Why you might think Archie is a Christian comic

I didn’t want to put “conservative”, but the two almost go hand in hand. 

Since Kevin, the new gay Archie character, is still a hot topic for fans, I sat and thought about how anyone could mistake Archie Comics as being conservative, or Christian based comics. And then I opened one of my long boxes, and pulled out a few Spire Comics featuring Archie and the gang. I remember when I bought these. Dad and I were at a shop an hour away from my house. I pulled out a comic from a rack that looked like Archie, flipped through it, saw him talking about Jesus, and promptly put it back. Now, for the record, I am Jewish. I never thought Archie was religious. I had never, in my young life, seen him mention any kind of God (well, he does celebrate Christmas) or act in any religious way.

Frankly, the comic shocked and even scared me. Archie was just a person, with no religion, nor was he liberal or conservative; Riverdale was just a magical place where everyone belonged. No one was nothing but a person with a name and a personality. Seeing Archie mention Jesus threw me for a loop. Needless to say, I bought the book for a buck, took it home, and read it front to back. The internet was still pretty new at the time, so Google didn’t exactly exist.

Eventually I asked the owner of my local comic shop. He told me about Spire, and how they were allowed to use the characters since Al Hartley, the Spire artist, also worked at Archie. I was still pretty upset, but since it wasn’t published by Archie, I got over it. However, this may have triggered the thought process–in many people–as to Archie being a good conservative/Christian comic. Simply put, they are not.

In an early Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, there was a story where Betty, Veronica and Jughead go to eat at a Chinese restaurant. The waiter, who is inked with enough yellow ink to last a few years, asks them if they need more “lice”. That would not fly in today’s comics. I bet 10 to 1 that if you’re bitching about the gay character–who is not being stereotyped–saw that in today’s Archie comics, you would be offended. Well, so would I! However, given the time frame when that story was published, that was acceptable in society. Seeing as how Dan Parent is doing the whole Kevin thing, I’ll go out on a limb and say he will not be written or drawn in a rude, stereotypical way. He will simply exist in Riverdale, where everyone can be accepted as a human being. And really, isn’t that a beautiful thing we want to teach our kids?

-Lauren

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