Writers: Nelson Ribeiro (plot) and Fernando Ruiz (script)
Pencils: Fernando Ruiz
Inking: Bob Smith
Coloring: Adam Walmsley
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: Tales From Riverdale Digest, No. 22-24
Cover Dates: September, 2007 – December, 2007
Length: 33 pages
I’m sorry that this is late. This week, I’m reviewing “Civil Chore”, a “big event” that Archie Comics had been hyping for a few months prior to its publication. Obviously, the title is a parody of Marvel Comics’ then-recent hugely successful “Civil War” big event. Big events in the Archie universe are never as big as big events in the DC or Marvel Universes. Take 1994’s “Love Showdown” for example. Did Archie finally decide between Betty and Veronica? Of course not, but it brought Cheryl Blossom back into the picture. That’s another review, though. This is about “Civil Chore”. It was serialized as the new lead story in three issues of the now-canceled “Tales From Riverdale Digest”, which was kind of a catch-all title for any character to be featured. In other words, random stuff. The summary will come first, followed by my review.
Fred Andrews and Archie are in the front yard. Fred is reading a list of chores for Archie to do. Archie says that’s a lot of chores, and he should be “adequately compensated”. He wants a raise in his allowance. Fred gets out of the discussion by pretending a nonexistent airplane that just flew by prevented him from hearing Archie’s request.
Later that afternoon, Fred is sitting inside, reading a newspaper (happily or unhappily?). Mary points out that Archie is marching around in the backyard, holding a sign that says “On Strike Parents Unfair”. Fred goes outside and demands to know what the fuck’s going on. Archie repeats his request for a raise in his allowance and says “Unfortunately, management was unwilling to listen to my request!” Fred refuses to raise Archie’s allowance, so the strike goes on. Archie is happy that his demonstration is drawing attention, but the old man walking by on the sidewalk yells at Archie, “Get a job, you hooligan!!”, which makes Fred laugh. Jughead comes by and asks what’s going on. Archie explains. Jughead cheers Archie on and says “Way to stick it to the establishment!” Jughead asks Archie for a loan, so he can eat at Pop’s, but Archie is strapped. Archie starts to ask Fred for an advance on his allowance, but Fred immediately refuses. Fred cuts off Archie’s allowance. Jughead tells Archie to end his strike, because it affects him as well: “If you’re not getting your allowance, who am I going to borrow from?!”. This upsets Archie. Betty walks by and asks what’s up. After a quick update, Betty says her folks just turned her down for a raise in her allowance too. She talked to Chuck about this recently. His parents turned him down too. Jughead says “Uh-oh! This is getting bigger!”.
A little while later, Mary points out to Fred that Betty and Chuck have joined Archie’s strike. Betty is holding a sign that says “Raise Our Allowances Now”. We don’t see what Chuck’s sign says. Fred refuses to budge, even if Archie “gets his whole class involved”. Mary, perhaps sarcastically, tells “General Custer” to stand firm. Jughead worries, if this keeps up, “there won’t be a single kid getting an allowance” and wonders “Who will I grub money from?!” Jughead then further postulates “What if he gets his raise? More money for him means more dates…more girls…and less Jughead!” Jughead decides to ally himself with “the darkest forces in Riverdale”, which apparently consist of Reggie and Veronica.
They meet. Veronica doesn’t care if Archie gets a raise, but Reggie points out, “Our good looks and charm aren’t our only advantages over Archie and Betty–there’s also our money! If Archie and the others get their raises, we lose a bit of our edge!” This convinces Veronica. She tells Reggie to start calling their friends, because they’re going to organize a counterstrike. The final blurb says “Whose side are you on? Will it divide Riverdale forever?! Find out–next issue!!”
The strike continues. Archie is holding a sign that says “Parents Unfair Raise Our Allowance!” Betty is holding a sign that says “Teenagers On Strike”. Chuck is holding a sign that says “No Raise No Chores”. Nancy walks by and demands to know what’s going on. Chuck says they’re protesting, and Archie recounts what happened (and didn’t happen) in Part 1. Chuck asks Nancy if she’s “down with” them. Nancy says she thinks they get enough of an allowance, and this demonstration makes them all seem so demanding, like spoiled children. Reggie, Veronica, and Jughead, all holding signs, arrive. Reggie’s sign says “No Allowance Increase”. Veronica’s sign says “Riverdale Teens Ungrateful”. Jughead’s sign says “Parents Stand Firm”. Reggie reiterates what Nancy said, and Veronica announces the counter-strike; they’re going to march until the other side calls off the strike. Chuck sees through Reggie’s motivation (as stated in Part 1) and points it out. A surprised Archie asks Jughead why him. Jughead says he’s only thinking of Archie but admits he’s doing it so he can borrow money from Archie, which surprises Archie. Moose and Midge arrive. Moose asks Reggie what’s going on. After Reggie explains, Moose says he and Midge are with Reggie, but Midge says not her; she can make her own decisions, and she could use a boost in her own allowance. This surprises Moose. Midge says she’s with Archie. Moose says he’s with Jughead. Jughead says this strike is tearing everyone apart. Veronica is upset that Betty and Archie aren’t far enough apart.
The strike continues on the next day. Betty has made “I’m With Archie” t-shirts for their side. Veronica calls up her “connections in the fashion world” to order “I’m With Jughead” t-shirts. Reggie decides to “turn up the heat” himself by calling his dad, Ricky Mantle, editor of the Riverdale Gazette. Ricky, deciding it would be a good human interest story, sends a photographer named Eddie to Hastings Street.
The next day, the headline on the front page of the Riverdale Gazette says “Riverdale Teens On Strike Whose Side Are You On?”, and there are photos of Archie and Jughead. All across Riverdale, people react to the story of the strike. Dilton says he could use a bigger allowance to fund his new experiments and decides to go down there to support Archie. Ethel runs out of her house to join “Juggie”. Mr. Weatherbee says the last thing that Archie needs is more money to waste his time with and decides no raise. His niece, Wendy, sides with “Uncle Waldo”, saying kids shouldn’t need money to have fun and adds “Jughead is kinda cute”. (There’s a footnote of their brief romance in Jughead & Friends, No. 12). Pop Tate hopes “for once” that Archie gets his way, so these kids can spend more money on more food.
Later, at the Andrews residence, Mary is upset that more kids are still arriving, and both sides keep getting bigger and bigger, but Fred doesn’t care, refusing to be forced into giving Archie a raise in his allowance. After a bit more arguing, Mary says she’ll give Archie his raise herself, surprising Fred. Just then, there are knocks on the back door. Fred answers. A shadowy figure, which surprises Fred, declares he’s here to end this crisis.
Meanwhile, in front of Archie’s house, Frankie joins Archie’s side, but Maria joins Jughead’s side. Raj Patel (a then-new Indian character) is on Archie’s side, and Reggie guesses Raj wants a bigger allowance to buy more video equipment (video is his thing in the comics). Jughead exposits his cousin, Bingo Wilkin (a then-new revelation on the part of Archie Comics) from Midvale, and his girlfriend, Samantha, have arrived. They came to show their support to Archie, which shocks Jughead. Bingo explains he wants a few more “greenbacks” in his wallet, so Samantha’s dad wouldn’t think he was such a loser, but then Samantha sides with Jughead, if only to prove to Bingo that money isn’t everything, which surprises Bingo. Jughead observes this is another split caused by this strike. Jughead melodramatically cries out to the sky, asking if it’s all worth it. Fred tells “Hamlet” to put a cork in it. He, Mary, and the shadowy figure have just arrived. The shadowy figure surprises Archie, Jughead, and Veronica. The shadowy figure declares “And I’m going to end this strike as I’ve ended countless others…through negotiations!”
Cheryl and Jason show up, having heard about the strike. Chuck recaps what happened in Parts 1 and 2 for them. Cheryl and Jason are surprised at the number of people that have shown up, but Cheryl happily describes it as “like a big party”. Archie and Jughead are still carrying signs and angry at each other. Chuck recaps the arrival of the shadowy figure in Part 2. Chuck introduces Cheryl and Jason to the shadowy figure, who turns out to be Mr. Lodge. Veronica asks her father what he’s doing here. He says he’s here to help resolve this situation. Fred says they’ll give him a shot. Mr. Lodge has Smithers carry a negotiating table and 4 chairs over. Mr. Lodge sits down with Archie, Jughead, and Fred. Reggie is confident that they can trick Jughead into doing whatever they want and keep this strike going forever. Mr. Lodge asks Jughead what he wants, and Jughead orders a ham and cheese and a Cherry Coke, which shocks Reggie.
Back at the strike, Cheryl sides with Veronica, citing Reggie’s reason from Part 1. Jason sides with Archie just to be close to Betty. He tells Adam to go back to “the D-list”, because “the A-team” is here. Midge comments it’s “another Riverdale romantic triangle”. Cricket O’Dell shows up. Her nose for money brought her here. Betty and Chuck take it as a good sign, but Cricket goes over to Veronica and Cheryl, smelling a whole lot more money there. Li’l Jinx shows up and joins Chuck and Betty, because she gets only 25 cents for her allowance, which shocks Chuck and Betty. Pop Tate shows up with a sign, and Betty is thrilled that he joined the strike, but he’s just advertising his business, because, with all of the kids not on allowance during the strike, business has been terrible.
