Miskatonic University Press

Librarians in Archie

archie libraries

How often does a librarian appear in the Archie comics? I just came across one and it made me realize I can’t remember any others—which certainly doesn’t mean they’re not there, but they are very rare. Does Riverdale High have a librarian? I don’t think so, and if not, that’s an appalling oversight by Mr. Weatherbee.

Here is what I suspect is a librarian at the Riverdale public library (note the grown-up in the background), in “Mystic Madness,” reprinted in Archie’s Funhouse (Back to School Annual) Double Digest 27 (September 2017). Archie has been reading Eastern philosophy and spouting gnomic aphorisms. Everyone is very impressed, but the gag at the end is that Moose understands what he means, so Archie gives up and (very sensibly) heads to the library for something new.

Archie and the librarian
Archie and the librarian

The librarian knows Archie by name, so he must go to the library regularly—though on the other hand, pretty much everyone in Riverdale knows who Archie is. She’s about to do some reader’s advisory, which is what we librarians call it when we recommend books to people.

“Mystic Madness” was written by Frank Doyle, with pencils by Stan Goldberg, inks by Rudy Lapick, letters by Bill Yoshida and colours by Barry Grossman. It’s not dated, but I’d guess it’s from the early 1970s. Archie is wearing his “R” sweater, which might help narrow it down.

Someone put together a video of panels from a 1997 comic where Betty gets recommendations from librarian Mrs. Jones, who likens her and Archie to other great couples through history and literature: