Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Betty or Veronica: Who would you marry? Archie has made his decision...

Aug. 5, 2009
Posted by Noah

This is one of those fundamental questions of pop culture-dom: Who do you prefer, Betty or Veronica? It's right up there with other fundamental personality assessments based in unreality; questions like: Ginger or Maryanne? Which Beatle is your favorite? Which Peanuts Character?

This question - Betty or Veronica? - is one that has been around for almost 70 years and coming up on 600 issues, and it's much deeper than whether your tastes run to blondes or brunettes... Ask which most any man prefers and he'll respond with the ubiquitous: "Yes."

No. This is far beyond that, especially as it's been revealed that in the upcoming 600th issue of the venerable comic title that is Archie that the title character will finally choose between his two ladies and drop to one knee to propose. And let me tell you, the decision has caused no little uproar in the unwashed corners of the blogosphere. Archie will officially propose marriage to wealthy socialite Veronica instead of the blonde girl-next-door Betty.

Now, if you didn't already know that, then you either just crossed your arms and nodded in knowing self-satisfaction, or you shook your head in disbelief and said, "What the What?"

For its part, Heritage is featuring a very rare Archie #1 comic book, in exceptional condition - it is, in fact, the finest copy known - in our upcoming Aug. 14-15 Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction from Dave Leubke, owner of Dave's Comics in Richmond, VA, who is ostensibly putting it on the block to protest Archie's decision.

“I just feel betrayed,” said Luebke, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “All of these years I have waiting for Archie to man up and realize what a treasure Betty is. Is it the economy? Is Archie’s proposal just for the money? Is Archie really that shallow?”

“I think Dave’s real reason for selling might have something to do with the fact that this comic will sell for thousands of dollars in our auction,” said Barry Sandoval, Comics Division Director of Operations at Heritage.

Yeah, well... Barry's right about that... But it's the principle of the thing, man! The principle! Can someone please get me a principle?!

Archie Comics #1 is considered the first teen comic book. It tells the story of how Archie met Veronica – she’s a Park Avenue debutante and he’s a small-town kid from Riverdale, but he still writes to her to invite her to his prom. It's also interesting to note from the above pictured cover, that the first image of the title that is so well known for its sun, beaches and surfing stories actually has a winter sports scene on its cover. It's actually Archie barrel jumping as his two ladies in waiting watch from the upper left and Jughead, I believe, has slipped on the ice in the upper right, which is nothing compared to frigid fate awaiting Archie as he hovers above a hole in the ice, moments from a freezing fate. (Don't worry, Archie! George Bailey will be right there to pull you out! He'll lose hearing in one ear, but will have a wonderful adventure with an angel years later and you can go on to be a war hero!)

Archie Comics (the title has been known simply as Archie since 1960) is one of only a few series to be in continuous publication since the early 40s.

Now, do I personally have an opinion on Archie's upcoming announcement? Indeed I do, like most any American male, but I first would like to remind everyone getting their knickers in a twist - and there are plenty - that while Archie is proposing, it's not clear yet whether Veronica will actually say yes to the proposal. On the cover of #600 she is saying "Yes," but she's looking at the ring, and not Archie... Mammon or Cupid, indeed... I think she's probably in a clandestine liaison with Reggie... So you can probably suss my opinion: I agree with Luebke. Betty all the way. Veronica is a babe, and obviously smart and cultured, but there's an iciness to her that always gave me pause. She's the one I would choose for a whirlwind romance for a lost month in Manhattan... But if it came to who I would introduce to my parents and friends - based upon my years of reading Archie - there is no doubt it would be Betty. There you have it.

To view the full catalog of the August auction, and to download descriptions and full color hi-res images, go online to the Aug. 14-15 Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction Catalog.

To leave a comment click on the title of this post.

-Noah Fleisher

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