Friday, October 23, 2009

Bob Montana: The Typical Average American Teenager

Born this date in 1920, Bob Montana would have been 89 years old today.

Bob is responsible for creating perhaps the second most recognizable comic book icon in the history of the medium, just after Superman representing superheroes. Bob created the typical, average, American teenager, Archie Andrews.

Here from 1941's Pep Comics #22 is his first appearance:

Looks quite a bit different from the Archie gang as you all grew up with, I know. Quite a bit rougher, but Bob's drawing skills slickened up quickly as he kept producing more strips of the happy gang from Riverdale.

Almost immediately, the feature became a staple in newspapers as well. Below you can see just how clean Bob's line became. All the more to add to the Idyllic life modeled in the strip.

Here's the real astonishing thing about Archie Andrews et al. 1938 was the dawn of the comic book as ushered in by Superman. Through WWII, there was a wide variety of genres well represented. Superhero, Teenager (like Archie), Detective stories, War, Western, Romance, Science Fiction, Horror. Then in the 1950's the Superhero fell by the wayside and the rest became the norm with Archie still on top. The 1960's dawned a new age of the superhero, and through the 1970's the War, Western, Romance, Sci-Fi and horror comics fell to almost non-existence, but Archie stayed on.

To this day Archie hangs around where none of his ilk can be seen.

But the real reason for this post is...the eternal decision between Betty and Veronica. This year it was announced that Archie would pop the question to Veronica and they would be married.
Your characters finally lost credibility with me Bob.
Every one knows Jeffy's stance on these matters...

Maryanne over Ginger...

Janet over Chrissy...

Rachael Ray over Giada DeLorentis...

and Jeffy and America's favorite perennial average typical teenager would always choose ...

Betty over Veronica.

It's a no brainer.

Happy birthday anyway Bob. Maybe you should rise from the dead and straighten this nightmare out.

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