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.


  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:

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

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