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PTF Reviews Target: Jughead

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PTF:
 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?
 
The Good.
 
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 Bad:
 
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.
 
Right?
 
Right…?
 

DeCarlo Rules:
I'm pretty much in agreement with all of your assessments here, PTF. As to why Truly did not appear before/after the reboot...

The answer should be pretty obvious if you stop and think about it. She's Craig Boldman's character, and only Craig Boldman can really write a story in which Trula is truly Trula. She's a brilliant creation, because he's a brilliant writer. You'll notice that she appeared in very few non-Boldman written stories in which she had a major role, even during the time period when she was appearing semi-frequently in JUGHEAD, as written by Boldman. But she never actually became a "regular", ongoing supporting character (or antagonizing character). Like all great comic book antagonists, the readers could look forward to each new appearance of Trula, because they were just spaced out enough, that they never grew tired of her. But more to the point here, do you think that writing a story in which Trula masterfully manipulates Jughead with ease and never ever misses a trick, accurately predicting all of his reactions several steps in advance and taking them into account, is easy to write? Maybe if you're Craig Boldman, but with all due respect to Dan Parent and some of the other great ACP writers, that's just not their style of writing. So when Boldman stopped writing JUGHEAD, that was pretty much the end of Trula -- as well as the end of most new Jughead stories, when JUGHEAD was cancelled. At least anything longer than a 5-pager in one of Jughead's digest titles -- and then you have to consider how difficult it is to develop a satisfying Trula story in only 5 pages. Boldman could do a 5 or 6 pager with Trula occasionally, but only after he had established her and developed her in longer stories. It's really hard to convey the full effect of Trula's character in the short-shorts, and those stories only really work if the reader is already familiar with Trula from the longer stories.

Now, the one comment that caused me to wonder what you're thinking (or drinking?) is that remark about Trula having red hair. She doesn't have red hair, and has never had red hair (unless the colorist DID actually make a mistake). She's always had auburn hair (that's "brownish red" to you, or probably more accurately, reddish brown), sometimes described as "chestnut". The Archieverse has more than enough redheads anyway, at least a far greater percentage than seems to be the case in the real world (a subjective perception, I'll admit).


                                    ^1st appearance^                                                      ^Last appearance^

On the cover of #89, if anything, it's that bright light source in the background illuminating Juggie and Trula's faces that makes her hair appear lighter in color than it normally is in the stories - a dark auburn or chestnut brown. But if you look to the far right of the cover, her hair is darker and more brown as it should be (but the colorist still didn't get quite the proper combination of color screens). You could call it a mistake or a lighting effect that just didn't quite come off the way it should have, or chalk it up to the cover colorist not being the same as the colorist who did the interiors. Even on the cover of #210, the colorist tried to get creative and toss in these highlights that would normally never be seen in her hair as colored in the interior stories. Thinking back on that first multi-parter now, I do seem to recall that there was some waffling between the chapters on Trula's proper hair color. So on those pages where it does appear more red, THOSE are the mistakes, because in stories thereafter, it settles down (at least on the interior pages) to auburn/chestnut/reddish-brown, and that is where it stayed.

PTF:
Gee, wish I had gotten that 64 mega crayola set so I can learn all these colors. :)
Next time I get called a brunette I'm going to go "naw, it's blackish brown or burnt brown.) :)

And yeah, I agree that Boldman can do a good five page Trula story and it would be very difficult for what we have left to do one.

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