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Monday, September 30, 2013

By Bob Montana

328 pages - $39.99 srp - Hardcover - IDW Publishing
B&W with some supplemental material in color 

Honestly, if I had to get rid of my Archie Hardcover books and could keep only one or two, this would be one of my choices. It's a fun read from start to finish, each strip is a separate gag, but Bob Montana weaves continued story lines throughout and they make it so much more enjoyable.

You get the summer vacations, the Christmas stories, situational events, football season... it makes it, for me anyway, more satisfying and allows you to follow the characters as they interact over a period of time.

Bob Montana, who obviously I'm a big fan of, improves right before our eyes week after week, year after year. The gags are there, the puns are funny, the situations are classic, and of course, the girls are sexy and fun. 

IDW's design and quality is top notch making it a winner all around.

And naturally their's plenty of Undercover Archie moments!

Here's an early one of Veronica's shower silhouette (from Feb 18, 1946). You don't see this in Archie anymore!

And from January 3, 1948...

Betty is crazy in love as always and full of suggestive ideas! (from June 17, 1947):

When I say crazy in love, I mean it! (from March 8, 1946)

Here's an example, not only of Betty using her head to get Archie's attention (That's Jughead holding a stuffed Moose head behind the bushes), but you can also see an example of the progression of Montana's work from the previous early panel. (From July 18, 1947)

Some may find it annoying, but they sure get a lot of laughs out of Betty chasing Archie! Sometimes it even works out for her.... well, sort of.... (from December 30-31, 1947)

Ultimately though, all Veronica has to do is give Archie an occasional kiss (something we don't see much of anymore) and it keeps him on a leash (from December 23, 1947):

(and from June 27, 1946)

Even when Miss Grundy has somehow managed to pull Archie away from the girls, Montana still makes their appearance a highlight of the strip. (from June 14, 1946):

And some of the names.... (from Jan 14, 1948)

Here's the infamous 'Bone Up' panel. Yes, this is how it was published (from December 16, 1947):

And this infamous phrase as well, exactly as published. I know for a fact, you won't see Archie using this phrase in anything currently published! (from April 2, 1947)

And there is the famous football strip that runs for several weeks, where Archie gets knocked out before a big game, and Betty, fearing he'll be called a coward for not showing up, suit's up for him to play the game! 
Ah, that Bob Montana was a genius! No wonder everyone read the newspaper back in those days! (from November 8-9, 1946)

I found this in my search for material on the book: An original strip of Bob Montana's art! (from June 4, 1946)

Always available at Amazon! 

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