Archie at Riverdale High – Frank Doyle, George Gladir, Bob Bolling, Harry Lucey, Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg, Rudy Lapick & Chic Stone (Archie Comics)

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Fun fact folks, the very first issue of Archie at Riverdale High hit the newsstands the same week I was born, which makes me, and Archie’s adventures in High School, kind of old. While I’m more than a little worse for wear and feeling the ravages of time and far too many foolhardy decisions have at long last stared to catch up with me, Archie remains eternally youthful. Capturing the populist ideal of the prevailing tone, mood and zeitgeist of the period, Archie at Riverdale High is a nostalgic and whimsical journey through an imaginary world that only ever existed in the minds of parents, authority figures and adults who had difficulty differentiating between their dream of an idealised version of the world and the way it actually was.

That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable, it is and I wish more than anything that my school years had been like Archie’s and that I could have hung out with Jug, Betty, Veronica, Moose and the gang and spent lazy evenings at Pop’s after standing up straight, getting straight A’s and being all that I could be. But that wasn’t how it was for me and millions of others then and I daresay it isn’t how it is now. These innocent, fun and throwaway snapshots and stories of Archie and his friends and their days of misadventure and zany, crazy escapades are a wonderful reminder of the innocence and naivety of youth and how every single second of it should be enjoyed, cherished and wholeheartedly embraced.

None of the tales in this book will change your life. They’re not meant to, they’re just meant to be make you long for something that you never experienced or even knew existed, while artistically, Archie at Riverdale High captures, and encapsulates, the infectious and energetic cartoon spirit of its title character and the perfect bubble that he and Riverdale exist in. And that’s just fine, because Archie at Riverdale High does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It makes you smile and reminds you just why it was that you always wanted to live in Riverdale and be a part of Archie’s world.  Way to go Archie, way to go…  Tim Cundle

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