Hello ya’ll and welcome back to our all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week struck me with nostalgia unexpectedly. The Retron 5 came out, and for those of you who don’t know what that is, it is one handy-dandy video game system that allows you to play all NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Sega Genesis/Master System, and Game Boy/Color/Advance cartridges, transferring them to your TV in nice HD. I opened my box of old games, which included numerous comic book tie-ins, from Ninja Turtles to manga’s Mazinger-Z, and went down a road called memory lane. Mixed in with the nice weather, it got me thinking of summer and camping when I was kid, and bringing comics to camp. Now all sorts of comics fit in my bag for camp, but the easiest due their size for kids to take was the digest series from Archie comics. Even today the digest series is one of the most accessible to find, and still one of the very few comic lines carried in super markets, airports, and the occasional gas station. So I didn’t buy it on my iPad or my comic shop or even Barnes and Noble, but I marched down my local super market and grabbed the newest.
Jughead and Archie Comics Digest #2
Publisher: Archie Comics
Story and Art: An Army Of Awesome Talented Folks
The appeal of the digest is still its size, as it can fit comfortably in a back pocket or small bag, and price for page count, which is $4.99 for a li’l over 100 pages of material. Now Archie packs these with 95% reprints for most of their digest line from their enormous library that stretches back into the 1940s until present, with usually one new story as the anchor frequently (but sometimes not at all and it’s 100% reprints). Recently there has been a title change with the digests (Archie’s whole publishing line seems to be being reconstructed slowly over the past year as titles and publication schedules change), with Archie Fun House taking over for Archie and Friends, and Jughead and Archie taking over for Jughead.
From what I can tell, this issue is a 100% reprint issue, but that is OK, because unless you have been an Archie die-hard since the 1970s, most of these comics you have never ever read, and there is some super solid material presented here. Highlights include a story where Jughead gets his tonsils taken out and he imagines them coming to life and attacking the town, a fun one where Jughead goes to do a magic show with a great punch line, a handful of great classic-era stuff with art by Sam Schwartz, and of course some reprints of the That Wilkin Boy series.
Now each to their own, with over 100 pages there’s far more than what jumped out to me above, admittedly it is all fun Archie-universe stuff with not a bad one in the bunch. These are still some of the best all-ages comics on stands (and literally one of the few titles you find everywhere you always remembered comics being sold at). This or any Archie digest is a high recommendation for some good old fun, so check them out!
That’s it for this week, see you soon!