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KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

by KC Carlson

Life With Archie #29

Currently, Life With Archie is one of the much more prominent titles being published by Archie Comics. featuring double alternative-continuity storylines (Archie Marries Veronica, Archie Marries Betty), the magazine-format series brings on a long custom of Archie stories that are just a bit different than the norm. It likewise borrowed its name from an ingenious Archie title that had its share of historical moments.


Life With Archie #1

The original Life With Archie very first appeared in July 1958 (cover dated September). Of the other 137 or so comic books (not an exaggeration!) on the stands that month from leading publishers, only nine of them were superhero titles, seven of them starring or featuring Superman. (The other two were Batman as well as Detective Comics.) marvel wouldn’t begin publishing superheroes up until 1961. All the rest of the comic books on the stands that month were a marvelous choice of genres which barely make it through today: humor, funny animal, war, western, horror/mystery, sci-fi, romance, as well as adventure. Besides Life With Archie #1, Archie comics likewise debuted that exact same month Katy Keene appeal #1, bit Ambrose #1 (a spin-off of bit Archie), as well as Cosmo the Merry Martian #1, with the very first two being one-shots.

The Life With Archie series likewise began as a one-shot tryout book, as it took a full 12 months for #2 to appear as well as an extra 10 months for #3 to materialize. It ended up being a routine bi-monthly in 1960, however after 1963, its frequency would fluctuate. The series would eventually run 286 issues, ending in 1991 (cover-dated September, on sale in June). Some early problems were reprinted in the Archie huge series sub-series The world of Archie.

Run! Life With Archie #12

What set this series aside from the routine collections of short comedy stories about Archie as well as the gang is that Life With Archie began as a series that featured book-length, 20-to-25-page stories. They aimed for a sense of experience as the story spine, as well as the stories were much more “epic” in feel (as much as an Archie story might feel epic). regular story topics included being menaced (by aliens, ghosts, monsters, criminals), traveling (to the U.N., Washington D.C., out west, to France), unusual circumstances (Archie ending up being a millionaire, castaways on a deserted island, having a U.S. area capsule land in the Lodge swimming pool, Archie on trial), or just ordinary strange occurrences (befriending a robot, reenacting the Civil War, outwitting foreign spies, discovering judo). as well as this is just in the early run of the series, published under the sub-banner of the Archie experience series for the very first 17 issues. other Archie experience Titles included their superhero titles of the 60s (The Fly, The Jaguar, etc.). Later, the name was revived for the Archie version of the teen Mutant Ninja Turtles, in addition to other titles in the 80s as well as 90s.


Life With Archie #16

These early years of Life With Archie are my preferred issues, so let me share a unforgettable story with you, one of the extremely very first comic book stories that “stuck to my brain”. I very first checked out it as a borrowed copy from an older friend, as well as I spent years trying to track it down — which was challenging for two reasons. First, the cover has bit to finish with the actual contents of the story. Cover-featured Betty as well as Veronica don’t even appear in the story, except for a one-panel cameo as well as a symbolic sprinkle page. Second, one of the strange bit quirks about the early Life With Archie series was that it did not function the problem number of the comic on the cover up until problem #30! (Archie likewise did this on other series, such as Archie’s Madhouse.) I still have not heard the reasoning for doing this on these choose titles, when their other series were correctly cover-numbered.

All this implied that when looking with back issues, I had to open the storage bag, thoroughly eliminate the oft-brittle comic book from the bag, as well as thoroughly open it as much as look for the problem number in the indicia. I ultimately made a “want list” of reduced-sized photocopies of all the covers with the problem numbers typed below. These likewise worked like flash cards, enabling my brain to keep in mind mostly-generic Archie comic book covers just before I hit the convention space floor for shopping. Yes, I had to “study” to gather Archie comics back issues.

Life With Archie #21

The problem in concern [turned out to be] Life With Archie #21, July 1963 (on sale in May). As you can see by the cover, there wasn’t much about what the story was, otherthan Archie seemed to be missing (except he certainly wasn’t, because he was speaking directly TO me, the visitor — a challenging idea for 7-year-old me).


The story opens with Jughead entering the seemingly empty Andrews house, up until Archie’s disembodied voice tells him to “keep your grubby paws out of the candy dish.” Turns out, in a good bit of foreshadowing, Archie’s not disembodied — he’s just behind the TV set, trying to repair work it. Apparently, his vacationing parents had provided Arch the money to get it fixed, however as usual, Archie blew the money on a date with Veronica. The parents are due back soon, so he’s got to repair it himself — as well as fast! Jughead lends a hand by throwing the primary switch in the fuse box. Archie yells YIPE! Jughead comes running into a now-empty living room, only to find that Archie has been sucked into the TV set. as well as he’s now just black & white. (This was 1963, remember.) Jughead consults the TV repair work Guide, discovering that the guide states that what occurred is absolutely impossible! (Did the producer product-test for this eventuality?)

