I first came across Archie comics as a kid back in 1989. It was actually my younger brother who got into these Archie comics first and then later on I would get into them. Unfortunately, nowadays he no longer has any interest in reading Archie comics but he does read and collect some manga.
Anyway in 1989 I remember one day after school, my younger brother brought home some Archie comics (digest versions). I don’t recall exactly the reason why my brother started getting into Archie comics, but I believe it was one of his friends or classmates that got him into these comics.
After he was done reading his Archie comics, he would let me borrow them. At that time, I thought they were pretty cool, but I didn’t think they were anything too special. During this period, I was into Captain America and G.I. Joe comics.
Now there was this really sweet hamburger joint that was close to our house and right next to the hamburger place was a convenience store that sold a whole bunch of comics. So one of the really cool things that my brother and I did was on Friday afternoons after school we would head to this hamburger joint to get a bite to eat. Man, they made the best French fries with gravy that I ever tasted, and that was usually what I ordered. After that, we would stop by the convenience store and that’s when he picked up his Archie comics and I bought my Captain America and/or G.I. Joe comic(s). Of course, since we were kids we didn’t have very much money, so we didn’t do this on every Friday, but we tried to do this as much as we could.
Later on, I would think back and think to myself that, yes, this hamburger joint really reminded me of Pop Tate’s Chocklit Shoppe in the Archie comics, and perhaps the fact that we use to go here was a foreshadowing of my future fondness for Archie comics.
In the early 90s, perhaps 1993, my brother got a one year subscription to the Jughead double digest comic. For some reason my brother really identified with the Jughead character, even though my brother and Jughead didn’t really have much in common (at least I didn’t think so). Again, once he was done reading these Jughead comics, he would let me read them.
And this when I really got into these Archie comics, especially the digest version. When my brother’s subscription ended, I really missed the fact that he wasn’t getting any newer Jughead comics for us to read. So I started to go out and buy the various Archie digest comics whenever I could. And for a brief period, my brother would then borrow my Archie comics after I was done reading them.
Sadly, a lot of our Archie comics from the 90s, including all the Jughead double digest comics that my brother got from his one year subscription, were destroyed by water damage when the basement of my parent’s house got flooded in the late 90s. It was heartbreaking when that happened, but we will always have those memories.
Since that incident I have continued to buy and read Archie comics, and to this very day, I still enjoy reading Archie comics and I will buy them (mainly the digest versions) whenever I can. I always liked the “G-rated” content in them. I think this is because I will always have a fondness for G-rated content, whether it’s animated Disney films, cartoons from my youth, or Archie comics.
I find the stories in Archie digest comics to be very charming (and funny at times). I love the characters, and just like my brother, my favorite character is Jughead. I find it very refreshing that the comic is devoid of mature content like graphic violence, adult language, and sexual content. And I guess perhaps the main reason I enjoy reading these comics is that they remind me of the “innocent times” of my youth.
These comics provide a nice contrast to the very mature M-rated videogames I like to play and R-rated films I like to watch. So yes, I do like playing videogames and watching films/tv shows with mature content. But at the same time, I also do like to sit back and read an Archie comic or two.
Speaking of which, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for me to pick up some more Archie comics.