Is Archie Marrying For Money?

Jun 09

After nearly 70 years of noncomittment (an impressive record even for an American male), Archie Andrews finally chose between the two cartoon characters in his life, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. Fortunately, he is a cartoon character himself, or this would be a truly weird story. But Archie’s picking Veronica over Betty took many of us by surprise, and inquiring minds want to know what’s up. We wonder if it might have anything to do with Veronica’s millions.
I have a personal interest in all of this .
. .                                                                               
betty__veronica.jpgWhen I was in book publishing, my partner (a blonde) and I (a natural brunette) were known as Betty & Veronica. The great comic artist Dan De Carlo, who drew many of the Archie Comics, autographed this drawing of “us,” which we proudly displayed in our office.

Then, when the business was sold, I grabbed the picture (being Veronica, and all), and it now hangs in my den, a few feet away from where I’m sitting. When someone visited the other day, I pointed it out, but instead of being suitably impressed, he wanted to know if I was the “bad” one. The brunette, you see,  is never the “good” one. . .

As a brunette,  a sort-of real life Veronica, and a card-carrying member of Off Track Betting, I figured that the odds-on favorite had to be the blonde.
I was betting on Betty.

First of all, there is that idée fixe that blondes have more fun. And comics are supposed to be fun, right? Besides, blondes are more wholesome looking, more “Archie,” whereas brunettes are seen as sultry, sexy, and sinful (but then why aren’t we having more fun)? Anyway, there’s also the scientific fact (You can Google it if you want) that blondes — even the bottled kind — are much rarer than brunettes, and getting rarer every day. The word is that we’re headed towards a beige world, and if that happens, how many blondes do you think there’ll be? So I figured that they’d pick the blonde, if only as the token rara avis, so to speak.

On the other hand . . . Maybe the publishers of Archie Comics wanted to pander to their female audience, who happen to be mostly brunettes. They’d sell more comics, and make more money, wouldn’t they. But pander? The comic book industry? How ever did I become so cynical!

Once Upon A Time . .
When I was a little girl, before cynicism had set in, all I wanted was to be a blonde, like all the heroines in all the books I read. Ever notice that the witches, evil stepmothers, and assorted other characters of questionable moral fiber, were always dark haired and dark eyed. Like me.

Then I discovered Wonder Woman: dark hair, although blue-eyed and very tall, to boot. Loved her boots. And her bracelets. Wotta Woman. And wasn’t Lynda Carter just so perfect for the part? During a brief period in my life when I was writing comics (The Phantom, Little Lulu, UFO Adventures), they asked little me (actually, I prefer the term “vertically challenged”) to write scripts for the Amazing Amazon, but the pay was too little (or “financially challenged”), and the editor called me “honey” a few times too many. So I refused, even though there she was, Wonder Woman, a heroine with a head of really big dark hair and all those great accessories.  I still think she’s cool.

It’s not fair! And neither am I . .
But let’s face it, if I had the coloring for it, I’d be blonde in a heartbeat. Gentlemen prefer them, they are allowed to have Blonde Ambition or be Legally Blonde, and they can act as dumb as they want while stealing your heart. Or anything else. I think that long, blond hair on almost any woman changes the whole impression from ho-hum to ho-boy. And yellow is such a pretty color.

So Betty had everything going for her! She’s fun, wholesome, All-American (while at the same time becoming an endangered species), and most of all, she’s much nicer than her rival. And yet, Archie chose Veronica. H’mm.

Follow The Money . . .
At this point I really had to seriously question the motives of this guy and couldn’t avoid the question: Could the boy be a little bit of a gold digger, gold being even prettier than yellow, to some. Not quite ready to accept that disturbing thought, I played around with the idea that all these years Mr. Andrews might have always been hiding a . . . darker side that we didn’t know about it. A secret life. A desire to be more edgy. More “now.” Maybe he was a Dr. Archie and Mr. Hide. Maybe . . . Nah. It hadda be the dough. Putting the material motives of Archie Comics aside, the horrible truth may be that Archie himself is going to marry for money! Talk about All-American.

Oh well, life goes on, for blondes and brunettes alike, the have Archies and the almost had Archies, and we’ll all have to just get over it. On the bright side, Veronica will be able to keep Archie in the style to which he might like to become accustomed. And although she is a brunette, she isn’t actually evil, just a little snotty and self centered. Traits easily forgiven when traveling to Paris First Class. Maybe Archie has had enough of Betty and her wholesome ways and wants to Live Large for a change. Hey! Maybe Betty isn’t even a natural blonde! And after all these years, Archie should know.

But wait. . . maybe all of Veronica’s family money was invested with Bernie or some other Mini-Madoff, and Archie hasn’t found out about it yet. Then, my friends, all bets are off! I smell broken engagement here, and if so, can a romance on the rebound with Betty be far behind? Presuming, of course, that the boy can actually make a commitment to either one.

UPDATE!!  Turns out that all this was a publicity stunt. Shocking.
Marrying Veronica was just “one version of the future” on a path the publishers dreamed up called “Memory Lane.” What WILL they think of next?? In another version, Archie marries Betty. Sigh.

For a nicer, and spicier, Valentine’s Day story: My Night At The Pussy Cat Lounge

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