Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Jim Amash
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Jack Morelli
Original Publication: World of Archie Jumbo Comics (Double) Digest, No. 129
On-Sale Date: April 26, 2023
Length: 5 pages
Another new Archie story, another old character dusted off. Thankfully, it’s not a superhero this time. It’s Ginger Snapp. You might recall her from “Fashion Fantabulous!“, which was also written by Tom DeFalco.
Ginger was a short-lived comic book series that ran for ten issues from 1951 to 1954. It was basically a female Archie knockoff series created by Archie Comics in the hopes of duplicating Archie‘s success. It, um, didn’t work.
The story is preceded by two pages from The Archie Encyclopedia (a reference work that came out on September 28, 2022) with profiles of Ginger Snapp, Dottie (according to the page, later known as Patsy, although Grand Comics Database indicates she was named Patsy from the start), Ickky (last name Jones, according to GCDb), and Tommy Turner.
Here’s the shorthand version:
Ginger: a female, non-freckled Archie/Veronica hybrid from a fairly affluent family (probably around Reggie’s level)
Patsy: her black-haired freckled friend
Ickky: Dilton with the lower back of his head shaved
Tommy: a heterosexual Kevin Keller
Ginger excitedly runs out of her house and tells Ickky and Patsy that she needs them to help her plan a party to celebrate her summer job. Ickky is impressed, because “the summer has barely started”. Why is a summer story coming out in April? Anyway, Ginger says that’s “silly” and clarifies she finally managed to convince her father that she deserves to take the entire summer off. She wants to celebrate, because she doesn’t have to work this summer. Patsy slaps her five and says she’s her hero. Ickky is confused.
In the house, Ginger’s mom (Lotta, although she’s unnamed here), who has short blonde hair and glasses, tells her husband, Fred, that she’s so happy that he agreed to let Ginger take the entire summer off. Fred (basically, a fat Mr. Lodge without the glasses and mustache) says he plans to teach her a lesson. He predicts Ginger will regret this decision as soon as she needs spending money. This upsets his wife.
Outside, Ginger says they’re going to need a band. Patsy wonders if The Archies are available. Ickky would prefer Josie and the Pussycats. It’s clear that he loves them, but I wonder in what way. Ginger brings up food. Patsy can help plan the menu. Ickky will ask Pop Tate for a deal on the catering. Tommy and Dotty walk by. Who’s Dotty? As far as I can tell, she’s a new character (short brown hair and brown eyes) using Patsy’s variant name. Anyway, Ginger asks them if they’ve heard about the big party, despite only recently telling Ickky and Patsy about it.
An angry Bunny storms over to Ginger. Who’s Bunny? According to GCDb, Bunny Clarke is Ginger’s rival. She seems to be Veronica with brown hair. She heard about the party (how? when?) and demands to know why she hasn’t received an invitation. Ginger says she didn’t print out formal invitations. Bunny pushes Ginger to a printing business and says they need to design, produce, and mail them. Who the fuck prints out and mails formal invitations for neighborhood parties? It’s 2023! And why is Bunny pushing Ginger to a print shop before they’ve even designed the stupid things?
At Pop’s, two characters named Monk and Thorny compare invitations (Monk is definitely from the Ginger title, but I could find no info on Thorny). Ginger’s invited “everyone in the school district” to her party. In the background, Archie, Betty, and Veronica are sitting at a table and conveniently holding up their invitations.
At Ginger’s house, Ginger stands next to a tall pile of papers and tells Patsy that she can’t believe how many people RSVPed. Patsy will tell Pop to increase the food order. Ginger suggests ordering a tent in case of rain. Patsy says that’s a great idea. Fred, walking by, is surprised.
On the night of the party, Ginger’s backyard is packed with teens. Pop is cooking burgers and hot dogs on a grill, and The Archies are performing. There’s no sign of Reggie, but maybe he’s just off the side of the panel. There’s no sign of any cords, microphones, or an amplifier. More importantly, however, why the fuck are The Archies together? Betty and Ronnie had quit and formed their own band with Jola.
Anyway, Ickky tells Ginger that this is the greatest party of all. Patsy adds everyone loves this idea of a job-free summer. Fred comes out of the house and screams at his daughter.
Ginger goes into the house. Fred points to the stack of party bills on his desk (which seems to be in or near the kitchen). He tells her that she’ll need at least a dozen summer jobs to repay him with interest. So convenient that all of those bills arrived (in paper form!) on the night of the party. Ginger says he can count on her. He allows her to enjoy the rest of the party, because she’ll be “paying for it for years”. When Ginger goes outside and resumes dancing, Lotta asks him who is going to regret what decision. The captions in the final panel read “End” and “For Now!” Are they trying to set something up?
This story was pretty meh. It felt outdated with its massive use of paper. Also, Ginger doesn’t really bring anything different as far as characters go. This could have very easily been a Veronica story.
3 thoughts on “Comics – Party Panic!”
Dottie is a completely different character from the early stories before Ginger was given her own title. Why they thought they were both the same in the encyclopedia is kind of a mystery to me.
More importantly, however, why the fuck are The Archies together? Betty and Ronnie had quit and formed their own band with Jola.
Could be many reasons (negative continuity, stories written at different stages, or no correspondence between writers).
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Thanks for the info and the link. Ginger’s older than I realized.
Patsy doesn’t bear much of a resemblance to Dottie other than the hair color, but she definitely bears more of a resemblance than the new Dotty in this story, who seems to be a completely new character.
Did the original Dottie and Patsy ever appear in the same story together? If not, Patsy could indeed be a reworking of Dottie.
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Ginger is usually given only 1 friend throughout her stories, so Dottie basically got reworked in Patsy somewhere down the line. This story seems to be the only time they actually appeared in the same story.
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