Meanwhile, back at the negotiations, Fred offers Archie a buck more per week, which Archie dismisses as “pretty lame”. Fred says Archie just doesn’t know the value of a dollar. Jughead asks if it’s lunch yet. Mr. Lodge thinks this is rougher than he thought it would be, but then he spots Pop and has an idea. Mr. Lodge makes a secret suggestion to Fred.
Later, Pop gives out complimentary hot dogs to the crowd in celebration of the strike’s resolution. Mr. Lodge is footing the bill for the whole fiesta. Reggie is shocked that the strike is over. Mr. Lodge has been in touch with all of the parents, and they’re all on board with the plan. All of the kids are getting a “sensible” raise, provided they keep up with their chores and responsibilities. Archie’s side celebrates. Fred then gives Archie a title for starting all of this: “Director of Lawn Mowing”, which upsets Archie. Jughead asks Archie to loan him a few bucks. Archie asks for what. Jughead says Reggie and the other counter-protestors aren’t too happy with how he negotiated, so he needs a bus ticket out of town. Jughead runs away as Reggie and Moose (at least) chase him. Archie, Dilton, and Betty look on in surprise.
So that’s “Civil Chore”. As far as big events go, this is the most banal one that I’ve ever seen. It’s even more banal than DC Comics’ “Countdown” with its insipid tagline, “Jimmy Olsen Must Die!” No one cares about that. Why should we care if Archie gets an allowance increase or not?
Fred dumps a long list of chores on Archie and then retreats into the house to sit on his lazy butt. How about helping your son, fatso? You could use the exercise anyway. At my house, my mom and I do most of the chores. We both undust, vacuum, mop the floor, and do yardwork. In this story, the dad reads out the chores and leaves. Not even Mary goes out to help Archie. I guess they figure, if Archie’s getting paid, they don’t need to help him. People shouldn’t have children just to turn them into house servants.
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t address the laziness of the parents at all. Instead, it focuses on Archie thinking he’s somehow entitled to more money.
I don’t get paid for doing chores at all. I’ve never gotten an allowance. I’ve never complained that I’ve never gotten an allowance. Why not? Because my mom worked hard to provide enough money to feed me (and now I’m doing the same for her). Again, this story doesn’t address that. Archie has daily meals, a roof over his head, and a car (even though it sucks by today’s standards and speaks of the cheapness of his parents). He still wants more money.
While both sides seem to have certain things that they’re right about, this story fails to address their more serious faults: laziness and ungratefulness.
I don’t understand Fred getting out of the discussion of an allowance increase. He should have just said no right from the start. His initial avoidance makes him look like a coward that can’t stand up to his own son, even though he does so later.
Archie going on strike is something that I would never do. My mom would have taken away my video games and computer and/or put me up for adoption. Archie’s parents take a long time to do anything, and then Fred merely cuts off Archie’s allowance.
Archie referring to his father as “management” is a slap-worthy offense. I’d never speak to my parents like that.
I was so happy when the old man told Archie to get a job. I had a summer job between my junior and senior years of high school, and, even though I was there only a month before I got fired, I’d saved up enough money to buy my first computer. If Archie doesn’t already have a job, and he wants more money, then he should simply get a job. I have no idea how Archie got Betty and Chuck on his side. Betty of all people should have pointed out Archie’s wrongs. Keep in mind that I’m not some stuck-up conservative that will one day tell kids to get off my lawn; I just don’t think kids are entitled to more money based on their say-so.
This story shows Jughead cares about Archie only to the extent that it doesn’t affect himself personally. Jughead abandons Archie when it means that he can’t freeload, and he further convinces himself that Archie spending less time with him is a possibility, and he can’t have that. That’s a somewhat reasonable conclusion, considering Archie is the only person that really hangs out with Jughead (gee, I wonder why), and Archie probably would use any excuse to hang out with someone else instead. This story reminds me why I don’t like Jughead.
So Reggie and Veronica are the “darkest forces in Riverdale”? I’d think bank robbers or burglars would be. (Yes, they exist – even in the comics.)
Reggie’s argument makes no sense. Sure, he and Veronica are better looking than Archie – but not Betty. Way to insult Betty, asshole. Also, Veronica is filthy rich, and Reggie is well enough off. His father runs the town’s newspaper! Any increase that the Andrews, Coopers, and Claytons would give to their children wouldn’t make a dent in Reggie and Veronica’s monetary advantage.
