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Archie Andrews: Grown Up and Getting Married

May 29, 2009 07:00 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
After years of waiting, cartoonists reveal that Archie Andrews will end a relationship with Betty Cooper and marry Veronica Lodge.

Ending the “Eternal Love Triangle”

For the last 68 years, Archie Andrews has had a hard time making a big decision: Betty or Veronica?

But he’s past that now. The writers and illustrators behind the famous character have revealed that not only will Archie finally be through high school (and even college) when Issue 600 is released, he will also be proposing to Veronica Lodge.

“The longest comic book love triangle in history is coming to an end,” The Early Show quoted co-anchor Harry Smith as saying.

The Archie Comics blog said it would “even go so far as to call it the Archie Story of the Century.”

But how will readers respond to Archie’s decision? According to contributor Mike Celizic, a strong majority of commenters at the Archie Web site thought Betty, “the girl next door,” would have been a better choice than Veronica, a young heiress.

There might be some room for Archie to change his mind again, however, as Celizic wonders, “Given Archie’s history of indecision, would it be unreasonable to assume that there are more plot twists ahead?” Because Issue 600 only deals with the engagement, the story will play out for awhile yet.

Issue 600 will be at comic specialty shops on August 19, and sold at newsstands on September 1, 2009.

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History: The Katzenjammer Kids

"Archie" has had quite the storyline, but it certainly isn’t the longest-running comic out there. "The Katzenjammer Kids" was developed by Rudolph Dirks for the American Humorist in 1897. As the “oldest comic strip still in syndication,” King Features Syndicate explains, the story has been adapted for the stage, featured on a U.S. Postal Service stamp and “inspired countless animated cartoons.”

Related Topic: Changing a comic strip timeline

In 2008, Lynn Johnston, the creator of “For Better or For Worse,” ended the story of the Patterson family and returned them to 1979. Johnston and her characters had a love-hate relationship with readers, who frequently mocked the dated storyline. Still, the Pattersons have their fans.

Regardless of whether the comic’s audience comprises obsessive fans or obsessive naysayers, it is still the comic that “everyone” reads. Unlike most other comic strips, the characters age in real time, and many of Johnston’s readers have grown up along with them. Johnston had initially planned to retire. She told the Washington Post, “I wanted to stop the story while it was still a reasonably good story. You can’t fulfill everyone’s needs. I’ve told the story—I can’t do any more.”

Another comic strip saw a major storyline change in 2007. Lisa Moore, a character in "Funky Winkerbean," died of breast cancer. Writer Tom Batiuk said he felt gratified to tell a “true story” in the comic, reported, and appreciated the positive responses he received from readers.

With Moore’s death, Batiuk decided to fast forward the "Funky Winkerbean" timeline 10 years to keep the story moving and avoid having the characters mourn Lisa. In real life, Lisa’s story was compiled into a book, and royalties were set to go to a cancer research fund at University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center, stated.

Batiuk remarked, “[T]o think that one of your characters can actually do something in real life to help fight cancer — I’m walking around with a big grin on my face.”

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