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Riverdale High
August 7, 2007 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Engineering the newest edition to the Archie UniverseRaj Patel
posted by hadjiboy (54 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This of course comes on the heels of the comic books’s interests to delve into the highly lucrative Indian Market.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:21 AM on August 7, 2007


Patel?!?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 AM on August 7, 2007


Patel.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:39 AM on August 7, 2007


Raj Patel here, and Judge Parker ran an Indian-import storyline in the last year or so about an awkward, goofy kid named Raju. (Read forward through the Curmudgeon archives from there and you can follow the whole damn thing.)

It's like naming every character from Sweden "Sven". Sure, it's plausible, but have you not one ounce of creativity?
posted by cortex at 8:40 AM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Poochie!
posted by anthill at 8:42 AM on August 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


Nice unibrow. And why does he have Morticia Addams's arms? Fucking Shiva handed this guy a million dollars, told him "Sign the deal!" he wouldn't sign. And the god Vishnu too, into the bargain. Fuck you, John!
posted by fleetmouse at 8:42 AM on August 7, 2007 [5 favorites]


Together with an increased focus on the African-American Chuck Clayton character and Veronica’s friend Ginger Lopez, it seems that Archie Comics is making a concerted effort to make their books more diverse.

Oh great. Now Archie and friends are going to stop voting, volunteering and giving to charity.
posted by The Bellman at 8:43 AM on August 7, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'm honestly curious to know who still reads Archie comics. I mean, I get that old people are keeping the shitty old newspaper comics alive, but Archie is meant for kids, and I can't imagine what kind of kids would bother to read Archie in this day and age.
posted by picea at 8:44 AM on August 7, 2007


Yeah picea, what they really need is a camwhore story arc. Betty starts camwhoring to afford nice clothes like Veronica, Archie discovers her Stickam page on 4chan, etc etc
posted by fleetmouse at 8:50 AM on August 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Younger sister Tina is an Indian Veronica; and judging by her body language in the few panels she appears in, she shares more than looks with the inimitable Veronica.

Where, pray tell, is an image of younger sister Tina?
posted by marxchivist at 8:54 AM on August 7, 2007


Is it just me or is Raj drawn differently than the rest of the Archie gang? It's like he's a cross-over from an entirely different comic.

(Hey, look, you can read some of the story...)

Nice, his dad is a doctor who just moved to Riverdale. And he says "That would be most hospitable of you, Archie." Keee-ryst. I'm sure in the next panel he'll be all "Thank you, come again!"

Let me guess - Raj is a straight A student who likes computers and neither Betty nor Veronica will ever consider him more than a friend.
posted by unixrat at 8:59 AM on August 7, 2007


picea, my 12-year-old daughter read Archie until last year or so. She's a somewhat bookish, maybe a little sheltered, mostly urban-raised kid in the DC metro area, curious about other cultures, spending maybe too much time around adults. I think Archie and his gang appealed to her as sort-of ideals of suburban teenagerhood, the kinds of kids one sees in sitcoms and such, the kind of "normal" teenagers that she really doesn't see much of otherwise.

Mainly, I think, it was their ready availability in supermarket checkout lines that got her interest. She's now graduated to manga (currently deeply into Fruits Basket), so I guess it was a good thing, overall.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:59 AM on August 7, 2007


The Wikipedia entry for minor Archie characters is breaking my brain. To wit:

[Mina Lee is] a frail albino Korean girl who was the only one to see Reggie's soft side. Reggie showed a more compasionate and humble self to her and bought her a pet caiman for her. She named it Reji in honour of Reggie... She was expelled after she brought Reji to school with her and it is unknown if she will reappear.

Okaaaay.

Side note: Weatherbee's niece=HAWT.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:09 AM on August 7, 2007


I hope soon they draw in a gay character. I'd love for someone else to get to see Reggie's soft side.
posted by hermitosis at 9:32 AM on August 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Better than Cho Chang, I daresay.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:56 AM on August 7, 2007


I wonder if Raj knows Pavitr Prabhakar, the token Indian of the Marvel universe.
posted by aladfar at 9:58 AM on August 7, 2007


"Patel"? Fuck you. Fucking Shiva handed this guy a million dollars, told him "Sign the deal!" he wouldn't sign. And the god Vishnu too, into the bargain. Fuck you, John! You know your business, I know mine. Your business is being an asshole. I find out whose fucking cousin you are, I'm going to go to him and figure out a way to have your ass - fuck you!

