Friday, March 2, 2012

Comics: A Rant and a Review/Commentary on Life With Archie #16

I was out reading comics news and stumbled across a bit of liberal bigotry over at It seems that a conservative group is protesting the gay marriage of Kevin Keller in Live With Archie magazine #16.

Here's a CCN news clip about the event:

Comics Beat ran a story about the event (with a link to a longer news story that's well worth watching):

The comments on the page were full of the usual narrow-minded name calling that the left often engages in. Isn't it funny how everyone who disagrees with them is an ignorant bigot who is full of hate? And this from a group of people who preach tolerance! Honestly, I sometimes think that a dose of self-awareness would hit some (not all) of them like being Ben Grimm bitch-slapped.

Here's my comments on their comments

Ahhhhh, nothing like a "hot-button topic" to bring out the name calling (shame on you, As stated above, not everyone who disagrees with gay marriage is a bigot, and OBVIOUSLY not everyone who supports it is tolerant of other views. In fact, the anger generated by this topic on the "Pro-Gay Marriage" side is unacceptable in our society. If you cannot maintain a level of civility in your discourse, then you should just shut up until you grow up enough to recognize that opposing views are not always based on hatred or ignorance.

Oh, and as for an activist group promoting its views on this issue? That's the way our society is SUPPOSED to work. Now, while you get worked up and ready yourselves to type some nasty (and probably poorly written) missive in response... pause for a moment and ask yourself: Is he talking about the Million Moms, GLAAD... or both?

NOW, on the the comic, of which (apparently) I am the only one who read it?

For those of you who don't follow LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, each issue presents two stories set in parallel universes (take that, DC Comics!) where he has married Veronica and where he has married Betty. Each story appears to follow the same general time period (the seasons in each story are the same, and each seems to be set about a year after they got married... more or less). Each issue is odd, but lately the parallel universe bit has actually been worked prominently into both storylines with Dilton Doiley working with Mr. Lodge on some kind of project involving the multiverse, and a new creepy guy (Fred Mirth) working against them. Some of the characters from the two universes actually seem to be able to cross over from one side to the other (what role does Mr. Blast-From-The-Past Ambroce play? -- he says the adventures he had with Little Archie were real and not imaginary).

Wow, that sounds harder to explain than sorting out the various earths in DC's 52 Universe. But it's not bad. Keep in mind, this new magazine is more of a soap opera than a humor book (kinda like the "relevant" last issues of the series, That Wilkin Boy, which dealt with teen issues like crime, bullying, runaways, the illness of a pet, etc.).

LIFE WITH ARCHIE #16 was a bit of a change of pace for the series so far. The Kevin Keller storyline actually didn't change much between universes. Oh, and by the way, I admit I haven't read it in a month or so, but I don't recall them mentioning Iraq as where Lt. Keller got shot. It just said "Somewhere in the Middle East..." In the Veronica story we learn that Kevin took a bullet to the back while under fire in combat. In the Betty half of the book we find that Clay Walker is his physical therapist and that -- while working through Kevin's anger about his injuries -- the two fell in love and subsequently returned to Kevin's parent's home in Riverdale to get married. I guess I'm an old man now because I worry that 10 months may be a bit hasty to rush into a wedding... but then again, I did it in 18 months, so who am I to judge?

I thought the wedding was pretty, and I loved in the Veronica storyline how Archie finally stood up to Ronnie and kicked her out of the wedding. They've been separated for a while and she's been acting like a celebrity heiress like Paris Hilton for a few months now -- she showed up at Kevin's wedding to steal the spotlight and have her picture taken and Archie tossed her out on her ear. About time, red!

As far as the soap opera elements of the series go, I really enjoyed this issue. Paul Kupperberg is doing a great job taking over for Michael Uslan (he wrote the original "Married Life" series that ran in Archie #600-606 and the first issue of the magazine). I like the balance between soap opera and sci-fi and am glad I'm following this series. That being said, this issue did feel like an intrusion into the regular storyline. Kind of like a "Very Special Episode" that might run during sweeps week, or something like that.

As for political/social analysis? I have to agree with John Goldwater: A gay marriage doesn't seem out of place in Riverdale. It is a welcoming place that represents an idealized view of society. It seems to be a place that has found a balance between social concerns on both the left and the right. In this issue, any sort of protest against gay marriage would have been out of place in the comic itself.

As for protesters on both sides of the issue? Please argue more about this! I have multiple copies of the first printing of Kevin's first (and second) appearance and I would really love it if everyone drove up the prices for me!

Your Regularly-Scheduled Comics Talk blog returns on Monday. 
My Rant about Grocery Shopping at Night has been rescheduled for Friday, March 16.
Tune in next Friday for another cool edition of Netflix Friday.


  1. You forgot to mention Texas Independence Day, pard!

    You can guess how I feel about gay marriage, since you know me so well. But I agree with you in that many who are in favor of it (and other Progressive ideals) are as intolerant of other opinions as they say their opponents are. It weakens the argument somewhat, if you ask me.

    Have a good Independence Day!

  2. You're right on all counts, pardner! I do know how you stand, plus I am amazed that those who routinely practice intolerance of "perceived intolerance" don't see the hypocrisy of their views. I honestly think it stems from the fact that, for a very long time now, many people have been getting their news with such a one-sided bias that they are genuinely shocked when they hear a dissenting view. As such, they have no life experience in recognizing that not all views contrary to theirs is based on ignorance, hatred or just flat-out evil.

  3. And you're also right... how did I forget to mention Texas Independence Day? Think I'll drink some Shiner beer tonight in honor of this great state!

  4. I went with cheese enchiladas and a Dos Equis.