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Wendy Weatherbee & Cricket O'Dell?

Started by DeCarlo Rules, May 04, 2018, 10:24:08 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

DeCarlo Rules

So, I happened to be in Walmart this morning, and sauntered by the racks which hold their small selection of paperbacks/hardcovers. kids' books, and magazines, and spied the latest issues of ARCHIE AND ME DIGEST (#6), and ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST (#340somthing, I think..) and couldn't resist stopping to flip through them.

The last issues of these that I read were back around the end of December/first half of January, I think. I stopped getting them mostly because seven bucks (okay, cheaper than that when I still subscribed, and still cheap when I get a retailers' cost discount at my LCS, if I bother to order them -- but still, be that as it may...) just seemed like too high a price when about 75% of the stories reprinted (mostly 1990s/early 2000s; between ARCHIE #501-599 or so) I'd rate as "ho-hum". I was just growing bored with the reprint selections - there's too little variety lately in the Archie-centric digests, to my way of thinking. They still have those Dan Parent-written lead stories, of course, but that's asking a lot to pay for a single 5-page story.

So, skinflint that I am, I paused to flip through them to see if there was anything of interest there that I was missing, and spend 5 minutes or so reading the two new 5-page lead stories in both. I was surprised to see A&M digest had a new story with Wendy Weatherbee in it (whom I don't believe DP has used in any stories before, apart from being a mob-scene guest-star in the "Battle of the BFFs" multiparter, some years back). And then AJC digest had a new story with Cricket O'Dell in it (going on a date with Archie, yet)!

That reminded me that Dan has been bringing back a lot of seldom-seen supporting characters in stories lately, like Harper Lodge, Veronica's "wacky cousin" (Dan's description, from a fashion page) Marcy McDermott, Bridgett Furferfuhrer (can't recall her last name... never really cared for her) and didn't I see a story recently with Maria Rodriguez (or maybe I'm just imagining that, or thinking of a reprint I recently read)? And while I might reasonably expect to see such DP-created supporting characters like Harper, Marcy, or Bridgett, I wouldn't expect to see Wendy or Cricket. Who's next, Eyeda? (In the story where Cricket dates Archie, they go to an art gallery show, and there was a painting of floating eyeball - the centerpiece of some other elements - that strongly reminded me of Eyeda, whom Dan had previously used as a supporting character in his Sabrina stories in the early 1990s in the back of ARCHIE & FRIENDS). Makes me wonder if I didn't miss some other seldom-seen character reappearances, like maybe Trula Twyst (another character whom Dan has never really used) in some of the new DP-written lead stories from the three Archie-centric digests in the last few months.

The Cricket O'Dell dating Archie story struck me as kind of an oddity, in that I can't recall Archie ever showing any interest in dating Cricket (although I think the plot of the story had Cricket asking Archie, instead of the other way around). I almost wondered if that weren't a leftover from "The Many Loves of Archie Andrews", as it seemed like it would have fit in perfectly with that series from a couple of years back.  The Wendy Weatherbee story has her and her father back in Riverdale visiting, and immediately all the boys at RHS are lining up to date her, with extreme anticipation and high competitiveness. The Bee won't tolerate any nonsense, of course, so he takes it upon himself to review/interview Wendy's potential daters, and sets himself up as the final arbiter of who will get to date her. Archie gets "DISMISSED!" by the Bee at first sight. (It never fails to flabbergast me that no matter how many pretty girls Archie is dating or has dated, he's never satisfied -- he's just GOT to sample them all.) To no one's real surprise, Uncle Waldo declares the winner of the coveted date with Wendy to be none other than Jughead Jones (who tries to protest that he's not even interested in dating, only to confirm Weatherbee's precise reason for choosing him -- to make darn sure that there will be no chance of any potential romantic hanky-panky going on with his overprotected niece). Doesn't Wendy have anything to say about it?? Although, one gets the distinct impression that she's not exactly disappointed in the prospect of a date with Mr. Jones...


Brigitte Reilly (or sometimes O'Reilly)

DeCarlo Rules

Eeeeww. Hope she's not related to that icky Fox News Channel dude. Not that it would mean she shared his political views, but whatever.

I guess the original Bridgitt (or Brigette or however it's spelled) story made a point that Reggie made fun of her for being overweight when she arrived at RHS as the new girl, but was proven wrong when everyone realized how musically and vocally talented she was. Keeping her around after her singing/composing talent was discovered just didn't fit into the world of Riverdale, however. Maybe it would have worked better if she'd been a new supporting character in an ongoing Josie and the Pussycats series, or if they somehow tied her story into the Archies, but after she'd gotten her big break in the music world, there didn't seem to be much point in her return appearances.


Which issue has the Cricket dating Archie story?

DeCarlo Rules

It's in Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #288. The story is "Sniffing Around".


DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: gillibean on May 07, 2018, 07:34:39 PM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on May 04, 2018, 10:24:08 AM
Who's next, Eyeda? (In the story where Cricket dates Archie, they go to an art gallery show, and there was a painting of floating eyeball - the centerpiece of some other elements - that strongly reminded me of Eyeda, whom Dan had previously used as a supporting character in his Sabrina stories in the early 1990s in the back of ARCHIE & FRIENDS).

A little version of Eyeda was in the background of the free comic book day issue of Die Kitty Die

I'm not clear on what's up with that in terms of copyright status, but Eyeda (the older teenage version) is indeed a regular supporting character in DKD. Dan Parent created The Carneys for ACP in 1993, around the same time that Eyeda was appearing as a supporting character in Sabrina at Gravestone Heights 91313 (as a backup feature in ARCHIE & FRIENDS, beginning with #2), and the Carneys are also regular supporting characters in DKD, so it's clear that the copyright to The Carneys belongs to Dan Parent.

Eyeda may or may not have been created by Dan Parent, however. She appeared in digest reprints of at least two 1960s Archie stories as a student attending Riverdale High...

"The Masked Marvel" - Page 1

"The Masked Marvel" - bottom 2/3rds of Page 3

"The Masked Marvel" - top 2/3rds of Page 4

"The Masked Marvel" - 3 panels excerpted from last page

...but it's unclear whether or not the last panel shown above represents editorial tampering to the original story's artwork, as it appears in a 1990s digest reprint of "The Masked Marvel" -- if that's the case, then this "Masked Marvel" story may be an altered version of the one by that title which appeared in LAUGH #170 (May 1965), in which the original character revealed beneath the mask in the panel shown above was Ophelia Glutenschnable (a kind of early prototype for Big Ethel Muggs). I haven't actually seen that issue of LAUGH, so I can't confirm it.

If that isn't the case, then it's clear that this wasn't Eyeda's first appearance in a story, since Betty & Veronica recognize her immediately and already know her name. At any rate, Dan Parent is at least responsible for rescuing Eyeda from obscurity, by making her a regular supporting-cast member for Sabrina in the early 1990s, and she even became well-established enough to appear in her own puzzle-page feature in a digest:

I believe it was Dan Parent who was also responsible for rescuing the formerly-obscure (only a few 1960s appearances) Cricket O'Dell and bringing her back in 1990s stories.

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