PTF Reviews Target: Jughead.
Man, the things you find at a late January yard sale! I guess global warming isn’t so bad afterall. Trust me, when I went into that old ladies y-sale, I did not expect to find digests (Jughead with Archie 171-173...for a dollar! WHOOO!) containing a story I’ve been looking for forever, along with all issues of the Kevin Keller series and a certain infamous storyline round these parts. Oh, and The Changling. But the DVD didn’t work so that’s one dollar wasted, but does the first Trula Twyst story live up to the hype? Let’s find out!
Jughead is paranoid. The boys of Riverdale High believe he is faking being a woman hater and this one particular curly haired girl is everywhere he goes. Is there a connection, a scheme, if so what?
Boldman and Lindsey: The ultimate Jughead crew. I really can’t think of a single story by these two that I hate. And they had over ten years. And this story is one of their best. Jughead is at his quirkiest and wittiest. Jughead dealing with each agents of J.U.S.T. by eating, sleeping, or just turning one into a couch potato. How I miss closed eyes, witty, cunning Jughead over opened eyes, “happy-happy-cray-cray” Jughead. And the build to this story is really good. Trula is brought in as possible an innocent victim of circumstance, to the reader thinking she’s just another one off character Jughead will best to…wow. She won. And the design for Trula Twyst probably looks familiar because Lindsey used this design for a lot of one time characters. Let’s see there was a girl at museum, softball player, and girlfriend to Mad Doctor Mad’s sidekick, Chester. At least I think it was Chester or a handsome rip off of the guy.
Anyway, the character designs (and there’s quite a few) are great, each character looks different in some way. It’s just a great classic Archie art from the most underrated Archie artist. ...And kudos for the ominous wind whenever the orange door is in panel after part one. It's just super funny to me.
Trula Twyst: Easily one of my favorite supporting characters of Archie Comics. I’ve always considered Jughead the Bugs Bunny of Archie Comics. Trula Twyst is the tortoise or The Gremlin. A character that the usually invincible can’t beat because they’re just better than the main character at being clever. And she is at all time form in this story that sees her manipulate everyone at Riverdale High, with Jughead being the lynch pin to her plans, and she wins. Plays everyone like a fiddle with not a single hiccup along the way. And the thing is: she’s just so witty and entertaining you’re fine with it. She’s smart, able to hang with Jughead in the wit department, and she is pleasant to everyone. She’s just manipulative and dead set on getting her end result.
I think my favorite part in the story that shows she is a threat is at The Chocklit Shop. Jughead is pretending he wants a girlfriend and chooses Trula (hoping to make guys want to date her/unwittingly doing exactly what she wants) Jughead breaks character when he orders an oversized ice cream cone and doesn’t plan to get Trula anything. Trula’s response? Just break the lower part of the cone off. Closely followed is Jughead’s reaction to Trula telling him she tricked him. One of the few times when Jughead is at a lost for words and loses his composure not food related. Well, until later encounters with Trula.
Each part is twelve pages and it just flows really well.
The Coloring: We have a few problems with the coloring in this three part story. In the first part, Trula’s hair is more of a brownish red instead of just red. Also the dreaded orange door that leads to the lair of Trula Twyst…is brown until the last part of the story. I kind of understand Trula’s hair because she is just introduced. But the door is said to be orange. I guess Barry Grossman decided to read the script at part three a bit better. But besides these minor problems, the typical great job from Barry Grossman.
The wait. I had to find this at an old lady’s yard sale!?! What the heck, Archie Comics?! Some intern lose a box labeled “Boldman characters?” Sorry for bringing back bad memories to the furries out there. Totally insensitive on my part.
What I learned from reading:
There’s always someone better than you at what you’re the best at.
- Rhymatic channel surfing is a lost art. (Stupid DVRs making it easy on lazy kids these days)
- It’s not how thick a thief is, but how crooked.
- Girls are way more organized than boys.
- Everyone wants what someone else has.
- Poetry reading helps move along a good nap.
- You’re not paranoid if someone really is out to get you.
- Dumpsters are the best hiding spots in comics.
- Jughead dating throws off the entire universe.
- Beware of orange doors!!!
And there we have it. A story I’ve long waited to be reprinted in a digest…and end up just lucking into it. Trula seems to be a pretty popular character…so we don’t we ever see more of her? I remember reading how she wasn’t going to be used much, but was popular with the readers. And I can see why: good character design, her mind games set her apart from the other characters, and she’s just a great nemesis for Jughead.
Why she didn’t appear near the end before the reboot or even show up in the reboot? I have no idea. Best I can figure that in the end it was down to Ruiz and Parent and each had characters they preferred. Trula wasn’t one of them. I’d like to say that Trula will be in the new verse one day—but I’m still wondering if Jughead has a baby sister or if Ethel exists in the Jughead book. But the thing is with Trula or any other character that isn’t getting the representation we all like: there are still stories out there to find. Sure it’s harder, but after all the waiting I had for this story, it made reading it more special. Of course, I’m saying that as someone who accomplished his quests so…have fun slaying your dragons, folks, I’m done! WHOOO!!
Grade: A. The worst is a few miscolorings. This is a classic story that should be read. HEAR THAT ARCHIE COMICS. …Oh, you’re busy making a one shot Jughead as a werewolf. Sorry for interrupting your important business.
And for my next review Betty and Veronica: Farewell Riverdale. Betty & Veronica 272-277 I read one part of this years back and…it wasn’t good. Maybe time has aged this story like fine wine. And c’mon, I got these issues for two bucks. It’s going to be hard to not be worth the money.