Miskatonic University Press

Library meta-Archie

archie libraries

This is the most surprising yet I’ve seen of Archie Comics stories involving a library. In “Archie Andrews Where Are You?” the red-headed youth is late for a date with Betty, so she goes over to Veronica’s to see if he’s there, but he’s not, so they both go to see Cheryl Blossom to see if he’s there, but he isn’t, so they go to see if he’s at Jughead’s, and so on, as everyone gets involved in looking for Archie. In part two of the story, Jughead and Dilton go into what must be the Riverdale Public Library to see if he’s there. Note the old bespectacled white-haired female librarian in the background.

Jughead and Dilton look for Archie in the library.
Jughead and Dilton look for Archie in the library.

But get this: I read this story in Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics 259 (February 2018)! The very comic Jughead mentions! He is talking about the comic he’s in! Does he know about all the comics in all their forms? Does he read about himself in the Jughead comics? What is real and what is fiction?

It gets weirder: it turns out Archie has gone to New York to Archie Comics headquarters. Betty phones the editor, who says, “He’s up here, Betty, trying to find out his future story lines.” The last page is a full panel of the Archie Comics office, full of various employees, with Archie chasing after two uncomfortable-looking young women.

This is a strange story. It was first published in Archie … Archie Andrews Where Are You? Comics Digest Magazine 100 (June 1995). It was written and pencilled by Dan Parent, inked by Rudy Lapick, coloured by Barry Grossman and lettered by Bill Yoshida. It is copyright by Archie Comic Publications.