Comic Book Pick of the Day: Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals #87

photo of Archie's Pals 'n' Gals 87

One thing I’ve always had a hard time understanding is Archie comics’ continuing popularity.  I don’t know a single person who buys Archie comics, nor do I hear of devoted Archie fans, and yet I see them for sale at grocery stores all the time, even stores that don’t carry famous comics like Superman.  So out of curiosity, I picked up and read Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals #87.
As I wrote before in my guide to reading comics on a tiny budget, sometimes people you wouldn’t expect might just own comics from decades ago.  My grandmother, a former librarian, has a box of about 80 comics, and that’s where I found this one.  It’s from 1974!
One interesting thing about it, is that it mentioned an energy crisis, and the issue revolved around characters trying to conserve energy, so the series is more socially conscious than I previously would’ve imagined.  Otherwise, it seems pretty out of touch.  The characters don’t in the least way resemble teenagers, and don’t look at all like people in the 70s (although my knowledge of the 70s is mostly based on Serpico and All in the Family).  I would imagine that at no point did Archie seem timely, but that’s okay.  Maybe it’s wholesome nostalgia is one of its charms.
Through most of the issue, I never laughed out loud, but there was one very funny moment when it was revealed that Jughead’s mom looks almost identical to him!
I’m more of a Sad Sack fan myself, but I can now say that Archie’s a likeable comic, and I’m perfectly fine with it being on the shelves.  Archie’s been around so long it’s become a staple of life on Earth.

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