self-confident of the group. In an open letter, managing editor John Goldwater noted that Jughead had "changed" but failed to give any details , and invited comments about whether readers liked the old or the new Jughead better Goldwater.
The consensus was overwhelming: readers preferred the old Jughead. Nevertheless, the girl-loving Jughead prevailed during the next decade: he was involved in several passionate affairs and tempestuous love-hate relationships, and many stories made casual reference to heterosexual dates.
Paradoxically, the girl-hating Jughead occasionally appeared; in "Bank Trouble," he saves an attractive female star from drowning, but refuses a kiss as a reward because he hates kissing girls.
Minor characters were similarly recast in the mid s to avoid the implication of same-sex desire in same-sex dyads. Before , Veronica's mother appeared rarely; her father, Mr. Lodge, was more Archie Comics I or less a single parent. Servants came and went, depending on the need of the story, but Smithers the butler remained constant.
His attachment to Mr. Lodge transcended the employer-employee relationship. Often the two were shown sitting side by side in easy chairs, cozily discussing Veronica's latest shopping spree or enjoying Archie's latest comeuppance as equals. From on, the role of Smithers decreased, and suddenly Mrs. Lodge appeared in almost every story involving Veronica's home life.
Archie Comics survived and even prospered through the strategic marketing of comic digests and the hiring of a cadre of new writers, including women and people of color, introduced by editors Nelson Ribeiro and Victor Gorelick Archie Comics Website.
They reinvented Archie Comics by experimenting with style and color, exploring odd corners of the Archie universe with such titles as "Ditton's Weird Science" and "Jughead 's Diner" , and softening the more stereotypic characters Moose became dyslexic, not stupid, and Big Ethel, shunned for decades as ugly, became simply plain, but nonetheless hip, fun, and popular.
They also moved away from the mania to make every character "boy-crazy" or "girl-crazy," positing a Riverdale where teenagers enjoy a wide variety of interests. Some stories even dealt explicitly with the possibility of same-sex desire. In " Little Black Book" surely a reworking of "Tough Bluff' , Betty encounters an address book, assumes that it contains a boy's romantic prospects, and is surprised to find her name missing.
A moment later, she concludes that it is Veronica 's "little black book," thus offering a heterosexual solution to the ' problem ' of romantic interest in boys. But this solution does not affirm the universality of heterosexual desire: previously, Betty took it for granted that the book belonged to a boy, that somewhere in Riverdale was a boy who dated or wished to date Tom Cameron and Ron Cook; her nonchalance suggests that same-sex desire is not so out of the ordinary after all.
Later, Jughead explains what happened by 'sweeping' Veronica off her feet. Principal Weatherbee expresses outrage over this "carrying on" an Archie universe expression for heterosexual practice , and threatens detention for the next culprit. At that moment, Moose appears with Ditton in his arms 5. The sight of a boy 'sweeping' another boy off his feet so shocks Mr. Weatherbee that hi s glasses and toupee pop off, and question marks and exclamation marks appear above the students' heads.
Moose explains that he is merely carrying Ditton to the infirmary after a sports injury, thereby offering a homosocial solution to the ' problem. In "You've Got to Give Her Credit," written by Hal Smith, Veronica is delighted to receive some credit cards in the mail and asks Smithers the butler to "give the mailman a big kiss for me!
In the next sequence, Mr. Lodge, dining with a male companion at the Riverdale Country Club, exclaims "It's like they're multiplying" 3. In the foreground, a young man with black hair and a mustache grins as he wraps his arm around the shoulders of a muscular red-haired man, who is turned toward him with a dreamy expression.
Although both are wearing suits, implying a business deal , they look precisely as if they are in the midst of a romantic evening.
Lodge is obviously referring to Veronica's multiplying credit cards, but as our eyes are drawn to an overt same-sex couple, we cannot help but speculate on his response to the increasing visibility of gay men in North American society. In a self-reflective postmodem twist in "Verse Than Ever," also written by Hal Smith, Veronica is aware that she is a character in a comic book, and objects to its title, Betty and Veronica.
She wants to be first. She argues that Betty would be better in last place, because so many words rhyme with Betty that they could therefore create poems. As an example, she recites "Break out the confetti! Veronica Archie Comics I and Betty are going steady! Betty wheezes "Whew! The thought that they might be considered lovers has had a profound impact on her. While Veronica is unfazed and may even have intended the implication, Betty reacts with a veritable panic.
What are we to make of this sequence? Not entirely cognizant of the definitional boundaries of adult romantic relationships and friendships, children often confuse the two, ascribing romance to relationships that surely would not involve explicit erotic desire. If this sort of slippage is intended, Betty's reaction makes no sense. Instead, she must be aware that girls sometimes date girls, that she and Veronica could indeed "go steady. An explanation may be found in Betty's longstanding characterization as an athletic type and a tomboy, at ease in the auto garages and workshops where she is gender-polarized as male; she is frequently advised that her heterosexual loves are stymied because she is too much like 'one of the guys.
