Archie Comics played an important role in my childhood. I wasn’t big into comics as a genre, but I read every single Archie comic I could get my hands on. Keeping up with the trials and tribulations of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Reggie, satisfied my pre-adolescent need for romance, drama and adventure. For me, Archie comics were like a continuous soap opera I could never get enough of. And it didn’t bother me that all of the characters were All-American White kids. I grew up in Wisconsin, remember. What went on at Riverdale High could have been happening in my own backyard. It all seemed very normal.
So, imagine my surprise when shopping at Target the other day, and my son pulls this new Archie off the shelf with the lovely brown girl as the romantic lead. *squeal* I had to buy it. I devoured the entire issue in a matter of minutes and discovered the story line was rather ridiculous and boring (Were they always like that?) BUT there was nary a mention of interracial romance, race, color, unmanageable hair, or disapproving parents. And Archie and Valeire (the cover girl) weren’t even the only interracial couple in the mix. Betty gets with a brother too. And when I say a brother, I do mean a Black man, but literally, he’s Valerie brother as well.
Is this progress dear readers? If Archie can go Black, who’s next in our list of All-American icons? The Bachelor? Justin Timberlake? Ryan Seacrest? The possibilities are endless. What do you think?