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Summer = A Big Stack of Archie Digests
Article by Scott Tingley, August 04, 2008

When I used to get dragged to the beach by my wife I would always bring along a couple of books and while away the day reading whatever I wanted - be it a light mystery novel or complex something-or-other. Now? Now I have two little ones, and although they make my life better and they make me better.they have ruined the beach for me.

I hate the beach. I really hate the beach. I have always hated the beach. At least pre-kids I was able to lose myself on a good novel, but now I have to be a dad at the beach or else my son will either end up on top of the concession stand or eating handfuls of sand. No longer can I cover up from the sun's evil rays under a towel and a blanket (I burn looking at photographs of the sun) while pretending to be anywhere else.

But, I will not be defeated. I still try and read, but no matter how light the reading material, I can't really get into a book, even a comic book, if I am only able to read a few seconds at a time. Unless, of course, I am reading an Archie digest.

I love Archie digests. Arch, Jughead, Reggie, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang are the cure for the "I can't read at the beach anymore because I have to be a responsible parent" blues. I hadn't read one in years until recently, but these are the books that meant summer to me until about grade 6. Before every camping trip I would bug my mom to get me a couple at the grocery store checkout (pretty much the only comics still available at grocery and convenience stores) and then I would go to the used book store in town and trade in all my old ones for credit towards someone else's old ones. Sometimes I would get lucky and there would be a superhero digest in the mix, but usually it was just Archie and the Gang (and Richie Rich).

These digests are still available and they are, by far, the best comic value anywhere: $2.49 for a single digest and $3.69 for a Double Digest. That is a LOT of reading for not much cash. The first story is new and the rest are made up of Archie (or Josie and the Pussycats, or Sabrina) tales from years past. Sometimes back to the 40s and 50s (which I like, but I really wish they were dated).

Not much, and a lot has changed. For the most part, the stories are the timeless stories you might remember from your youth. But the powers that be are trying something new as well. The Betty and Veronica Double Digest and the Jughead Double Digest are running a new style. The cover and fist story are in a more modern, I guess, style. They are shaking things up a bit, and some love it and some hate it. It is just for the first story, so even if it is not what the reader wants it shouldn't be too much of a bother.

Make summer great - go out and buy your kid a stack of Archie Digests. They will love them, and if they don't, you can read them. Win-Win.

You can visit Archie and the Gang's site HERE and you can get subscriptions for the digests and more HERE




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