Today I heard a story on CNN about tomorrow’s demise of a comic strip character I grew up with: Archie.
Though I was not a huge fan of Archie, or for that matter, many other comic book characters, just hearing the name “Archie” took me back to my childhood with memories of Saturday morning cartoons when I watched Archie and the Gang. In fact, before I was publicly interested in boys, I remember being rather enthralled with the goings-on of Archie, Veronica, Reggie and Betty.
So, when I first heard, “Archie,” I thought, “Oh yeah, I remember Archie and the Gang.”
…he’s dying taking a bullet for his gay best friend, Kevin Keller, so he’s saving his life by taking a bullet for him…
I can’t completely articulate why this bothered me, but it did. Why did a beloved character have to die at all, much less like this? I mean, this was a happy-go-lucky teenager, not a crime-fighting superhero like Batman, Superman, etc.
I understand that the “real” world is a violent place and that bad things happen to good people. But why do our CARTOONS–a place children used to be able to go for fun and possibly to escape reality–have to be so real?
It was a “what’s-this-world-coming-to” moment.
I did feel better when I further researched the death and read in the Washington Post:
While casual fans likely still associate Archie with soda shops and sock hops — and that’s still holds true for the very much alive teenage character in the original “Archie” series — Archie was thrust into adulthood with the launch of “Life with Archie” in 2010.
So, apparently, Life with Archie is geared more toward adults.
I know. Maybe I need to get a life if this bothered me so much. Maybe I think it’s sad that the world has lost a lot of its innocence. Maybe it’s because there’s so much awfulness in the “real world”–the crisis in the Middle East, immigrant children, shootings in Chicago, an inept government, blah, blah, blah–that I want my entertainment, and more specifically, kids’ entertainment, to stay entertainment.
Either way, this is how I’ll remember Archie and the Gang.
What do you think?