I'm waiting for the new leads.
posted by Bonzai at 10:00 AM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Too slow Bonzai
posted by anthill at 10:03 AM on August 7, 2007


Wha??
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


i liked Archie when i was little, but even then it was slow and silly and slapsticky (i remember things like Archie trying to tie a tie, but ending up with a groovy headband instead)

Raj is ok--Archie was always diverse to my knowledge (and certainly Josie & the Pussycats always was)
posted by amberglow at 10:08 AM on August 7, 2007


I think Archie and his gang appealed to her as sort-of ideals of suburban teenagerhood, the kinds of kids one sees in sitcoms and such, the kind of "normal" teenagers that she really doesn't see much of otherwise.

Totally. That whole smalltown neighborhood thing they have was very very different from my life.
posted by amberglow at 10:10 AM on August 7, 2007


"I can't imagine what kind of kids would bother to read Archie in this day and age."

I know what you mean.
posted by 2sheets at 10:33 AM on August 7, 2007


I'm wondering... so when is Mohammed Al Laddin moving to Riverdale? (I'm thinkin' never.)

And honestly... shouldn't these losers be out of high school by now? It's getting a little pathetic, really... it wan't THAT hard. They're way older than their teachers at this point, aren't they? Creepy.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:34 AM on August 7, 2007


I hope soon they draw in a gay character. I'd love for someone else to get to see Reggie's soft side.

I bet they already have--maybe more than once. (i always thought jughead and moose would be a cute couple)
posted by amberglow at 10:39 AM on August 7, 2007


Archie keeps getting older, the girls stay the same age. Alllrighhht.
posted by inigo2 at 10:41 AM on August 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


ahh! ...On April 4, 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre in Atlanta was scheduled to debut a new play, Archie's Weird Fantasy, which depicted Riverdale's most famous resident coming out of the closet and moving to New York. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:43 AM on August 7, 2007


Raj loves films. His main interest is making his own movies and so he’s often going around with a camcorder recording his friends’ crazy antics, adds Ruiz.

Okay guys we need an Indian character. What do we know about Indians?

Ummm . . . they're smart I think.

They're good at math and engineering.

Shit you guys need to do better than that. Name famous Indians and we'll just base him on one of them.

Apu from the Simpsons.

Gandhi

That guy who did The Sixth Sense.

Fine we'll just base the character on him. Alright that's enough work for today. Lets go to the strip joint.
posted by ND¢ at 11:00 AM on August 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


As a slightly nastier int'l-relations jab, they could give him an after-school job at a call center. Though none of that would fit that well with the Archie universe as I understand it.
posted by cortex at 11:23 AM on August 7, 2007


Asian-Americans Defying Traditional Stereotypes:
More and More Are Stupid Lazy-Asses

posted by Cookiebastard at 11:42 AM on August 7, 2007


ND¢, I'm reasonably sure they did decide to base the character on Gandhi.
posted by BackwardsCity at 12:05 PM on August 7, 2007


Ah, a whole new character for the Archie Comics Bot 2000 to script into improbable and emotionally dead situations!
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 PM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope soon they draw in a gay character.

Archie is not fucking Mr. Weatherbee!

posted by Zonker at 12:27 PM on August 7, 2007


I read Archie as a kid. I think that I have all of the Betty's Diaries from the mid 1980s at my parents' house...

OUT-RAJ-OUS
posted by k8t at 12:34 PM on August 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fine we'll just base the character on him. Alright that's enough work for today. Lets go to the strip joint.

What a twist!
posted by maxwelton at 12:38 PM on August 7, 2007


The twist is that the strippers were really . . . DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whooooooooo!

Well, dead inside at least.
posted by ND¢ at 12:40 PM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


The description makes it sound like Archie finally earned him his traditional White Main Character's Ethnic Sidekick™.

