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Author Topic: I have a question about Fred Andrews.  (Read 2773 times)

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Offline PTF

I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:20:12 PM »
Okay, Archie gets his clumsiness from his dad since we always see the guy breaking things, falling over, or having his own misadventure a time or two...

But I just remember a few stories where there's an Andrews reunion and all the family members are clutzes...but they have Archie's hair and freckles. Um, that's more like his mom.

Am I the only one who noticed this?

Offline addisonian

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 08:28:32 PM »
The thing to remember about Archie comics, particularly from before the mid-'90s or so, is that they don't have continuity. So anything that happens in one story, or even more than one story, can be abandoned in the next one. That's why the same writers could write stories where Mr. Lodge was born rich and then turn around and write stories where he married into money. And similarly there's not supposed to be any consistency about Archie's family tree. Whatever's funny, the writers can do in that story.

Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 09:58:51 PM »
The thing to remember about Archie comics, particularly from before the mid-'90s or so, is that they don't have continuity. So anything that happens in one story, or even more than one story, can be abandoned in the next one. That's why the same writers could write stories where Mr. Lodge was born rich and then turn around and write stories where he married into money. And similarly there's not supposed to be any consistency about Archie's family tree. Whatever's funny, the writers can do in that story.

Couldn't some of this just be contributed to bad writing?  Like if you want to be lazy to make your deadline, just don't do the research to find out a previous back story.

I understand the sliding timescale for a comic that has been around since the 40's creates some problems, but they could settle some of these things.  Like a cartoon may have 50 different writers for 50 different episodes, but they don't contradict what's in the series Bible regarding a character's background.

Offline Jabroniville

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 12:35:13 AM »
I don't think Archie even USED much of a series Bible. We've had several instances of characters changing names, various characters altering GREATLY over time, brand-new appearances for old characters, etc. It's something Archie never even really aspired to have in the first place. A few writers made exceptions, but most of them really didn't.

Out of curiosity, I once made a list of all the various named Aunts & Uncles throughout the Archieverse. Just by reading through my Digests and making a note of each mention, I effortlessly ended up with a giant list for each character. So either they come from enormous families (that with few exceptions decided to only have one child per couple from then on), or the writers just come up with random names to suit the story. That's why I found it funny when the company decided that Jughead & Bingo Wilkin were related, since they both mentioned an "Uncle Herman".
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:58:07 AM by Jabroniville »
"Who knows what kind of den of corruption Riverdale could turn out to be?"- The Punisher, "Archie Meets The Punisher"

Offline aamrun

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 01:08:44 AM »
The funny thing is that the early Archie radio episodes show Mr. Andrews as the man in control. In fact most of the shows are about the dad, than his later to be prodigal son.

Offline PTF

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 09:22:14 AM »
I don't think Archie even USED much of a series Bible. We've had several instances of characters changing names, various characters altering GREATLY over time, brand-new appearances for old characters, etc. It's something Archie never even really aspired to have in the first place. A few writers made exceptions, but most of them really didn't.

Out of curiosity, I once made a list of all the various named Aunts & Uncles throughout the Archieverse. Just by reading through my Digests and making a note of each mention, I effortlessly ended up with a giant list for each character. So either they come from enormous families (that with few exceptions decided to only have one child per couple from then on), or the writers just come up with random names to suit the story. That's why I found it funny when the company decided that Jughead & Bingo Wilkin were related, since they both mentioned an "Uncle Herman".

And that's another thing, I'm guessing Uncle Herman would be Mrs. Jones' older brother?

Offline aamrun

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 09:36:21 AM »
I don't think Archie even USED much of a series Bible. We've had several instances of characters changing names, various characters altering GREATLY over time, brand-new appearances for old characters, etc. It's something Archie never even really aspired to have in the first place. A few writers made exceptions, but most of them really didn't.

Out of curiosity, I once made a list of all the various named Aunts & Uncles throughout the Archieverse. Just by reading through my Digests and making a note of each mention, I effortlessly ended up with a giant list for each character. So either they come from enormous families (that with few exceptions decided to only have one child per couple from then on), or the writers just come up with random names to suit the story. That's why I found it funny when the company decided that Jughead & Bingo Wilkin were related, since they both mentioned an "Uncle Herman".

And that's another thing, I'm guessing Uncle Herman would be Mrs. Jones' older brother?

Or maybe on Mr. Jones side of the family ?

Offline addisonian

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 10:58:24 AM »
Couldn't some of this just be contributed to bad writing?  Like if you want to be lazy to make your deadline, just don't do the research to find out a previous back story.

Sometimes, but most of the time it just wasn't even an issue -- the idea of back stories or consistent character histories did not exist for comics like these. The Three Stooges or cartoon characters didn't have continuity or character histories either. They were whatever the new story needed them to be. It's like Elmer Fudd is a vegetarian in one cartoon and in the next cartoon he wants to eat Bugs Bunny. Same writer, same director. It's not bad writing, it's just that there was no such thing as continuity in this kind of storytelling. The only things that needed to remain consistent were certain basic character traits (Jughead likes food and doesn't like dating; Betty likes Archie, etc). Otherwise, characters could change histories and even live in different times and places.