Archie always wished to get into TV. From Life with Archie #21.

Finally, Archie does something best — he yells at Jughead to go get Riverdale’s boy-genius Dilton Doily. as well as then there’s a excellent joke where Pop Tate sees Jughead running across town as well as promptly phone calls his doctor, believing he’s hallucinating! Subsequently, Dilton’s messing around in the back of the TV (while on-screen Archie is grimacing, “OUCH! Hey! view it back there!”). Dilton concerns the final thought that they CAN get Archie out of the TV (after a multi-panel description of gobbledegook), however it’s going to take two or three months! Dilton promptly gets to work however sadly triggers Archie’s picture to fade from the screen. Jughead suggests altering the channel, as well as there’s Archie in the western show “Have gun will Grovel” about to be gunned down.

“How did that happen?” asked Juggie. “Something’s gone wrong with Archie as well as his visual modulation! It’s running wild!” states Dilton, with a scientific explanation that would put Julie Schwartz to shame. The dynamic dunderheads turn the channel again, this time around to a cooking show. (Archie’s in the oven. This story is hot!)

Then Archie is on a medical show. as well as then a attorney show. however wait — Archie is both the attorney as well as the defendant! things are getting worse! Oops, as well as he’s the judge also! My gosh, what will occur next? only the scariest panel of art to ever appear in an Archie Comics Code authorized book:

Archie, The jury from Life With Archie #21.

The story’s not over yet, as a ticking clock is added when Archie’s parents contact us to tell Jughead that they’ll be house in a few hours. Seriously, the story gets so challenging that they offer a full-page flashback/roundup to begin the final chapter! Jughead as well as Dilton double their efforts to totally free Archie before On-Demand is invented, however their efforts come to naught when they find that Archie’s now just a disembodied voice on the TV — his picture has faded away. “Of course, it does have advantages!” exclaims Jughead. “(His parents) can turn him off whenever they want…”

Finally, in exasperation, Dilton takes the useless, hardcover (?) TV handbook as well as tosses it backwards over his shoulder, while Jughead tries the circuit breaker one much more time. Of course, the book hits the TV at the accurate moment that Jughead pulls the switch — as well as Archie is free!

However, in the last panel, Archie’s flat on his back on the floor, with his parents weeping over him. They just told him that they were going to purchase him his extremely own personal TV set — as well as he fainted! Ba-dum-bump.


These days, this type of story has been done so often that it has its own page at TV Tropes, as “Trapped in TV Land”.

Ones you may acknowledge are the John Ritter/Pam Dawber 1992 film stay Tuned or the much more recent Pleasantville. It’s likewise a extremely prominent trope in sitcoms (My name is Earl) as well as animation (The Simpsons, teen Titans, Kim Possible, Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse). In comic books, the fundamental idea likewise appears in The Invisibles, Supreme, as well as She-Hulk, among others. Oddly, this Archie story is not mentioned there. however I’m guessing that it was one of the first.


“Teevie Jeebies” was scripted by Sy Reit, as well as the artwork was by Bob White.

Life With Archie #11

Sy Reit was formally named Seymour Reit, the creator, with artist Joe Oriolo, of Casper, the friendly Ghost. Reit was a part of the legendary Fleischer animation studio, working on the function Gulliver’s Travels, in addition to composing gags for Popeye as well as Betty Boop cartoons. He likewise worked anonymously under Jerry Iger creating work for Fiction House. complying with world war II, hedealt with material for Archie as well as bit Lulu comics, composed gags for the Casper cartoons, composed for the Captain Kangaroo TV show, as well as contributed over 60 pieces to mad Magazine. He likewise authored over 80 books, mainly for children, numerous for the cherished bit golden book series. He died in 2001.

Cosmo the Merry Martian #4

Bob White’s profession is less documented, however he was one of Archie’s primary artists in the late 1950s as well as 1960s. His main series were Life With Archie (most problems with #70) as well as Cosmo the Merry Martian (which he was enabled to sign), however he likewise offered lots of short stories as well as covers across the entire line. Not much is understood about his other history. In Archie: A event of America’s preferred Teenagers, Archie senior staffer as well as Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick recalled that White liked to talk, as well as that White as well as Jughead artist Samm Schwartz rented studio area in a storage facility across the street from the Archie offices, making them offered if something was needed in a hurry. Gorelick likewise recalled that White was included with building houses in Westchester County. It’s rumored that White may have been released from Archie in the late 60s when it was found that he was moonlighting for rival Tower’s Tippy teen books (many of which Schwartz edited as well as drew when temporarily off-staff from Archie).


KC CARLSON desires to say thanks to the Grand Comics database as well as Mike’s outstanding Word of Comics (formerly Mike’s outstanding world of DC Comics — he’s greatly expanded!) for vital information. These are two sites permanently bookmarked on my computers, as well as I typically see numerous times a week. mainly just to look at covers… as well as I like to play with Mike’s new-ish “Newsstand” function. Go inspect it out!

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