Sunday, November 11, 2007

Archie comics of the 1960's as a mirror to fads, fashion and trends (flickr link)

- Please follow this link to my Flickr set! (59 images)

A few weeks ago I was in a good old-fashioned
Junk shop (that's usually a sizeable step down from a thrift store or salvage shop, for the unitiated).

Rummaging around through the unkempt piles of - - um, treasures - - I did manage to find a big box of old and well-loved comic books, priced dirt-cheap.

Mostly Archies and other 'teen' comics, and almost all dating back to the latter half of the 1960's.

Clearly all the collection of one person - - somebody's trove of funnybooks from back in the day - - and sporting lots of particularly groovy sixties covers.

Let's say we'll just call this post 'part one', 'cuz I'd like to show you more of what I found, but for now let's just concentrate on the Archie stuff...

Archie and his gang from Riverdale have been a part of American culture since the 1940's.

Like all good ongoing pop ephemera, the comics have done much to reflect the era in which they were produced.

In the 1960's however, more so than ever before in its history, that reflection shown in the pages of all those Archie titles incorporated influences from what was happening in the real world.

Riverdale gradually left behind its generic Eisenhower-era limbo of the '50's and got more 'with-it'.

(okay, it was still pretty generic)

'Realism' is likely not a term that could (or should) ever be used in reference to Archie comics, but this collection of images circa 1965 - 1970 do pretty well in illustrating some of what was 'happening' in the
youth culture and pop culture of that time.

You'll catch glimpses of the surfing craze, the spy craze, the superhero and 'camp' fads.

Fashion, fashion, fashion, and ever-changing fashion.

The British Invasion, trendy boutiques,
mad mod happenings, flower power and hippies.
The battle of the sexes and the generation gap.

Rock music and counter-culture co-opted into the mainstream, and the rise of mass-marketed bubblegum pop music, all in a time when the teenager with disposable income became a much larger commercial target.

- Please follow this link to my Flickr set!
(59 images)

See also:
- 'A Busy Life With Archie', my previous post that centers primarily on the '60's spy and superhero phase in the 'Life With Archie' title. It also includes several links to pertinent background info.

- 'I Can't Believe It's Not Archie' at
Stupid Comics - - A focus on the many 'Archie knock-offs' over the years. A perfect preamble to a couple of posts I have planned as follow-ups to this one...

I Can't Believe It's Not Archie, part 1
I Can't Believe It's Not Archie, part 2
I Can't Believe It's Not Archie, part 3
I Can't Believe It's Not Archie, part 4

ADDENDUM, 11/26/07: For a similarly-themed gallery of Archie covers, click over to 'Archie Zeitgeist, Because I Have Learned to Share' at the always engaging Glyph Jockey.


the sobsister said...

Great feature on the "mod" Archie.
Kudos in general for your postings. I just started reading yesterday and I'm working my way backwards. Excellent stuff. Cheers.

mor said...

I really enjoy your posts, and this was a great one.

I'm more familiar with Disney comics than Archie, but even there we can see fashion trends, especially in '80s poster art. On my flickr plage I've uploaded a Disney panel featuring a couple of hippes:

Freshly-stirred links