Click on each image to view larger
Ideal Comics #1-4 (Sep. 1944 - March 1946) continued as Willie Comics #5-19 (Sep. 1946 - April 1949) continued as Li'l Willie #20-21 (July 1949 - Sep. 1949) continued as Willie Comics #22-23 (Jan. 1950 - May 1950).
Artist Hal Lockwood began his comic book career in the 1940's working on a wide variety of humor and funny-animal comic books for the low-rent publisher Ace Periodicals, including Professor Penguin, Nutty Squirrel, Pat & Mike, Marmaduke Monk, Jerry the Jinx and others. He also drew 'Pinky' for E. R. Ross Publishing.
For Timely Comics, Lockwood produced art for an equally wide range of humor titles, typifying the tendency of Timely/Atlas/Marvel to produce derivative titles drawn from the popularity of titles at other companies, but never less than clear, competent and utterly professional.
Lockwood went into partnership with comics artist Vernon Henkel to form a studio called Film Media, producing industrial slides and cartoons and educational film strips. Lockwood's best known work, however, may be his seminal role in the production of Colonel Bleep, the first color cartoon produced for television and a stunning example of 1950's animation design.
The success of Archie Comics in pioneering and exploiting the "teen" genre in comics inevitably lead the other comic publishers at the time to follow their lead and produce a slate of Archie clones and knocks-offs.
Lighter than the heavy duty romance stuff that was aimed straight at the girl market, the teen genre focused more on humor than romance. Though Archie shared the occasional smooch with Betty or Veronica, his comics could be read without too much embarrassment by boys.
As a result his clones and knock-offs had their romantic interests as well. The focus in the teen genre, however, was always on humor and light, semi-realistic adventures, with romance only a part of the formula.
Timely Comics, always a company to follow a trend rather than start one (until Stan Lee famously turned comics on its head in the early sixties when he and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko reinvented the Super-Hero) jumped on the Archie bandwagon with comic books like Georgie, Homer Hooper, Frankie or Willie.
Archie Andrews, created in 1941 by Vic Bloom and Bob Montana, is a fictional character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip, The Archie Show, and Archie's Weird Mysteries.
Montana attended high school in Haverhill from 1936 to 1939, and his sketchbook, an illustrated diary of life in Haverhill, was the true origin of Archie Comics. After four years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Montana returned in 1946 to launch the Archie newspaper comic strip, which he drew until his death in 1975. Montana's daughters once made pages from this sketchbook available online. Several real-life residents of Haverhill were drawn into Montana's creation, as was revealed when film critic Gerald Peary interviewed Haverhill's cartoon character prototypes for the Boston Globe in 1980.
His friends, Skinny Linehan and Arnold Daggett, were the basis for Jughead Jones and Moose Mason respectively. School librarian Elizabeth Tuck inspired Miss Grundy and principal Earl McLeod was the model for Mr. Weatherbee. Montana knew the Boston Brahmin political family the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them; he combined their family name with actress Veronica Lake to create Veronica Lodge. Betty Cooper was based on Montana's girlfriend in New York. Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe, a soda shop where Archie's Gang hang out, was based on real-life locations frequented by Haverhill teenagers during the 1930s — Crown Confectionery and the Chocolate Shop on Merrimack Street and the Tuscarora on Winter Street.
Archibald "Archie" Andrews debuted in Pep Comics #22 (December, 1941). Decades later, Archie is still a lovable, though accident-prone, redheaded 17-year-old. Archie is the only child of Mary and Fred Andrews. His father works as a mid-level business executive. His earlier life is revealed in the "Little Archie" stories when he had a dog named Spotty. He lives in Riverdale, where he attends Riverdale High School.
Archie is a typical small-town teenager. Generous, well-mannered, but clumsy, he is genuinely liked by many of his friends. Archie goes crazy when he sees an attractive girl, but his two main crushes are Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, forming the love triangle driving the comic's plot-lines. He has the best intentions, but often comes into conflict with Veronica's father Hiram Lodge and Riverdale High's principal, Waldo Weatherbee. As the lead singer of The Archies, Archie performs with Betty and Veronica, as well as his rival Reggie, and best bud Jughead.
Mary and Fred Andrews are of Scottish descent. Archie's paternal grandfather Andy Andrews, immigrated to the United States from Scotland and befriended Moose Mason's Russian ancestor, who had emigrated at the same time. Archie has been depicted wearing the traditional kilt of his ancestors and playing bagpipes (but not very well).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.