In the '60s, Stan Lee made a big show of referring back to older comics and creating back stories for characters, and it started to become more important for characters to keep their histories straight, but even there it was more for serious comics than comedy.

And yeah, I don't think there really was a series bible. Referring back to older comics was mostly pointless because nobody expected the older comics to be remembered anyway.

Offline Original Sin

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Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 01:43:38 PM »
hardly any continuity, and a lot of the stories contradict each other.
in some stories, Mrs Jones is seen to have the long nose and other features that Jughead has inherited, in others its Mr Jones who looks like that. in fact, i may have read one where both of Jughead's parents looked like him! which would make them first cousins or something lol
Archie: Betty, our Betty! Dear, sweet Betty!
Jughead: Blonde girl, cute smile, about so high...dates some guy named Mantle, right?


Offline B-ko Daitokuji

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 01:58:34 PM »
Couldn't some of this just be contributed to bad writing?  Like if you want to be lazy to make your deadline, just don't do the research to find out a previous back story.

Sometimes, but most of the time it just wasn't even an issue -- the idea of back stories or consistent character histories did not exist for comics like these. The Three Stooges or cartoon characters didn't have continuity or character histories either. They were whatever the new story needed them to be. It's like Elmer Fudd is a vegetarian in one cartoon and in the next cartoon he wants to eat Bugs Bunny. Same writer, same director. It's not bad writing, it's just that there was no such thing as continuity in this kind of storytelling. The only things that needed to remain consistent were certain basic character traits (Jughead likes food and doesn't like dating; Betty likes Archie, etc). Otherwise, characters could change histories and even live in different times and places.

In the '60s, Stan Lee made a big show of referring back to older comics and creating back stories for characters, and it started to become more important for characters to keep their histories straight, but even there it was more for serious comics than comedy.

And yeah, I don't think there really was a series bible. Referring back to older comics was mostly pointless because nobody expected the older comics to be remembered anyway.

I don't think the Three Stooges is a good comparison.  They may have acted the same, but they were different characters in a lot of those shorts.  I don't think you'd ever see the setting of the comics change that wildly (except for maybe the occasional exception, but that barely if ever happened).

And did similar comics really have no continuity like that?  And I mean stuff in the same genre and format, not the Sunday funnies.  Like if you read Tippy Teen or something like that, would it still be as inconsistent?

Personally, I would see this as bad writing, whether it was the editorial policy or not.  I can deal with Mr. Lodge's house looking 37 different ways.  However, if he has to have multiple completely contradictory backstories, that's a bit annoying.  You can tell a lot of different, good stories without altering something so basic as how a character became rich.  Of course, I seriously doubt anyone reads Archie Comics for what we would refer to as "good writing," so it may not be a really fatal flaw in Archie's case. 


Offline addisonian

Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 02:40:55 PM »
And did similar comics really have no continuity like that?  And I mean stuff in the same genre and format, not the Sunday funnies.  Like if you read Tippy Teen or something like that, would it still be as inconsistent?

Pretty much, yes.

It's more obvious with Archie comics because they didn't have a lot of writers and the writers they did have had very identifiable styles, but they still were merrily inconsistent. Like Frank Doyle wrote most of the major comics from the '50s through the '70s, but he would change anything depending on what the joke needed and what kind of story he was writing. (So if it's "Life With Archie," Archie's a great athlete and a cool guy. And then you pick up the same writer's work in "Archie" and he's a complete klutz.) This was just the way these comics were written. There were so many stories involving the same characters -- Archie, Richie Rich, Donald Duck, Little Lulu -- that keeping their stories consistent would have been too limiting. Especially because comics were so often re-tooled based on what the readers liked. They had to be free to change anything and everything without worrying about fitting it into an established continuity.

Again, it's a bit like those old animated cartoons where Sylvester and Tweety can meet each other for the first time in every cartoon. Comics didn't always go that far, but they just had certain key things that had to stay the same, and everything else was fair game.

Offline Original Sin

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Re: I have a question about Fred Andrews.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 06:19:14 AM »
Personally, I would see this as bad writing, whether it was the editorial policy or not.  I can deal with Mr. Lodge's house looking 37 different ways.  However, if he has to have multiple completely contradictory backstories, that's a bit annoying.  You can tell a lot of different, good stories without altering something so basic as how a character became rich.  Of course, I seriously doubt anyone reads Archie Comics for what we would refer to as "good writing," so it may not be a really fatal flaw in Archie's case. 

All true. After all, Archie and the gang have not been able to pass high school in 70 years :D 
Archie: Betty, our Betty! Dear, sweet Betty!
Jughead: Blonde girl, cute smile, about so high...dates some guy named Mantle, right?


 

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