Members of the Riverdale Auxiliary, prepare to be aux-hilarated. While Lucy is off doing busy things like having a baby, the other, less clever half of Radio Free Riverdale is posting the images that delighted and disgusted us from Betty and Veronica Double Digest #243, as discussed in our thirteenth episode of Radio Free Riverdale, “Chip Quips.”
“But there’s no ME in India!” notes Archie in this tepid Bollywood comic, basically the inner monologue of all of Great Britain in the Victorian era.
From the gags, note the inflation in midway balls, the bizarre way that child attempts to eat cotton candy, and, most distressingly, the leering glare of the menacing balloon. Fun teenaged date or horror movie in wait?
Speaking of dates, the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch strips bust all sorts of taboos. Thrill as they delve into the rarely spoken romantic love between a cat and its owner. Admit it, you’ve always thought about dating your cat, haven’t you? You’d swipe right on your cat.
Sabrina’s made-over aunts also press-gang their teen ward and that very same cat (Salem Saberhagen) into dating fully adult men they are, themselves, romantically interested in. What a topsy-turvy witchy world! Hot legal tip: don’t force your teenaged children into going on dates with your potential dates. That’s just common sense.
Looks like Hilda and Zelda have won dates with celebrities Jon HAMM and Kevin BACON. (Get it?) All punning aside, this panel brings up a couple of important questions: (a) are there pig tailors?, and (b) how did Sabrina and Salem make such a satisfying slap in their high-five? Have you ever slapped a cat’s paw? It’s nothing like that.
Veronica’s world is shattered when she realizes people re-use consumer goods. It’s like her own personal capitalist nightmare. The reverse of Pottersville in It’s a Wonderful Life.
This isn’t mirror lady’s first con. “Oh, did I say MAGIC out loud?” Plus, we know she’s a witch because we’ve seen her in The Sword in the Stone before (see below).
Well, now we know what Hiram Lodge’s Tinder profile reads like.
Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Beazley wring their hands about how Veronica can see anything in Archie, but remain oblivious to Archie’s fashion-forward style. What other high school boys can rock a ribbed tank top and loafers without socks? Besides James Spader in Pretty in Pink?
But Archie Andrews has something that James Spader doesn’t: overpowering blandness. He’s just so normal! He has a really neat dog! Is he single? (That’s not a joke … a neat dog is a really big plus.)
The Archie comic goes full Hard Day’s Night before long, with Archie’s clothes being torn asunder.
Then the digest moves into vague Orientalism, as the gang discovers the magic of teriyaki:
Before long, the teriyaki fever that seizes Riverdale becomes a little scary-aki. But more important than that is when Betty goes full Bertold Brecht, employing “distancing effect.” Much like Brecht, the makers of Archie comics are clearly attempting to communicate that the audience’s (or our) reality is equally constructed.
Who is this ‘we,’ Betty? Are you and Veronica just stage-players in Kathleen Webb’s advertorial-like comic about a new flavour of chips?
Even at a supermarket known for its smorgasboard of spuds, they’ve never heard of such a bizarre thing as a teriyaki chip. Pull the other one, Betty!
The only reason I include this paper doll page of Archie (despite my love of Archie fashions and paper dolls in general) is to point out the cognitive dissonance of the massive peace symbol smack dab in the middle of a camouflage shirt. It’s like Private Joker’s helmet. But in shirt form. “I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.”
On that note …