Archie and Betty’s signs are different in Part 2 than in Part 1. You could explain this away by saying they made multiple signs, but why would they? Did some hecklers walk by and break their original signs? That sounds good. I’m going with that.
When Archie recounts what happened earlier, the continuity with Part 1 is bad. Fred’s list of chores is longer. Archie is wearing different pants and shoes. There’s a new mini-scene of Archie giving Fred a presentation of “Reasons For Archie’s Raise” that isn’t in Part 1. Archie is holding a different sign when his parents discover he’s striking (Mary seems surprised now too, despite originally finding out before Fred). The house exterior looks a bit different. The passer-by in the background is a different person. Archie and Betty’s signs match those in Part 2 rather than those in Part 1. Betty’s shirt is different. Archie’s clothes as noted above remain wrong. Chuck’s clothes are completely different.
I have to take issue with Archie’s reasons for a raise:
1) More chores – Nowhere in Part 1 was it mentioned that Fred had increased the number of Archie’s chores, so this is a bit of a retcon.
2) Cost of living – Let’s see. Archie’s parents pay for the house, his meals, and other basic needs. What’s this cost of living that Archie’s referring to? An increase in movie ticket prices, CD prices, and video game prices? Please.
3) Responsibility handling money – Yeah, because constantly loaning money to Jughead and having to pay for dates with a rich girl is responsible.
It’s no wonder that Fred fell asleep.
Nancy makes very good points. This stuff should have been said in Part 1.
Most of the positions taken in Part 2 are understandable or at least could go either way, because the characters (such as Midge) aren’t developed enough, but the splits of so many couples (four!) is too convenient.
Also, why is Jughead concerned over the splits? The counter-strike was his idea. He should have anticipated this.
Having Archie live on Hastings Street is a nice touch, since Bob Hastings is perhaps the best-known actor to voice Archie on the old-time “The Adventures of Archie Andrews” radio show. Maybe Archie Comics could continue with this idea and have Jughead live on Stone Street, Betty live on Rice Road, etc.
Riverdale must be a boring town if a strike by a bunch of kids is front-page, headline-making material.
Wendy’s point is a good one too. I had a fun enough childhood without an allowance. It’s called getting video games from my parents. When I started working at a real job (which Archie and the rest of his group would be doing if they had any sense), I had my own money to buy video games, anime, manga, and comic books on my own.
The reasons for Frankie and Maria’s positions are never stated.
Chuck’s recaps in Part 3 contradict Parts 1 and 2, both visually and in some plot details.
The most-anticipated moment of Part 3 is the nearly-full-page depiction of “just about every Riverdale teen” on page 2. Here is a list of the characters, according to Archie Comics:
1. Veronica’s cousin, Marcy (with Jughead)
2. Raj Patel (unclear here but with Archie)
3. Jason Blossom (soon with Archie)
4. Chuck Clayton (with Archie)
5. Cheryl Blossom (soon with Jughead)
6. Bingo’s Drummer, Buddy (no t-shirt)
7. Fernando Ruiz’s Fiancé, Carrie (with Archie, judging by sign)
8. Josie McCoy (no t-shirt)
9. Tough Teddy Tough (with Archie)
10. Archie Andrews (the instigator)
11. Betty Cooper (with Archie)
12. Veronica Lodge (with Jughead)
13. Dilton Doiley (unclear here but with Archie)
14. Alison Adams (with Jughead, judging by sign)
15. Frankie Valdez (unclear here but with Archie)
16. Bingo Wilkin (with Archie, judging by sign)
17. Midge Klump (unclear here but with Archie)
18. Reggie Mantle (with Jughead, judging by sign)
19. Samantha Smythe (with Jughead, judging by sign)
20. Fernando Ruiz (the writer, unclear which side)
21. Maria Rodriguez (with Jughead, judging by sign)
22. Nancy Woods (unclear here but with Jughead)
23. Debbie (with Jughead)
24. January McAndrews (no t-shirt)
25. Trula Twist (unclear which side)
26. Wendy “Double W” Weatherbee (with Jughead)
27. Hot Dog (unclear which side)
28. Big Moose Mason (with Jughead)
29. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (no t-shirt)
30. Ethel Muggs (with Jughead, judging by sign)
31. Jughead (the other guy to blame for this)
32. Joanie Jummp (unclear which side)
I admit I don’t know all of the characters. However, I did notice, when typing this up, that the writer and/or artist failed to specify the sides (if any) of 7 characters (8, if you count the writer). This could have been drawn better.
