Remember Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead? These teenagers, who sprang to fictional life in 1941, have led their ageless fantasy lives for nearly seventy years.
As a kid in the 50s, I much preferred the dark, funny fantasies of Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, and Bill Gaines – not to mention the rollicking adventures of Jack Kerouac , the dark energy of Elvis Presley, or the anguished beauty of Allen Ginsberg’s “Kaddish” or “Howl.” Archie was described by his creator as an “average American kid from an average American family.”
Archie and his pals haveambled effortlessly through seven tumultuous decades, unaffected by time and change.
Had the five of them grown up, what would have become of them?
Here’s a guess.
Archie, Reggie and Jughead went to State, got into business, moved to Colorado Springs, and areall running for Mayor. We’ve always aspired to be an average American city full of average American citizens raising average American teenagers, so we need an average American mayor. Our candidates are stolid, hard-working, unimaginative and comfortably average – just what you’d expect of the grown-up Archie characters.
Betty and Veronica? They took off for San Francisco for the summer of love, hung out, and got jobs working with some geeky guys with a little software business a dozen years later. There’s a picture of all eleven employees of the company, taken around 1978. They’re in the front, flanked by their bosses, a couple of guys named Bill and Paul.
Betty hadn’t changed much, but Veronica had long rippling hair and tinted shades. I guess the company did OK- the two of them never went back to Riverdale.
And, in common with every well-qualified woman in the city, they’re not interested in running for mayor.
Let the boys preen, strut, and posture – girls have more important things to do.