Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best of Archie Comics, Book Three


 I have never been what you could consider a fan of Archie Comics. I had a handful of Archies when I was little, mostly purchased because there were no Super-Hero comics out that I didn't already have (And when Mom was buying, you got SOMETHING, no matter what it was! You don't want to derail the Mom/comics gravy train!), but I never thought to buy one when something better was available. And yet....I must have read those few Archies that I had a million times apiece. Perhaps my pre-teen mind saw this as some gateway to all of the cool adventures and interactions that I would have as a teenager...? Who knows. So here I am now, decades later....has my quest for nostalgia gotten so out of hand that I'm now buying ARCHIE collections....?

 Yes. It's gotten that out-of-hand.

 I can report, however, that not only have I read THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS, BOOK THREE, but I loved it. And I've since bought (shudder...) more.....

 This 400+ page little brick (The collection is digest-sized...my poor old eyes.) is broken down decade-by-decade, starting in the 1940's, and going all the way to 2012. The older stuff is the best (Being a child of the 1970's, I am especially partial to that decade...), but the stories maintain a surprisingly high level of quality throughout. There were even a few stories that had me laughing out loud, which is something that almost never happens when I'm reading. I may chuckle or smile, but actually laughter is pretty rare. The art is mostly done in the Archie "House style", but there are a few exceptions (Obviously the older stories, before they settled on a style, and some of the more recent stories, which are illustrated in Manga style.), and the breadth of story subject matter is surprisingly deep. If there was one thing that kept this book from getting a perfect 10, it was the Cheryl Blossom story that ended in a cliff-hanger without a part two in sight. Hopefully, they'll avoid missteps like that in future "Best of" and "1000 Page" collections.

 Highly recommended, provided you're man enough to be seen reading an Archie paperback. I had a blast reading this book, and now that I'm done, I'm going to see if my ten-year-old Daughter wants to inherit my copy. I think she'll really dig it.