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Thursday, November 7, 2013

ARCHIE COMICS #11-14 (On newsstands September 1944 to March 1945)

It was a new era beginning for Archie Comics, the 'Bill Vigoda' era, and it would begin with one of the goofier covers in the history of Archie Comics. 

Janice Valleau had inked Pep Comics 42-44, 49-50, and Archie Comics 4-11, as well as pencil the Betty and Veronica feature since issue 7, but issue 11 would be her last. Not sure why, but a year later she would begin a nice run of 'Toni Gayle' stories (Famous fashion model who also is a detective!) in Young King Cole Comics.

Here of course, we're more interested in how she handled those Betty and Veronica stories!

(from Archie #11 Nov/Dec 1944)

Archie had put Mr. Weatherbee through quite a bit in the first couple of years, but he was about to get a temporary reprieve, for whatever reason, and the regular victim of Archie's mischief was his own father. It was almost as if the school board received the note below from 'The Bee' and simply told him to avoid Archie as much as possible.
It worked, though he'd soon find he had a double nemesis to deal with.

(from Archie #11 Nov/Dec 1944)

Vigoda would do the next couple of Betty and Veronica features in Archie Comics, meaning he was doing pretty much the entire book. His art style was still a little rough, but he made sure to remind us that the girls like to lay around in their underwear when they talk on the phone!

 (from Archie #12 Jan/Feb 1945)

Despite the changes that were happening and others that were on the way, the focus was on Archie getting into silly situations and Betty and Veronica being sexy. They couldn't always combine the two in a story (unless it had to do with a date),  but they started to make sure they did it for the covers.

And when those two weren't around, Archie had plenty of other characters to mix with!

(Archie in a wig, Miss Grundy in a towel from Archie #13 Mar/Apr 1945)

But many times, Vigoda's 'cheesecake' had more cheese than cake.

 (from Archie #13 Mar/Apr 1945)
  (from Archie #13 Mar/Apr 1945)

Though at other times, he seemed to get it just right. Nevertheless, there'd soon be other artists' once again doing the Betty and Veronica feature.

 (from Archie #13 Mar/Apr 1945)

As for Weatherbee, he'd go from being a helpless victim of Archie to being a somewhat deserving victim of Betty and Veronica. The 'wolf' side of his persona started to come out and it always ended up biting him!

 (from Archie #13 Mar/Apr 1945)

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