Writer: Frank Doyle or Kathleen Webb*
Pencils: Dan DeCarlo*
Inking: Rudy Lapick or Alison Flood*
Colors: ? or Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica, No. 166
Cover Date: October, 1969
Length: 5 pages
*The original story is uncredited. The credits come from three separate issues at Grand Comics Database (see below for an explanation about that) and may or may not be accurate. All three entries agree on Dan DeCarlo as the artist. The digest reprint that credits Kathleen Webb as the writer is blatantly incorrect; she was 12 or 13 years old at the time. The other two entries credit Frank Doyle as the writer. They also credit Ruby Lapick as the inker, whereas the digest (probably incorrectly) credits Alison Flood. The GCDb entries for the earlier issues don’t have a colors credit, whereas the digest credits Barry Grossman. All three entries agree Bill Yoshida did the lettering.
Okay, so there’s a bit of a comedy of errors leading to this review. First, I didn’t finish my planned cartoon review, because I went to see Black Panther (it’s good, by the way) and run some errands. Second, my planned substitution of a comic review was a two-issue story, and I had only enough of a gift card balance on Amazon to buy the first issue. So you’re getting this, since I have scans of this story on my computer.
This story is kind of infamous in the Archie fandom, mostly thanks to a review by Mighty God King. I don’t recall where I got the full scans from, and I don’t know which issue that they were scanned from.
Alice comes into Betty’s bedroom and suggests she cut down on the pictures of Archie. Betty, who’s wearing a skimpy outfit, has plenty of pictures of Archie in various sizes (including on the ceiling). She’s even holding one between her toes on her left foot (which disappears in the next panel). She has Archie’s face on her pillow for fuck’s sake. Some of the photos are creepy for the awkward composition, indicating Betty took these photos clandestinely. She feigns innocence, which Alice finds humorous. Alice suggests she’s “overdoing it a bit”, but Betty insists you “can’t overdo Archie”.
Suddenly, Hal screams in anger. Betty runs into the hallway to see what’s got him pissed off. You know what’s got him pissed off? The fact that Betty taped a photo of Archie to the bathroom mirror, preventing him from shaving. She says she’ll take the picture down. Oh, and Betty also taped a life-sized photo of Archie to the wall of the shower, but she makes no promises about removing that one, because
she needs something to masturbate to while showering it’s waterproof. There’s also a Josie comic or magazine on the toilet lid, and I’m willing to bet Betty masturbates to pictures of Josie as well.
Suddenly, Hal hears Archie’s voice and runs to Betty’s bedroom, believing she has him hidden. Betty starts to think of what she’d do if she did have Archie hidden in her bedroom. It turns out that it’s a tape from one of their school plays. Betty plays it and pretends Archie’s saying this mushy shit to her. Hal’s disgusted, but Alice thinks “it sounds wonderful”. I’m more concerned about how the tape started playing on its own while Betty was out of her bedroom. Hal insists Betty’s got to play hard to get. Betty insists she isn’t, saying she’d marry Archie in an instant. This startles her parents.
They go back into the hallway. Betty says she dreams of Archie swooping down on a white horse (in other words, Pegasus) and carrying her off. Hal and Alice have a good laugh over this, because Archie’s a klutz. As they go downstairs, Hal demands Betty control her emotions. He instructs her to act “friendly but cool” in front of Archie. She says she’ll try. She then promptly makes a run for the door when the doorbell rings, believing it’s Archie, because she “know[s] his ring”. Her sleeves magically disappear from her shirt. Hal holds her back with one hand and insists she be cool, distant, remote, and aloof.
It turns out to actually be Archie, and Betty is ice-cold to him (her sleeves also rematerialize). He wants her to tell Veronica that she (Betty) is not interested in him, because Veronica’s been acting very jealous lately. Betty coldly agrees. Hal is proud. On his way out, Archie hugs Betty, thanks her, and calls her “a good guy”. As soon as he leaves, Betty has multiple orgasms and does somersaults (including using the backs of her hands!). Her parents ponder what would happen if Archie had said he loved her.
This story is pretty funny and uncompromising in its depiction of Betty as being downright batshit insane. It has a weird publication history, being reprinted in Betty and Me, No. 52 (cover-dated September of 1973); it’s not often that a reprint appears in a floppy comic. Hell, the cover of that issue could be seen as a sequel to this story:
Tune in next Wednesday!