On Monday, Archie Comics announced that its Life With Archie series would end with protagonist Archie Andrews dying to save his gay best friend. To commemorate this brave act, the writers of Outward have compiled their best memories of the beloved, path-breaking comic on the day of the issue’s release.
Back in the 1980s, while vacationing in Provincetown, Massachusetts, I was shopping in a drug store on Commercial Street when I saw a copy of Archie and felt an irresistible urge to buy it. As a then-newly arrived immigrant, it represented an all-American world that I desperately wanted to belong to: small-town high-school life, wholesome hijinks, and threesomes. (At the time I was a bit confused about the nature of the Archie-Veronica-Betty triangle.) I read the comic, wondered how on earth it was still being published, and figured the company would be out of business by the time my holiday was over.
Mark Joseph Stern
I’ve only flipped through Archie once, at a Publix checkout line when I was 11. It smelled weird, I remember—kind of musty, maybe a little moldy. I also vaguely remember thinking at the time that all the characters were gay and that maybe I shouldn’t be reading it. Other than that, it seemed pretty pointless.
J. Bryan Lowder
I don’t know what Archie is.