Good on their intentions and all, but I just find the idea that this is "mainstreaming" Archie to be laughable. They apparently opened the Token Character valve over at Archie Comics, which is ironic because in a decades-old story about some stupid white middle American teenagers, that they'd have absolutely no non-white friends at all was the only part of Riverdale that hadn't slipped into anachronism.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2007


Here's a random piece I randomly found on the internet out of nowhere about representations of nationalized identities in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. From Speedy Gonzales to Raj over here, ethnic totemizations have played a part in children's entertainment, and it's gotten much less scrutiny than in has in adult fare. Does this harm kids?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:50 PM on August 7, 2007


This is Archie. Show me a character that isn't a stereotype. Geez... the next thing you know they'll be trying to figure out the middle east!
posted by zennie at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


in a decades-old story about some stupid white middle American teenagers, that they'd have absolutely no non-white friends at all was the only part of Riverdale that hadn't slipped into anachronism.

XQUZ, they've had black friends since i was a little kid--since at least the early 70s. (Meanwhile, Friends and tons of other shows were all-white even recently and ongoing--many are segregated entirely.)
posted by amberglow at 3:30 PM on August 7, 2007


I'd say that compared to Marvel and DC comic books, Archie has done a better job diversity-wise for decades now.
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on August 7, 2007


Are we at a restaurant? Because Reggie just got served.
(from zennie's link)


: >
posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on August 7, 2007


...It was also during the 70's when the country's social consciousness was expanding that Archie Comics recognized the need for racial diversity. To that end, they responded by adding minority characters to the cast. African-Americans were represented by Chuck Clayton who would become a close friend of Archie, especially in athletic endeavors at school, and his girlfriend Nancy Harris, while Hispanic-Americans were represented by Frankie Valdez, a cocky, Latin version of Reggie and his girlfriend, Maria Rodriguez, who's father was the school's Vice-Principal. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on August 7, 2007


*sings "sugar, sugar", checks torrent sites for Archies cartoon downloads*
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on August 7, 2007


ahhh, Big Moose is dyslexic--who knew?
posted by amberglow at 3:50 PM on August 7, 2007


He looks like a werewolf!
posted by liquorice at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2007


(Meanwhile, Friends and tons of other shows were all-white even recently and ongoing--many are segregated entirely.)

I would say most, no? I'm not exposed to the minor t.v. shows of Americana but all big mainstream ones plus almost all t.v. shows down here have an entirely white cast. Ocassionally with a token black character. It is getting better, though. Just taking a while.

Anyway, at least his dad isn't a taxi cab driver? I prefer the smart stereotype meself.
posted by liquorice at 4:09 PM on August 7, 2007


"I'd say that compared to Marvel and DC comic books, Archie has done a better job diversity-wise for decades now."

No way, man. Riverdale didn't integrate until the '70s, while black characters showed up in both DC (most notably as the sidekick to B'Wana Beast) and Marvel (Black Panther) superhero comics in the late '60s. Ironically, DC integrated first in their war comics, back in '61. (more here).
posted by klangklangston at 4:12 PM on August 7, 2007


Further, folks like the X-Men are not only diverse (sometimes painfully so), but served as an explicit race metaphor for years! (Now it's more a gay metaphor).
posted by klangklangston at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2007


I can't believe I'm arguing about this.
posted by klangklangston at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2007


I actually worked with this Indian guy who was a big fan of Archie comics. I'm surprised, but he'd read it on the job and he'd say things like "Oh, that Jughead is so funny!"

I'm like "Wow, you're the only person I know who actually reads Archie." Not that there's anything wrong with that...
posted by champthom at 4:26 PM on August 7, 2007


It's big in India, apparently
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on August 7, 2007


i always thought jughead and moose would be a cute couple)

Dude, Jughead. His his head is fulla jugs. he's all about the boobies.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on August 7, 2007


This is strange because I started reading Archie when I would buy stacks of old copies in Bangladesh as a child. amberglow, you're right: they're huge in India.


She's a somewhat bookish, maybe a little sheltered, mostly urban-raised kid in the DC metro area, curious about other cultures, spending maybe too much time around adults. I think Archie and his gang appealed to her as sort-of ideals of suburban teenagerhood, the kinds of kids one sees in sitcoms and such, the kind of "normal" teenagers that she really doesn't see much of otherwise.

You're right on. I think that's much of what attracted me to them as a kind of weird kid wishing I could go to diners, date girls, drive around, and prank other kids, not too many years ago now. It's probably also what attracts foreigners to it.
posted by Shakeer at 6:54 AM on August 8, 2007


they were essentially foreigners to me and MrMoonPie's kid too, Shakeer. : >
posted by amberglow at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2007


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