Indeed, she often demonstrates rather explicit same-sex interests. At the beach with Archie, she continuously points out attractive women: "Isn't that a pretty girl?
Doesn't she have a gorgeous body? Perhaps the 'joke' in "Verse Than Ever" rang too true, highlighting a subtext in her relationship with Veronica that neither she nor the author could comfortably address. He immediately brings Archie on stage, and the story switches to slapstick.
Conclusion During the last sixty years, thousands of Archie comics stories have introduced millions of children, as well as teenagers and adults, to a Riverdale where heterosexual desire supposedly informs every I Dennis action , every thought, every plan. But every text is open, every reading is fragmentary, every hegemony is ultimately incoherent. Similarly, a running gag in the Josie supporting stories 1 Archie comics do not have sequential page numbers, and only since the mid s have they given production credits.
I can therefore cite the Archie stories only by title and date. Archie Comics I precursors of the s Josie and the Pussycats had every teenage boy who encountered the buxom blonde Melody distracted to the point of idiocy, crashing into things, falling into open manholes, crashing their cars, and so on.
But in "See No Evil," Melody is astonished when a boy on the beach pays no attention to her. The other boys laud him as a hero. They never suggest that the boy may not find girls attractive, just that he has sufficient self-control to reign in his overpowering lust.
It turns out that he has merely misplaced his glasses, so he is 'blind. While some young readers in the s would accept such solutions to the ' problem' of the necessity of affirming heterosexual desire, others would surely identify with the unnamed boy's apparent initial 'lack' of interest, thus tacitly opening a potentially queer space.
Compulsory Heterosexuality: The Mid s to the Mid s The sexual revolution of the late s and s saw an increasing challenge to the presumed normalcy of hegemonic gender and sexual practices through the women's movement, the various free love and group marriage experiments, and gay rights I gay pride movements.
In reaction, Archie's heterosexual practice during the late s and s skyrocketed into absurdity. Ordinarily sensible and level headed, he dissolved into a slurry of testosterone at the merest sight of the girls whose bodies were beginning to fill the foreground of the comic panels. Archie pursued sports, cars, hobbies, and future careers no longer merely for their own sake, but for their efficiency in getting girls. If anyone commented upon the chaotic, often destructive intensity of his passion, he countered that to be "girl- crazy" was the natural male condition.
In "The Unknown Equation," he begins with "the basics": "girls exert an obvious attraction on us boys, right? Rarely were there comments: more often Archie's friends and parents assumed that the character's monomaniacal interest in girls was eminently sane, that the pursuit of the elusive heterosexual kiss was the only viable goal in life.
They all just missed brilliant scientific discoveries because of their obsessive interest in girls- they failed to notice the apple falling because they were busy flirting, or they pulled the kite down from the thunderstorm to flirt more effectively.
He can't tell us winners from the losers! Also in the s and on, we see an expansion of the parameters of universal heterosexual desire: characters who were excused from displaying heterosexual interests during the s were now required to bounce about in jubilation, shouting "Va-va-voom!
Overt, intense expressions of heterosexual interest were deemed necessary for full communion with human society. When Dilton begins to express heterosexual interest in "The New Dilton," his friends are relieved: "Dilt has joined the pack During the s, Dilton dropped his pedantic demeanor though remaining intelligent and agonized endlessly over his failure to acquire sufficient girls.
Reggie began dating frequently and ardently. And even though Moose had had a steady girlfriend for nearly twenty years of comic book stories, he was still criticized for being insufficiently intense in his expression of heterosexual interest: in "Potions of Love," Midge complains that Moose is "girl-shy!
No confidence! Afraid to make a move! During the s, Archie Comics introduced a number of supporting strips featuring bratty preteen characters who made life miserable for their parents or teenage siblings. During the s, these figures were dropped with the exception of Li' l Jinx, who became as obsessed with heterosexual practice as the characters in the main Archie stories.
Ten-year old Jinx was tom between two boyfriends, Mort and Greg, and attempted to keep them both out of the clutches of glamorous, man-hungry Gigi. Likewise the rotund and crass Charlie Hawse claimed a lack of heterosexual interest during the s, but eventually even he sees the error of his ways. In "Dear Diary," originally published shortly after the movie Blue Lagoon , Charlie reads a romantic fantasy in Mort's diary and concludes that he knows "Brook Shield" actress Brooke Shields.
Hearts of heterosexual desire explode above his head and, panting, he exclaims to Mort "You' ve got to introduce me to her! Archie Comics I Only Jughead was excused from the necessity of expressing heterosexual interest during the 60s and 70s, but his friends were less likely to conclude that he was simply blind and would one day encounter his heterosexual destiny.
His friends specifically defined his lack of interest in girls as a 'failure,' an abnormality to be tolerated at best. Furthermore, his 'failure' was, for the first time, associated with a desire for boys; that is, he formed same-sex bonds in those situations in which his peers would form heterosexual bonds. Again, Jughead's behavior creates the possibility of same-sex desire and opens queer space.