Why are some non-Riverdale teens, such as Josie and Sabrina, here?
It’s nice to see some characters from the past, such as Debbie and Joanie Jump (Jughead’s old girlfriends from the late 1980s / early 1990s, though I think I missed all of that) and January McAndrews (from the 1990-1991 title, “Jughead’s Time Police”).
We further see Alexandra Cabot is with Jughead, and Alexander Cabot is with Archie and using the opportunity to promote his band. Good manager.
Why are Archie and Jughead still striking and angry at each other in the present time? The shadowy figure had already intervened at the end of Part 2…
…which Part 3 then acknowledges through a recap, so…what just happened here? This is sloppy continuity.
I was pretty much certain that the shadowy figure was Mr. Lodge. There was a chance that Archie Comics might introduce a surprise twist and have it be somebody else (like Clifford Blossom), but that didn’t happen.
Why does Fred now agree to give Mr. Lodge a shot? He must have already agreed to it if he brought him to Archie and Jughead at the end of Part 2.
Why does Reggie all of a sudden want the strike to go on forever? There was no indication of that in Parts 1 or 2. Where did this come from?
That visual gag with the sign snapping and hitting some character (who?) on the head is funny.
Why is Tough Teddy Tough now with Jughead? Is this a goof, or is he switching sides? If the latter, then it might indicate Josie McCoy is with Archie, and Melody Valentine (who we see here without a t-shirt) is with Jughead.
I like Jughead even less for preferring Coke.
I like Cheryl’s attitude towards the whole thing until she decides to join in. She also cites the whole monetary advantage reason. Really, how could a bunch of middle-class teens getting an allowance increase make even a small dent in Cheryl’s (and Reggie’s and Veronica’s) monetary advantage? This “reason” has persisted throughout the story, and it’s just so dumb and nonsensical.
Who’s the white-moustached guy (with Jughead) that’s standing in front of Cheryl?
Who’s the brown-haired girl standing behind Adam (who’s with Archie) and Betty?
Midge’s comment about another Riverdale romantic triangle is heavy-handed. I don’t find it funny. We can figure this stuff out on our own without being told it.
Valerie Brown is here too, but she’s not wearing a t-shirt, so it’s unclear whose side (if any) that she’s on.
Yeah, Cricket O’Dell can smell money. It’s a dumb concept.
So Li’l Jinx exists in the Archieverse, apparently, and Riverdale at that (how else could she have gotten there?). However, the outdated nature of her character is illustrated by the fact that she still receives only 25 cents for an allowance in 2007.
Mr. Weatherbee is with Jughead, as he stated in Part 2, but Ms. Grundy is with Archie. Why?
Why is Betty so excited to see Pop when she didn’t even see his sign yet? For all that she knew, he was part of the counter-strike.
Who are the three kids (one with Archie, one without a t-shirt, and one with Jughead) and dog behind Pop?
Pop makes a good point. Even the counter-strikers aren’t getting any money now. I find it hard to believe that none of them have any spending money, though.
Fred is living in the past if he believes a dollar is a big deal. A 20-ounce bottle of soda costs more than that these days.
Coach Kleats is with Archie. It’s cute that he’s chasing after Pop. I guess he wants food.
We see Professor Flutesnoot, but whose side (if any) is he on?
So the strike is ended by the kids getting a vague increase in their allowance (they aren’t told how much), provided they keep up with their chores and responsibilities. That’s essentially what Archie wanted in the first place, so his side won. It just seems so anti-climactic, though. Wouldn’t the kids want to know how much extra money that they’re getting before they celebrate?
Also, the strike is resolved off-panel. That means we didn’t get to see the resolution to this story. Imagine if “Captain America: Civil War” skipped over the final battle and ended with a scene back at Avengers HQ with Steve and Tony talking about how the conflict was resolved. Total fucking bullshit.
Jughead wastes almost no time in trying to borrow money from Archie. Typical.
Why, exactly, are the counter-protestors mad at Jughead? Sure, he was dumb during the negotiations, but is that all? Did he actively agree to Mr. Lodge’s plan? Not likely, since Mr. Lodge discussed it with the parents, and Archie was surprised by the outcome. So…I don’t get it.
This entire story is so decompressed, it’s ridiculous. There was so much build-up over nothing.
We don’t know exactly how long that this strike lasted, but we have to assume it’s during summer time, because there’s no indication that the kids took breaks to go to school and do homework.
We don’t even get any indication of what the kids did at night when they went home (did they go home?). How did they and their parents behave toward each other?
I don’t care for this story, and I have a feeling that it was merely a stunt that was designed to boost sales.
Tune in next Wednesday!