Comic books as the name itself suggests are mainly produced to instill a sense of mirth and cheerfulness in the reader. Despite the name, comic books are not chiefly focussed on humor but encompass many other genres too. Comics help us forget the boring and drab dilemmas of our daily lives as we enter into a world so vastly different from our own. The first ever comic book was published in the United States as early as 1933. The term ‘comic book’ arose because the first ever sold comic book printed a series of humor comic strips. Comic books are basically pictures in a series of juxtaposed panels which describe scenes. These scenes are usually accompanied by prose or narratives chiefly written in word balloons typical to comics.
My favourite comic book of all time is the Archie Comic Book series. It first debuted in Pep Comics #22 (December, 1941) with the assistance of writer Vic Bloom and artist Bob Montana who created the lead character of Archie Andrews. Since then, it has developed by leaps and bounds to become the most favourite comic book of teenagers all over the world. This comic strip is set in the fictional town of Riverdale and features the misadventures of Archie and his group of friends.
Let’s take a look at some of the lead characters of this popular comic book.
(1) Archie Andrews is a typical American teen going to high school. Though always trying to be a do-gooder, he inadvertently ends up in trouble for his antics specially while trying to help Mr. Lodge and Mr. Weatherbee. He is easily infatuated by the pretty girls he meets and the love triangle between him, Betty and Veronica form the content matter of many Archie books. Despite his many follies, readers simply can’t help falling in love with this funny boy sporting freckles and bright orange hair.
(2) Betty Cooper is the typical romantic and kind-hearted girl next door. She is head over heels in love with Archie but usually ends up playing second fiddle to Veronica Lodge. She is passionate about writing and cooking, is a good student, athlete and auto-mechanic. Betty is always ready to help others in their troubles.
(3) Veronica Lodge (sometimes called Ronnie or Ron by her close friends) is a very wealthy and seemingly arrogant girl. She is the daughter of the billionaire Hiram Lodge and is a spendthrift by nature. Vain and spoiled, she competes with her best friend, Betty for Archie’s affection and gets along well with most of her classmates except for Jughead whom she cannot bear because of his sloppy attitude. Like Archie, she possesses a soft spot for handsome hunks around the corner and occasionally goes out on dates with Reggie.
(4) Jughead Jones is Archie’s best friend since childhood and usually the one to bail him out of trouble always. He is perpetually obsessed with food. He is by nature very lazy, sarcastic and apathetic towards girls whom he deems as ‘Trouble’. However, he has a steady friendship with Betty. Jughead or Juggie is at times very clever and otherwise ignorant. He usually wears his gray crown beanie.
(5) Reggie Mantle is Archie’s main rival in terms of competing for Veronica’s affections though they are ultimately very good friends. He is highly conceited and vain, always thinking the world of his ‘supremely good looks and charming demeanor’. Reggie loves playing practical jokes on Archie, Dilton and Moose. Reggie is a very good athlete.
(6) Milo “Moose” Mason is a muscular star athlete but very dim-witted by nature. His sentences always start with ‘duh‘ for he is easily outwitted by clever people such as Reggie. Moose is overly possessive when it comes to his girlfriend, Midge and will not hesitate to beat up any guys hitting on her or even talking to her (read Reggie). Moose is seemingly dyslexic as he is unable to comprehend basic algebra or even simple football tactics.
(7) Molly “Midge” Klump is Moose’s steady girlfriend who is easily frustrated by his jealousy and foolhardiness but loves him dearly in the end. Midge never professes any interest in other guys.
(8) Dilton Doiley is a highly intelligent nerd and inventor. He is a favourite among his friends who chiefly rely on his brains. He gets along very well with all the professors at school particularly Mr. Weatherbee and Professor Flutesnoot. Dilton aces all his classes except Physical Education and is very shy by nature, always timid around new people specially girls. Dilton is best friends with “Big Moose” despite their contrasting personalities.
(9) Ethel Muggs is a gangly tall and somewhat dorky girl with a good heart. She is hopelessly in love with Jughead who pays her no heed much to her sadness. Despite her awkwardness, “Big Ethel” is popular among friends and leads an active social life.
(10) Chuck Clayton is an African-American who was initially introduced as a token character. However, he soon overcomes his initial shyness to emerge as one of the most talented athletes in Riverdale High. Chuck also has a penchant for cartooning as fun and is a very close buddy of Archie.
(11) Nancy Woods is Chuck’s steady African-American girlfriend. She is highly devoted to Chuck but often expresses frustration when he pays more attention to his hobbies instead of her. Nancy enjoys cheerleading, journalism, sports and fashion. She is a dear friend of the gang.
(12) Hiram Lodge is Veronica’s father and the wealthiest man in all of Riverdale. Portrayed as an industrialist, he dreads meeting Archie because of his clumsiness and lack of etiquette but in the end tolerates him because of his other redeeming qualities.
(13) Mr. Waldo Weatherbee or “The Bee” is the school principal. He is obese and bald, and is a victim to Archie’s mishaps quite often. However, he is quite friendly and helpful to the students.
(14) Miss. Geraldine Grundy is an English teacher at Riverdale High. She is well-aged and slim with white hair. Her personality often alternates between harsh and motherly.
(15) Terry “Pop” Tate is the owner and manager of the Chok’lit Shoppe, a popular hangout for the Archie gang. He serves as a self-designated philanthropist for the gang and always lends a patient ear to their troubles while offering them solutions.
(16) Hot Dog is Jughead’s faithful pet dog, a mutt who resembles a sheepdog. He is capable of self-thought and doesn’t consider himself to be merely a pet. He has rather human-like tendencies. Hot Dog and Jughead have a lot in common, the primary things being their incessant appetite and their inherent laziness.
So, there you go! You now have a list of all the favourite characters of the Archie Gang. Well then, what are you waiting for? Grab a copy from the nearest shop and get hooked onto the misadventures of Archie and the gang. It will not disappoint and ensures to leave you feeling fresh and cheerful for sure!