Especially with girls! Although he purpor1s to be stating nonsense as in his catch phrase, "Half of the lies they tell about me aren't true" , at least syntactically his special dislike for dates with girls implies that other sorts of dates are possible.
His friends assume that he wants to finance a date with her.
They joyfully shout "[that's] the first sign of normalcy in that weirdo" 2 and take up a collection. It turns out that the girl has failed to pay back a loan, which he needs to finance a 'date' with a boy who is not named, since the Archie universe frowns on naming new characters.
The last panel of the story shows Jughead happily walking away with his arm around the boy, initiating his 'date' while his friends bang their heads together in frustration. Jughead 's behavior meets the Archie universe definition of the term "date" in every detail: a social event for two people, during which the one who pays puts an arm around the one who does not.
This presumed universality of hetero sexual desire, when coupled with the failure to follow it through, allows for other queer spaces in the Archie stories of the 60s and 70s. In "Common Ground," the gang is at the beach, when a boy named Cliff zooms up on a dune buggy.
This will be no ordinary encounter: Archie characterizes him as "crazy," underscoring his potential danger - physical, social, or ontological.
Cliff invites Veronica for a ride and, oblivious to the danger, she accepts. In the Archie universe, boys issue invitations for rides only when they want to "make time," that is, initiate a romance with someone else's girlfriend. But after a rather strenuous circuit of the beach, Cliff dutifully drops Veronica off. Then I Dennis he turns to Reggie and asks, "How about you?
Reggie eagerly accepts, and the story ends with the two boys riding off together. In this story, is a ride supposed to be just a ride, with no romantic implications? If so, why did Cliff earn the description "crazy" that signals a threat to Archie's relationship with Veronica? Or perhaps he was trying to "make time" with Veronica after all, and now he has moved on to Reggie.
In "Tough Bluff," Betty and Veronica find Archie's "little black book," his list of potential romantic prospects, and hope to use it to identify their rivals. So what is the "tough bluff'? What is he distracting them from? If he wants to hide a list of potential girlfriends from Betty and Veronica, it is curious that he would invent a list made up solely of boys ' names. His choice of boys indicates an oddly meticulous investment into the popular convention of the "little black book.
Why does he omit Dilton and Jughead? Moose and Reggie are arguably the most attractive members of the gang, and Dilton and Jughead, somewhat nerdish, are perhaps the least attractive. Archie has not filled his "little black book" with names chosen at random for a ruse or the names of his friends as in an ordinary address book , but has compiled a list of boys who are either the most likely objects of someone's infatuation or simply "unknown.
Universal Heterosexuality: The Mid s to the Mid s During the last half of the s, the AIDS epidemic made it difficult to ignore same-sex desires and practices, even in comic books.
When aging Hollywood star Rock Hudson, dying of AIDS, was revealed to be gay and dying of AIDS, many fans felt curiously betrayed: Hudson had been emblemeatic of male heterosexuality, even though rumors of 'homosexuality' had dogged his career, and many of his Archie Comics I films were plotted around various hints of transgressive desire. But, as Marita Sturken states, when the revelations were made in the summer of , "we had to accept the fact that many of our fundamental, conventional images [of heterosexuality] were instilled by someone gay" The absent had suddenly become present, the unstated stated.
Archie comics characters could no longer solve the 'problem' of lack of heterosexual desire in certain characters by invoking blindness or ignorance and deferring heterosexual destiny to a future epiphany. Even young readers would know that a boy who did not like girls might like boys, and Archie comics found that possibility intolerable. An increasing awareness on the part of Archie comics that gay and lesbian identities exist can be seen in the increasingly blatant attempts at excluding them.
Veronica talks about having "a wild old time" instead of the traditional "gay old time. A somber Mr. Weatherbee stands before a blackboard while the gang, drawn considerably smaller than usual, look up from desks arranged in a semicircle.
The minor character Chuck has replaced Reggie, perhaps because he is African-American and thus might appeal to a wider audience.
The choice of the word "problem" instead of "disease" is wise, since AIDS has had an impact on practically every human activity, from the cultural to the economic. The phrase "all ages" includes both teenagers the Archie gang and preteens the comics' usual audience , but "all walks of life" simultaneously encodes and erases both gays and straights.
The students look somber, almost frightened, except for Jughead, who is leaning back with a smirk. His smirk is significant. By , AIDS was decimating gay communities, and gay people would have been particularly attuned to Mr. Weatherbee's presentation. But Jughead's smirk indicates that I Dennis he does not see himself as much at risk as his fellow students, that is, as certainly not gay. It is a gesture that explains that thirty comic book years of not liking girls signified a ' healthy' shyness, certainly not same-sex desire.
During the mid s, Archie Comics blatantly attempted to defuse any reading of Jughead's character as gay. World of Archie: Masquerade Mishaps.
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