What Do You Think: A Comic Book Character’s Demise


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.”

CNN reported:

…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.

Film-Archie Movie

What do you think?



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8 Responses to What Do You Think: A Comic Book Character’s Demise

  1. Lori Ericson says:

    Hmmm, I hadn’t heard this, but agree with your viewpoint here. I watch today’s cartoons with my 2-year-old granddaughter, and I’m dismayed that every single one is geared toward some sort of moral lesson. It’s not that I don’t want her learning these lessons, but I worry that there’s no simple entertainment for entertainment’s sake, no just plain fun, just plain giggling silliness. It seems all brainwashing about proper behavior or learning. Even the Mickey Mouse cartoons are about learning something.

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Thanks for your comment, Lori. Maybe it’s that we have grandkids that we’re sensitive about this. I just want kids to have time to be kids before they’re faced with the realities of the “real” world.

  2. Leave Archie alone! 🙂

  3. Staci Troilo says:

    I remember when I used to wait for Saturday mornings and rush downstairs for my weekly dose of cartoons. It never occurred to me that they were violent. How many times in one episode did Wile E. Coyote die? He always rebounded. I lived in blissful ignorance of what the “real world” was like. And that’s the way it should be for kids. Why mess with a good thing? Now cartoons are on 24/7, and finding one that targets a young demographic is next to impossible. For me, Archie will always be at the soda fountain with Betty and Veronica. That’s the way the comics should be. There are other graphic novels that can deal with the darker aspects of life. We don’t need mashups of every genre.

  4. Mustang.Koji says:

    I’m sorry to read that one of your fave’s is now no more, Jan. While I never read Archie (girlie stuff, you know), I certainly remember the two gals! But it is sad when the powers to be exercise their own personal beliefs that something “needs to go”. Who knows? Maybe the guy/gal making the decision had it out for Archie in one way or another; so many bosses today are afflicted with mental illnesses.

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