Jughead No. 204 – May 1972 Archie Series 16126. One of my comic books from when I was 12 years old—Archie comics were my favorite, over superhero and other stuff, and Jughead was my favorite of the Archie gang, because of his disinterest in girls, his laziness, and his passion for eating—even though I was more interested in girls than food, myself, and I was far from lazy. I think I recognized, even at that young age, that Jughead was some kind of a zen-master—kind of a version of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski (1998). On the cover, the kids are all in the lunchroom, wearing those exaggerated colorful, wild design, big collared Seventies shirts, and Jughead has on a white shirt and red tie and says, “Dig the very latest...” Everyone looks confused, but Jughead knows that non-conformity quickly becomes conformity, and the real non-conformists are a step or two ahead—and often baffle everyone. Real Punks Don't Wear Black (the title of another book on my reading list). There are the usual Jughead vs. Veronica stories here—besides competing for the affections of Archie, they just didn't like each other. My next favorite character was probably Betty—I both had a crush on her and related to her. There is a story here where Jughead helps Betty win Archie away from Veronica, and it's almost heartwarming. There's also a story from Hotdog's (Jughead's dog) point of view—an odd one—that more or less lays out the Jughead philosophy, and could almost be called “Jughead Comes Out”—of course, Jughead isn't “boy crazy” (though his love for Archie is obvious)—what he does is displaces sexual feelings with the friendship of his dog—and his passion for food and Zzzz's. This edition is light on the stories about (and pictures of!) food—but I'll re-read and review one of my favorites of those sometime in the future.
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