Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Favourite Characters: YER FATHER'S MUSTACHE!

Naw, that's not a character! That's the best thing my favourite character Jughead derisively blurts in a collection of comics from the 1940's and 1950's.

'Archie Firsts' from Dark Horse reprints is a treasure trove of historical antics and kooky first appearances of classic comic-type characters.

Like Jughead.

Forsythe P. Jones III, created 70 years ago, manages to be a high school student every year since 1941, a fine feat indeed!

Is it the power of his teeny weeny magic beanie?

Somehow related to his adventures with the Time Police?

I now honestly believe that Archie Comics carefully and deliberately present us, the loyal readership, with more than 70 consistent but alternate dimensions (probably many more) and seventy plus versions of Juggie. These plethora of Jugshead iconoclastically sport shirts with an enigmatic "S" on the front, some have an equally mystifying "13" on the back. (Also the bizarre TV Jughead whose hat is pink for some reason.)

From the version your grandfather might have raced in a soapbox derby to the radical '80's drummer dude with the fade haircut, to the guy ordering burgers with his iPhone, it's always essentially Jughead: rail thin, lazier than his dog, winner of every eating contest, and loser (by fervent choice) in the game of love.

I love outlandish tales, and frankly I thought very little of Archie Comics until I started reading them recently. (After all, they only occasionally feature superheroes and space travel!) But they DO feature engaging, funny, essentially ordinary characters in outlandish situations.

I may never have had to transport an eccentric billionaire's stuffed swordfish on a bus before, but now I can imagine it! Thanks to Jughead and his many writers and artists.

Jug may be a sarcastic loafer who eschews the fairer sex in favor of epicurean delights, but perhaps more than any other qualities I admire his pragmatism, forthrightness and loyalty to his friends.

If you have a pal like Jughead you can count yourself thrice blessed! He's the sort of pal I hope to be myself. (THRICE!)

There's even a dimension or two where ol' 'girl-hating' Jughead got hitched. Specifically, a month back in 'Life With Archie', our twenty-something soda jerk married fellow Pop Tates' employee Midge Klump (ex-girlfriend of Moose Mason). In one specific possible future, the proposal took the form of an economic partnership to make it easier for them to attain a small business loan. But... there was more to the story than dollar signs...
I wish them the best in their struggle and can only assume Jug and Midge aren't misguided enough to trade their marriage to Mephisto or Mr. Lodge or anybody else.

Because... it ain't the Archies without the Jughead beat.

1 comment:

Paul said...

It would be great to see Midge Klump and Jughead hookup in the regular Archie universe. It's time for Midge x Moose to break up. She needs her own space. And Jughead is the guy for the job!!!