Lovefool 07.11.11 | Archie Andrews Is a Jerk

Inspired by TMZ’s recent reports about Archie Comics’ co-CEO, Lovefool dives into the surprisingly scandalous romantic machinations of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and company.


We here at Lovefool are always on the lookout for a good chuckle. It’s entirely possible that I occasionally find those laughs in semi-unpleasant places and I’m not even going to front like I’m more of a grownup than that. Because, face it, I’m not. I’m also not very good at keeping my amusement to myself. As well as always on the lookout for a good snerk, I’m also unable to miss the types of stories that are picked up by HuffPo, Gawker and Daily India. Why yes, I am talking about TMZ’s coverage of Archie CEO Nancy Silberkleit’s balls. According to TMZ: she barged into a meeting and "pointed to each [attendee] and said, ‘PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS’ and then walked out." Nancy allegedly pulled the same "penis" stunt again in 2010 — but this time she also screamed out, "My balls hurt."
After I got my cheap laugh, though, I had to wonder—what’s up with that? Silberkleit inherited the co-CEO position after her husband’s death after teaching third grade for most of her life. Months after she stepped into her position, her late husband’s business partner, Richard Goldwater, also passed away. There was no succession plan in place, sending Nancy and Goldwater’s son, Jon, into fairly murky waters. Comics is notorious for being a man’s ballgame, even softie Archie, so was Nancy just trying to show she could be raw like the gentlemen? She had been quoted as saying that she was getting no support at the company’s headquarters in the past, but was this the way to go? It’s pretty possible that we’ll never know but, in the meantime, Archie Comics is trying to have Silberkleit banned from both Archie Comics headquarters and San Diego Comic Con.
In the last few years, as I’ve grown into having a teensy bit of purchasing power at these conventions I occasionally attend, it’s turned out that I’m spending a little bit of cash on Archie Comics items. I didn’t even realize it until someone at C2E2 said “Wow, I had no idea you were so into Archie stuff” and I, clutching a Sabrina print in one hand and a piece of Katy Keene original art in the other one, said “Wait, what? I’m not really…I mean…um.” I’ve written before about how the Archie comics were definitely a part of my childhood reading. Looking back, I remember that it seemed pretty dangerous, that line Archie was walking. I mean, he called Veronica his girlfriend but, GASP!, went out on dates with Betty when he was feeling down. Now that I’m older, I know that Archie is a total friggin’ user and I’m pretty sure that I read somewhere that he’s not even hanging out with Betty and Veronica these days. Or he is between other girlfriends. No, really. He’s dating Betty and Veronica and other girls. Seriously, who has time for that?
Excitingly, though, I also heard that Betty and Veronica are getting the occasional bit on the side. Betty’s got herself a serious boyfriend (that she’s dating while she decides what’s going on with Archie) and Veronica does as she pleases. Of course, Veronica has always been stringing Reggie along for years. Wholesome, yeah? On the other hand, Archie Comics has brought itself into the ‘90s, at least, introducing a gay character and having Archie date Valerie Smith, a member of Josie and the Pussycats and one of the few black characters in the Archie books. I applaud them for that. I’m also pretty amused by Veronica and Betty’s easy camaraderie, only broken because they compete over “unimportant things”, like boys. Not that that isn’t suggestive in its own little way but we’ll let that go. In the meantime, Archie bounces from girlfriend to girlfriend, with minimal fuss.
Did Nancy walk into those boardrooms from her third grade classroom thinking that Archie Comics would be as carefree and fun and as ultimately inconsequential as Archie’s love life? Business is rough and even Archie Comics, possibly especially Archie Comics due to the challenge of staying relevant in these changing times, is no exception. Nancy’s getting grounded for her bad behavior but Archie? Archie, that prat, keeps doing his thing.
In the meantime, darling nerdlings, I’ll be taking a short break to go do my thing. I am going forth on an epic journey, you see, in search of rock, and I’m pretty sure I’ll find it at Busch Stadium next Sunday. Lovefool will be back on the 25th, hopefully with something awesome. In the meantime, happy summer! See you in two weeks. | Erin Jameson

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