Sunday, October 04, 2015

Verónica or Veronica? Mexican-Americans in Archie Comics, Dan DeCarlo, and Mextasy-laced Befuddlements of a Teenager's Libido

Updated 4 October 2015, first published December 2014 



As I have shared before here in these 'pages,' I spent a fair amount of my time growing up in Laredo, Texas, reading comic books--specifically, a lot of Archie Comics.

Dan DeCarlo's Men's Humor Magazine
work--not for Archie Comics!
Many of my obsessions for women were probably inculcated through the india ink wonders that are the magic of Dan DeCarlo--illustrator for Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, and the rest of the Riverdale gang in the Silver Age heydays of the 60s and 70s. Harry Lucey, too, illustrator for my Mextasy homage below, also takes/gets some of the blame!

Back then, though I preferred Betty (she was nicer, and, as a blonde, an exotic for this chubby Mexican-American Laredense), it was Veronica, whose affections I fantasized about. I thought she was Mexican-American, a Latina--at the very least, she sure looked like all the middle and high school girls I was surrounded by at St. Augustine High School in Laredo--those memories still hound my synapses, a Catholic-school altar boy and lecter, surrounded by unthinkably beauty.

And so it is that I dedicate this Mextasy Poster below to Harry Lucey, whose art gave flight to my fantasies, and to Dan DeCarlo, whose ink-bourn dabblings imprinted me forever (and yes, deranged my libido in ways that only Freud--channeling Cantinflas via Rosario Castellanos--could fathom). Veronica Lodge, no doubt, was not Latina, not Chicana, not Tejana--but for me, young, ardent, and filled with visions of fantasized erotic futures, it did not matter.

3 comments:

  1. My sister was born in 1961 and collected Archie's comics. My Mom kept them in the attic that was adjacent to my converted attic bedroom. I spent my childhood in the 80's reading (I think) every Archie's comic from the late 60's, early 70's. I was SO INTO IT, that my Granny started getting me the 1980's Archie's digests from the grocery store, but they just weren't the same. I was confused because I felt like I was growing up in the 60's, because at the same time I was obsessed with the Monkees reruns on Nickelodeon and Laugh In and the Brady Bunch. My delusion was encouraged when I sent off an order form for Sea Monkeys from the back of an Archie's comic from 1968 or 9, with loose change in the envelope (for the 1968/9 price) and they actually arrived!


    I too thought Veronica was a Mexican. A very rich Mexican!

    I'm going to be picking up some Archie's after nearly 30 years, because I keep seeing articles recently talking about how they are actually being quite forward thinking and innovative right now:
    http://www.laweekly.com/publicspectacle/2012/01/06/archie-comics-getting-hip-theyve-brought-in-gay-marriage-sabrina-the-teenage-witch-and-kiss

    http://www.idigitaltimes.com/archie-comics-tv-show-riverdale-fox-answer-twin-peaks-391507

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, here's a link from Salon:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/10/25/how_archie_went_from_dull_to_daring_the_worlds_tamest_comic_series_is_now_our_most_groundbreaking/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe you should have written her name as "Verónica" or "Vero."

    ReplyDelete

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